Coe-Brown softball team rides quick start into D-II final
Coe Brown's Kianna Daudelin throws in a pitch during NHIAA Division II Softball Semi Final at SNHU Tuesday evening. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
Coe Brown's Lauren Jones gets safetly to third ahead of Nicole Nanof's tag during NHIAA Division II Softball against Goffstown Tuesday evening. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
Coe Brown's Jessica Ohrenberger crosses home plate on a triple from Lauren Jones during NHIAA Division II Softball Tuesday evening. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
MANCHESTER – The Coe-Brown softball team felt its nerves in a come-from-behind win in extra innings in the quarterfinals, but after the warm-ups of last night’s semifinal matchup between the No. 1 Bears (17-2) and No. 4 Goffstown (15-6), it was clear that there wasn’t going to be a repeat of that.
“We were loose,” Coe-Brown Coach Tim Tenasco said.
And it showed. The Bears lined two triples in a five-run second-inning rally and sophomore pitcher Kianna Daudelin (four hits, three runs, five strikeouts in seven innings) overcame a rough inning from the circle by belting a two-run homer and pitching two hitless innings to cap off an impressive 8-3 win to earn a spot in Saturday’s Division II championship.
Although Coe-Brown was composed and played with the confidence befitting a No. 1 seed, the team knew it had its work cut out for it and that the Grizzlies would be its stiffest competition yet.
“They’ve always been a very good softball program. They’ve had some quality wins. Their pitcher is an excellent athlete. We just needed to stay loose,” Tenasco said.
Right from the outset the Bears appeared that way, fielding a 1-2-3 inning, and Daudelin (2-for-3, four RBI) brought home Lauren Jones (2-for-4, two runs, three RBI) on a single for a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Goffstown tied the game 1-1 in the next inning on a sacrifice fly, but Coe-Brown responded with an explosive second-inning at the plate that would give it a lead the Grizzlies would not be able to overcome.
Jessica Ohrenberger and Lacey Locke both walked to start the rally and freshman Emily Therrien singled to load the bases with no outs. Then Jones nailed a line drive into the outfield for a triple, clearing the bases to give Coe-Brown a 4-1 lead. Caitlin Foley hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field to bring home Jones, before shortstop Amanda Riley (3-for-3, two runs) hit another triple right up the middle. An infield sacrifice from Daudelin brought home Riley to cap the rally.
“It was huge. It set the tone,” said Tenasco of the rally.
The Bears held their 6-1 lead thanks to errorless ball through the fourth inning, led by the stellar defensive play of Jones at second base and Ohrenberger at first. For the Grizzlies’ part, they proved that they too belonged on the big stage and Haeli Campbell (six strikeouts) tossed two consecutive 1-2-3 innings before Goffstown put together a rally of its own.
The Grizzlies led off the fifth with a walk and a single, and a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with no out. Daudelin fielded a grounder and threw to catcher Shannon Burke, who made a nice tag at the plate to prevent a run, but an error on the next play (the only error of the game) proved to be a costly one. A dropped fly ball, hit by Goffstown’s Hannah Gifford, brought home two runs and cut the lead to 6-3, giving the Grizzlies new life.
However, Daudelin, who allowed two hits and a walk in the fifth, followed her coach’s advice. Calmly taking her stance in the batter’s box, she belted a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall to erase any damage done in the previous inning. Daudelin also stayed cool in the circle, not allowing a hit and striking out two over the final two innings, including a 1-2-3 seventh inning to cap off an all-around impressive performance.
“I was just thinking, ‘Stay ahead. Don’t let up. You can’t throw them down the middle. Hit location,’ ” said Daudelin, adding that “it feels amazing” to have the opportunity to play in the finals.
“She played great, I mean, she was dialed in,” said Tenasco, who also added that “it was a great team win.”
Coe-Brown, playing in its fourth final in six season (the Bears were champions in 2010), will need continue to stay loose and give another solid team effort against No. 2 Con-Val (16-3). The Cougars, who defeated No. 3 Hollis-Brookline, 6-5, in the other semifinal, have shut out their opponents five teams (including shutout wins in the first round and quarterfinals) and have held their opponents to one run four times. The championship game will be played at the SNHU Saturday at 7 p.m.
D-I BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL
No. 4 Pinkerton 3,
No. 5 John Stark 0
The Generals fell to the Astros in the quarterfinals, losing 25-20, 25-13 and 25-19. The loss ends the Generals’ third varsity season, but they corrected a two-season losing record of 1-31 to end this season as the fifth seed with a regular-season record of 11-5.
Leaders last night included Simon Becka (six digs, seven assists), Ryan Compagna (two kills, six digs) Zach Grattan (five kills, one stuff), Serge Boucher (two kills, one stuff, nine sssists), Brandon Dugay (four kills, one stuff), Carson Dunn (two kills, two stuffs, four digs), Ryan Sandmann (one ace, one kill) and Ian Franco (two digs).