Ginger Shaw knows what it’s like to play for a successful softball team at Gardiner Area High School. As an athlete at Gardiner in the mid-1980’s, then Ginger Snow played for John Wolfgram who coached the Tigers to their only state title.

Shaw, who was recently hired to coach the varsity softball team, thinks the program can achieve success again.

“I see a huge potential in these young ladies, some of (whom) I’ve (coached) the last three or four years,” she said.

Shaw replaces Conrad Lewis, who concluded a 15-year stint as head coach last spring when he was not rehired. Last season, the Tigers finished 6-10, competing in the Class B division of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.

“I think they have to believe in each other,” Shaw said of the team. “The tools are there. For the most part, all those key positions are coming back.”

Shaw has coached the Gardiner Regional Middle School team, helped at Richmond and at one time ran the youth softball program. Last year, seven or eight Gardiner youth teams joined the Capital Area Youth Softball Association (CAYSA) in Augusta. The younger teams will in-house games while the older players travel to other central Maine sites.

“By them playing better competition it will only make them better,” Shaw said.

Although she’s not allowed to work with them in the offseason, Shaw said there are four pitchers working out most of the year. One of her goals next season is to re-establish a junior varsity program. There will be enough players, she believes, to support two teams.

As Wolfgram did, Shaw believes solid defense and aggressive baserunning wins games.

“Personally, I like to be aggressive on the base paths,” she said. “I like to take a few chances.”

Shaw, who has two children, including a freshman softball playing daughter, works with special education students at the middle school. She is also coach of the freshman girls basketball team.

“Ginger has been coaching all ages in Gardiner,” Athletic Director Jeff Turnbull said. “She lives and breathes Gardiner Tigers. She wants so much to see the program succeed.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 

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