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Softball: Players to watch in southern Maine

Apr. 10—Sadie Armstrong, Portland senior pitcher: Possibly the SMAA's most feared hitter, Armstrong is back healthy for the Bulldogs after injuries kept her from pitching. She hit .468 with 15 extra-base hits, including three homers.

Haley Ball, Westbrook senior center fielder: Ball was the leadoff hitter for the South Portland/Westbrook co-op team and hit .327 with a .421 on-base percentage. She'll bring a blend of speed and power to the top of the Blue Blazes' lineup.

Madison Boynton, Medomak Valley senior pitcher: Boynton compiled a 1.81 ERA for the Panthers last season while excelling in big games, and she'll look to make Medomak a Class B South threat.

Amber Bretton, Gorham senior pitcher: A returning Varsity Maine All-State player, the UConn-bound Bretton leads a Rams team that hopes to challenge for the Class A South title. She batted .500 with three homers and 22 RBI last year.

Piper Catanese, Marshwood sophomore shortstop: As a freshman, Catanese showed off her athleticism and smooth fielding skills. She also batted .481, drove in 24 runs and stole 10 bases.

Samantha Cote, Scarborough senior shortstop: Nobody on the Red Storm reached base at a higher rate than Cote, who had a .561 on-base percentage in the regular season while batting .405. She also slugged .738 and scored 22 runs.

Addison DeRoche, Cheverus freshman pitcher: Having made a name for herself in AAU competitions, DeRoche is ready to tackle SMAA hitters. She's a hard thrower with control and movement, and she's a middle-of-the-order bat.

Lindsay DesRoberts, Thornton Academy senior catcher: The senior is a steadying presence behind the plate, and will guide the Trojans' multi-pronged pitching staff. She batted .415 last year with two home runs.

Maddie Fitzgerald, York sophomore first base: Fitzgerald's impressive varsity debut included a .386 average, .511 on-base percentage and 12 steals, and Coach Kevin Giannino said she'll likely hit for more power this year.

McKayla Kortes, York senior pitcher/third base: The return of Kortes makes York a team to beat in Class B South. The Merrimack College commit batted .530 and went 13-1 with a 0.82 ERA, 113 strikeouts in 85 innings, and four no-hitters.

Brooke Gerry, Windham senior pitcher: The University of Rhode Island commit is the best pitcher in the state, and seeking a championship finish to her stellar career. She went 12-0 with a 0.17 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 85 innings, and hit .561.

Stella Jarvais, Windham junior catcher: Jarvais thrived in her first season behind the plate, batting .455 with 26 RBI while throwing out five of nine attempted base stealers. She struck out only once all season and was a Varsity Maine All-State pick.

Kennedy Kimball, Windham junior first base/pitcher: Kimball brings a potent bat (.481 average, 20 RBI) to the middle of the Eagles' lineup, and is also a good enough pitcher (6-2, 1.59 ERA) to spell Gerry.

Hailey Lamontagne, Cheverus sophomore center fielder: As a freshman, Lamontagne established herself as one of the SMAA's top players by batting .460 with three homers and 23 RBI.

Julia Lawwill, Yarmouth junior third base/center fielder: Lawwill, a speedy contact hitter, was a first-team all-Western Maine Conference pick as a freshman and sophomore. She batted .537 last year, with a .667 on-base percentage.

Kayla Magnant, Biddeford sophomore pitcher/second base: Magnant started as a freshman and earned all-SMAA honorable mention status. She'll have more on her plate this year, as she shares the pitching duties.

Kylie Myers, Lake Region senior catcher: After playing first base since her freshman season, Myers will take over behind the plate for the Lakers. She batted .350 with a .450 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot last season.

Ella Nickerson, South Portland senior outfielder: Nickerson, a returning Varsity Maine All-State player, excels in all areas for the Red Riots. She hit .579 last year and has the power to go deep, and also played errorless defense in left field.

Rosie Panenka, Freeport senior shortstop: Panenka has been a Western Maine Conference first-team player each of the last two seasons. She hits for a high average and brings impressive range, a strong arm and good instincts to the position.

Gretchyn Paradis, Poland senior pitcher: The Knights bring back one of the WMC's best pitchers — a first-team all-conference selection who had a 14-4 record, after being named a WMC second-teamer as a sophomore.

Michaela Petterson, Morse senior shortstop: Morse went from four wins to 11 last year, and Petterson was a reason why. She's a slick fielder, a table-setting hitter with a .312 career average, and team leader as a four-year starter.

Julia Pike, Kennebunk junior pitcher: Pike will again be the focal point for a team looking to remain among the top five in Class A South. She went 11-2 with a 1.17 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 89 innings last year, and also hit .528.

Lily Rawnsley, North Yarmouth Academy senior pitcher: Rawnsley guided the Panthers to the Class D title and was named the Western Maine Conference Class C/D Player of the Year last spring. She went 17-1 with a 1.19 ERA, and batted .500 with 33 RBI.

Caitlin Seitz, Brunswick junior pitcher: After going into last season sharing pitching duties, Seitz will be the Dragons' ace this spring. She struck out 60 in 41 2/3 innings while allowing no earned runs, and held hitters to a .065 average.

Savannah Tardiff, Wells junior catcher: The first-team all-WMC selection hits a ton, for average and power, and is a defensive standout behind the plate. She batted .393 with 13 doubles last year.