Lisbon coach Terri Tlumac, center, talks to her team between innings during a loss to Oak Hill in Wales on Wednesday. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

The weather has been forcing the Lisbon softball team to continually push the pause button on its season, but when the Greyhounds have gotten games in they have learned quickly about continuing to move forward.

The delayed season opener was a victory in dominant fashion against Mountain Valley on Monday. Then Lisbon followed that up with a five-inning loss to Oak Hill on Wednesday. The two games were on opposite ends of the success spectrum, but head coach Terri Tlumac could preach a similar sentiment after both.

Move on.

“I would say that, especially in this league, is that you can’t compare teams. Sometimes it’s apples to oranges, and you don’t know what you’re going to get out of your players or of the other team on any given day,” Tlumac said after Wednesday’s loss. “So it was a great start for us on Monday, but I told them that they had to swipe that clean and this was a whole different ball game today.”

Tlumac said the best part of Wednesday’s loss was that it happened early in the season. The Greyhounds now have 14 games (whenever those actually happen) to keep growing.

“I would definitely agree that this is one of those points of the season that i’m glad it happened, at the beginning, so that way we can reference that … just some of those talking points,” Tlumac said.

That growth started in the final inning of the Oak Hill game. Lisbon hadn’t scored in the first four innings, but the Greyhounds were able to plate four in their final at-bat.

“When I was looking at the book going into the fifth inning, I was thinking of using subs, and I thought, ‘I’m not putting my subs in, (the starters) have gotten one at-bat.’ Some of my girls had only had one at-bat going into the fifth inning.”

Tlumac did bring in freshman pitcher Erica Hill in the third, moving her to the mound from shortstop and giving her young thrower a chance to “get some work” in the circle.

“As a freshman, exposing her to big games like this, and tough competitors, is only going to make her better,” Tlumac said, “and she is happy to rise to the occasion and step on the mound.”

THAT WINNING FEELING

Buckfield has had success the past few years, but until last year’s postseason the Bucks (and most other teams in the East-West Conference) just couldn’t find a way to get past Richmond. But the Bucks did just that in the regional semifinals, knocking off their longtime rivals for the first time in recent memory.

If there was any question that the Bucks had gotten the Richmond monkey off their backs, they answered that question Tuesday with a sweep of the Bobcats.

“Sweeping Richmond sure helped to bring confidence to our squad that we can win any game we play,” Buckfield coach Sandy Albert said. “I think the momentum in being able to defeat them in the playoff game last year helped us move into this season.”

The pair of wins moved the Bucks to 5-0 to start the season, while the twin bill was the season opener for the Bobcats.

“Richmond is still a good team and we need to pay attention when we play them and continue to play fundamental softball,” Albert said. “There will continue to be a rivalry between us and a mutual respect for each other’s programs, so I think every game we play against them will be great, competitive games. But we now know mentally that we are good enough to beat them.”

Albert said senior leadership (the Bucks have six seniors) and hitting (93 runs in five games) have been the keys to the team’s early-season success.

HIGH PRAISE ON THE HILLS

The first Varsity Maine softball top 10 poll came out Thursday night, and Sun Journal-area teams Oxford Hills and Oak Hill both made the list. The Vikings  sit in the No. 4 spot, while the Raiders are tied for No. 7 with Class A South’s Massabesic.

Oxford Hills garnered one of the five first-place votes, with defending Class A state champ Scarborough getting one and a poll-leading 45 points (10 points for first). The Vikings’ Class A North rival, Skowhegan, got another first-place vote and was second with 43 points, just ahead of Class A South’s Thornton Academy with 42 points and two first-place votes. Oxford Hills received 35 points, just ahead of No. 5 Noble (31), which rounded out the top quintet of undefeated Class A teams.

Oak Hill received 10 points and is the only undefeated team left in Class B South, and the lone representative on the list from the region.

G-NG NO-NO

Gray-New Gloucester sophomore pitcher Madison Pelletier threw a no-hitter in a five-inning win over Traip Academy on Wednesday. Pelletier struck out nine batters to earn her second win of the season in her third start for the 2-2 Patriots.

The sophomore’s season debut saw her strike out the side in the first inning against perennial power Wells, and she finished that win off with a punchout.

She has helped herself out at the plate as well. She hit a triple in Wednesday’s win, and she doubled while taking the pitching loss against rival Poland the week before.

AROUND THE STATE, AND THE BASES

There have been some powerful hitting performances early on in the season, but Windham’s Chloe Wilcox might be at the top of the list of performers so far.

Through the first six of 16 games, the Eagles junior already has set her the program’s single-season home run record, with seven. She tied and broke the previous mark of six — set by 2017 graduate Olivia Mora — with two round-trippers in a win over Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy on Wednesday. She hit three homers in an earlier win over Westbrook.

Wilcox has also already broken the record for career home runs, which Mora set with 13. Wilcox now has 14, with two as a freshman and five last year as a sophomore.


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