If the start of the summer is any indication, this could be a special one for the Maine Tidal Wave.
The ages 18-and-under softball team, coached by Terry Hall of Bucksport, blitzed the field at its first tournament of the summer, posting a 4-0 record at the State American Softball Association championships in Waterville over the weekend of June 25-27.
The team roster consists of Meagen Cousins, Amy Singer and Hannah Morin of Old Town, Victoria Overlock of Belfast, Oxford Hills of South Paris’ Kristy Jurzak, Sumner of East Sullivan’s Maria Lockhart, Tayla Trask from Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Central of Corinth’s Alix Rudzinski, Debbie Colpitts of Hermon, Amanda Ryan and Amy Curry of Brewer, Lona Sargent of Husson University in Bangor and Samantha Moore of Thomas College in Waterville.
Terren Hall, a University of Maine softball standout and Terry Hall’s daughter, is an assistant coach.
The Tidal Wave will next play at the New England regionals in Lewiston Friday through Sunday with hopes of qualifying for the national championships in Virginia in August.
Even though the Wave rode through the state tourney to an unblemished record, the field was still challenging in Hall’s eyes.
“It was a good, big field this year, nine teams in it, good competition this year,” said Hall.
Of course, it helps when you have strong pitching, and in Trask, Ryan and Colpitts, the Wave have just that.
But Hall thinks the most important aspect this team has is chemistry.
“That is the key element right there, how they get along,” he said. “This team gels real well together, and they all have respect for each other, so I think that goes a long ways.”
The Wave’s first game will be against the New Hampshire Gems on Friday.
“They’ve always been tough, a very good team, very well coached,” said Hall.
But Hall is confident his team can not only win some games but claim the tournament title this weekend.
“We got up to every tournament like we’re going to win it,” he said. “We do have a tremendous amount of talent.”
The Tidal Wave will be joined in the 18U field by a squad from Frozen Ropes of Portland, which also features a few local players and has already has had some success of its own.
The Frozen Ropes club won its pool at a tournament in Massachusetts recently.
That team, which includes Sam Bedore, Sadie Redman and Jeri Cosgrove of Bangor, Ashley Smith of Ellsworth, Whitney Jones and Becca McCarty of Skowhegan and Jules Fekete of Messalonskee of Oakland, posted a 4-1 record at the Polar Crush Showcase Tourney, June 25-27 in Devens, Mass.
The squad’s lone loss came to the hosting Crush team by a 2-0 count.
The Frozen Ropes team will be playing in multiple tourneys over the summer, including this weekend’s regionals in Lewiston, with others scheduled in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Broncos conquer Katahdin
The ascent to the summit of the Eastern Maine Class A schoolgirl basketball ranks is a tough one, but the Hampden Academy girls already have a strong jumpstart under their belts.
Coach Chad Bradbury’s club climbed Mount Katahdin recently, and the 11-player contingent included seniors Michaela Stephenson, Whitney Moore, Kate Parsons, Julia Snyder, Courtney Doyon and Sarah Lamberton.
“We started talking about it back in the spring. The coaches mentioned doing something different and the girls jumped on it,” Bradbury said.
Some parents and siblings of the players joined them on the hike, from which Bradbury is admittedly still sore.
“We got rained on a little bit, but it was all a good experience,” he said. “Most of them were glad we did it, accomplished it, but have no desire to do it again. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”
The Broncos, who didn’t graduate any seniors from last winter’s club, expect to be one of the top teams in EM Class A this winter after reaching the semifinals a year ago, giving Brunswick a very tough game before bowing out.
“We’re just hoping to get back there, give it a shot,” Bradbury said.
Having already conquered Maine’s tallest mountain, that should be no sweat.
“They all stayed right together, an hour behind me and one of the dads,” Bradbury said. “They cruised right along.”