There will be change in Class D South softball season, but it might not alter the success that Richmond has come to expect.

The three-time defending state champs have a new coach.

Tony Martin, a longtime assistant, takes over for Rick Coughlin, who stepped down after 29 years. Still, the Bobcats have much of last year’s team back and a 52-game winning streak running.

Leading a seasoned Bobcats team are pitchers Meranda Martin, Sydney Tilton and Caitlyn Kendrick. The Bobcats have experience and versatility. So despite the change in coaches, Richmond should still be the team to beat this spring.

Richmond beat both Searsport and Vinalhaven in the tourney last year. Both Vikings teams could be solid clubs and be in the playoff mix again.

Buckfield went 9-6 last year and lost in the regional quarterfinals. The Bucks return much of the team including seniors Alexis Bennett, Ashley Campbell, Brianna Damon, Courtney Keough and juniors Abby Fogg, Kali Litchfield and Abby Shields. That group gives them the entire infield and battery back for the Bucks.

“I’m excited for the upcoming season with many talented players returning but know that we will have to work hard in our very competitive conference,” Buckfield coach Sandy Albert said.

Rangeley reached the semifinals and finished 9-5. The Lakers lost to Searsport by a run. The Lakers lost four –year starters in Taylor Esty and Seve Deery-DeRaps and outfielder Valerie Roy-Lessard. Still, the Lakers have a promising club with 11 returning players, including seniors Blayke Morin, Maddison Egan and Michaela Shorey and juniors Haley Morrill, Celia Philbrick and Natalie Brooks. The Lakers also have a strong sophomore group with Sydney Royce, Natasha Halley, Logan Abbott, Megan Keirstead and Victoria Glidden.

Much of this group has had success in other sports, including a state championship in basketball.

“This year’s team would like to continue where we left off last year,” Rangeley coach Chip Smith said.

Forest Hills and Greenville were playoff teams last year and have teams that should challenge for the postseason again.


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