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Coe-Brown softball team digs a hole too deep in Division II title game

  • Coe-Brown took on Con-Val Regional in the Division II girls' softball championship game held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Coe-Brown took on Con-Val Regional in the Division II girls' softball championship game held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Coe-Brown's Amanda Riley recovers a pop-fly that fell between several Coe-Brown players in the Division II girls' softball championship against Con-Val Regional held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Coe-Brown's Amanda Riley recovers a pop-fly that fell between several Coe-Brown players in the Division II girls' softball championship against Con-Val Regional held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Coe-Brown's Jessica Ohrenberger strikes out in the final pitch of the game as Con-Val catcher, Marena Brock, raises her hands in celebration after winning the Division II girls' softball championship game held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Coe-Brown's Jessica Ohrenberger strikes out in the final pitch of the game as Con-Val catcher, Marena Brock, raises her hands in celebration after winning the Division II girls' softball championship game held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Coe-Brown took on Con-Val Regional in the Division II girls' softball championship game held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Coe-Brown's Amanda Riley recovers a pop-fly that fell between several Coe-Brown players in the Division II girls' softball championship against Con-Val Regional held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Coe-Brown's Jessica Ohrenberger strikes out in the final pitch of the game as Con-Val catcher, Marena Brock, raises her hands in celebration after winning the Division II girls' softball championship game held at SNHU on Saturday, June 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

MANCHESTER – Coe-Brown had time, and opportunities, but in the end it just couldn’t do enough with either.

Second-ranked Con-Val scored five times in the first two innings, and the Cougars made that stand up the rest way to claim the school’s first-ever softball championship with a 5-3 win over No. 1 Coe-Brown (17-3) in yesterday’s Division II final at Southern New Hampshire University.

“We had a rough start, but we held them for the rest of the game,” Coe-Brown pitcher Kianna Daudelin said. “Those first two innings just killed us.”

Daudelin hit the first batter of the game and walked the next, and Con-Val (17-3) made her pay. Lauren Mackey (3-for-4, three RBI) plated the first run with a double, and then Courtney Fisher and Bryanna Lindsay followed with RBI singles to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead after half an inning.

“That’s what we do, that’s what we’ve done all year, we go to work early and put runs on the board,” Con-Val Coach James Coppo said.

The Bears had a loud answer all prepared in the bottom of the first when they loaded the bases with no outs, but Fisher struck out the next two batters and escaped the jam for good when Holly Donohue (3-for-4, RBI) lined out to shortstop.

The Cougars added two more in the second on a pair of Coe-Brown errors and a two-out, bloop single from Mackey that drove home two to make it 5-0.

“We made some defensive mistakes there and they took advantage of it,” said Coe-Brown Coach Tim Tenasco, who also added that his team knew all about well-placed hits like Mackey’s two-run flare.

“They found the spots tonight just like we found the spots against Goffstown in the semifinals (an 8-3 Coe-Brown win).”

The Bears might have been frustrated by their mistakes in those opening innings, but they still believed they could find a way back.

“I think maybe the errors brought us down, but I don’t think the score did,” Daudelin said. “We’ve come back before from being far behind, so I don’t think that bothered us.”

The Bears certainly had time to come back, but Con-Val cut that time short after the first. Fisher (seven innings pitched, 10 hits allowed, 10 strikeouts, one walk, three runs) retired eight of the next 10 batters she faced, and then worked out of minor trouble in both the fifth and the sixth to keep Coe-Brown scoreless through six.

“(Fisher) pitched well today,” Tenasco said. “She hit her spots and she rattled us a little bit. She did a fine job and I’ve got to give her total credit.”

On the other side, Fisher was being matched by Daudelin (seven innings pitched, eight hits, seven strikeouts, one walk, three earned runs), so the lead stayed at five runs. That seemed like it would be more than enough for the Cougars, until the bottom of the seventh rolled around.

Lauren Jones (3-for-4) led off with a single, Caitlin Foley reached on an error, and Amanda Riley drove them both home with a single of her own. It looked like Daudelin would keep the rally going with a sharp line drive to left, but it was hit right at Kaitlyn Walker for the first out of the inning.

Fisher then got the second out before Donohue drilled a double down the third base line to score Riley and bring the tying run to the plate. Jess Ohrenberger put up a good fight, but Fisher struck her out in the end to finish the game and season.

Not only was it the first softball title for the Cougars, but it was the first team championship of any kind for Con-Val since 2006. For Coe-Brown, this was their fourth softball championship game appearance in six years, and with four freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors and just one senior on the roster, the Bears look primed to keep making runs at a title.

“We’re a young team,” Tenasco said, “so this is really a wonderful experience for them.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3371 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

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