SCARBOROUGH – Courtney Brochu is one of four members of the Scarborough Little League softball all-star team making a third trip to the East Regionals.
She has a simple message for the team’s nine newcomers to regional tourney play.
“Just to handle the pressure and stuff. Just stay focused,” said Brochu, who plays second base for the team of 11- and 12-year-olds.
Scarborough swept the competition in Maine, going 5-0 in District 6, then 3-0 in the state tourney at Rockland.
Scarborough will begin pool play in the regional at Bristol, Conn., with an 8 p.m. game Friday against Seymour, Conn.
All teams are scheduled to play four games before the single-elimination rounds next Thursday and Friday. The regional champion advances to the World Series in Portland, Ore.
Brochu thinks the 2013 team is well-rounded compared to last year’s team that made it out of pool play but lost in the quarterfinals.
“Last year we were basically all pitchers and this year we do more as a team,” Brochu said. “We all hit as a team.”
Brochu, catcher Hunter Greenleaf, third baseman Felicia O’Reilly and pitcher/shortstop Laura Powell were on the team last year, and also made it to the Eastern Regional in 2010 in the 9-10 division.
“This team has played fantastic defense,” said Coach Mike O’Reilly. “In the infield, counting our catcher, we have four girls who played infield in last year’s regional tournament. They play very well under pressure.”
Greenleaf said she’ll try to make sure the newcomers know the tournament is a fun experience.
“Just being there as a team, you really grow to be a group, like a family,” Greenleaf said.
The East Regional has 11 teams split into two pools.
Scarborough and Seymour, Conn., are joined in the New England bracket by teams from Cumberland, R.I., Charlton, Mass., Bristol, Vt., and Derry, N.H.
There is also a five-team Mid-Atlantic bracket.
The top four teams from each bracket advance to the single-elimination rounds.
Scarborough will play Vermont at 2 p.m. Saturday, New Hampshire at 2 p.m. Monday and Rhode Island at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“Last year we went 2-2 in the preliminary round and lost to New Jersey 1-0 in the first elimination round,” said O’Reilly, noting that Scarborough was the fourth seed from New England and New Jersey was the top team out of the Mid-Atlantic.
O’Reilly said first-year all-star Kaitlin Verreault has been the team’s primary pitcher.
“She beat a very strong Kennebunk team 2-1 in the state final and retired the first 13 batters,” O’Reilly said.
Verreault said she isn’t nervous.
“Just really excited,” she said.
During district and state competition, Scarborough’s offense was paced by its No. 2-4 hitters: Powell, Verreault and Sarah Berube.
Also on the team are Sydney Michelson, Ava McDonald, Marina Clough, Ivy DiBiase, Logan Bruns, Mia Kelley and Sydney Plummer.
Like most of the girls on the team, Verreault has traveled to plenty of ASA tournaments as a member of one of the Southern Maine Flame teams.
“This is the first time I have been on a (travel) team where I knew everyone (from the start),” Verreault said. “Other than that there’s not really a difference. It’s the same concept.”
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: