SOUTH BERWICK — It had been 670 days since the last high school softball game had been played in Maine.

The 2020 spring sports season was canceled by the coronarvirus pandemic. And even as recently as two months ago, players and coaches were uncertain of what the 2021 season would look like.

But on a chilly Thursday afternoon, the 2021 season began. And Marshwood High made the most of it. The Hawks scored eight runs in the second inning and eased to a 13-0 victory over York in a game called after the top of the fifth inning because of softball’s 12-run mercy rule.

For all the runs and hits (also 13) by the Hawks, the simple fact that the teams were on the field again was enough to make it a good day.

“It was just good to see them have a good time,” said Marshwood Coach Pete Eastman.

It was a special day for Marshwood’s Lindsey Bennett, one of two Berwick Academy students playing for the Hawks this spring, and sisters Raya and Shelby Anderson.

Bennett was Marshwood’s starting pitcher, hurling two innings, and also scored three runs while hitting two triples. For her, though, simply putting on a school jersey – even if it wasn’t her own school – meant everything. Berwick Academy, competing in the Maine Principals’ Association this spring, didn’t have enough players to field its own softball team. She and fellow freshman Louise Roper, who made a couple nice catches in left field, joined the Hawks instead.

“It’s just very exciting,” said Bennett. “I played varsity for my school in the eighth grade and seventh grade and Louise was going to play last year before we got canceled. We always worry about having a team because Berwick always has low numbers for softball. Being able to come here and play for a school team, and wear a school jersey, is amazing.”

The Anderson sisters were playing in a varsity game together for the first time. Shelby is a sophomore, Raya a senior, and they missed the chance to play together last year.

“I’ve been looking forward to it, ” said Raya Anderson. “I play with her in summer ball, but playing for our school is definitely different. It means a lot. It’s really cute. It was so much fun cheering her on, especially with her big hit today.”

That would have been Shelby Anderson’s second-inning RBI triple. “It’s definitely a crazy feeling,” she said. “I’ve watched her games. I remember getting off the bus in seventh grade and watching Raya play. And now I’m here doing it. This group, this team, is amazing.”

Eastman doesn’t want his players to get too far ahead, reminding them there’s a lot of work to do. “We came to play today,” he said. “I told the girls they can be very good. They’ve just got to bring it every game.”

And even the Wildcats, who lost in the Class B state championship game in 2019, realized just getting on the field was the important aspect of the day.

“This means a lot,” said York junior center fielder Elly Bourgoine, who also started on that 2019 team. “I love this team and we’re just so happy to be back on the field.”

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.