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Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups

High school tournaments today


Division III second round

No. 9 Berlin (11-5)
at No. 8 Franklin (12-4), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: This one shapes up as a tight matchup between similar teams. Berlin’s only losses were to top-ranked White Mountains twice, No. 5 Farmington twice, and No. 14 Prospect Mountain once. Franklin’s losses came at the hands of White Mountains, No. 3 Gilford and No. 13 Bishop Brady twice. The Tornadoes did lose the final two games of the regular season, however, and are hoping to have put that behind them. They’ll need a strong outing from Kelsey Bird in the circle, and strong offense from players like Bird, Shelby Joyce and Lexi Colpack to help send them to the quarterfinals.

No. 12 Hopkinton (10-6)
at No. 5 Farmington (14-3), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: Hopkinton stumbled a bit down the stretch, losing four of its final six games, but that was likely a product of a stiff season-ending schedule, one that the Hawks hope helped prepare them for the tournament. They’ll be facing a tough Farmington team that lost only to No. 3 Gilford (twice) and No. 2 Campbell. Other than that, however, the Tigers faced just one other team in the top 10, while Hopkinton played six games against top-10 teams. The Hawks will likely send stalwart pitcher Becca Shatney to the circle to try to tame the Tigers. Shatney is also a key component of the offense, along with players like Sloane White, Sarah Ewing and Jessi Quinn.

No. 13 Bishop Brady (10-7)
at No. 4 Conant (14-2), 4 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Brady nipped No. 20 Mascenic, 9-8. Conant received a bye.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: If Brady had any tournament jitters, the Giants got them out of the way in dramatic fashion, rallying for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the first-round win. They’re likely to face a much stiffer challenge in Conant, whose only two losses were to Campbell (the No. 2 seed in D-III) and Con-Val (the No. 2 seed in D-II). The Orioles have been stingy defensively, posting nine shutouts. Brady is riding a nice momentum surge into the second round, but will need an inspired effort both from Meghan Kissinger in the circle and from its offense, that saw Hannah Blandini and Emma Olson both rap out three hits in the first round.

No. 17 Winnisquam (9-9)
at No. 1 White Mountains (16-0), 4 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Winnisquam routed No. 16 Mascoma, 27-0. White Mountains received a bye.

Head to head: White Mountains swept the series, winning 15-4 in the season opener and 5-1 in the rematch.

Notes: The Bears made it a much more competitive game the second time around against White Mountains, and are now hoping to turn the tables on the undefeated Spartans in the teams’ third meeting. Marissa DeBlasie pitched a two-hitter in the opening round, and the Bears could come back with her or go with Allie Trowsdale. Offensively, they’ll need to come out swinging against a team that allowed more than one run on just three occasions. DeBlasie swung a big bat in the tournament opener, belting a grand slam, and Erica Doubleday and Lindsay Raymond each came through with three hits.

No. 18 Bow (7-10)
at No. 2 Campbell (15-1), 4 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Bow topped No. 15 Raymond, 12-10. Campbell received a bye.

Head to head: Campbell swept the series, winning 15-2 early in the season and 12-0 two weeks ago.

Notes: In the first round, the Falcons knocked off a Raymond team that had beaten them twice already this season. Can Bow repeat the feat against Campbell? It’s likely to be a bit tougher, but the way the Falcons were swinging the bats in the opener, it’s not impossible. Bow jumped out to a 12-4 lead in that game on the strength of two hits each from Madison Stanley, Amy Zahensky, Miki Dowd and Regan Naughton. Either Kylie Iasillo, who earned the win, or Maddie Palisi could take the ball in the circle in an effort to upset Campbell.

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