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Falcon softball putting pieces together
RUMFORD -- There have been a lot of changes surrounding the Mountain Valley softball team. However, it certainly hasn't disrupted the over all performances.
The questions were plentiful when the players assembled in Puiia Gymnasium for preseason work. After all, only three who had seen regular playing time returned because seven had graduated. Also, first-year co-coaches Lisa Russell and Debbie Buotte had the task of putting the pieces together.
The degree of how many highs depends on the Lady Falcons themselves and how each player reacts to different situations. A majority of the load will rest on the shoulders of the players who will be counted on to wade through the rugged Mountain Valley Conference.
The returning lettermen included seniors Hannah LaPointe (shortstop) and Kirstin Ridge and junior third baseman Brooke Dolloff. The trio is the strength of the team and they have been productive offensively with several extra-base hits.
Buotte said the players are finally getting contact.
There were several holes to fill withthe graduations of Courtney Carlton (OF), Lynsie Dupuis (C), Lindsay Gallant (IF) Jessica Kane (C) McKenzie Paterson (IF), Breana Roberts (1B) and Lauren White (OF).
This has been off set because several promising newcomers have stepped in to fill the void, beginning with senior Delaney Paterson (OF). Sophomore Shannon Laubauskas has been catching Lindsay Marston. The freshman struck out five in her varsity debut against Spruce Mountain and also beat Carrabec in a complete game.
" She has been pitching for a while," said Buotte, regarding Marston, who self-taught herself on You Tube and has been going to Frozen Ropes.
Laubauskas, who had been positioned for center field, is quite versatile, as show when Katie Collette sprained her ankle the day before the first game.
"So we put Shannon as catcher and she is pretty awesome," said Buotte. Collette was expected to return on Monday. "Our defense is solid, we work on situation plays all the time. The girls know where the balls are supposed to go. Back up is incredible."
Other contributors are juniors Nicole Burgess (IF/OF) and sophomores Allyson Carlton (LF), Katie Collette (C), Katie Mills (RF/LF), Karissah Murphy (OF), Jena Plourde (IF/OF) and Kasey Smith (1B).
"We are an inexperienced team with a young group of all around players," said Buotte, who has been pleased by the Falcons competitiveness. "This is our first year coaching the varsity softball team, so we are learning who the strong programs are."