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Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups

High school tournaments today

Softball

Division I championship

At Southern NH University

No. 2 Timberlane (18-3) vs. No. 1 Concord (19-2), 4:30 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Timberlane ousted No. 15 Nashua North, 11-1, No. 10 Manchester Central, 3-0, and No. 3 Dover, 4-1. Concord blanked No. 16 Nashua South, 12-0, edged No. 8 Alvirne, 3-2 in eight innings, and stopped No. 4 Salem, 4-2.

Head to head: Concord beat Timberlane, 6-4, at Memorial Field

Notes: When the teams met exactly one month ago, Concord scored in every inning but the first and never trailed, though Timberlane did make it interesting in the late innings. Katie Kennard shut out the Owls through four innings before two infield hits and a walk loaded the bases for a three-run double by cleanup hitter Madison Bishop to make it a 4-3 game. But Concord got one right back in the bottom of the inning and Dani Morrill slammed the door with 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Expect to see both Kennard and Morrill again today opposing Timberlane freshman Kate Hoadley, the granddaughter of former Concord School Board chair Betty Hoadley. Hoadley struck out 10 the first time the teams met, but was also touched for 11 hits, with Jasmine Morin belting three doubles, and Annie Mullen and Kennard each knocking a pair of hits. With a team average of .330, the Tide will again look for production from throughout its lineup. Masha Lange is the sparkplug at the top of the order for the Owls, rapping three hits and stealing two bases in the earlier meeting. Timberlane is looking for its first title since 2008, while the Tide is trying to continue its pattern of winning every four years, after claiming the state championship in 2005 and 2009.

Division II championship

At Southern NH University

No. 2 Con-Val (16-3) vs. No. 1 Coe-Brown (17-2), 7 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Con-Val ousted No. 15 Souhegan, 2-0, No. 10 Trinity, 2-0, and No. 3 Hollis-Brookline, 6-5. Coe-Brown bested No. 16 Plymouth, 3-1, No. 8 Milford, 7-6 in eight innings, and No. 4 Goffstown, 8-3.

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

Notes: The Bears have just been getting stronger as the postseason’s gone on. After narrowly avoiding upsets in the first two rounds, Coe-Brown looked exactly like a No. 1 seed in the semis, using a five-run second inning to knock off the Grizzlies and cruise into its fourth final in six years. The Bears’ opponent won’t make adding another banner easy. Con-Val’s held nine teams to a run or less and posted two playoff shutouts, but the Cougars saw their stifling pitching get challenged by the Cavaliers in the semifinals. Coe-Brown will try to keep it going, and will look for big days at the plate from Kianna Daudelin, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI and a two-run home run in the semifinals, Lauren Jones (2-for-4, two runs, three RBI) and Amanda Riley (3-for-3, two runs). Daudelin will also have to be sharp in the circle. The Con-Val bats have been quiet so far, but with 10 or more runs in five games this season, the Cougars have proven they can break out at any time. Pitching and hitting have gotten Coe-Brown to this point, and if the Bears can do both again, they’ll have a great chance at their first title since 2010.

Baseball

Division IV championship

At Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

No. 3 Pittsfield (16-3) vs. No. 1 Littleton (16-3), 4 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Pittsfield ousted No. 14 Portsmouth Christian, 6-2, blanked No. 6 Profile, 2-0, and beat No. 2 Colebrook, 6-2. Littleton eliminated No. 16 Nute, 11-3, No. 9 Moultonborough, 9-2, and No. 5 Sunapee, 8-3.

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

Notes: Hitting vs. pitching will decide the Division IV championship. As Panthers Coach Rob Stockman noted, there’s plenty to be wary off concerning a Crusaders lineup that has mashed out 28 runs in three postseason games. “I know they hit the hell out of the ball,” he said. “I’ve got a good scouting report on them, I’ve seen a few games, and they’re not No. 1 by mistake.” The Panthers will have the antidote, however, in lefty Kris Perkins, who carries an 8-1 record and stellar 0.89 ERA into the final, as well as a scoreless streak that reached 40 innings with four shutout innings against Colebrook. Pittsfield also got the bats going against the Mohawks, with Perkins, Jed Eastman and Wes Ward leading an offense that totaled 10 hits and seven stolen bases last game. If the lineup, which has been led all season at the top by Tyler Stockman and Max Tuttle, continues to click, the Panthers will be in good shape as they look for their first title since 2001.

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