Spruce Mountain softball coach Lisa Dube and her players speak of co-captain Summer Chretien in reverential tones.

They appreciate the outfielder’s devotion, support, respect and unselfishness. The soft-spoken Chretien is the only senior on the team and is a quiet leader who is eager to lend her moral support to her fellow Phoenix players.

“I think like a big thing for me is, like, my team is being really respectful because, after all, (that’s what) I wanted,” Chretien said. “I try to give back to my teammates and be there for them.”

Summer Chretian, center, shares a laugh with teammates Emma Towers, left, and Leah Burgess before Spruce Mountain’s softball practice Thursday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Chretien and the 12th-seeded Phoenix (5-11) head into the Class C South playoffs, which they open early next week on the road against fifth-seeded Sacopee Valley (11-5).

The postseason experience, however it turns out, should be valuable for the young Spruce Mountain squad, which has only two upperclassmen, Chretien and junior Emma Towers, a fellow captain and outfielder.

Towers, also a captain and outfielder, said that she and Chretien re-establish their bonds every spring.


“When softball rolls around, we usually get pretty close,” Towers said. “We are the only upperclassmen on the team, so we bonded together — especially being captains. She is definitely a team player. She always has a good attitude. 

“She plays wherever (is) best for the team. She is really fun to be around and she does pick up people when they are down.”

Chretien’s diligence and devotion continues to impress Dube.

“The definition of a true teammate (is) someone who cares more about a group or a team to succeed than about his or her individual success,” Dube said. “The Spruce Mountain varsity softball has that teammate in senior Summer Chretien. She goes above and beyond in all facets of being a great teammate. Summer is willing to help with the younger girls in improving their game. Her positive disposition is a coach’s dream.”


This spring, Chretien was asked to put the team first by moving from the infield, where she always played, to fill a need in outfield. Chretien didn’t hesitate when Dube asked her to switch jobs for her final high school season.


“Summer had been an infielder her whole high school career, but when asked to move to center field this year for the betterment of the team , she did,” Dube said. “Summer never once complained or showed any frustration with the move. She took to learning how to be an outfielder and always gives 100 percent. Summer is a positive influence to those around her.”

Sophomore shortstop Leah Burgess said Chretien’s adaptability and work ethic benefit the team.

“I think she is a great leader and I think she is really good at motivating,” Burgess said. “She lets everybody know that things happen, but she also helps people improve on the things that they need to improve. She always has a positive attitude about it. She adds the fun for sure.”

But Chretien’s easy-going demeanor instantly changes when the game begins. She is tenacious on diamonds in the spring and during the winter is annoying to opponents on courts with an in-your-face style of defense during basketball, which is her favorite sport.

The agility and speed she uses in hoops have helped her make a successful transition to the outfield.

“I have always loved (basketball),” Chretien said. “It was my favorite thing as a kid. I really think it intrigued me.”


Chretien said the softball season has been enjoyable despite the Phoenix’s up-and-down moments.

“It is going pretty good,” she said. “Our record may not reflect it, but we’ve done better than the past years.”


Chretien said there was no uneasiness on her part when Dube asked her to make the shift from infield to the outfield. 

“I think my team needed me out there, really, and we had someone who could play my old position,” Chretien said. “I actually ended up liking it a lot.

“She is a quiet leader,” Dube said. “You would never know if she was frustrated or had a bad at-bat or made an error in the field. A lot of kids would carry that on their shoulders and it will affect their game. Summer won’t do that. If she strikes out, she is going walk off the field same.

“Last year … she actually got the coach’s award — she won that last year as a junior.”

Following the softball playoffs, and graduation, Chretien will be attending Central Maine Community College this fall and will take general studies courses until she settles on a major.

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