Hall-Dale’s Ashlynn Donahue gets ready to hit a pitch against Winthrop on April 26 in Winthrop. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Not much has gone wrong with the Hall-Dale softball team so far this season.

In fact, you may not even find a blemish.

Through four games, the Bulldogs own a perfect 4-0 record. They’ve scored 57 runs (just over 14 runs per game) over that stretch, and have allowed just five runs defensively. Hall-Dale currently sits third in the Class C South standings, trailing just Madison (6-0) and Monmouth (5-1).

“I’m really happy the way we’ve started out,” Hall-Dale head coach Steve Acedo said. “We’ve got three new outfielders, new shortstop and a whole new pitching battery. Out of the gate, going 4-0 and putting up good runs and not giving up many is pretty good for us right now.”

While he’ll take all of the winning ingredients the team has shown over that span, Acedo said he’s been most impressed with the team’s pitching and defense so far.

“I would say I’m probably more happy with giving up the five (runs) defensively,” Acedo said. “In the past, we’ve always had that one (bad) inning or that breakdown and give up a few (runs). This year, we’re just solid, I guess is the word I would say. The infield is looking really good. The new outfield we’ve got, they’re pretty solid right now, too. If you hit it in the air, I’m pretty confident we’re going to catch it.”

Multiple hitters have contributed to the Bulldogs’ success, including Lilly Platt, Rita Benoit, Sarah Benner, Sammy Thornton and Tanley Tibbetts. Ashlynn Donahue has contributed the most in the circle so far this season, owning a 3-0 record. But she’s been formidable at the plate as well, crushing a home run over the fence in an 11-2 win over Winslow on Monday.

“I think out of the first five hitters (in the lineup), four of the first five are batting over .400, and the other is batting .370-something, but I’m not going to complain about a batting average of .370, either” Acedo said. “The (No.) 7, 8 and 9 hitters are starting to come around, too.”

One of Hall-Dale’s most impressive players, at and behind the plate, so far this season is freshman catcher Zoe Soule.

“She’s gotten out of the gate in the first four games pretty impressive,” Acedo said. “She’s throwing runners out, she’s picked two off at first base, so she’s pretty heads up behind the plate. I think her batting average right now is close to .700, her on-base percentage is close to (.800).”

Hall-Dale is about to enter the meat of its schedule. Within the next week, the Bulldogs will have multiple games against Maranacook, a rematch with Winslow and the lone regular-season matchup at home against Madison.

“What we come out with on the end of this I think is going to tell us what we’re going to be or what we need to work on,” Acedo said.


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Winslow pitcher Reid Gagnon throws a pitch during a game against MCI on Tuesday in Pittsfield. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

The Winslow baseball team is off to a 4-1 start to the season. But the Black Raiders have really taken off within the last three games, beating rival Waterville, Gardiner and Hall-Dale by a combined score of 36-7.

“A lot of it has been mental preparedness and just doing things more in depth than basic skills,” Winslow head coach Isiah Fleming said. “We’re getting the job that we need to get done. We’re doing well on the bases. Two of my kids at one point had 14 of our 18 stolen bases, just two kids alone. We’re getting those kids on (base) and moving them over, driving them in and having successful at-bats. Our pitchers are doing well, and we’ve been eliminating the hits. We’re outscoring our opponents, if I counted right, 42-25 since the season started.”

The Black Raiders — who are currently second in the Class B North standings behind Old Town (4-1) — know how to win a close matchup as well, as they proved in the season opener by beating Maine Central Institute 3-2 on April 20 in Pittsfield.

Fleming, a former pitcher at Lawrence High School and Thomas College, has been especially pleased with how the team has produced on the mound lately.

“I’m more of a defensive guy, but the offensive side comes with that defensiveness,” Fleming said. “If you have a shutdown inning and you get the bases loaded by accident, then get out of it without (the other team) scoring a run, then your offense kind of gets piped up and it goes from there. The key to winning is defense, really. You’ve got to hold them to less runs than you score.”


• • •

Cony’s Sierra Clark, left, tries to get around Nokomis/MCI’s Cheyanne Martin during a 2019 game at Thomas College in Waterville. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan


The Cony girls lacrosse team is coming off its first loss, a 14-4 loss to Brunswick on Monday. But with a 3-1 record to start the season, head coach Gretchen Livingston has seen plenty of positives from the Rams.

“We’re looking strong on the defensive end, the midfield and also the attack,” Livingston said. “We have some strong senior leaders… We have a small but strong senior class, some juniors making some contributions, and the sophomore class is shaping up. We only have a couple freshmen on the team, but Maci Freeman is doing a really nice job for us.”

Sierra Clark has been the early standout for the Rams offensively, but multiple players have contributed in the scoring output, including players such as Freeman, Raegan Bechard, Andrea Richardson and Azabell Assas.

“What I like about our scoring is, we’re doing a lot with assists and setting each other up,” Livingston said. “It’s not just one person driving it down. Sierra Clark is our leading scorer, but she’s got a good complement around her.”

Livingston said she hopes to see the consistency continue with her team moving forward, as well as strengthen up the team’s transition game on each side of the field.

“Keeping that consistency, definitely on the attacking side of the restraining line,” Livingston said. “Continue to push and set each other up, continue to have multiple scorers. On the defensive end, working with our sophomore goalie and a couple of those veteran defenders to build up the newer defenders and strengthen that core… The transition game, from the defensive end to offense, making that more smooth. If we have a turnover on the attack end, making sure our defensive transition is solid.”


• • •

Gardiner’s Cole Brann, left, tries to get around Cony defender Duncan Hayes during a game Tuesday in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo


The Gardiner boys lacrosse team’s 19-8 victory over Cony on Tuesday went about as well as it could have expected.

Getting to the game, however, was a challenge.

A game that was supposed to start at 3:30 p.m. actually began closer to 4, as the Tigers were late after initially heading to the CARA fields for the game, which was played at Alumni Field.

The Tigers were still joking about the mix-up after the game was over.

“Showing up to the wrong field didn’t do us good,” junior Cam Rizzo said. “But it was a good game overall. We started moving the ball well.”

“There was a little adversity on the ride here,” junior Sean Doyle said. “But we powered through.”

Doyle said the Tigers were at the field for nearly an hour before realizing Cony wasn’t coming.

“We then got a call saying we were at the wrong field, and our bus had left,” Doyle said. “So we had to have a couple of parents drive all of us over here. … I think we took five or six cars, just full of players, over here.”

The delay didn’t hurt the Tigers, who improved to 1-1.


Staff writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this report.



Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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