By the time the Thomas College softball teams opens its season March 25 in Clermont, Fla., the Terriers will have been practicing for about 10 weeks. Thomas began practicing on Jan. 13, and coach Terry Parlin said there have been about six practices per week.

Parlin and his staff aren’t complaining about the length of preseason, because the Terriers have nine freshmen on their roster of 18 players.

“We’re trying to take it from the individual skills that we worked on at the beginning, to more of a team concept,” Parlin said.

The Terriers will have a scrimmage with Colby at the Mules’ indoor facility, but Parlin would like to pick up another scrimmage. He said he called three different colleges trying to arrange something, but all three had filled their season maximum of 40 games.

“The biggest concern that we have is the connection between the outfield and the infield,” Parlin said. “There’s very little of that that can happen inside our facility.”

What’s less of the concern for the Terriers is their pitching staff. With Kelsey Crowe back from an injury, Thomas has six pitchers, and all of them can play other positions.

“There’s certain ones who are going to do the bulk of the pitching,” Parlin said. “They are all going to have a role to play on the team. A lot of them are very similar. It’s great. I’ve gone to Florida before and I’ve had one pitcher. (Now) not all the marbles are in that one can.”

Colby is still alive in the New England Small College Athletic Conference women’s hockey playoffs. The Mules were out-shot 45-10 in a quarterfinal game against Amherst this weekend, but won 3-2 thanks to senior goalie Brianne Wheeler’s 43 saves. Wheeler was named NESCAC Player of the Week.

Megan Fortier scored two goals for Colby in the win, and Jess Barkley had the game-winner with 1:18 left in the third period. Up next, the Mules face Bowdoin in the semifinals at 4 p.m., Saturday at Williams College.

Colby played Bowdoin twice this season, sweeping a home-and-home in November. Colby won the first game 3-2 in overtime despite being out-shot 48-20, then out-shot the Polar Bears one night later in a 4-3 victory.

Maranacook graduate Ben Johnson wasn’t named the Most Valuable Player of the North Atlantic Conference men’s basketball tournament, but he made a very good case that he deserved the award.

In three tournament games, Johnson averaged 24.3 points and 20.7 rebounds while shooting 64.6 percent from the floor. The Beavers lost 96-89 in overtime to Husson in Saturday’s NAC championship game. Johnson finished that game with 28 points and 20 rebounds.

Husson sophomore Trevon Butler was named MVP of the tournament. Butler had 28 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in the championship game. Butler averaged 19.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in the tournament.

Oakland native and Messalonskee graduate Lindsey Prelgovisk will be competing at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships March 19-22 in Indianapolis. Prelgovisk, a sophomore at Bates College, is part of the school’s 800-yard freestyle team which will be competing at nationals.

According to a release by the school, Prelgovisk will also take part in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Bates coach Peter Casares also expects the 800 free relay team to compete in as many as three other relays, including the 200 and 400 free.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243 [email protected] Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo