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Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups

High school tournaments today

Girls’ tennis

Division III championship

At The Derryfield School

No. 2 Profile (15-0) vs. No. 1 Bow (15-0), 4 p.m.

Previous tournament matches: Profile blanked No. 3 Conant, 6-0. Bow ousted No. 4 Gilford, 8-1.

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

Notes: They were the top forces in Division III all year, and now they’ll duke it out for the ultimate prize. The Falcons set up the rematch of last year’s championship match with an emphatic victory over Gilford, while Profile looked just as impressive in its semifinal victory over Conant. Bow has reason to be confident that it can turn the tables on the Patriots this year, with reason No. 1 being the strong play of Sunday Swett, who was in top form in earning an 8-0 victory at No. 1 singles against Gilford. Nisha Naik (No. 2), Jess Torres (No. 3) and Laura Zbehlik (No. 4) have also been rock-solid all year, while Kristie Smith (No. 5) and Alex Lust (No. 6) showed Bow’s versatility and depth with 8-2 and 8-4 victories, respectively, over the Golden Eagles. As was the case last year, when Profile eked out a 5-4 win, one match will likely be the difference, but if the Falcons play the way they have all season, there’s no reason to think they can’t be the last team standing.

Softball

Division I first round

No. 16 Nashua South (3-15)
at No. 1 Concord (16-2), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Concord rolled over South, 17-5.

Notes: When the teams met less than two weeks ago, Concord sprayed a school-record 21 hits around the Nashua field, taking control early with seven runs in the second inning. Despite that lopsided game, the Tide knows it can’t take anyone lightly in the postseason. Katie Kennard (10-1, 1.61 ERA), whom South didn’t face, will likely get the start. She’s also at the heart of a Tide lineup that has two starters hitting better than .400 and five others hitting better than .300. Kennard, Jess Carroll and Cassidy Emerson are the team’s top run producers, with Deb Morrill and Annie Mullen scoring the most runs.

Division II first round

No. 16 Plymouth (5-11)
at No. 1 Coe-Brown (14-2), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Coe-Brown roughed up Plymouth, 14-2, on May 10.

Notes: Coe-Brown enters the postseason having won nine of its last 10 games, including the mercy-rule win over Plymouth. In that game, Lauren Jones and Amanda Riley each went 4-for-5 to power the offense and Kianna Daudelin scattered five hits for the win. The Bears will look for Daudelin to again shut down the Bobcats, who lost four of their final five games, and for Jones and Riley to continue to rake on Plymouth pitching, along with players like Shannon Burke and Caitlin Foley.

No. 13 Pembroke (8-9)
at No. 4 Goffstown (13-5), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Pembroke edged Goffstown, 4-3, on April 17.

Notes: After tearing through the first half of the season at a 6-3 clip, Pembroke struggled a bit down the stretch, going 2-6. But one of those wins was in the regular-season finale, something the Spartans hope gives them some momentum heading into the tournament. When the teams met early in the season, Goffstown jumped on top 3-0 early, but Pembroke’s Ashley Henshaw shut them down over the final five innings. The Spartans could come back with either Henshaw or Hannah Seidner in the circle, while looking for players like Seidner, Madison Pellerin and Katherine Arvanitis to spark the offense.

No. 12 Merrimack Valley (8-8)
at No. 5 Sanborn (13-5), 4 p.m.

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

Notes: If MV can keep it close, the Pride stands a good chance at pulling the upset. All five of Sanborn’s losses were by just one or two runs. Kayla Kibbee is the likely starter tasked with keeping the Indians in check, though Jacey Fedion could see time, as well. Maggie Carey has swung a hot bat for the Pride and she’ll look to ignite the offense along with players like Rebekka Donovan, Erin Frost and Amber Cronan.

No. 11 John Stark (9-7)
at No. 6 Windham (11-5), 4 p.m.

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

Notes: The Generals bounced back from a 2-5 start to the season by winning seven of their final nine. They’re hoping that momentum will carry over as they try to upset a Windham team that went just 3-3 down the stretch. Lyndsey Turner has been the workhorse in the circle for Stark, and will need to be at her best to keep the Jaguars at bay. Riley Beliveau, Sam Kazakis, Jillian Kilar and Turner have been solid with the bats as of late and will be looked on to spark the offense.

Division III first round

No. 20 Mascenic (6-12)
at No. 13 Bishop Brady (9-7), 4 p.m.

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

Notes: It took the young Giants a while to mesh, but once they did, things have been clicking. Brady won seven of its final nine games to secure its tournament spot in its first season down in Division III. Meghan Kissinger has handled nearly all of the pitching duties and will be a key to the Giants advancing. She’s also a key cog in the offense, along with players like Emma Olson, Melissa Mallahan, Becca Olson and Kenzie Keenan.

No. 17 Winnisquam (8-9)
at No. 16 Mascoma (8-8), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Winnisquam bested Mascoma, 15-3, on May 10.

Notes: When the teams met two and a half weeks ago, it took the Bears just five innings to finish off Mascoma, thanks to the shutdown pitching of Allie Trowsdale. Winnisquam could come back with her, or give the Royals a different look with Marissa DeBlasie, who split the circle duties this season. Offensively, DeBlasie and Rachel Wilcutt both went 3-for-4 with two doubles in the first meeting and will be key bats again as the Bears look to reach the second round.

No. 18 Bow (6-10)
at No. 15 Raymond (8-8), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Bow lost a doubleheader to Raymond, 8-4 and 6-0, on May 21.

Notes: The teams are very familiar with each other after having played twice in the last eight days, but the Falcons are hoping to prove true the old adage of it being tough to beat a team three times in a season. Kylie Iasillo and Maddie Palisi have shared the pitching duties this season and either could see time in the circle against the Rams. The two are also vital to the offense, along with players like Hannah Perna, Miki Dowd and Madison Stanley.

Division IV first round

No. 11 Newmarket (7-7)
at No. 6 Pittsfield (9-7), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams split during the season, with Pittsfield winning 7-4 at home on May 8, and Newmarket turning the tables the next day, 10-5.

Notes: Pittsfield won its first meeting with Newmarket in dramatic style, with Bekah Adams stroking a walk-off grand slam. The Panthers would like to make it not quite so tense this time, and to do that they’ll need to get strong offensive performances from players like Adams, Stefani Gauthier, Kim Cyr and Patience Cyr. In the circle, the Panthers could come with either Patience Cyr or Katelynn Hunt, who earned the win in that earlier meeting.

Girls’ lacrosse

Division I quarterfinals

No. 7 Concord (7-10)
at No. 2 Pinkerton (14-4), 5 p.m.

Head to head: Pinkerton swept the series, winning 18-6 at home early and 18-9 in Concord on May 17.

Notes: The Crimson Tide performed an impressive midseason turnaround, bouncing back from a 2-6 start to salvage a postseason berth. To keep its season going, Concord will need to conjure up an answer for an Astros team that handled the Tide easily in the teams’ two earlier matchups. Pinkerton can score in bunches, so Concord will need its offense to be clicking. That means good days from Adelaide Symmes and Mary Annon, and a defense led by Melissa Harper will need to stem the Astros’ attack whenever possible.

Division III first round

No. 9 Bishop Brady (7-7)
at No. 8 John Stark (7-7), 5 p.m.

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

Notes: Neither the Generals nor the Green Giants could wait for the regular season to end, as John Stark dropped three of its last five games and Bishop Brady finished on a three-game losing streak. The playoffs are a different story, and both teams will try to get their scorers producing to get their postseasons off on the right note. For the Generals, that’ll mean good games from Giannza Pezzulo, Sam Valcourt and Danielle Galli, while the Giants are led by Sarah Thomas, Jill Thomas and Bekka Sansouci.

No. 12 Pembroke (4-10)
at No. 5 Lebanon (10-4), 5 p.m.

Head to head: Pembroke fell to Lebanon, 16-4, on April 25.

Notes: The Spartans closed their regular season in style, winning their last two games and scoring a combined 38 goals, and they’ll need to stay sizzling against a Raiders team that beat them up back in April. Madison Cote is the go-to weapon on the attack, but she’ll need help from teammates Keerstyn Allen and Brianna Douglas.

No. 10 Oyster River (6-8) at
No. 7 Hopkinton (8-6), 5 p.m.

Head to head: Hopkinton beat Oyster River, 12-8, on April 15.

Notes: When they beat the Bobcats in April, the Hawks were surging, on their way to a 4-0 start to the year. It’s been a rocky season since for Hopkinton, which dropped four of its final six to close out the slate. Still, the Hawks bring enough punch to give Oyster River cause for concern. Elizabeth Hancock has been the team’s most lethal scorer, while Alexandra Flood, Abby Lui and Meg Hemmerlein are also players the Bobcats will have to keep an eye on.

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