The Mt. Blue softball team’s goal is to make it to the postseason this season. (Franklin Journal photo by Tony Blasi)

 

FARMINGTON — The first priority on Mt. Blue softball coach Ron Smith’s to-do list is for his Cougars to steer clear of what he calls “The Big Inning” this season.

“We will try to avoid “the big inning”. We had a lead in most games and had a bad inning and lost based on that one inning.”

But to avoid a calamitous Big Inning, Smith turns to a strong group of veterans who know the ropes.

They include: seniors Ashley Wiles (infielder),  Ace Provencher (infield/pitcher), Wylie Post (infielder), Jocelyn Daggett (infielder), Rylee Briggs (catcher), Macey Phillips (outfield), Brodie Reynolds (outfield) and junior pitcher Muddy Smith.

“All these players started or played a lot of innings every game last year,” Smith said. “They know the day in, day out grind in this division. They should provide us with leadership and team chemistry.

“We return all but two starters from last year’s team. Our pitching has experience and depth that should keep us in games.”

But Smith knows his Cougars must pull their weight on offense.

“We need to find ways to produce runs,” he added.

There is a capable contingent of newcomers who have shown promise and will give the team added depth.

This bunch includes: senior Amelia Fredric (utility); juniors Sidney Belanger (utility), Gianna Kennedy (utility), Jenessa Stanley (outfield), Angela Guppy (utility); sophomore Makayla Gross (pitcher) and freshman Eva Stevens (utility).

“These athletes play multiple positions and provide depth at several spots,” Smith said. “Most have some varsity experience so they have a good idea what is needed at that level.”

Smith added that a promising season awaits the Cougars — if they stay focused.

“We have to play to our potential this year,” he said. “These players have the skills and abilities to compete with anyone when they are focused.

“We are gunning for a playoff spot. It has been some years since we made the playoffs and the girls are ready to change that.

“The A North is a very competitive division. Every game is a tough one. The division is loaded with very good teams, from Oxford Hills to Skowhegan, Lewiston, Edward Little, Bangor , etc. 

“We are making our team goal to claim one of the playoff spots available.”

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