Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summertime doesn't mean the end of playing sports - By Stephanie Coffin

Softball is often referred to as baseball for girls, with a larger ball and a smaller diamond. The first women’s team was formed in 1895 in Chicago’s West Division High School in the United States. There was no organized or coached competition, and they were not considered comparable to men. However, softball is a growing sport among our young athletes and as the softball saying goes, “There’s nothing soft about it, it just leaves a bigger bruise.”

The following young women from Windham have used the summer to their advantage to stay on top of their game while they played a sport they have a passion for. Lauren Talbot, Danielle Tardiff, Olivia Mora, Katelyn Troiano and Taylor Tibbetts are a few such players. Below is what they have accomplished with their respective teams this summer:

Maine Thunder U14 bring home the gold
Windham’s incoming sophomore Lauren Talbot played on the Maine Thunders U14 Gold softball team this summer. Though Talbot has been playing since the fifth grade this is her first year on an AAU softball team. Her passion for the sport has her anticipating the next season already. Last season for Windham, Talbot primarily played center field for the varsity team. However, during this past summer she enjoyed playing positions such as shortstop, second and third base, right, left and center field. “Learning and playing all the positions helps you to connect with the game,” Talbot said.

Under the guidance of Theresa Hendrix, who graduated from Saint Joseph’s College as a three sport all-star, Talbot’s softball team traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts for the August Bash. The team played all six games with single elimination to bring home the gold. 

“It was a lot of hard work and dedication but the team played well and showed they had what it took,” said Talbot

Maine Thunder Softball is where, whether it’s little league, middle school, high school or college, players can identify areas that they need to work on in order to continue their progress of achieving success on the field and off. They stress the importance of academic success in the classroom coupled with time management. Without a great education, softball doesn’t exist. Under the leadership of Nick Caiazzo the Thunder program is focused on providing all players with an opportunity to reach their full softball potential. The Maine Thunder Travel Softball Program prides itself in training coaches through on going staff training sessions. 

Talbot also plays basketball for the Windham Eagles, making varsity as a freshman last season, looks forward to the upcoming school season and will be going out for the field hockey team this fall as well. Talbot is a girl who likes to stay busy, keep in shape and build friendships along the way.

Lady Mavericks U16 seal the win
The Lady Mavericks U16 team consisted of four of Windham’s athletes: Incoming juniors Olivia Mora, Danielle Tardiff, Taylor Tibbetts, and incoming sophomore Katelyn Troiano. The team also included players from many area high schools including Scarborough, Bonny Eagle, North Yarmouth Academy, South Portland and Sacopee Valley. 

 Although this team of girls is a U16 team, all but one of the tournaments they played in was against U18 college showcase tournament teams. The most recent tournament the team played in was the NCMASA Umpires Open tournament in Leominster, Massachusetts. This was the only U16 tournament this team played in all summer. The Lady Mavericks U16 team won all six games that weekend.

The Lady Mavericks is an organization created for girls of all levels that have a passion for softball and have a goal to be the best softball player she can be. The organization is made up of girls from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Though softball is a passion of these girls, a few play multiple sports, Danielle Tardiff also plays field hockey along with Taylor Tibbetts while Olivia Mora is a guitarist and a bassist when she’s off the field.

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