Four local teams hope to be in the mix this spring in Eastern Maine Class A.

Oxford Hills, Edward Little and Mt. Blue all reached the playoffs last year and expect to again. Lewiston hopes to improve enough to challenge for a tourney spot.

Oxford Hills went the furthest last spring, losing to Cony in the Eastern A semifinals. The Vikings have new pitchers in Cody Akers and Erika Whitman, but the squad still has some veteran talent back. Savanna Morin, Annika Kahkonen, Shannon Fillebrown, Kayleigh Knox and Anna Winslow all return from last year to make the Vikings a formidable club.

“The pitchers have some varsity experience but will now be called upon to carry the load,” Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard said. “If the pitching holds strong, I believe we will be a team that will finish in the top half of the league.”

Edward Little also has a veteran club back. The Red Eddies lost in the quarterfinals, challenging the eventual state champs from Skowhegan. EL has six returning players including pitchers Molly Murray and Sarah Hammond. Hannah Smith is a three-year starter in the outfield while Calli Murray, Karli Stubbs, both  starters last year, and Jordyn Reynolds are also back. EL has some holes to fill from graduation but have the nucleus to build from.

“We’ll look to improve throughout the season and look to be competitive against some of the top teams such as Bangor, Messalonskee, Oxford Hills and Cony,”EL coach Elaine Derosby said.

Mt. Blue lost to Hampden in the Eastern A prelims. The Cougars returns much of its lineup from last year, including seniors Addie Brinkman, Rachelle Bator, Moesha Harrington, Brandi Harris, Mariah Martin, Katlyn Wells and juniors Lauren Guppy and Caitlin Kane.

“After making it to the playoff last season, we’ve really gained the confidence needed to move forward this spring,” said Mt. Blue coach Chuck Wallace. “Our returning athletes have the experience and knowledge that hard work, dedication and keeping composure pays huge dividends.”

Lewiston won just two games last year but hopes to be more competitive with much of last year’s team back. The Blue Devils return Sami Rioux, Courtney Marquis, Lauren Bellleau, Maggie Phalen, Alesha Gregoire and Makayla Girouard and have a promising group of newcomers that could make a difference.

“This year we are hoping to end up in the middle of the pack,” said Lewiston coach Erica Crowley. “All the members of our team are bringing good energy to the team and we will carry that energy through the season.”

Skowhegan and Cony were the two top teams in the KVAC last year and met in the regional final. Both should be favorites again this year. Bangor, which lost to Skowhegan in the semifinals, will also be strong.

Messalonskee and Brewer both reached the quarterfinals last year and should be playoff clubs again. Teams like Brunswick, Mt. Ararat, Lawrence and Hampden will be looking to improve and challenge for tourney spots also.

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