Thursday, October 27, 2011
Fall softball doesn’t have anything to do with records; it’s more like a sneak preview of what’s to come in the spring time. If this fall’s Central Maine Community College softball season is any indication, the Mustangs will have a pretty solid spring on the diamond.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of returning players, we kind of had a limited amount of upper classmen”, said softball coach Kate Dargie, a former standout first baseman for CMCC. “Making the transition from high school to college can be really difficult, but I’ve found that a lot of the freshman really stepped up. Even with the jitters, they performed well, the team jelled, and everyone got along. They were hitting well, making plays. They need more experience, but they’re all really talented ball players.”
Dargie, in her first season as head coach, used the fall as a feeling out period for what she has with her roster, much like how a Major League Baseball manager uses spring training to get a grasp on what they have for a team. Fall softball is no different.
“Being a first year coach, I kind of used fall as a way to experiment, whether it was batting orders or positions in the fall,” said Coach Dargie. “I wanted to see where people felt comfortable, where they excelled. Going into the spring, I know now how I want to set up the lineup and with Candace Hall (Telstar alum) returning, I know we’ll have some more upper class leadership in the spring.”
The fall, however, was about surveying the landscape of what CMCC already has in house. A few youngsters stood out to the coach.
“Freshmen, Jordan Brasier from Sanford really stepped it up. Nicena Walker pitched well for us, even though it’s not her favorite position as she’s a natural first baseman, and she hadn’t pitched in about 3 years,” said Coach Dargie. “Shyan Baillargeon from Lewiston, her bat came around and she held down first base.”
It wasn’t just the youngsters. Coach Dargie was also impressed with upperclassman Magan Blais.
“Mag kind of reminds me of Jason Varitek, keeping everyone around her calm,” said Coach. “She’s just an incredible team leader, keeping everyone where they need to be.“
Dargie thinks the catching position has a tendency to create leaders.
“I let my catcher’s call the game,” said Dargie. “They’re college athletes and they know what they are doing.”
The biggest area for improvement: defense.
“We have to improve our errors,” said Dargie. “I think a lot of that is our lack of experience on the college level. We had a lot of innings this year that changed because of one error. If we can keep that contained in the spring, I don’t see us losing a lot of games and I see us being very competitive.”
What stuck with Coach Dargie were compliments she got from other coaches.
“The UNH coach told me how talented my team was,” said Dargie. “That sticks with you. It’s a matter of controlling that one big inning. We’ve got great chemistry, and team chemistry is huge. We do a lot of team bonding and have zero team drama, which makes my job enjoyable.”
Looks like the spring may be bountiful for Central Maine Community College Softball.