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Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups

High school tournaments today

Softball

Division I semifinals

At Southern NH University

No. 4 Salem (16-4) vs. No. 1 Concord (18-2), 7 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Salem shut out No. 13 Exeter, 7-0, and No. 5 Spaulding, 3-0. Concord blanked No. 16 Nashua South, 12-0, and edged No. 8 Alvirne, 3-2 in eight innings.

Head to head: Concord one-hit Salem, 2-0.

Notes: For two teams who regularly land among the top seeds in Division I, oddly it’s just the second time they’ve run into each other in the postseason since they played in back-to-back title games in 1993-94. But these old nemeses are plenty familiar with each other, having scrimmaged in the preseason and played in the regular season about a month ago. And now they’re playing for keeps. It could well be a low-scoring affair, much like the earlier meeting, when Concord’s Katie Kennard limited Salem to just one hit (by Bri Rastello), and the Blue Devils’ Kaitlyn Arsenault kept the Tide to four hits (a double by Kennard, a triple by Molly Emerson, and singles by Amy Morin and Cassidy Emerson, who drove in both Concord runs). Expect both Arsenault and Kennard (11-1, 1.68 ERA) to get the ball tonight, but don’t be surprised to see Dani Morrill (4-0, 0.69) in the circle at some point for the Tide, either. The junior has thrown seven innings of shutout relief over the first two tournament games. Morrill was also the offensive hero in the Tide’s nail-biter quarterfinal, ripping a walk-off RBI single in extra innings. Concord, with a .332 team batting average, has no easy outs in the lineup and will look to make something happen early. If everything comes together, the Tide could make its third trip to the title game in the last five years.

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