Putting it together
MV softball does it all in win over Stark
Merrimack Valley High School second baseman Kirstyn Bassett, #10, tags out John Stark Regional High School's Jilli Kilar, #5, during a game in Weare. The Pride defeated the Lady Generals by a score of 15-6; Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
The John Stark Regional High School Lady Generals celebrate Shelby Brouillet's two-run home run during a game against the Merrimack Valley High School Pride. The Pride defeated the Lady Generals by a score of 15-6 in Weare; Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
John Stark Regional High School's Sam Kazakis, #7, makes a play to first base as Merrimack Valley High School's Amber Cronan, #6, runs to second base during a game in Weare. The Pride defeated the Lady Generals by a score of 15-6; Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
Merrimack Valley High School's Kayla Kibbee throws a pitch during a game against John Stark Regional High School in Weare. The Pride defeated the Lady Generals by a score of 15-6; Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
John Stark Regional High School's Sam Kazakis, #7, runs to third base during a game against Merrimack Valley High School in Weare. The Pride defeated the Lady Generals by a score of 15-6 in Weare; Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
John Stark Regional High School players Carly Cook, left, and Kirsten Miller, right, share a moment during a game against Merrimack Valley High School in Weare. The Pride defeated the Lady Generals by a score of 15-6 in Weare; Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
It all came together for the Merrimack Valley softball team, as the Pride (6-7) combined solid pitching and good defense with strong hitting up and down its lineup to break a two-game losing streak and pick up a comprehensive victory over John Stark yesterday, 15-6. MV had multiple runs in the first four innings, including a seven-run fourth that gave it a double-digit lead.
After two straight losses in which it was outscored 18-1, the Pride was finally able to get its bats going at the right moments and produce. The easy hitting yesterday was a welcome sight after the team’s struggles at the plate over the previous two games.
“We seemed to finally hit to the right spots,” MV Coach Sam York said. “There weren’t any loud or hard hits, but they seemed to fall in for everyone in the lineup.”
The Stark Coach agreed with York’s assessment.
“(The hits) were falling in the right places where we weren’t at,” Rick Sweeney said.
Call it luck, aid from the baseball gods, or just the signs of an offense starting to break out, but the MV team will certainly take hits any way it can get them, especially with the season winding down.
From Stark’s perspective, the loss broke up a five-game winning streak in which the Generals held their opponents to four runs or fewer.
MV got its offense going right from the start and scored three runs in the first and two in the second. Stark responded in the bottom of the second with a two-run homer from Shelby Broulette before the Pride scored another three runs in the third to make it 8-2.
Merrimack Valley essentially put the game to bed in the fourth, scoring seven runs to lengthen an 8-3 lead to 15-3. The Pride had a number of batters with multiple hits and RBI, including Maggie Carey (5-for-5, two RBI), Amber Cronan (2-for-4, three RBI) and Lindsay Balch (2-for-4, two RBI).
From the circle, senior pitcher Kayla Kibbee went the distance and kept the Generals from approaching the comeback trail. Kibbee scattered nine hits and was tagged with two earned runs, giving up two walks and striking out three.
Stark got offense via the bats of Sam Kazakis (3-for-4), Riley Beliveau (2-for-4) and Lyndsey Turner (2-for-3).
With only four games left in the season, both teams will look to round into form with the tournament approaching. Stark’s first loss in six games isn’t cause for alarm, but the Generals will want to respond quickly with a win. As for the Pride, the team will hope that yesterday’s victory will provide a blueprint for future success: opportunistic hitting, decent pitching, and most importantly for Coach York, good defense.
“Defense has been a struggle all year,” York said. “We played well today, and if we play good D in every game, we give ourselves a chance to win.”
Bishop Guertin 5, Concord 4
Bishop Guertin (10-5) jumped on Concord (12-2) for five runs in the first inning and the Tide couldn’t quite rally all the way back.
Concord scored single runs in each of the first two innings then rallied for two in the seventh to pull within a run, but left the tying run at second base. The Tide stranded 11 runners, eight of them in scoring position, and failed to fully take advantage of seven BG errors.
Amy Morin was 3-for-4 to lead Concord, while Deb Morrill, Annie Mullen (RBI), Katie Kennard, Jess Carroll (double) and Jasmine Morin also had hits.
Kaitlyn Kelleher took the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings. Dani Morrill threw two innings of one-hit relief. Cassidy Emerson made a shoe-string catch in center and Deb Morrill gunned down a runner at third on a perfect relay throw to lead the defense.
Coe-Brown 5, Pembroke 4
The Bears (12-2) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to come back from a one-run deficit at home against Pembroke (7-7). The Spartans had led 4-1 early on.
Starting pitcher Kianna Daudelin helped her own cause by leading off the seventh with a triple. She scored the tying run on Shannon Burke’s single before Lacey Locke singled in the go-ahead run.
Daudelin pitched the whole game, giving up two earned runs on four walks and four strikeouts. She was 2-for-4 from the plate.
Caitlin Foley (3-for-4, double, RBI), Burke (1-for-4, RBI) and Locke (2-for-4, RBI) led the way offensively.
Bishop Brady 15,
The Green Giants (7-6) fell behind 3-0 after two innings, and trailed 10-9 going into the seventh, but they scored six times in the final frame to come away with the road win.
Emma Olson (4-for-4, two runs, two RBI), Melissa Mallahan (3-for-5, three RBI, run), Kenzie Keenan (3-for-5, two runs) and Becca Olson (3-for-5, three runs) led the way for the resilient Brady offense. Meghan Kissinger pitched all seven innings for the Giants, giving up 13 hits and four walks while striking out four.
Pelham 5, Bow 4
Hannah Perna went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run, but it wasn’t enough as the Falcons dropped to 5-7. Pelham (8-5) pushed across single runs in the first and second against Bow starter Maddie Palisi, who pitched four innings, gave up four hits and allowed four earned runs, before Perna’s home run tied things up in the top of the third.
The Pythons, who lost to Bow on Friday in a 9-8 game, went back on top with three runs in the fifth. The Falcons answered with a single run in the sixth, but Pelham scored an important run of its own in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-3, enough of an edge to survive Bow’s run in seventh. Regan Naughton (2-for-4) and Miki Dowd (2-for-4) also contribute to the Falcons offense.
Campbell 14, Hopkinton 12
The Hawks led 9-0 after four innings, but couldn’t make it stand up as Campbell (10-1) won in eight innings.
Sloane White (3-for-5, two runs, RBI), Becca Shatney (3-for-4, two runs, double, triple), Emily Bogart (3-for-5, three RBI, run), Jessi Quinn (2-for-4, two runs, RBI) and Sarah Ewing (grand slam) helped Hopkinton (8-5) break the game open early. The Hawks committed two errors and gave up two hits and three runs in the fifth, but they still held a 9-4 lead going into the top of the seventh. That’s when Campbell pounded out seven hits and plated six runs to go on top, 10-9.
The Hawks came back to tie it in the bottom of the inning when Bogart came through with a single and Kelly Scammon eventually delivered the run-scoring hit. Campbell kept its hits coming in the eighth and scored four times. The Hawks battled back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth (Bogart and Quinn had RBI singles), and had the tying run on base, but they couldn’t make it all the way back.
Monadnock 3, Winnisquam 2
The Bears took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a two-run single from Rachel Wilcutt, but Monadnock replied with one in the bottom of the frame and single runs in the sixth and the seventh to claim the win.
Winnisquam freshmen Lindsay Raymond (single) and Marissa DeBlaise (walk) both reached to set the table for Wilcutt’s run producing hit. Allie Trowsdale contributed a bunt to the rally and started in the circle for the Bears, going 6 1∕3 innings, allowing four hits and one walk and striking out four.
Concord 4, Bishop Guertin 2
Braden Smith brought Ben Bengtson in on a squeeze in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie and put the Crimson Tide (10-4) up for good.
Bengtson and Alex Bashios singled to lead off the fifth, and Bengtson went to third when Cody Ferns hit into a fielder’s choice. Smith’s bunt brought him in, and Mitch Hayes and Nate Mullen reached on errors to score Ferns with the final run.
Concord took a 2-0 lead in the second when Seimou Smith tripled in Hayes, who had singled, and Jon Dunn reached on a bunt single on a squeeze to bring him in. Bengtson and Bashios both finished the game with two hits.
Josh Partridge pitched six innings, allowing just two runs for the Cardinals (10-7) in the fifth, and finished with eight strikeouts and three hits given up. Bengtson got the save, striking out one and allowing three hits in the seventh.
Merrimack Valley 8,
John Stark 6
Brooks Kimball (2-for-4) hit a two-run single in the top of the seventh to bring home the winning runs and give the Pride (9-4) its second straight win. Charlie Wright (2-for-4) hit an RBI single earlier in the inning to tie the game.
The Generals (3-10) took an early 2-1 lead, but David Drouin hit a double with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to bring home three runs and give MV a 5-2 advantage. John Stark’s James Henry (walk, stolen base, run) then put his team back on top, 6-5, with a two-run single in the sixth. Stark was also led at the plate by Jeff Taylor (2-for-3, walk, two stolen bases, three runs) and Ryan Thompson (2-for-3, two RBI).
Riley Linehan pitched a strong game for the Pride, allowing four runs on just three hits in five innings. Paul Montray pitched 1 2∕3 innings of scoreless relief for Stark.
“We competed from start to finish and found ways to fight back,” Generals Coach Ricky Hession said.
Pembroke 14, Coe-Brown 5
The Spartans (10-4) got a solid outing from Shane St. Onge on the mound, allowing five runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out six in five innings of work. Michael Barnum threw two scoreless innings to finish the job in a decisive win over Coe-Brown (5-10).
Autrey Gates led the Pembroke offense with three doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Jerry Caruso was also 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Vinny Dustin chipped in going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs, two walks, one stolen base and two RBI while Seth Gonya collected a hit and a run, in addition to stealing three bases, drawing a walk and driving in two runs. Pembroke also took advantage of the Bear defense and pitching which committed four errors and allowed 11 walk.
Brennan Riley had a double, walk, RBI and scored a run and Sean Simoneau hit a two-run single to lead Coe-Brown.
Bow 10, Pelham 3
Bow’s Nate Corriveau earned the win on the mound and hit a key two-run home run in the fifth to break open a tight game before Pelham (6-7) imploded in the seventh inning to give the Falcons (11-2) ample cushion for the road win.
Corriveau, who beat Pelham last Friday in a 6-1 game, threw six innings, striking out five and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. His home run came in the top of the fifth to break open a 2-2 tie. Things broke wide open in the seventh when Pelham walked four batters and “sprinkled in a couple of errors and some wild pitches,” according to Bow Coach Ben Forbes. Hunter Berke also delivered a two-run single in the inning.
Somersworth 5, Bishop Brady 4
The Green Giants (2-11) lost their third straight extra-inning game. Brady led 4-3 for most of the later innings but fell after Somersworth (9-4, winners of four straight) scored the tying run in the seventh inning and plated the go-ahead, winning run in the eighth.
Adam Gamache pitched seven solid innings for the Giants, while Max Sokul had two hits with two RBI, including a solo homer in the first inning. Kyle Jalbert (hit, RBI, run) and Jourdain Bell (double) produced offense, and Brendan Johnson played great defense at shortstop.
“I’m proud of the kids the way they’re battling,” Brady Coach Skip Foy said. “We’ve got a young group here, and the experience they get from playing in tight games will help them in the future.”
Monadnock 2, Winnisquam 0
The Bears (9-4) entered the game at Monadnock (10-3) with the teams having identical 9-3 records, but Winnisquam didn’t have an answer for the Huskies’ star pitcher, Ben Mallet, who struck out 17 of the 24 batters he faced.
“He is the best pitcher we’ve seen so far this year,” Bears Coach Fred Caruso said, “He kept us off balance all night. He shut us down. He deserves all the credit in the world.”
Winnisquam didn’t get a hit until the seventh, when Caleb Hutchins broke up the no-no bid with a single that cracked his bat. The Bears only got into scoring position once, when Parker Normand and Dom DeBlasie reached base on walks with one out in the fourth.
Austin Hunt pitched very well for Winnisquam, striking out five, while only allowing four hits and one unearned run. The defense also played well, holding Monadnock’s lead to 1-0 until the Huskies scored on an error in the sixth.
Manchester Memorial 9
After seeing improvement in Tuesday’s 18-10 loss at Londonderry (Concord lost to the Lancers 19-4 earlier in the season), the Crimson Tide put that improvement to work with the home win against Memorial (1-12).
Eight different players contributed to Concord’s scoring. Mary Annon, Adelaide Symmes and Veryonica Daniels each had four goals for the Tide, Grace Orzechowski added three goals, and goalie Lizzie Donlon played well between the pipes.
John Stark 16, Pelham 7
The Generals took quick control of this one against 0-11 Pelham, scoring six goals in the first five minutes. Ten different players scored for John Stark (6-6), led by Elizabeth Palmisano (four goals), Beckie Beaulieu (two goals, assist) Gianna Pezzulo (two goals) and Danielle Galli (two goals).
Those were the first goals of the season Beaulieu, who scored 32 last year, but moved to defense this season to plug a hole for the Generals (6-6). Danielle McCarron and Emily Stinger also scored their first goals of the year for Stark.
Hopkinton 12, Con-Val 8
Elizabeth Hancock led the Hawks (8-5) with five goals in a win on the road against Con-Val (2-10). Alexandra Flood had a hat trick while Meg Hemmerlein and Sierra Schuster each had two goals and one assist. Moe Hastings and Becca Thomson each registered one assist. Becca Thomson was dominant on the draw and Hemmerlein was tenacious in the midfield, causing six turnovers.
Bow 16, Spaulding 3
Matt Sanford had five goals and an assist as the Falcons improved to 8-3. Devin Calkins (two goals, three assists) Mike Fanaras and Jason Stickney (three goals each), Dylan LaBranche (two goals, assist), Dan Crisman (three assists) and Trevor Garrett (goal) also contributed offensively, while Tyler Herricks, Luke Laboe and Colby Desmarais played well on both sides of the ball, according to Bow Coach Ross Mondello.
Bishop Brady 6, Kennett 0
The singles matches were only half finished when the rains came, but the teams were able to move inside to The Racquet Club of Concord to finish things off. No. 1 Maddy Moran (8-3), No. 2 Shelby Herrington (8-0), No. 3 Katie MacMullin (8-0), No. 4 Caroline Urbanek (8-2), No. 5 Mikayla Clarke (8-0) and No. 6 Lynn Yoon (8-1) made it a clean sweep for the Green Giants (12-2) in their regular season finale.
“We have our work cut out for us in the playoffs,” said Brady Coach Marcia Moran, “but it was a great season, especially considering we had three girls in the top six (Urbanek, Clarke, Yoon) who had never played a varsity match before this season.”
Pembroke 8, Manchester West 1
The Spartans took five of the six singles matches to clinch the win early and improve to 6-7. No. 1 Andrew Goulet (8-1), No. 3 Alex Chea (8-3), No. 4 Andrew Boddie (8-0), No. 5 Kyle Haas (8-0) and No. 6 Sam Yeaton (8-1) all cruised to wins for PA. Goulet and Joe Carawy won 8-1 at first doubles, Haas and Yeaton won 8-0 at second doubles, and Boddie and Ryan Weiss finished the doubles sweep with an 8-2 win on the third court.
∎ On Tuesday, Pembroke edged the Coe-Brown, 5-4. No. 3 Chea won 8-2, No. 4 Boddie took his match 8-3, and No. 6 Yeaton won 8-4 to give Pembroke the advantage through singles play.
After dropping the No. 1 doubles match, No. 2 duo of Boddie and Haas won 8-4, and the No. 3 team of Caraway and Yeaton won 8-6 to clinch the victory.
Bow 7, Monadnock 2
The Falcons (13-1) swept singles play en route to the win over Monadnock (7-5).
Zach Zbehlik (No. 1), Evan Maccani (No. 2), Arun Luckoor (No. 3) and Ben Maurer (No. 5) all won 8-2, while Harrison Beck and Nathan Louf won 8-1 at fourth and sixth singles, respectively. Zbehlik and Luckoor teamed up for an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles.