SACO — Anytime a team puts together a long stretch of success on the field or is coming off a championship season, they will have a bullseye placed squarely on their backs. How that team responds to that constant pressure will determine if they stay on top or fall backwards.

For Thornton Academy softball coach John Provost, he knows his team will take the best shot from each team they play ”“ and he believes the Golden Trojans are ready to step up to that challenge.

“Eveyone’s coming gunning (for us) and they know that. We talked about that early in the year and they’re fine, we just got to keep up every game and just compete,” said Provost.

Provost led the Trojans to a Western Maine Regional Championship last season and a trip to the state finals where they would drop a 7-3 decision to Skowhegan.

The Trojans return plenty of talent from last year’s Western Maine Class A championship team, including standout pitcher Bailey Tremblay, who will once again be counted on all year.

“She’s an elite pitcher,” said Provost of Tremblay.

Provost knows his team will need to play solid defense behind his ace.

“Defensively, we just want to be playing well behind Bailey. Bailey is going to keep us in a lot of games,” said Provost.

One point of emphasis for Provost has been limiting the number of extra at-bats his team gives the opposition.

“We’ve got to play defensive ball. We talk every game about not giving up that extra out in an inning. You know, just get 21 outs a game … we just can’t allow extra outs,” said Provost.

Also back for another season are senior captains ”“ along with Tremblay ”“ Brooke Cross and Kiera Fitzgerald.

“We’ve got three senior captains. They do a great job of keeping the team calm and playing well,” said Provost, who will also count on returning starters like Libby Pomerleau and Kaylee Burns.

Provost believes his team’s experience will be key to making another deep postseason run.

“It really helps a lot,” said Provost of last year’s experience. “They went to the Western (Maine finals) and they won, they went to the state game, so they have a little experience playing in the playoffs.”

— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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