Local players to watch: Cat Ouellette, Sr. C/SS, Winthrop, Krissy Doughty, Sr. P, Winthrop; Jessie Dirago, Sr. P, Telstar (10-4, 1.55 ERA, 174 strikeouts), Autum Morin, Sr. 3b, Telstar (.364), Sadie Ellsworth, Jr. C, Telstar (.333), Becca Howard, Soph SS, Telstar (.341, 18 RBI); Katelyn Olsen, Soph P, Dirigo, Ellen Wainright, Jr. P, Dirigo, Emma Lueders, Soph SS, Dirigo, Lauren Henderson, Soph 3b, Dirigo; Katie Collette Sr. C, Mountain Valley (.265, 11 RBI), Shannon Laubauskas, Sr. OF, Mountain Valley (.385, 9 RBI), Aly Carlton, Sr. OF, Mountain Valley (.283, 12 RBI), Lindsay Marston, Jr. P, Mountain Valley; Kylie Kemp, Sr. 3b, Monmouth, Sabrina Beck, Sr. C, Monmouth, Paxton Lessard, Sr. P, Monmouth, Becki Bryant, Jr. P/OF, Monmouth; Olivia Harrington, Sr. OF, Lisbon, Kailyn Hill, Jr. P, Lisbon, Monica Austin, Jr. SS, Lisbon, Taylor Plourde, Jr. 1b/C, Lisbon.

Favorites: Madison was clearly the top team in the Mountain Valley Conference. The defending Western C champs only lost once, a 2-0 battle with Telstar. The Bulldogs outscored foes 190-21 and had five shutouts. Senior pitcher Emily McKenney leads a team that is seasoned and experienced and claimed the MVC title over Winthrop. Much of this team not only won last year’s regional final but reached the Western C basketball final as well.

Dark horses: Only one loss separated many of the other teams in the Western C field. That gives this tournament a number of quality teams that could make noise when it matters most.

Winthrop missed the second seed by only a few points and lost to Madison in the MVC game, 3-0. The Ramblers have a strong pitcher in Krissy Doughty and one of the top hitters in the field in Cat Ouellette.

With one of the top pitchers in the MVC in Jessie Dirago, making Telstar a team to watch. Dirago is approaching 500 strikeouts for her career and pitched 12 games with three hits or less, including six one-hitters.

Prediction: Madison

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