Softball: Maddy Wachter Ks 12, Concord holds off Winnacunnet in 2023 championship rematch

Concord catcher Delaney Duford claps at her teammates in the dugout after hitting a double in the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Concord went on to win against Winnacunnet, 3-2.

Concord catcher Delaney Duford claps at her teammates in the dugout after hitting a double in the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Concord went on to win against Winnacunnet, 3-2. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter struck out the first seven hitters she faced and wound up throwing a complete game, allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out 12 in Concord’s 3-2 win.

Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter struck out the first seven hitters she faced and wound up throwing a complete game, allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out 12 in Concord’s 3-2 win. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Concord catcher Delaney Duford congratulates pitcher Maddy Wachter after the game on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Concord won, 3-2.

Concord catcher Delaney Duford congratulates pitcher Maddy Wachter after the game on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Concord won, 3-2. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter gets congratulations for a strikeout from her teammates on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Wachter struck out the first seven hitters she faced and wound up throwing a complete game, allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out 12 in Concord’s 3-2 win.

Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter gets congratulations for a strikeout from her teammates on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Wachter struck out the first seven hitters she faced and wound up throwing a complete game, allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out 12 in Concord’s 3-2 win. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 04-17-2024 7:57 PM

Modified: 04-18-2024 10:48 AM


CONCORD — It wasn’t quite the high stakes of a state championship game at Memorial Field on Wednesday night, but Concord (3-0) knew that Winnacunnet (3-1) posed a good early-season test in its third game of the season.

In a rematch of last year’s Division I title game that Concord won, the Tide jumped on Warrior pitcher Maddy Eaton with three runs in the first inning, ultimately enough support for Tide pitcher Maddy Wachter in the circle. Wachter struck out the first seven hitters she faced and wound up throwing a complete game, allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out 12 in Concord’s 3-2 win.

“Quite happy with the way we played against one of the better teams in Division I,” Concord head coach Duke Sawyer said. “That’s just a quality team we played over there. We could very well meet each other in June. … Just a really good game. Solid game. Maddy pitched a great game. Delaney (Duford) again called a great game. Made the plays when they need to. Got a lot of base hits off a really good pitcher. So I’m quite happy with everything. The whole team, just happy with everybody that played.”

Duford started things up for the Tide in the bottom of the first with a double to centerfield. Junior Andie Moreira subsequently reached on an error that allowed Duford to score to make it 1-0. Senior Sarah Taylor followed that up with a single to right, freshman Maggie Taylor doubled to right to bring home Moreira and sophomore Jaylyn Wessling brought Sarah Taylor home on a safety squeeze.

The early cushion gave Wachter some breathing room against an opponent that knows her well; she pitched against Winnacunnet in last June’s championship and players from both teams also played against each other over the summer. Still, Duford said, they know what they need to execute to find success.

“We know what we’re doing, and we know how to pitch them,” Concord’s catcher said. “I think it’s just a confidence knowing that we have a great defense behind us as well.”

Added Wachter: “I know they know me well, but our team knows them well, too. We’ve played them. We’ve battled against them a lot. I feel like we’re really evenly-matched teams,” she said. “I feel like just every game against them we always bring our ‘A’ game which is really good.”

Even though Concord returned a number of players from last year, the Tide still only have 11 players on the roster. That’s made it imperative for everyone to contribute, and on Wednesday, everyone played a part in the narrow victory.

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Concord still has 15 games on its schedule over the next five weeks of the regular season where lots can change, but a win over Winnacunnet certainly leaves behind a positive taste.

“I’m happy with what's going on,” Sawyer said. “We’re going to have to improve. Every team is going to improve as the year goes along, so we gotta do the same, but we’ll get there.”

And when June rolls around and the Tide potentially see the Warriors again in the opposing dugout, they’ll be more than prepared.

“It felt like a playoff game today,” said Duford, who finished the afternoon 2-for-3 at the plate. “That’s super important to have so early in the year when you’re going up against a good team like that. It’s good to get that atmosphere around you early in the year, so you know what it feels like and know what to look forward to going to the playoffs.”