Normally, Hannah Lust’s stage is a batter’s box as one of the top hitters on the Bangor softball team, and throughout Eastern Maine.
But Saturday, Lust, who will be a senior at Bangor in the fall, was on a different kind of stage, showcasing another one of her talents.
Lust was at the Bangor Mall to participating in Eastern Maine Idol, and represented the Queen City quite well, as she was one of the 10 finalists called back to perform a song after the opening round.
“I didn’t even plan on doing the competition,” Lust said, “two of my Bangor teammates, Kami Prendergast and June Candland, they just wanted to sign me up and they did. I just did it for fun.”
Rebeckah Perry of Bangor won the competition and the right to audition for Idol producers in San Francisco.
In the first round, contestants could perform a song for only one minute, and Lust’s version of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Rait was good enough for a spot in the final, where she performed Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity.”
Lust had a large support system with teammates Prendergast, Candland, Kim Jordan and summer league teammate Laura Jordan of John Bapst, Kim’s cousin, cheering her on.
“They were my pep squad,” Lust said.
Music has always been a big part of the Rams’ designated hitter/outfielder’s life, as she participates in the chorus at Bangor and has done talent shows before, so she wasn’t really nervous.
“It’s a normal thing for me and I thought it was another chance to sing because I love to,” Lust said. “I don’t get nervous when I sing.”
Lust had an option of performing the whole version of “Gravity” in the final or portions of it, but she chose to sing the whole song.
“There’s a really big note at the end and I like hitting it,” she said.
Lust had also performed The Star Spangles Banner prior to Bangor’s home game against Skowhegan, the final regular-season home game.
“I know some of the players, wanted me to sing it and the seniors, I’m so close with all of them, it was a way of saying thank you for being such good friends and such good players,” Lust said.
Lust had a strong junior season for coach Don Stanhope’s Rams in their drive to the program’s first Eastern Maine Class A title, and she performed well in the playoffs with three hits and six runs batted in, including the game-winning RBI in the regional championship game against Skowhegan.
She said preparing to bat and for singing performances are fairly similar, as before Lust hits, she listens to the rap song “Coast to Coast” by Sam Adams.
“[Before] I hit, I listen to my song and I have my routine so that I can focus, and the point of it is to completely zone out, and it’s kind of like that when you’re on stage,” she explained. “It’s like you’re in your own world and you stay focused and your fine. I think when it comes to sports and music together you have to be confident in yourself.”
Lust was focused and confident on Saturday, and the standing-room crowd wasn’t a problem.
“I’ve preformed in front of bigger crowds at high school talent shows, so it wasn’t so much scary as exciting, you always want a chance to show off what you got,” Lust said.
Some of her teammates —mainly Jeri Cosgrove — are trying to encourage Lust to audition for Idol producers in New Jersey later this summer.
“All my teammates want me to do it again,” Lust said.
For now, Lust, who also swims for Bangor High, is playing 18-under softball for the Orrington Flames, a team which features players from Bangor, Brewer, John Bapst and Bucksport high schools.
“We have tournaments every weekend for the next month and a half and the team is just amazing,” she said.
And, Lust and her Bangor teammates are eager to defend their regional title next spring.
“A lot of us already making plans to start lifting and working [out] every day after school,” she said.