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High Schools: Three games, three shutout wins for Concord softball

  • Concord's pitcher, Katie Kennard, during the girls softball game against Manchester Memorial on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Concord's pitcher, Katie Kennard, during the girls softball game against Manchester Memorial on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Rachel Stevenson of Concord, right, chases down Kass Baron of Manchester Memorial, who was caught in a pickle between second and third base on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Rachel Stevenson of Concord, right, chases down Kass Baron of Manchester Memorial, who was caught in a pickle between second and third base on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Concord's pitcher, Katie Kennard, during the girls softball game against Manchester Memorial on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Rachel Stevenson of Concord, right, chases down Kass Baron of Manchester Memorial, who was caught in a pickle between second and third base on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

There’s a trend developing with the Concord High softball team. And though it’s unreasonable to think it can last all season, the Tide is willing to ride it for as long as possible.

Three games, three shutout wins.

“It’s early in the season and you don’t want to read too much into it,” Concord Coach Duke Sawyer said after his team blanked Manchester Memorial, 7-0, yesterday in its home opener. “But it shows that not only have we had solid pitching, but we’re also playing good defense.”

Concord’s three-strong pitching staff has yielded a total of just seven hits over the three games, as well.

“It’s a little bit surprising,” said Katie Kennard, who picked up the win, going the first four innings with six strikeouts while allowing just two hits. “But instead of waiting until the end of the season to show what we can do, it’s presented itself already.”

Kennard teamed with Kaitlyn Kelleher for the shutout, with Kelleher going the final three innings with four strikeouts and one hit allowed.

And a head’s-up defensive play set the tone in the first inning yesterday.

After a Memorial single, the Crusaders tried to bunt the runner over. Kennard fielded the bunt along the first base line, tagged out the batter then spun around and rifled the ball to second, catching the runner rounding the bag, where she was run down by Rachel Stevenson for the double play to end the inning.

In the bottom half, Concord got on the scoreboard for the only run it would need.

Deb Morrill (2-for-2, two runs) beat out a bunt and continued on to third when the throw sailed past the first baseman. One out later, Kennard (3-for-3, three RBI) singled up the middle to plate Morrill, giving Concord a first-inning lead for the second straight game.

“It’s extremely important. It takes the weight off your shoulders,” Kennard said of the early cushion. “The offense provides the lead early and the defense is fantastic backup if needed.”

The Tide’s six-run third inning put the game away.

Stevenson walked, Morrill singled, Annie Mullen reached on an error to score Stevenson, and Kennard followed with a two-run single to left.

“You knew that sooner or later she’d get going,” Sawyer said of Kennard. “And we need her bat in that 3 spot.”

After the first out, Cassidy Emerson walked and Jess Carroll (2-for-3) crushed a ball that would have been out of any field with a regulation softball fence. But at Memorial Field she settled for a double and a pair of RBI for a 6-0 lead.

“What power she’s got,” Sawyer said of Carroll. “Once she got a little more selective, she’s really been hitting the ball.”

Molly Emerson walked and eventually scored the final run on a fielder’s choice grounder. From there, all that was left was for the pitchers and defense to nail down the shutout.


Merrimack Valley 2, Plymouth 0

Kayla Kibbee allowed two hits in the first inning and just one after that, leading the Pride (1-2) to its first victory of the season. She finished with a complete-game three-hitter, walking none and striking out three.

Kerry Fedion (2-for-3, RBI), Amber Cronan (2-for-3) and Brittany Fisher (RBI single) placed the MV attack.

MV Coach Sam York said his team played “incredible defense,” starting when shortstop Fisher robbed the second Plymouth (2-2) batter of the game.

Pembroke 4 Goffstown 3

Pembroke fell behind 3-0 after two innings. But for the remainder of the game, pitcher Ashley Henshaw and the defense shut down Goffstown (1-2) from the plate, and the Spartans (2-2) generated some offense of their own.

Henshaw went seven innings, giving up six hits and striking out three. Two of her strikeouts came in the sixth inning with runners on second and third. The offense was led by Emma Gagnon, who went 1-for-3 with a triple. Hannah Seidner, Madison Pellerin, Hannah Mitchell and Amanda Clement all had hits.

Bishop Brady 12, Hillsboro-DEERING 0

The Green Giants (2-2) brought the bats on the road, pounding out 17 hits to overwhelm the Hillcats (2-2).

Becca Olson went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs for Brady, while Melissa Mallahan (3-for-5, three runs) and Cammie Marchand (3-for-5, two runs) also had good days at the plate. Meghan Kissinger allowed only four hits for the shutout while also striking out 10.

Erin Delacy and Leah Rheault both had a pair of hits for the Hillcats.

Franklin 4, Winnisquam 3

The Golden Tornadoes (3-1) held a 4-0 lead heading into the home half of the seventh inning, and despite a solid comeback effort, Winnisquam (0-4) fell short and Franklin escaped with the win.

Lexi Colpack went 2-for-3 with a double for Franklin, while Shelby Joyce tallied a double and a run scored, and Jill Roberts added an RBI double. Kelsey Bird earned the win in the circle and belted a home run.

Marissa DeBlaise went the distance for Winnisquam, allowing only two earned runs, five hits and one walk while striking out seven. Kendra Lonergan went 1-for-4 with two RBI, Alyssa Clogston went 1-for-4 with a run scored, and Rachel Willcutt and Becky Roposa each tallied one hit.

Hopkinton 15, Kearsarge 2

The Hawks started out strong with four runs in the first inning, highlighted by a deep double from Sloane White (3-for-4, three runs, three RBI) and a key single by Emily Bogart (2-for-3, two runs, two RBI). Kearsarge (0-4) scored in the bottom of the frame, but the Hawks (2-1) erupted for eight runs in the third inning to break the game open. Lily Scammon and White each recorded a double in the inning.

Pitcher Becca Shatney helped her own cause, going 2-for-3 on the afternoon with a double and two RBI. Shatney earned the win, allowing two runs on six hits. She struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. Kelly Scammon played an all-around great game for Hopkinton.

Pittsfield 11, Epping 2

The Panthers dominated from the plate, belting 10 hits en route to a convincing victory.

Bekah Adams led the way for Pittsfield (3-0), going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and a stolen base. Katie Small went 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Rachel Thompson went 1-for-1 with key pinch-hit single.

Katelynn Hunt picked up the win in the circle, going the distance with nine strikeouts.

Epping fell to 1-2 with the loss.


Concord 5, Manchester Memorial 3

The Crimson Tide (4-0) took care of business early, scoring five runs in the first two innings to put the Crusaders in a hole quickly. Memorial battled back with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth, but Concord was able to close out the victory.

Senior righthander John Clary went 62∕3 innings, allowing five hits, two walks and no earned runs, while Ben Bengtson closed the game for the save. Bengtson also walked twice and scored, while Cody Ferns went 1-for-2 with two runs, and RBI and two walks and Braden Smith went 3-for-4 with two RBI. The Tide halted early Memorial rallies with a pair of double plays.

Portsmouth 9, Coe-Brown 3

The Bears (2-2) fell behind quickly, giving up six runs in the first en route to the loss on the road.

McCormick Struthers (RBI) and Matt Cunningham had two hits apiece, while Joe Anatone and Kyle Stevens pitched three and two innings of solid relief, respectively.

John Stark 6, Lebanon 0

Senior righty Paul Montray spun a gem, going the distance and finishing off a shutout to give the Generals their first win of the season.

Montray allowed four hits and no walks while striking out three on the mound for John Stark (1-1). The Generals took the lead with runs in the fourth and fifth and broke the game open with a four-run sixth, an outburst that featured a two-run single from senior rightfielder James Henry, who also walked, stole a base and scored during the game.

Senior shortstop Nick Manna had two hits and drove in a pair of runs for Stark.

Merrimack Valley 4, Plymouth 1

Cody Barton pitched a complete game for the Pride (1-1), allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out five batters to lead his team to their first win of the season.

Charlie Wright went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI, while Scott Schofield went 2-for-4 with one RBI. David Drouin reached base all four times he was at the plate, recording a single and three walks.

Plymouth falls to 2-2.

Pembroke 6, Goffstown 4

The Spartans overcame a rough start to stay perfect on the year, battling back from a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the second en route to improving their record to 4-0.

Mike Martinez went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs driven in for Pembroke, while Vinny Dustin went 2-for-3 with a double. Shane St. Onge got the win, allowing no earned runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings, and Mike Barnum pitched the final inning to get the save.

Bishop Brady 13, Hillsboro-Deering 9

The Green Giants struggled to put away the Hillcats (0-4) until a three-run sixth lifted them to 2-2 on the year.

Tom Blandini had two hits, three RBI and three runs scored, Jourdain Bell had a double two RBI and three runs and junior outfielder Tom Pelchat had two hits, including a double, and a catch in right field with the bases loaded in the fourth that prevented a big Hillsboro-Deering inning. Junior Drew Kalil got the win with 32∕3 innings of scoreless relief.

Andrew Roberge had a pair of doubles for the Hillcats, who erased 2-0 and 4-2 leads and got within a run after trailing 10-4 before Brady’s big sixth inning. Robert Armstrong added two hits, including a triple, and Brian Doherty had a pair of hits as well.

Winnisquam 8, Franklin 0

Austin Hunt pitched another scoreless shutout as the Bears improved to 2-1 with the home win.

Hunt (2-0) allowed just one runner to reach second during his seven innings of work as he struck out eight, walked one and gave up only three hits. He also went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and had the key hit in Winnisquam’s five-run sixth inning to break open a tight game. Senior Caleb Hutchins also went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI for the Bears.

Franklin’s Myles Lynch held Winnisquam in check for half the game, but wound up with the loss. Robert Ellis, Ryan French and Lynch collected the three hits for the Golden Tornadoes (0-4).

Hopkinton 13, Kearsarge 4

Andrew Clay (3-for-4, two RBI) and Evan O’Keefe (2-for-5, three RBI) powered the Hawks offense with timely hits and Liam McNicholas pitched six strong innings for the win.

Kearsarge (2-2) went up 2-0 in the top of the third, but Hopkinton came back with four runs in the bottom half of the frame, two of them coming home on RBI singles from O’Keefe and Clay. O’Keefe also had a two-out RBI single that broke open the game in the Hawks five-run fourth inning, and Clay added another RBI single in the fifth.

McNicholas allowed three hits, two walks and four runs (two earned) in his six innings of work. Freshman Dave Nelson came on to work a scoreless seventh inning, his first varsity action. Collin Paraskeva (two hits) and Steve Auger (hit, three RBI) also contributed to Hopkinton’s offensive output.

Pittsfield 15, Epping 7

Junior Kris Perkins went 5-for-5 with four runs and four RBI and Wesley Ward went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI to lead the Panthers (2-1) to the win at home.

Jed Eastman started for Pittsfield and threw three scoreless innings before he was lifted because the Panthers had a built a 10-0 lead. But the Blue Devils (0-3) came back to make it 10-6 in the top of the fifth, and Eastman came back in to finish the job. He worked a total of six innings, striking out 12, walking two and allowing three hits and two runs.


Londonderry 19, Concord 5

The Crimson Tide couldn’t match the offensive production of Londonderry, and fell short.

Tyler Martel led the way for Concord (0-4) with two goals, while Sean Mamos tallied three assists. Austin Erickson (one goal, two assists), Adam Resnick (one goal) and Ian Scurra (one goal) also played well.

Hopkinton 10, Gilford 3

With Bennett Mosseau and Henry Merrow sparking the offense and James McCluskey leading a tight defense, the Hawks took a 6-2 halftime lead en route to the victory, which improved their record to 3-0. Gilford fell to 0-4.

Mosseau had four goals while Merrow had three with an assist, and Austin Cowan, Ben Metcalf and Ben Thompson also scored. Matt French made nine saves for Hopkinton.

John Stark 12, Stevens 6

The Generals (3-0) defeated Stevens (1-2) to remain undefeated. The offense was lead by attacks Matt Richard and Brody Fredricks with five goals each. Richard also added four assists. Tom Zervos and Colbey Decotis each tallied a goal. Curtis Marden was strong on face-offs and August Colburn had nine saves in goal.

Kearsarge 15, Lebanon 4

Jordan Barthol (one goal) led the Cougars (3-2) in controlling ground balls, which was the key to their convincing win.

Travis Newman scored four goals and tallied two assists, while Andrew Van Hooydonk added two goals. Tom Barss and Matt Pickman chipped in one goal apiece.

Will AuFranc picked up the win in net, recording 20 saves.

Milford 13, Merrimack Valley 9

A Pride comeback fell short as MV remains winless (0-3) following a loss to Milford (2-1). MV was down 7-1 at halftime, but stormed back thanks to eight second half goals and eight second half saves by Alain Authier (13 saves). The Pride cut the deficit to 10-7 in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t close it anymore.

Blake Gaboriault scored three goals and had 10 ground balls. Dylan Baer had two goals, one assist and 11 groundballs. Buddy Hughes and Jake Chaplain played solid defense.


Concord 18, Manchester Memorial 10

The Crimson Tide relied on a solid team effort and effective passing combinations to pick up its first win of the season.

Adelaide Simms led the offensive attack for Concord (1-2) with five goals, while Mary Annon and Hannah Bouchard each tallied three goals. Grace Orzechowski chipped in two goals, while Aly Beaulueu, Chelsey Jobin, Sarah Ek, Brooke Simonton and Veryonica Daniels added one goal apiece.

Lizzie Donlon earned the win in goal, recording seven saves.

Hopkinton 17, Gilford 7

Abby Lui led undefeated Hopkinton (4-0) with four goals and four assists in a victory over winless Gilford (0-4). Freshmen Becca Thomson and Hannah Bassett (in her first varsity start) each posted hat tricks. Elizabeth Hancock (two goals, one assist), Meg Hemmerlein (two goals), Maddie Sorel, Caroline Sweny and Sierra Schuster also scored. Lana Wando and Caroline Sweny were solid on defense causing turnovers and winning battles for ground balls.

Kearsarge 17, Pelham 3

The Cougars (4-0) took command right away, seizing a 10-0 halftime lead and cruising to a victory on the strength of goals from 10 different players.

Gemma Bready led the charge with five goals, while Kaileigh Davis (two goals) and Marissa DeAngelis had the first scores of their respective careers.


Portsmouth 9, Bishop Brady 0

The Green Giants (4-3) had no answer for a Clippers squad that improved to 5-0 at Memorial Field.

Logan Sigua and Tim Garrett played a tight doubles match at No. 3, rallying from a 6-0 deficit to tie before falling, 8-6. Brendan Bryck lost a tough 8-4 decision at No. 3 singles.

Pembroke 6, Derryfield 3

The Spartans (1-2) picked up their first win over the season in a victory over Derryfield (1-3). Alex Chea came back from a 3-0 deficit to win his No. 3 singles match, 8-4. Kyle Haas also stayed cool under pressure, winning his tiebreaker 7-0 for a 9-8 victory at No. 5 singles. Andrew Boddie won 8-4 at No. 4 and Sam Yeaton won 8-2 at No. 6

In doubles action, the No. 3 tandem of Boddie and Yeaton won a convincing 8-1 match and Chea/Haas won by forfeit at No. 2.

Kearsarge 5, White Mountains 4

Despite getting swept in doubles play, the Cougars (2-4) were able to win the match thanks to strong singles performances.

No. 1 Karver Bosela and No. 3 Will Anderson each recorded 8-3 victories. Vincente Metrano won, 8-6 at No. 2, while No. 5 Charlie Bossi won, 9-7 and No. 6 Drake vanKannewurff won, 8-0.


Portsmouth 7, Bishop Brady 2

Despite a solid effort, the Green Giants (5-2) fell to a strong Portsmouth team.

Shelby Herrington won at No. 2 singles, 9-8 with a 7-2 decision in the tie-breaker. No. 3 Katie MacMullin won, 8-5.

Portsmouth remained undefeated at 4-0.


John Stark 3, Coe-Brown 0

The Generals swept their match at Coe-Brown, winning, 25-16, 25-22 and 25-23. Carson Dunn led the way for John Stark (3-1) with 27 hits, 11 kills and two blocks, while Ryan Compagna had 23 hits and seven kills, and Brandon Dugay had 100 percent service (no service errors) and one kill. Ryan Sandmann also had 100 percent service and chipped in seven digs, while Ian Franco tallied eight digs. Simon Becka (two kills, 14 assists), Serge Boucher (two aces, 13 assists) and Zach Grattan (three kills and three blocks) also played well for the Generals.

Leading the Bears (2-2) were Charlie Allan (20 digs), Evan Horvath (seven kills and seven blocks) and Beau Pingree (seven kills and six blocks).


Kearsarge boys first, girls second

The Cougars fared well in an eight-team meet hosted by Monadnock on Tuesday. Kearsarge and the hosts dominated the boys meet with the Cougars outscoring them 167-156, far ahead of third-place Fall Mountain (56), Stevens (51) and Campbell (41). The Kearsarge girls’ (85) finished second to Monadnock (146), but ahead of Conant (70), Fall Mountain (70) and Stevens (51).

On the boys’ side, the Cougars had several strong showings in the hurdles and in the jumps, with Gabe Carter winning three events. Carter won the 110 hurdles (16.63), triple jump (41-3) and the long jump (19-10.5) beating teammate Troy Davis who finished second in the same event. Davis claimed the other Cougars victory, winning the high jump (5-10). Jeff Kozikowski (third 300 hurdles and pole vault, fourth 110 hurdles) also did well in the hurdles and jumps, while Jacob Jones (second discus and third shot put) and Peter Martin (second 3200) recorded top three finishes. Reed Bell (third 400, third 110 hurdles, fourth javelin), Alex Apkan (third discus, fourth 100, fifth shot put), Zach Beltz (tied-fourth 100 and third high jump) and Logan Maville (third triple jump, fifth discus and 400, sixth triple jump) all scored points in both track and field events. The 4x100 (Beltz, Apkan, Elliot Lukaitis and Eric Morin) and 4x400 (Beltz, Maville, Vanetten and Phillip Tatro) relays both finished second.

On the girls’ side, Kearsarge was strong in the distance events with Briggie Carr (1600, 6:15) and Emily Kelly (800, 2:41) both recording victories. Kelly also finished third in the two mile. Carolyn Haron added another win with a vault of 8-6 in the pole vault. Hayley Joseph finished second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles. Emily Morcom added points in the throws (third discus, fourth shot put). The 4x100 relay of Joseph, Haron, Savannah Bell and Mercedes Gorman finished second.

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