Class A North softball title up for grabs

If you are trying to figure out who will represent Class A North in the state softball championship game this season, good luck.

Just past the halfway mark of the season, Mt. Ararat High School of Topsham is the only team among the 14 with fewer than two losses.

The Eagles took a 7-1 record into a Wednesday game against Mt. Blue of Farmington.

“It’s amazing,” said 12-year Brewer coach Skip Estes. “I’ve never seen this (parity) in all the years I’ve been coaching.”

Five different schools have won the regional title over the last nine seasons, including four by Skowhegan. The Indians won it last year after going 9-7 during the regular season before amping it up in the playoffs and capturing the crown as the No. 6 seed.

Estes said one of the primary reasons the playoffs will be unpredictable is the fact, “nobody has a dominant pitcher. But there are some good pitchers. The girl from Mt. Ararat (senior Alana Weaver) is very, very good.”

Mt. Ararat, under co-head coaches Brooke Cox and Allen Graffam, have held four opponents to one run or fewer behind senior Weaver and a defense featuring sure-handed shortstop Katelyn Cox and rangy center fielder Belle Benner.

Mt. Ararat’s only loss came to a Lewiston team that got beat by Bangor 13-1. Weaver and Mt. Ararat turned around and shut out Bangor 6-0.

Edward Little of Auburn was 9-2 and atop the Heal Points standings on Wednesday thanks to impressive wins over Skowhegan and Lewiston, but the Eddies have lost to 3-6 Messalonskee of Oakland and 6-3 Oxford Hills of South Paris.

Senior pitcher Kylie Bureau has led the Eddies from the circle and at the plate and junior catcher Emily Lashua and senior center fielder Olivia Jensen have also played important roles.

Skowhegan, which was second in the Heal Points, has the top one-two pitching punch in junior Ashley Alward and sophomore Sydney Ames and has had noteworthy wins over Bangor and Oxford Hills. But the Indians  split with Estes’ No. 6 Witches and lost to EL.

Bangor got off to an 8-0 start before dropping back-to-back games to Mt. Ararat and Skowhegan. The Rams are inexperienced on the mound but have a top-notch defensive infield led by senior shortstop Emma Payne and senior third baseman Megan Conner.

The youthful Witches have point-worthy wins over Oxford Hills and Skowhegan while two of Messalonskee’s three wins have come at the expense of Lewiston and Edward Little.

Oxford Hills has beaten Messalonskee and Edward Little.

Brewer has one of the state’s top freshman shortstops in Kenzie Dore and right fielder Anna Chute is a valuable leadoff hitter.

Estes said it wouldn’t surprise him if another lower seed captured the title.

“I could see the eighth seed knocking off the top seed. Every team has three or four real good ballplayers,” said Estes. “It will come down to who gets hot and who plays errorless softball.”