BAR HARBOR — Autumn Jones experienced pressure in a brand new way this year on the first day for pitchers and catchers.
“I was definitely nervous. I played in college, but coaching is a whole new thing,” Jones said. “I just had to remember I knew the game and that I could teach them something.”
Jones definitely succeeded, bringing the Mount Desert Island High School JV softball team to a 7-7 record this spring.
The team, comprised largely of freshman and sophomores, suffered a slow start before coming together at the end of the season.
Jones attributed part of that slow start to the large amounts of snow which delayed outdoor practices. The team then had to open the season against traditional Maine high school softball powers Ellsworth, Old Town and Bucksport.
“Against Old Town, we were ahead for a long time before they came back in the last innings to win. So we realized that we had to fight for every inning if we wanted to be successful.”
Jones pointed to the Bapst win and a successful double header against Caribou High School as important turning points in the season. “[Bapst] was the first time the girls saw ‘Okay, we can communicate, we can hit, and we can play together.’ After that, the team chemistry really took off.”
The team was lead by captains Mia Board, Brittany Corson and Caroline McMinimy. Jones said the three worked well together, and each embraced their individual style of leadership.
“They’re my first team, so they’ll always have a special place for me. I saw a dynamic [in this team] that I had in college. I’m excited to see them improve and see some of them bring that work ethic and teamwork to the next level.”