On May 16, a Foxcroft batter was hit by a pitch in a game against Hermon. Within a couple weeks, Hermon had a new baseball coach.
Numerous media outlets have suggested that those two events are related. According to the Bangor Daily News, Foxcroft led 7-1 in the fifth inning and needed four runs to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.
With one out, Brooks Law put down a suicide squeeze to score Foxcroft's ninth run. Law reached first on the play, then stole second and third. The batter was hit by the next pitch.
"It did seem suspicious because they were clearly getting very frustrated and it felt like the pitcher really reared back and put something extra on that pitch," Foxcroft coach Mark Chevalier told the BDN.
Aaron Brideau is no longer Hermon's coach. Junior varsity coach Justin Perry coached the hawks in their final regular season game. In his article about the incident, BDN writer Ernie Clark wrote, "The coaching change is believed to be related to the circumstances involving a batter hit by a pitch" in the game in question.
NEW DEFINITION OF PITCHER'S PARK
Madison High completed an undefeated softball season Wednesday with a 7-2 victory over Oak Hill. The Bulldogs are 16-0, and will go in as the No. 1 seed in Western C.
One of Madison's stars is junior pitcher Emily McKenney. With McKenney leading the way, the Bulldogs allowed only 27 runs during the regular season.
But other than the undefeated record, the highlight of Madison's season was a recent home game against Oak Hill. In the top of the first inning, Oak Hill batter Jamie Prue noticed McKenney seemed unusually close. When somebody brought out a tape measure before the fourth inning, it was discovered that the pitcher's plate was 40 feet away, not the regulation 43 feet.
"I got up there," Prue told the Kennebec Journal, "and I remember I squared up to the plate, and I was like, 'She's on top of me.' Three feet is a big difference in softball, and obviously, it was very noticeable. I could tell just by how she was leaping out of the circle. It was unbelievable how close she was."
McKenney, who is a strong candidate for the Moluntain Valley Conference's Player of the Year award, said she believed the pitcher's plate had been at 40 feet all season.
"I definitely told my stepdad at other away games, 'I feel really far away when I pitch,'" McKenney told the KJ. "But I never thought anything of it."
It should be noted that McKenney has pitched -- and hit -- well in both home and road games this spring.
FRIEDLAND, LEAVITT WIN TENNIS SINGLES TITLES
Lincoln's Jordan Friedland defended his state singles title, but Falmouth's Olivia Leavitt upset No. 1 seed and defending champion Maisie Silverman of Brunswick in the state tennis singles tournaments.
Friedland, the No. 1 seed, lost a total of 14 games in his five matches during the tournament. He defeated No. 2 seed Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth, 6-3, 6-0, in the finals.
Silverman rolled through her first four matches, as she lost only six games combined. But in the finals, Leavitt posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
That matched appeared to turn in the third game of the first set. Silverman was trailing and appeared to hit a winner and yelled a short burst of encouragement to herself. But Leavitt returned the ball, and then complained that Silverman broke the rules by shouting during play. Silverman was given a warning, and Leavitt went on to win the next eight games.
"After that I feel like I wasn't as focused as I was in the beginning," Silverman told the BDN. "But she played really well. She really didn't miss a shot at all."
A happier moment came on the first day of the Round of 48. In a second-round match, Johnny Xue of George Stevens Academy was looking a match point for a straight-sets win. Xue retired at that point because he would have been unavailable for his third-round match two days later. That enabled York's Andrew LaMonica to advance to the next round, where he lost to McCarthy, 6-3, 6-3.
The lightest moment of the tournament came when North Yarmouth Academy's Burke Paxton outlasted Cape Elizabeth's Peter Higgins, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in a three-hour match.
After reporting the score, Paxton said to the tournament directors, in reference to his next match later that afternoon, "How long do I have? An hour? Let's push it to the last second possible."