Tom Bell calls the core of the Central Maine 15-year old Babe Ruth all-stars the Original Six. Six members of the team — Sam Bell, Connor Garland, Shea McCann, Kolby Lawrence, Dalton Wood and Chase Duguay — are making their third appearance in the New England tournament for Central Maine.
“This is our last chance to win it,” Bell, the team’s coach, said. “We’ve performed better every year.”
The Franklin County Under 12 softball all-stars also won the state title and will compete in the New England tournament. Franklin County begins play today against Portsmouth, N.H., in Rochester, N.H.
“This is my third time at regionals,” Franklin County coach Lisa Dube said. “This time my goal is to play three six inning games. If we win, that’s the cherry on the sundae.”
Franklin County will play in a round-robin tournament. After three games of pool play, the top two teams from each division move on to a double elimination tournament.
Central Maine will play in a double-elimination tournament in Manchester, N.H., taking on Vermont in its opening game Aug. 2. Central Maine needed just two pitchers, Wood and Josh Joy, to get through three games of the state tournament. Wood threw a gem in the final against Auburn, a 2-1 win. Wood, of Waterville, gave up just four hits and an unearned run in the win.
Offensively, Central Maine is led by Garland, Bell, Nathan Violette, Duguay and Colby Dexter.
“We saw everybody’s ace pitcher, and we knew we were going to,” Coach Bell said. “Now we’re seeing kids who are pitching varsity.”
Dube has five players on her softball team that can pitch. Four were on the team last year, and that helped the team roll undefeated through the state tournament.
“They’re pretty experienced 12- and 13-year olds,” Dube said. “Just carrying five pitchers is a luxury.”
Madison Smith and Ellie DeCarlois are the top pitchers for Franklin County. Aislynn Provencher and DeCarlois lead the offense.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242