Madison’s Landyn Landry (27) slides across home plate safely in front of Dexter catcher Tory Asbury during the Class C championship game Saturday at Brewer High School. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

BREWER — The Madison Area Memorial High School softball team had barely begun to celebrate its latest state championship, when some of the players and their coach began thinking ahead to the next thing. With the summer travel league starting up, many of the Bulldogs looked forward to Tuesday’s practice and a tournament next weekend.

“We’re actually going to be in a tournament next Saturday, and we’ll start it all over,” coach Chris LeBlanc said. “We’ll be ready to go.”

Saturday’s 7-1 win over Dexter at Coffin Field gave the Bulldogs their second straight Class C state crown, and fourth state championship in six years. The three-month sprint through the high school softball season represents just a portion of the work the team put in to meet its goal of retaining the title, LeBlanc said.

Madison’s Landyn Landry makes an out on a shallow line drive against Dexter on Saturday during the Class C championship game at Brewer High School. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“They put the time in the weight room. You’re not going to be able to do it if you start in March. They do a lot of work on their own,” LeBlanc said.

The foundation of the Madison softball team is a strong youth program that consistently develops strong players. Members of the back-to-back state champion Bulldogs learned the game at those levels, LeBlanc said. When asked if his team is now a dynasty, LeBlanc pointed at the youth softball program as the main reason the question can even be asked.

“It’s just a community effort. Al the people with the 10-under, 12-under, that’s when it’s really important in the summertime,” LeBlanc said. “We just have a very good program from the top down. Our 12-U kids aren’t here today because we had put them in a tournament, and they’re probably our biggest fans. We’re checking to see what they did at 9 o’clock.”

The Bulldogs show know signs of dropping from contention in the near future. Seven of the 10 players in Saturday’s starting lineup (Emily Blauvelt served as designated player, hitting in place of second baseman Jessica Turcotte) return. The top three hitters in Madison’s lineup — shortstop Landyn Landry, catcher Lillian Levesque, and first baseman/pitcher Brooke McKenney — completed their freshmen season with Saturday’s victory.

Pitching-wise, LeBlanc has a problem other coaches hope for, two pitchers who could be considered the ace. Lauria LeBlanc and McKenney combined to throw 130 innings this season, with a earned run average of 1.18. Each pitched in Saturday’s championship game, with LeBlanc starting and earning the win, and McKenney closing the door with three innings of relief.

The state game also was indicative of Madison’s strength through the entire lineup. Seven players accounted for one run each in the win.

“We just all have confidence in each other,” junior outfielder Katie Worthen said.

 

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