Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Windham Little League winding down by David Field

This week started the Windham Little League Baseball and Softball playoffs.  On Monday, the three-team softball majors double elimination playoff began with Bill Diamond hosting Fielding Oil.  Bill Diamond moved up in the bracket defeating Fielding Oil 15-5.  Tuesday night, Bill Diamond took on Windham Rental and upset the number one seed with a 12-6 victory.  Thursday night, Fielding Oil will face Windham Rental for a shot at the Championship against Bill Diamond.  The Windham Little League Majors Softball Championship will be at two o’clock this Saturday at the Windham High School field 1 with an “if necessary” game scheduled for Sunday in Raymond.
On Wednesday, the first round of a ten round double elimination playoff series began for baseball majors.  The Majors Baseball Championship game will be played Wednesday, June 12 at 5:45 p.m. at Lowell Field on Falmouth Rd.  The majors baseball league has six teams hosted by C. R. Tandberg, Dairy Queen, Kids Crooked House, State Farm Insurance, Cobb’s Collision and Ice Cream Dugout. 

Windham will be hosting two tournaments in the coming weeks. On June 23, field 1 will be the host for the District 6 Little League 9- to 10-year-olds softball tournament.  Windham will have a team competing in that as well.  On July 5, the District 6 10- to 11-year-olds baseball tournament will be held at Lowell Field.  Windham is co-hosting this tournament with Freeport.  Windham also has a team competing in that tournament.  With all events, volunteers are certainly welcome. Contact Bob Rosborough at (207) 310-8016 for more information.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Local woman takes on the Appalachian Trail solo by Michelle Libby

Amanda Butler is doing what many aspire to, but only a few ever achieve. She’s hiking the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The approximately 2,175 mile trail traverses mountains, streams and sometimes down the main streets of tow

ns. Hiking the trail is not for the faint of heart.

Butler, 22, just graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in economics before that she was a 2008 graduate of Windham High School. When else would she have a six month block of time to do something like this, she said. “I always wanted to. It seems like just a big accomplishment,” Butler said.

As an outdoor lover, she had been hiking with her family, including climbing Katahdin, but she’d never backpacked. When she told her mother, Tracey, and her father, David, that she wanted to hike the AT, her father thought she should at least try backpacking first. “Maybe he was a little jealous,” she said. Her mom, wanted to protect her and keep her home. “Overall, they’re really supportive,” she said.

At the start of the hike on March 16, there were many chances to jump off the trail during the eight miles leading to the top of Springer Mountain, the official start of the trail. She didn’t try to find anyone to hike with her before she started. “It’s hard to find someone with the same pace and you get along with,” she said.

Her favorite part of the trip has been meeting people. She said she feels very safe although most of the hikers travel in pairs and she’s only met four solo women hikers, who happen to all be from Maine. She was given the nickname button because of a button tattoo she has on her ankle and a button she wears on her boot, a symbol of her college ultimate Frisbee team. “I tried to resist it at first, but people just assumed that was my name,” she said.

“Everyone has a story. If you’re going to be on the trail, you’re a pretty cool person,” she said.
She has hiked 800 miles to date, often covering 20 miles a day. It wasn’t like that at first, she recalled, but once she got used to the hiking 20 was average.

She carries her iPhone with her - most people on the trail have them. She uses it as her computer, camera and lifeline to civilization. Most towns have libraries where hikers can use the Internet and because her mother wants her to, she blogs occasionally.

Her gear totals around 30 pounds. She carries her pack, one-man tent, sleeping bag, mattress pad, clothing (one change), rain gear, food bag (with three to five days worth), stove (made from an aluminum bottle), pot, water and purifying drops, toiletry bag, guidebook, reading book, journal and rope.

“Some days I think, I’m just living like a homeless person, not really achieving anything,” she said with a laugh. “It’s fun. I just enjoy every bit of it.” She claims that she is the optimist in her group. She stops to enjoy the rain on her face or a particular scenic view. Her motto is “enjoy it and don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it.”

“There are a lot of people out there. It’s like a big, long community,” she said. There were celebrations after every 100 miles and at every state border crossing.

When they get into towns, the hikers hit pizza places and all-you-can-eat buffets. Butler craves bacon pizza, she said. Calories don’t count on the AT. At home it’s watch how many calories we consume, on the trail it’s more like comparing to see who has the more caloric honey bun, she said. “It’s a 180 from what society is used to,” she said.

Her foods have been trial and error. Now she eats oatmeal with Carnation Instant Breakfast and a coffee packet mixed together with cold water. At lunch, she eats flat bagels, cheese and pepperoni. Dinner is a pasta side with a tuna or salmon packet. She did try Ramen noodles mixed with an instant potato pouch, but she never did that again.

“I’m living minimalistically,” she said.

Despite the fun she has been having, the challenges have been there as well. Noro-virus went around the trail making everyone sick. It snowed at the beginning of her trip and after 800 miles Butler got an infection from an abscess and spent time in a Virginia hospital. Her mother went to Virginia to pick her up. Butler is home for as long as her mother and doctor can keep off the trail.

“I feel so lazy, stiff and restless. I want to go out there,” she said.

She’s trying to decide when she goes back if it will be to Montabello, Virginia, where she got off the trail or to wherever her hiking friends are when she goes back. She’s torn.  

“If you’re into the outdoors, you’ll be into backpacking,” she said.

The Windham Eagle will be following Amanda Butler when she returns to the AT often printing excerpts from her blog and through phone and Facebook interviews. If you have questions for Amanda email editor@TheWindhamEagle.com.

Windham Gets Thier Wings Back in Defeat of Portland by David Field

WINDHAM-The Windham Eagles finished their season 13-3 after defeating the Portland Bulldogs 3-0.

Nate Boyle started pitching for the Windham Eagles and didn’t need help, but got it from the Francoeur brothers to earn the win. “Our intent today was to give Nate 50 or so pitches and give some other guys some work to keep them fresh,” said coach Brody Artes. Leadoff batter Tim Rovnak reached first base in the first inning to show some threat, however the tight Windham defense held the Bulldogs at bay.

In the second inning, Joey Francoeur led off with a double. Zach Conley dropped a bunt that he reached on to advance Francoeur. Calvin Field hit his second single of the game to drive in Francoeur. Conley, thinking he could reach third on the play, had a little too much energy going into third and was tagged out.

Windham came to life again in the fifth inning. Calvin Field led off with a single and stole second base. Jack Herzig reached on an error and Field scored on a pick off throw. Ethan Petty reached on a walk. Spencer Hodge drove a ball deep and drove Herzig in.

Windham’s defense came up huge in the game. In the third, Ryan Ruhlin hit a ball deep over Andrew Whiting’s head in left field. Whiting threw the ball to cutoff shortstop Spencer Hodge who then threw to Tanner Laberge at second to get Ruhlin out. Also, in the fifth, catcher Jack Herzig threw out Ryan Ruhlin who was taking an aggressive lead off first. Herzig also threw out Evan Gallant in the second inning as he attempted to steal second base.

Windham now advances to the SMAA Tournament to be held on Saturday, June 1 at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach. Game one features Scarborough against Westbrook. Game two is Windham against Marshwood. After that, Windham will compete in the Western Maine Playoffs as the number three seed. Windham will have a bye and will play their first game on June 6 in Windham.

Another late game rally earns Windham a 6-2 victory by David Field

GORHAM-In a game played away in which the Eagles were the home team, Windham scored five runs in the sixth inning to earn another win.  Windham’s home infield was under water and Gorham had no standing water, which is why the game was played in Gorham.  However, it didn’t mean the conditions were ideal as both teams battled in mud, wet grass and sometimes heavy rain.

In the first, Gorham’s Spencer LaPierre hit a double.  Shawn Francoeur then struck out Nick Greatorway and got Damon Wallace to pop up.  Windham elected to intentionally walk Alex Yankowsky in hopes of turning an out or two. However, Elliot Spears had other plans in mind when he hit a single to drive in LaPierre.  Windham got out of trouble when Francoeur struck out Andrew Schmidt to retire the first inning.

Gorham again scored in the top of the sixth.  Leadoff batter Damon Wallace hit a bomb to the fence to record a double.  Wallace would score on Elliot Spears base hit to give the Rams a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning.  With the rain starting to open up and the momentum against them, the Windham Eagles fought back with a vengeance.  Leadoff hitter Calvin Field hit a single and stole second base to get in scoring position.  Tanner Laberge reached base on an error by second baseman Alex Yankowsky, allowing Field to score.  With the game tied, the momentum shift started in rapid fashion.  Jack Herzig reached on a single to advance Laberge.  Josh Dugas came in to run for him.  Ethan Petty hit a single to drive in Laberge and advance Dugas.  Jake Mello came in to run for Petty.  Windham was taking no chances.  Spencer Hodge reached base on another Yankowsky error and more runs came in.  In all, Windham scored five runs and held Gorham scoreless in the seventh to cap another SMAA victory.