High Schools: Winnisquam softball goes extra innings to beat Laconia
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth of its senior game, the Winnisquam softball team needed a run.
A loss would drop the Bears to 6-10, send them on the road for their first playoff game and, were they to win that, set up a likely showdown with No. 1 White Mountains in the next round. So it was fitting that Elyssa Clairmont (2-for-4, double, run), the only senior on the roster, would score the game-winning run in extra innings to give the Bears a 3-2 victory over Laconia and her make team’s playoff picture look that much brighter.
“This was a huge win for us,” said Bears Coach Kevin Dame, adding that the win likely secures Winnisquam (7-9) home-field advantage in its first playoff game and positions his team more favorably in the bracket.
“I felt that both pitchers threw well. I felt that both teams fielded well,” said Dame, highlighting Marissa DeBlasie’s 10-strikeout, six-hit performance over eight innings from the circle. Dame added that his team’s fielding was “pretty flawless” aside from two errors in the fifth that led to two unearned runs for Laconia (6-9).
Most of the game was characterized by strong pitching and fielding from both teams, but the Bears got the runs when they needed them most.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Allie Trowsdale reached base on a fielder’s choice and Madison Langan was sent in as a pinch runner and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Alyssa Clogston had one hit in the game, but it couldn’t have come at a better moment. Clogston lined a double to bring Langan home to tie the game.
The Sachems threatened to score in the eighth when a long fly ball went over the head of right fielder Becky Rapoza, but Rapoza relayed to Clairmont at shortstop, who got it to Kendra Lonergan to tag out the runner at third.
Rachel Willcut then led off the bottom of the eighth with a double and scored when Lonergan hit a single down the first base line.
Lindsay Raymond (1-for-3) had an RBI in the second inning for the Bears.
Winnisquam looks to better its playoff position even further when the Bears travel to Newfound (1-13) tomorrow.
Concord 4, Manchester Central 1
Central’s Sarah Lavallee was no-hitting the Tide through five innings when Concord (14-2) broke out its small-ball game to beat the Little Green (8-8).
After Jasmine Morin reached on an error in the sixth, Concord laid down three straight bunts, ending the no-hit bid with Deb Morrill’s bunt single and drawing even at 1-1 when Central threw away Annie Mullen’s bunt, allowing Katherine Muzzey (running for Morin) to score. Katie Kennard plated Morrill with the go-ahead run on a suicide squeeze, then Amy Morin singled up the middle to score Mullen. Jess Carroll’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Kelsey Bisson (running for Kennard) with a final insurance run.
From there, Kennard set down the first two batters of the seventh – one on a running catch in shallow center by Cassidy Emerson – before a hit and a walk brought the potential tying run to the plate, but Kennard coaxed a comebacker to end the game. She finished with a four-hitter, striking out four; Central’s run was unearned.
Merrimack Valley 2, Pembroke 0
The Pride (8-7) scored both runs in the fourth inning and Kayla Kibbee (four strikeouts, one walk) pitched a five-hit shutout in a win over the Spartans (7-9).
With the bases loaded, Amber Cronin hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Erin Frost. Kibbee singled on the next play, bringing home Maggie Carey. Jacey Fedion had two of the Pride’s five hits.
Catcher Brooke Ellis and first baseman Lindsay Balch set the tone defensively. Ellis threw out a runner at third in the first inning, the only time the Spartans threatened to cross the plate.
John Stark 11, Hanover 3
The Generals broke on top 4-0 after two innings, then took control with a four-run third after Hanover (2-13) had clawed back in with two runs in the top of the inning. The victory keeps Stark (9-6) in the hunt for a home playoff game.
Lyndsey Turner went the distance for the win, striking out nine and walking but one. She also helped her cause at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Jillian Kilar (2-for-3, two RBI), Riley Beliveau (2-for-3, double, three RBI), Meg Brown (1-for-1, RBI) and Becca Titcomb (double) also ignited the offense.
Bishop Brady 8, Franklin 3
Solid pitching from Meghan Kissinger (three hits, no walks, five strikeouts) and timely hitting from Bishop Brady (9-6) were enough to hand Franklin (12-3) its third loss of the season and its second at the hands of the Green Giants.
“Patience at the plate,” was key, according to Brady Coach Shawn Brechtel, adding that “we had some great two-strike hits against a hard throwing (Kelsey Bird).”
The game was 1-0 in favor of Bishop Brady when Jill Foye tripled home the game’s second run. Hannah Blandini then single home Foye for a 3-0 lead. The Green Giants took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, but four errors led to three runs (only one earned) which brought the Golden Tornadoes back into the game.
However two walks and a single from Emma Olson (2-for-3, run) in the sixth loaded the bases and an error with Kenzie Keenan (1-for-4, three RBI) at the plate brought home two more runs to cushion the lead.
Hopkinton 15, Kearsarge 1
It was the seniors who led the Hawks (10-5) against the Cougars (0-16) in a five-inning game. Emily Bogart reached base all four times, Jessi Quinn and Morrigan Bernier both had singles and Sarah Ewing was 2-for-2. Hopkinton scored five times in the first, third and fourth innings to nail down the win.
Becca Shatney pitched four innings for Hopkinton, allowing one unearned run and two hits, while striking out six. McKayla Reale pitched a perfect fifth, striking out two.
Stevens 13, Hillsboro-Deering 0
Stevens got off to a fast start, scoring nine runs in the first two innings, and the Hillcats weren’t able to come back with any runs of their own.
Jocelyn Butler went 1-for-2 for H-D (2-12), while Tiffany Ulrich tripled. Maggie Girard pitched well in relief for the Hillcats, striking out two and allowing only two earned runs in three innings.
Hanover 12, John Stark 3
Josh Colby “pitched well enough to give (John Stark) a chance to win,” according to Generals Coach Ricky Hession, but errors were costly in a loss to Hanover (8-5). Out of eight runs Colby allowed, only two were earned. Paul Montray pitched well in relief.
David Nelson (RBI single), Ryan Thompson (RBI double, run), Ben Casazza (2-for-3, RBI, stolen base) and Jeff Taylor (run, two stolen bases) led John Stark (3-12) at the plate.
Bow 8, Raymond 0
Solid defense from shortstop Nate Corriveau (four putouts, four assists) and solid pitching from Sebastian Strong (four hits, no runs, no walks in a complete game), plus a five-run fifth-inning rally led the Falcons (12-3) over Raymond (9-6).
Bow had a great team effort, with 14 hits and no errors. Chris Fournier (3-for-3) had a two-run double and Hunter Berke (2-for-4) hit a two-run single in the fifth-inning rally. Evan Vulgamore (2-for-4, RBI) and Sean Ford (1-for-4, two RBI) also hit well.
Hopkinton 9, Kearsarge 1
Colin O’Keeffe made the most of his last home game, going 4-for-4 with two runs, two stolen bases and an RBI, as he and his fellow seniors led the Hawks (9-6) over Kearsarge (6-10). Harry Legier and Luke Greabe (both seniors) had two hits each, with Greabe adding a steal and RBI.
Collin Paraskeva pitched five innings of four-hit ball and Liam McNicholas allowed a hit in two innings of relief. The sophomore class also looked impressive, with Evan O’Keeffe executing a perfect hit-and-run, while Kyle LaPage and Kevin Smith stole second and home simultaneously.
The Hawks’ final contest on Friday at Conant is an important one. A win secures Hopkinton a bye in the play-in round, while a loss will force them to play an extra playoff game.
Hillsboro-Deering 3, Stevens 2
Danny Egner tripled in the bottom of the seventh then scored the winning run when Stevens misplayed Andrew Roberge’s hard grounder to third. The Hillcats (3-11) won back-to-back games for the first time this season, while Stevens dipped to 9-5.
H-D broke on top with a run in the second. Max Parenteau walked, stole second, moved to third on a single by Troy Girard and scored on a suicide squeeze by Brian Doherty. The Hillcats made it 2-0 in the fifth when singles by Egner and Dan Kulbacki set the stage for an RBI single by Robert Armstrong.
Parenteau earned the win on the hill, going the distance and allowing just the two runs in the top of the seventh.
Laconia 7, Winnisquam 1
The Sachems (14-1) only out-hit Winnisquam 6-4, but walks and errors plagued the Bears (10-5) and led to their defeat.
Austin Hunt started the game for Winnisquam, throwing 3 1∕3 innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and five walks while striking out five. Parker Normand finished the game, striking out two while walking three and allowing two hits.
John Montalto led the Bears offensively, going 2-for-3 and driving in the team’s lone run.
Pittsfield 6, Nute 0
Pittsfield (12-3) notched its second straight shutout, this time with Chris Farr spinning a two-hitter. The junior struck out seven in the complete game.
Farr also got it done at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Max Tuttle also went 2-for-3 for the Panthers.
Manchester Central 6
Concord (6-9) won for the fifth time in its last seven games, riding Tyler Martel’s four goals to victory.
Sean Mamos and Adam Resnick each added two goals and two assists, Ian Scura notched two goals with one assist, Tyler Hatch scored twice and Travis Duhamel scored once to pace the offense.
Nick Zavorotny turned aside 12 Central (4-11) shots for the win in net.
Bow 12, Winnacunnet 8
Bow (9-4) avenged one of its earlier losses, jumping on top early, 3-0, and building a 9-3 lead by halftime. The Falcons held Winnacunnet (10-3) scoreless over the middle two periods, according to Coach Ross Mondello, thanks to solid defense from Derrick LaBranche, Charley Reagan, Tucker Johnson (one assist) and Alex Reitze (one assist).
Matthew Sanford scored four goals and dished out an assist, and Devin Calkins and Dan Crisman each had three goals with two assists. Mike Fanaras (two goals, one assist), Colby Desmarais (assist) and Dylan LaBranche (assist) also chipped in offensively. Riley Keenan won 12 of 18 faceoffs and Travis Beauchain had five saves.
The Hawks overcame a 4-1 halftime deficit to defeat Kingswood (7-6) and remain undefeated at 13-0.
Ned Metcalf (one goal, one assist) won 11 faceoffs in the half to keep the ball in Hopkinton’s possession.
Bennett Mosseau led the way with four goals, one assist and 10 groundballs. Henry Merrow tallied two goals, one assist and nine groundballs, while Austin Cowan added two goals. James McCluskey anchored the defensive effort, while Matt French was superb in net, recording 18 saves.
John Stark 13, Stevens 3
With the score tied 3-3 at the break, the Generals (7-6) found the back of the net 10 times in the second half in a win over Stevens (2-11).
Matt Richard (two assists) and Brody Fredricks (assist) had three goals each to lead John Stark. James Smugurski also had two goals while Keith Galli, Nic Lloyd, Cian Bremer-Zydenbos and Keith Filleul all had one. Ryan Gordon had his first varsity point with an assist on Filleul’s goal. Jake Blanchette had three assists and Tom Zervos had two.
Gage Huard and John Brown anchored the defense in front of goaltender August Colburn (eight saves).
Bow 19, Spaulding 7
Lindsey Reynolds scored eight goals as the Falcons (4-9) dominated the game from start to finish against Spaulding (0-12). Bow took a 12-4 halftime lead.
Kelsey Mumford, Jackie Langevin and Amanda Murray each scored twice, while Megan Lighthall, Kat Marcoux, Emma Garfield (assist), Sierra Welch and Brooke Johnson added single tallies.
John Stark 3, Keene 2
John Stark (9-3) rallied from a set down to beat Keene (2-10). The Blackbirds sandwiched 25-17 and 25-22 wins around a 25-18 second set for John Stark before the Generals claimed the final two, 25-18, 15-13.
Setters Simon Becka (two aces) and Serge Boucher (four aces, six kills) had 20 assists apiece to quarterback the offense, with middle hitters Zach Grattan (10 kills, three blocks) and Carson Dunn (one ace, 13 kills, three blocks) forces at the net. Ryan Compagna (one ace, five kills), Brandon Dugay (four kills), Ryan Sandmann (one kill, eight digs), Ian Franco (21 digs) and Cody Lemay (five digs) also had strong matches for the Generals.