May 9, 2013

Softball Notebook: Freeport pitcher looking for a special senior season

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

There have been more losses than wins in Leigh Wyman's Freeport High softball career.

Samantha Adams

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Samantha Adams, Sanford, senior pitcher: For the second straight week Adams used her arm and bat to lead the Spartans to a stunning upset. After stopping South Portland last week, Adams struck out 12 and hit the game-winning home run in the eighth inning of a 3-2 victory Monday at Scarborough. She also stuck out 11 in a two-hit, 5-1 victory against Bonny Eagle.

HONORABLE MENTION

Sammy Crosman, Marshwood, senior outfielder: She went 5 for 5 and hit for the cycle in a 12-2 win against Windham, then scored the winning run in a taut 2-1 win against Westbrook.

Abbie Paquette, Biddeford, sophomore pitcher: Went 3-0 on the week, allowing 14 hits while striking out 22, with 10 strikeouts in a 3-2 win against Kennebunk and an 8-0 shutout against Marshwood. She helped Biddeford climb back into the hunt at 5-3.

Erin Bogdanovich, South Portland, senior pitcher: Was 3-0 on the mound, including a 13-strikeout, one-hit five-inning 18-0 win against McAuley. At the plate she went 5 for 5 with a triple against Massabesic, hit a home run against Deering and had two hits with a double against McAuley.

AREA TOP 10

1. Scarborough

2. Fryeburg Academy

3. South Portland

4. Oceanside

5. Sanford

6. Cape Elizabeth

7. Greely

8. Biddeford

9. Noble

10. Marshwood

There has also been one constant over the past four years. Every game, Wyman takes the ball and her dedication to the sport to the pitching circle.

"We haven't been as successful as we'd like but we're working toward that every season, trying to get better. We're all pretty competitive and trying our best out there," Wyman said. "We're always having fun. It's always been a positive attitude."

Last week in a loss to Gray-New Gloucester, Wyman passed 400 strikeouts for her career, making her one of the few -- if not the first -- to reach that level while pitching exclusively from 43 feet.

The pitching rubber was moved back in 2010, Wyman's freshman season.

"I really had no idea I'd reached that, to be honest, but I'm really excited to find that out," Wyman said. "I had really worked hard to achieve something like that, so it was refreshing to hear that it paid off like that."

Wyman has been a model of consistency. She struck out 117 batters as a freshman and 116 each of the past two seasons. Through the first seven games of this season she had 56 strikeouts, an average of eight per game.

She threw two no-hitters as a junior but said she doesn't have one favorite memory as the Freeport pitcher.

"I've loved pitching and I've worked for it to be in that position. I haven't really expected to be elsewhere (on the field)," Wyman said.

Wyman has worked with Scarborough-based pitching coach Doug Williamson for the past "seven or eight years," she said. She plays ASA ball in the summer and will be on the under-18 Thunder team, based out of Portland's Edge Academy, this summer.

This season Freeport is 4-5. The team has not made the playoffs in Wyman's time and is ranked 13th in Western Class B, one spot shy of qualifying.

"I think it's pretty realistic this year. I know there are a lot of seniors and we're all ready to win, ready to have a good ending season," Wyman said.

Wyman will attend the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Charleston has been a frequent vacation spot for Terry and Jean Wyman's family.

"I've really grown to love Charleston and it ended up being a great fit for me as a school," said Leigh Wyman, adding that she may try to walk on to the Division I softball team.

THE NATURAL inclination is to try not to repeat our Player of the Week selection.

But there was no denying Sanford senior pitcher Samantha Adams.

She deserved the honor last week for beating powerful South Portland 8-1 with 14 strikeouts and five RBI.

Then she and her teammates proved the win was no fluke when they went to unbeaten Scarborough on Monday and won 3-2 in eight innings. Adams struck out 12 and in the top of the eighth inning hit a two-out, two-strike homer for the winning run.

"She put it well over the fence," Sanford Coach Kristi Cochin said. "Then we went out and got them 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning."

Cochin added, "There's no kid that deserves it more than her. She's worked really hard to get to where she is. It hasn't always been easy for her. This year we're kind of free of (distractions) and she can just play softball. She's loving it and it shows in her play."

Adams' confidence and mound presence is carrying over to the rest of the Spartans, Cochin said, noting the two-out RBI hits against Scarborough by Kellie Tovey and freshman Nicole Main to gain a 2-0 lead.

"I think her teammates this year, especially, have a whole lot of respect for (Adams). I hear them saying, 'We don't want to lose this one for Sam,"' Cochin said.

Adams will be playing softball next season at Emmanuel College in Boston.

BIDDEFORD IS another team on the rise. The Tigers lost their first three games to quality teams in rival Thornton Academy, Noble and Sanford. Now the Tigers are 6-3 with victories against playoff contenders Kennebunk and Marshwood. After its one-run effort at Sanford, South Portland Coach Ralph Aceto wondered if his team was "resting on their laurels," and said instead of "being history they need to start making history." Since then the Red Riots have scored 67 runs in just 15 innings over three games.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@mainetoday.com

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