Biddeford High’s Hannah Gosselin is greeted by teammates after scoring the winning run in extra innings in the Class A South semifinals last June. Gosselin is one of three Varsity Maine All-State players who return to the Tigers’ lineup this spring. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

At first blush, it seems obvious. The Biddeford High softball team returns three All-State players and a fourth player who led the league in home runs. So, the Tigers must be obvious favorites to repeat as Class A South regional champs.


Not so fast.

There are at least a half-dozen teams – starting with Windham – with the combination of top-tier pitching and big bats that can beat any team, any day.

Just ask Mike Fecteau, Biddeford’s sixth-year head coach.

“Windham returns seven starters. South Portland returns seven or eight. Thornton has six starters back, and Massabesic, which we had to go extra innings to beat in the playoffs … they have seven starters back,” Fecteau said, rattling off threats. “There’s Marshwood. They won the regular-season (title) last year. Westbrook. Gorham was young last year. And I haven’t even mentioned Scarborough, and Scarborough has six starters back.”


Think about that. Scarborough winners of seven state titles since 2007, including three straight from 2017-19, might have a hard time cracking the top four in Class A South this season, not because the Red Storm lack talent, but because the league is so deep.

Biddeford can absolutely mash the ball, starting with the Varsity Maine All-State trio of junior pitcher Charlotte Donovan (.500, six homers), senior catcher Chantelle Bouchard (.512, six homers, 36 RBI), and senior Hannah Gosselin (.429), who plays second base. Baylor Wilkinson, a junior, hit a team-high 10 home runs last year (including three in the playoffs), and junior outfielder Laura Perreault hit .456 with four homers.

Donovan carried the pitching load a season ago, going 17-4 with a 2.16 ERA. She’ll again be the primary option, but Biddeford got stronger with the addition of Hannah Lappin, a junior who transferred from Thornton Academy. Both Lappin and Donovan also play shortstop – one of the few holes left by graduation.

At Windham, Brooke Gerry is coming off an amazing freshman season as both a pitcher and a hitter. A left-hander, she fanned more than 200 hitters and hit .561. Now, she’s going to split pitching duties with freshman Kennedy Kimball, a right-hander who throws just as hard, according to Coach Fred Wilcox.

“We will probably go back and forth each game,” Wilcox said. “That’s a tough duo to try to make adjustments against. Especially when they’re throwing from different sides with different spins and both throw 62-63 miles an hour.”

Windham does start the season without second-team all-conference catcher Jaydn Kimball, sidelined because of a hip injury. And, the Eagles will be depending on several young players.


“I feel Windham and Biddeford should be very good,” Wilcox said. “Both teams have even improved from last year, but a lot of the teams in our league have improved, also.”

Many teams can look to an experienced pitcher who had success last season.

At Massabesic, that’s senior Emily Antrim, who had one of the league’s best regular-season strikeout-to-walk ratios with 108 Ks and just seven walks.

South Portland returns senior Mia Micucci. She struck out 87 in 60 regular-season innings, and this year is likely to have more offensive support.

Marshwood sophomore Lindsay Bennett will carry a bigger load after going 3-0 with a 1.56 regular-season ERA and picking up a playoff win in relief.

Gorham has three quality starters. Portland junior Sadie Armstrong has national level club experience. Sanford’s Maddison Sheppard was a second-team all-conference choice.


Westbrook returns senior Caitlin Noiles, who was a first-team SMAA pitcher along with Donovan and Gerry. Noiles’ pitching (127 strikeouts in 79 innings) and hitting (.558, five homers) earned her a spot on the Varsity Maine All-State team.

Westbrook Coach Eddie St. John agrees that Biddeford and Windham start on a higher plane than the rest of the league.

“But after those two teams, everybody’s right in the mix of things, and if we hit well and play defense well, we’ll be right in the mix of it,” St. John said. “I think the key will be the incoming freshmen and how much better everyone got. It’s going to be those six, seven, eight hitters. That’s going to be your season. I really believe that.”

Again this spring, the Maine Principals’ Association is holding open tournaments. That means the top teams won’t get byes and – as Scarborough found out last year when it was the No. 3 seed but was beaten by 14th-seeded Falmouth – preliminary round upsets can happen.

That gives teams like Thornton Academy, Noble and Kennebunk the luxury of being patient with promising freshmen pitchers, knowing a tournament berth is guaranteed.

Oh, and what about Scarborough, now in the unusual situation of being a bit of an underdog?

“There are some really good teams this year. I wouldn’t necessarily put us at the top,” said Coach Tom Griffin. “Our strength? We just have a really good player at every position. We’re not in a position where we have to rely on just a couple kids to carry us through.”

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