Auburn, ME - The 2019 Lady Mustangs Softball season began with a mix of new and returning players. The eleven-player roster included returners, Alex Bessey (Jay, ME), Cagney O'Brien (Newcastle, ME) Samantha Belardo (Russell, MA), Keara Hunter (Westport Island, ME) and Ali Sult (Lisbon, ME). New to the team included Megan Theriault (Lewiston, ME), Tabie Tlumac (Riedfield, ME), Stephanie Jones (Westport Island), Sierra Wallace (Phippsburg, ME), Marah Hall (Madison, ME), and Skyler Henry (Waterford, CT) .
The team played an increased game schedule from 2018, from 12 regular season games to 16 regular season games. Due to the construction of the new athletic complex the Mustangs were road warriors for 2019 season, the schedule saw all 16 games on the road. The Lady Mustangs logged a total of 1,624 miles for 16 road games plus the YSCC Tournament.
They played their first 6 games back-to-back-to-back, in a triple-threat long weekend full of double-headers. Each double-header was played in less than 24-hours after the one before it. The brutal stretch ended as a string of 8-games in a 6-day period. It was an extremely difficult schedule to start and the Mustangs handled it very well, without complaint.
The bulk of the pitching duties fell onto freshman, Megan Theriault, who was the workhorse for the Mustangs all season. Theriault was assisted throughout the season by returning sophomore, Cagney O'Brien.
The defense was anchored on the left side by shortstop Alex Bessy, third baseman Sierra Wallace and left fielder, Stephanie Jones. The middle of the field saw sophomore Samantha Belardo and freshman Marah Hall splitting time at second base.
Center field and outfield was run by sophomore Tabie Tlumac, who made some spectacular catches throughout the season. The right side of the field saw O'Brien primarily own first base while assisted by Theriault when they swapped roles. Right field saw split time between sophomore, Keara Hunter and freshman Skyler Henry.
The Mustangs offence scored one less run than last season with 51 but improved their batting AVG..265 On Base Percentage to .316 and their Slugging Percentage to .340. The offense was led by leadoff Bessey, who set the pace of every game. She was followed Therriault and Jones who lead the team in doubles. Sophomore power-hitter, Sult anchored the clean up spot. Tlumac anchored the #2 slot who consistently moved Bessey around the bases. Wallace owned the 5-spot in the lineup seeing her batting average improve game by game. O'Brien who had the teams only over the fence homerun for the season kept players moving around the bases. Belardo saw her batting average increase from last season, and had a great season at the plate. While Henry, Hunter and Hall all produced offense when the Mustangs needed it.
Although the overall record was not as good as 2018, the Mustangs again entered in the 3rd spot of the 2019 YSCC Tournament. They played #2 SMCC on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Although they lost 13-5, it was the best game they ever played all season. The Mustangs racked up eight hits; two would have been legit over the fence home runs if there were a fence.
A look at our 2019-20 season has the Mustangs bringing in a record number of softball recruits as they unveil their new multisport athletics turf complex with lights. The complex will open up the availability for day and night games for multiple sports including baseball, softball, and men & women's soccer. Having the turf complex will allow the Mustangs to start practice sooner in the spring and worry less about the field conditions due to weather.
Coach Robertson states, "I am beyond excited for our new complex to be finished. This will allow us to finally have home games and bring more teams to us. With the spring season being what it is in New England this gives us an availability to start practice and games sooner outside and teams traveling to us to start the season.
The fall of 2019 will see the return of All-Confrence pitcher, Megan Theriualt. Theriault will also take on a new role for the Mustangs as she has been rewarded for her hard work by being named Captain for the upcoming season.
Theriault will get some relief in the circle next season. She will be joined by multiple incoming pitchers including the likes of Oak Hill's, Molly Flaherty, while catching duties will be taken over by MVC 1st Team selection, Abby Ferland. In the field the Mustangs will bring in some solid defenders with the likes of Maddy Boynton (Erskine Academy), Abigail Hanson (Wells HS), and Maria Dostie (Winthrop HS). At the plate, the Mustangs will improve brining the bats of Shelby Lafriena (Poland Regional HS), Sydney Crocker (Oxford Hills HS) and Ivy Morris (Lisbon HS).
"We have been working hard recruiting for our upcoming season," states Coach Robertson. "I have spent countless hours talking and traveling to see talented players from all over. This is a small sample of our incoming players. Keep your eyes open as we still have many more talented players to be announced in the weeks to come."