Brunswick’s Sophia Morin, left, and Kelsey Sullivan will leads a potent softball squad this spring. The Times Record file photo

BRUNSWICK — Several softball teams in the Midcoast will be led this spring by veteran coaches, but some newcomers are in the mix as well.

At Morse, former assistant Brianna Bigelow will now coach the Shipbuilders.

“Ever since my time at Morse as s student-athlete, I knew I wanted to be back here after I graduated,” said Bigelow. “This program, created by Wil Laffely and Caren Barone, is something special and I couldn’t be more honored to be leading them this season.”

Joe Viselli is the new Richmond coach, while Nikki Delcourt-Austin  (Lisbon) and Teri Tlumac (Mt. Ararat) return for their second seasons.

Here’s a look at some of the Midcoast softball teams:



With virtually the entire lineup returning for the Dragons, the sights are set high this spring. The Dragons reached the Class A North semifinals last season, where they fell to Bangor. It marked the first postseason appearance in 14 seasons for Brunswick.

“The Class A North division is extremely competitive,” coach Hugh Dwyer said. “We are determined to build from last season’s success, and in order to accomplish that goal we know that we must improve significantly. The athletes have collectively done well with recognizing where they need to improve and challenging themselves to make those adjustments. We feel that we are a team that can compete with the best programs in the state.”

Richmond’s Breona Dufresne throws and tries to knock a bucket off a stool during an April 8 practice inside MTN Sports and Fitness in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Returning to the lineup is Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Southwest region Player of the Year Kelsey Sullivan. Sullivan batted a robust .605 while hitting four home runs and knocking in 22 runs. She also stole 11 bases.

“Kelsey is a five-tool player and is an outstanding defensive player. Kelsey will be attending Colby College next year, where she plans to continue her softball career,” said Dwyer.

Senior co-captains Morgan Foster and Blake Austin come back to the lineup. Austin batted .512, while Morgan scored 18 runs. Junior Sophia Morin plays first base and pitches. Morin, who also throws the javelin and set a school-record last year, drove in a team-high 24 runs. Sophomore Kelsey Cassidy returns after a strong freshman campaign as the team’s leadoff hitter, batting .534, swiping 11 bases and scoring a team-high 27 runs.

Ellie Sullivan, another solid hitter in the lineup, also pitches. She went 10-6 last year.


“We have excellent leadership as many of our athletes have played in the Class A state soccer game this past fall, or have played on the playoff field hockey team as well as the semifinal basketball squad,” said Dwyer. “We have solid depth at pitching with seven girls who have game experience at the position. For the first time we will be fielding three teams, reflecting how the softball program has grown in recent years.”


The Eagles return a mixture of upperclassman with leadership and underclassman who are eager to contribute.

Tlumac is back in the dugout for her third season (she lost one to COVID in 2020).

“We are looking to have a more winning season than last year,” she said. “We are looking to continue learning and getting better each practice and game.”

Mt. Ararat pitcher Megan Reed hurls the ball during an April 2 scrimmage against Madison in Topsham. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Returning student-athletes are Megan Reed, Gabby West, Morgan Ruff, Sydney Stewart and Reagan Robertson. Reed and West will see time in the circle while Ruff and Robertson will play first and second, respectively. Stewart will be in the outfield for the Eagles.


Sophomores Libby Rhoades, Allie Hunter, Lexie Dupre and Lily Stewart, along with freshman Kennedy Lampert, are all newcomers to the squad this season.


Bigelow’s biggest challenge will be replacing 10 graduating seniors — including seven starters — from a team that went 11-4 in the regular season.

“We have a young team, but these girls certainly do not lack in talent or athletic ability. I have enjoyed developing their softball knowledge so far this season,” Bigelow said. “I am relying heavily on my returning varsity players. These athletes range from senior-sophomore, and have taken on their leaderships roles very well thus far.”

Madison Potter returns and will help provide leadership.  The senior underwent chemotherapy and radiation throughout the season last year, rarely missing practice. She was a catalyst for the Shipbuilders.

“Maddie was there for almost every practice, every game, and was the epitome of leadership,” Bigelow said. “This year we are looking forward to her energy, strength and leadership in the field and up to bat. She’s been working all off-season on getting stronger in order to help us find success.”


Morse baserunner Haley Jackson slides safely into third base as Freeport’s Rosie Panenka prepares to take the throw during a game Monday in Bath. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Also returning is junior pitcher Camdyn Johnson, who last season had a 1.16 earned run average, struck out 165 batters walked just 24 hitters.

Haley Jackson will play third base while sophomore Michaela Petterson will play at shortstop.

“Overall, I am expecting a strong season. While our lineup will be full of fresh faces, there is talent behind them,” Bigelow said. “With our opponents normalizing this season, and our schedule getting back to pre-Covid set up, we have our work cut out for us. I don’t see a single game in our schedule that we can go in to too cocky, but there also isn’t a single game that I see us rolling over.

Each day these girls will put up a battle, and I see us coming out victorious more often than not.”


The softball season could not have come any sooner for the Falcons.


“We had a good preseason playing the likes of Cheverus, Falmouth and Lake Region,” said coach Jason Daniel, who will be assisted by Rich George.

Returning standouts Brooke Pawlowski, Amanda Panciocco and Rosie Panenka are also in line for strong seasons.

Pawlowski, a senior, will get the bulk of the innings in the circle and will also play some outfield. Panenka, a sophomore, can play shortstop or third while carrying a big stick. Classmate Panciocco also plays in the infield.

Daniel will have four freshmen in the lineup, as well. Celia Cobb can hit leadoff and provide speed on the base paths. Vanessa St. Pierre brings a strong bat and will settle into the catcher’s position. Ciara Daly and Izzy George will also be key additions to the team. George and junior Ava Gervais will join Pawloswki in the circle.

“The program is changing for the better. We’re young, we have 32 kids in the program, and 16 are freshmen,” said Daniel. “Looking forward to making changes. I’m very optimistic. I think we should be competitive this season.”



The Greyhounds return seven starters, and with a group of solid freshmen entering the fold they are ready for the upcoming season.

Snior Erica Hill, juniors Maria Levesque, Emily Libby and sophomores Elle Burkhardt, Marina Davis, Alivia Field and Sophie Malloy all return.

Mt. Ararat infielders tap their gloves before a scrimmage against Lisbon at Mt. Ararat High School. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Hill will pitch and be paired with freshman catcher, Delany McGrath. Delcourt-Austin said they will prove to be a force both in the circle and behind the plate.

Levesque will be joined in the infield by Libby, while Burkhardt and Malloy will see time in the infield and outfield. Davis and Field strengthen the defense in the outfield.

Junior Mikayla Cleaves joins the team as a versatile utility player.

An experienced infield and improved outfield will make it an interested season for Lisbon.



In Class D, new head coach Viselli takes over at Richmond. The Bobcats, who were ousted in the D South quarterfinals last season, will look to get back to its more dominant ways.


Sun Journal staff writer Adam Robinson and The Forecaster Michael Hoffer contributed to this report.

Comments are not available on this story.