Massabesic’s Emily Antrim is one of many top pitchers who will be on display in the Class A South tournament. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Balance began to find its way into the normally top-heavy Class A South softball tournament last year. This season, that trend has only become more pronounced.

The 16-team tournament gets underway Saturday with three first-round games; other first-round games are scheduled for Monday or Tuesday. More than a few teams are confident they have a shot at winning it all.

“One hundred percent,” said Massabesic Coach Kevin Tutt. “For the first time in a really long time, I see a ton of parity in the league.”

The records back it up. Windham, Biddeford and Kennebunk are the top three seeds with matching 13-2 records. Sitting behind them are Massabesic and Scarborough, both at 11-4.

Behind them, however, danger lurks. Sixth-seeded Portland (10-5) beat Massabesic, as did No. 8 Gorham (9-6). No. 7 Noble (9-6) beat Biddeford. No. 9 Thornton Academy (7-8) took down Windham, and No. 10 South Portland (7-8) beat Noble.

Put another way: Nobody’s safe.


“I think there are some stronger teams, but below them are some very dangerous teams, teams that can beat anybody at any time,” Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin said. “I attribute that to strong pitching. In all my years of coaching, this is the strongest I’ve ever seen it throughout the entire league for pitching.”

Few have been more dominant than Windham’s Brooke Gerry. The lefty has an ERA of 0.98 and 174 strikeouts in 86 innings, and has pitched 10 straight shutouts.

“She throws hard, she’s got great spin, but this year she’s competing every pitch,” said Windham Coach Fred Wilcox. “She’s really going out there and taking her time and thinking about what she wants to do.”

Windham dealt with early-season departures of three seniors (including a captain) and a junior, but players like Gerry (also batting .551), Jaydn Kimball (.500, five home runs) and Ella Wilcox (.436, two homers) have picked up the slack.

“We haven’t taken any team for granted,” Fred Wilcox said. “We kind of go game by game. We don’t get ahead of ourselves, we don’t think about the next game.”

Good teams with big arms line up behind the Eagles, however. Kennebunk and Julia Pike (169 strikeouts and 22 walks in 85 innings) jockeyed with Windham for the top spot all season, as did defending regional champion Biddeford and junior Charlotte Donovan (1.09 ERA, 113 strikeouts in 77 innings). Massabesic sports an ace of its own in senior Emily Antrim (1.04 ERA). South Portland’s Mia Micucci (79 strikeouts in 74 innings) can roll through a lineup.


“I think every team does have a (No.) 1 that’s throwing really, really well,” Fred Wilcox said. “They can come out and shut down any team.”

The pitchers are good, and young. Pike and Scarborough pitcher Natalie Moynihan are freshmen, as are Noble’s Maren Robinson and Thornton Academy’s Sophia Bogardus and Lauren Tracy. Gerry, untouchable as she’s been, is only a sophomore, as is Portland’s Sadie Armstrong, a .568 hitter in addition to being the Bulldogs’ top pitcher.

“I think it’s a testament to girls playing travel ball,” said Kennebunk Coach Eddie Pike. “These girls, they’re working hard all winter long.”

Whoever wins the region will have a tough foe waiting on the other side from Class A North. Skowhegan (14-2), led by shortstop Jaycie Christopher and pitcher Sierra Carey, has its sights set on defending its state title, though the region has been paced all season by Brunswick (15-1) and the sister tandem of catcher Kelsey Sullivan (.553, 10 home runs) and Ellie Sullivan (1.61 ERA, 97 strikeouts in 96 innings).

In Class B South, York (15-1) has been at the front of the pack all season. The Wildcats lost to No. 7 Lake Region after 11 straight wins to start the season, and that may have refocused them; they’ve outscored opponents 25-7 in the four games since, a stretch that included a victory over Brunswick.

“After that game, the girls came out fired up,” said York Coach Kevin Giannino. “The energy level was up three notches.”


The Wildcats are balanced. They batted close to .475 as a team and have a pair of strong pitchers in Maddy Raymond and McKayla Kortes.

“I don’t know about (being) ‘the favorite.’ I think that we’re as strong of a team as there is,” Giannino said. “We can run, we have power in the middle, we hit up and down the lineup.”

Gardiner (14-2), Poland (15-1) and Leavitt (11-5) are the next three seeds, though the toughest challenge could come from defending champion and No. 5 Cape Elizabeth (11-5), which started 0-2 but has surged over the second half of the season.

Third baseman Kat Callahan (.471 average) and pitcher Kathryne Clay (.392) have been part of a strong senior group for the Capers, while shortstop Sophia Chung (.451) has provided a boost in her second year.

“We were a little rocky in the beginning of the season, but the end of the season and the playoffs are what matters,” said Cape Coach Kristen Duross. “We’re really just focused on … playing loose and relaxed. When we do that, we truly are unbeatable.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.