Morse pitcher Camdyn Johnson delivers a pitch during a game this spring. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

BATH — The Morse softball team has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround season.

After a tough 2022 campaign in which they finished 4-12, the Shipbuilders (11-5) entered the Class B South postseason this year as the No. 5 seed.

“The driving force behind the team’s success this year has been grit and growth throughout past years,” said second-year coach Brianna Bigelow. “I can’t speak highly enough about my team as a whole. I’ve seen these girls as a middle school, junior varsity, and now varsity coach. There have been gaps in between, but their hard work and positivity have stayed consistent.”

Leading the charge has been senior pitcher Camdyn Johnson, who has 519 career strikeouts. Johnson has 199 strikeouts this spring and hopes to record No. 200 on Thursday in a regional quarterfinal game at No. 4 Poland (13-3).

Morse opened the season winning five of its first six games, including wins over Gray-New Gloucester, Freeport, Erskine, Medomak and Freyburg Academy.

The victory over Medomak Valley proved to be a pivotal point for the team, players and Bigelow said. Trailing by two runs entering the top of the seventh, the Shipbuilders stunned the Panthers by plating four runs to take a 6-4 victory.


“Medomak Valley is a program that we know well and have always competed evenly with,” said Bigelow. “It was the first time I had really seen this team battle back from a deficit like that and I couldn’t have been more proud.”

Johnson said that victory gave the Shipbuilders reason to be optimistic for a playoff run.

“The moment I realized this team was playoff caliber was the first time we beat Medomak Valley,” she said. “That game was a nailbiter and we battled back and forth the entire game, coming out on top. Last year, we got (10-)run ruled twice by the same team. The fact that we have improved that significantly proved to me that we can beat anybody as long as we play our hardest, push each other forward and pick each other up.”

Losses to Class B rivals Gardiner and York were tough but the Shipbuilders bounced back with another win over Medomak. They closed the season with victories over Mt. Ararat, Lincoln, Erskine and Brunswick. The 7-0 victory over the Dragons came in which Johnson struck out 19 and also clubbed a three-run home run.

“They (Brunswick) are a very strong club and Coach (Hugh) Dwyer has so much experience—any game against them is going to be a battle,” said Bigelow. “To see my team succeed and my senior captain absolutely shine was something special.”

Bigelow praised Johnson’s work ethic this spring.

“Ever since I started coaching her as a sixth-grader at Bath Middle School, I knew she would find success in this sport,” she said. “She works harder, puts in more hours, and has more determination in her than any player I have coached. … What makes Cam special is her leadership and the energy that she has. She brings a contagious energy with her and makes those around her work harder. She has made me a better coach, her teammates better players, and this team a playoff contender.

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