High schools: Hot bats lift MV softball to 3-0 on season

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  • Molly McLaughlin gets congratulated by her Merrimack Valley teammates after blasting a home run against Stevens Saturday, April 13, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley first baseman Molly McLaughlin beats the tag of Stevens catcher Tanner Brown to score their first run in the first inning of a 12-0 win on Saturday, April 13, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley first baseman Molly McLaughlin somehow beats the tag of Stevens catcher Tanner Brown to score their first run in the first inning of a 12-0 win on Saturday, April 13, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley’s Miah Boucher scores a run against Stevens on Saturday, April 13, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 4/13/2019 8:25:05 PM

PENACOOK – It was still morning, it was still the first inning and it was the first pitch of a new season in a new division for the Stevens softball team. But it wasn’t too early for Merrimack Valley’s Miah Boucher to smack it.

“Miah is at leadoff for one reason, because she’s the tone setter for the whole lineup,” MV coach Sam York said. “And when she gets up there and crushes one right away…”

York’s sentence trailed off as he smiled, probably thinking about the three other hits and four more runs that followed Boucher’s leadoff double to straight-away center on Saturday morning. The Pride, again sparked by a hit from Boucher, scored four more in the second inning and finished the 12-0 win with another four runs in the fifth inning, ending things early on the 12-run rule.

“I think batting leadoff, it’s kind of exciting to get to start fresh and see what’s going to happen in the beginning,” Boucher said. “And it’s always great to start off if I can get on base and help the momentum of the game. …That (double) definitely felt good. And I think it carried through because we got a couple more hitters on and started off strong.”

Boucher (2-for-4, two runs) came home on a one-out double down the left-field line from Lauren McLaughlin (2-for-4, three RBI, three runs). Molly McLaughlin (3-for-3, 2 RBI, home run) followed up with a single, and the two McLaughlins came home on a single from Sadie Barton (2-for-3, 2 RBI), who scored on a groundout from Haleigh Boutwell (1-for-2, RBI) to make it 4-0.

While it was the season opener for Stevens, which went 16-3 in D-III last year and made it to the quarterfinals, it was the third game for Merrimack Valley (3-0).

“That’s a huge advantage,” York said. “It was the same thing with Kennett (Friday). They hadn’t been on a field yet because they have 2 feet of snow on their field. So we’ll take it when we can get it.”

It’s a small sample size, but there has been a consistent theme for the Pride through those first three games – offense.

“Our bats have really come alive at the start of the season,” said York, whose team has already plated 35 runs.

They were certainly awake for Saturday’s 11 a.m. start. Boucher opened the second inning by ripping the first pitch she saw for a single, the first of four second-inning hits that would lead to four more runs. The big blow was a two-run home run from Molly McLaughlin that pushed the lead to 8-0.

Barton, MV’s No. 1 pitcher, got the day off in favor of Boutwell, who showed that MV has depth in the circle as well as at the plate. The senior struck out two, walked none and gave up just two hits during her four scoreless innings of work.

“Haleigh just does a good job no matter when we bring her in,” York said. “She spots the ball well and she moves it around a little bit.”

Stevens’ Madison Lapsley (4⅔ innings, 12 hits, 10 earned runs) settled down in the third and fourth innings and kept the game at 8-0.

York made wholesale changes in the fifth inning, bringing players off the bench, rearranging position assignments and changing pitchers, bringing in senior Kinley Gaudette to replace Boutwell. Gaudette walked the first batter she faced, but the MV defense took care of that when Lauren McLaughlin, who was outstanding at shortstop all day, fielded a sharp ground ball, stepped on second and threw to first for the inning-ending double play.

“I liked our depth today,” Boucher said. “We were able to switch up a lot of fielders’ positions and the batting order, and we were still able to keep it up throughout the game. Keep up the momentum and the camaraderie.”

That depth provided the game-ending rally. Sophomore Meghan McGonagle led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and stole second. Freshman Meghan Murray followed with a pinch-hit walk and, after a long out to center by Boucher, Sadie Merrow (two walks, two runs) drew a walk to load the bases. A Stevens error allowed McGonagle and Murray to score, and then Abby Allen came through with a two-out, pinch-hit single to plate Merrow and McLaughlin and end the game.

It’s been a fast start for MV, but even if the team stumbles, York has faith the Pride can handle it.

“The girls have a great attitude,” York said. “Everything has gone well so far, and we’ll see when it doesn’t, but I really have no doubts that when it doesn’t go well, we’ll still be there.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20)

Baseball

Merrimack Valley 6, Stevens 0

Key players: MV – Cal Chevarie (7 IP, W, 8 K, 1 H, 0 BB), Matt Ostrowski (2-for-4, run), Griffin Wheeler (1-for-3, 2 RBI), Caleb Heath (2-for-2, RBI)

Highlights: Chevarie was in control from the start, allowing just one base runner over the seven innings of work. Wheeler got the scoring going with a two-out single in the third. MV plated four more runs in the fourth, highlighted by RBI singles from Josh Planchet and Kyle Dube, bouncing back from Friday’s 13-1 loss to Kennett.

Coach’s quote: “Feels good to get one in the right column. Cal Chevarie and our defense was the story of the day.” – MV’s Sean Wheeler

Records: Merrimack Valley 1-2; Stevens 0-1

Bow 2, Hanover 0

Key players: Bow – Matt Lamy (7 IP, W, 7 K, 0 R, 6 H, 3 BB; RBI), Connor Blandini (1-for-3, run), Steven Guerrette (RBI). Hanover – Joey Perras (6 IP, L, 6 K, 2 R, 2 H; 3 hits)

Highlights: The Marauders had the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, but Lamy, just a freshman, worked out of the jam with a strikeout sandwiched between two ground balls.

Coach's quote: “This was a very intense baseball game from the first inning to the last out. Each team had opportunities to score several times, but solid pitching and defense kept both teams from blowing it open. We played very well, as did Hanover. Great game to be part of.” – Bow’s Ben Forbes

Records: Bow 3-0; Hanover 0-1

Belmont 15, Fall Mountain 0 (5 inn.)

Key players: Belmont – Austin Didsbury (2 IP, 1 K, 0 H, 0 BB; 1-for-1, double, 4 RBI, walk, two runs), Griffin Embree (3 IP, 6K, 0 H, 0 BB), Colby Brown (2-for-4, double, grand slam, 5 RBI, 2 runs, 3 SB), Cam Magerer (1-for-3, triple, HBP, RBI, 2 runs, SB)

Highlights: Embree and Didsbury combined for a five-inning perfect game in this season opener that was shortened by the 10-run rule and the morning half of Belmont’s doubleheader. Didsbury also sparked the offense with an RBI double in the first inning, and Brown hit an inside the park grand slam in the fourth.

Coach’s quote: “Nice to get off on the right foot. We always feel good when Embree is on the mound and he was impressive in his three innings. We feel good because the offensive supplied plenty of insurance for us to pull Griff and keep his pitch count and innings down. As a team we had 13 RBI, 10 stolen bases, and outstanding defense. It’s really nice to see that this early considering we’ve had one outdoor practice.” – Belmont’s Matt LeBlanc

Records: Belmont 1-0; Fall Mountain 0-1

Belmont 15, Berlin 0 (5 inn.)

Key players: Belmont – Brett Auclair (5 IP, W, 4 K, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB), Cam Magerer (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 walks, run, SB), Austin Didsbury (2-for-3, 2 doubles, RBI, 3 runs), Lars Major (2-for-3, triple, RBI, run), Colby Brown (2-for-4, 4 SB, 2 runs, walk), Jason Gaudette (1-for-2, 3 RBI, run)

Highlights: Magerer’s two-run single sparked a five-run first inning for Belmont. The Raiders added four more in the third, highlighted by Major’s triple, and they kept Berlin off the board when third baseman Mike Sprague started a nice 5-4-3 double play.

Coach's quote: “Great way to spend the day, scoring 15 runs in consecutive games. Auclair commanded the strike zone and the defense played error free baseball. Offensively, we kept our foot on the gas pedal, scoring multiple runs in four out of five innings. A great way to start the season.” – Belmont’s Matt LeBlanc

Records: Belmont 2-0; Berlin 0-1

Boys’ Lacrosse

Manchester Central 15,
Pembroke Academy 3

Key players: Pembroke – Austin Wallace (2 G), Kevin LeBlanc (G)

Highlights: The Spartans got down big early in the game were unable to claw their way back.

Coach’s quote: “We have some work to do if we hope to be competitive this year.” – Pembroke’s Matt Dion

Records: Manchester Central 1-0; Pembroke Academy 0-1

Girls’ Lacrosse

Kearsarge 15, Inter-Lakes 3

Key players: Kearsarge – Caroline Camp (4 G, A), Emilie Webster (3 G, A), Ally Wilson (2 G, A), Ellie Camp (G, A), Molli Mayo (2 G), Megan Norris (2 G), Ellie Madigan (G)

Records: Kearsarge 2-0; Inter-Lakes 0-1

Boys’ Track & Field

Belmont second, Winnisquam third

Key players: Belmont – Nick Miles (3rd 400 meters) Zach Ennis (3rd 1,600), Micah Edgren (3rd 300 hurdles), Bryce Hall (2nd high jump ), Jacob Cress (3rd long jump), Eddie Mann (2nd triple jump), Zack Duclos (2nd discus, 3rd shot put), Lucas Mathieu (3rd javelin); Winnisquam – Hunter Hinxman (2nd 200, 3rd 100), Dylan Robert (2nd 800), Kyle Mann (third 800); Franklin (Samuel Tuck 2nd long jump); Hopkinton – Theodore Mollano (4th 3,200)

Highlights: Belmont finished with 81 points on its home track, coming in second to Inter-Lakes by just four points. Winnisquam was third with 59 while Hopkinton (33) was eighth and Franklin (11) was 13th. The Belmont team of Mathieu, Mann, Kyle Whitcomb and Ben Hillsgrove finished first in the 4x100 relay, and the Raiders took second in the 4x400 with Ennis, Nolan Gagnon, Edgren and Miles. Winnisquam’s Riley Mann, Kyle Mann, Robert and Evan Griffin teamed up to win the 4x800 relay, and the Bears were second in the 4x100 relay with the team of Hinxman, Cooper French, Eric Young and Griffin.

Merrimack Valley third, Bow fifth

Key players: MV – David Reynolds (1st 1,600, 1st 3,200), Matthew Reynolds (4th 1,600), Christian Oglesby (4th 400), Dylan Lessard (2nd 300 hurdles, 3rd 110 hurdles), Camden Donovan (3rd high jump); Bow – Demian Kirpal (2nd 1,600 ), Colin Lessard (3rd 3,200), Sam Berube (4th 3,200), Tyler Bennett (2nd pole vault), Riley King (4th pole vault), Lincoln Routhier (3rd triple jump); Pembroke – Harry Army (1st triple jump), Carter Pillsbury (2nd triple jump), Christian Army (4th 110 hurdles, 4th 300 hurdles)

Highlights: Bedford (80 points) finished first at the Pelham Invitational, beating out Sanborn (75), MV (70) and Nashua South (69.5). Bow had 52.5 points for fifth and Pembroke was seventh with 27. MV’s Lessard, Oglesby, Jackson Prive and Cameron Butt were second in the 4x400 relay. Bow’s Demian, Berube, Ben Neff finished first in the 4x800 relay and the Falcons took second in 4x100 relay with the team of Jonathan Routhier, Aiden Westenberg, Bennett and Joe Rychwalski.

Girls’ Track & Field

Belmont second, Hopkinton fourth

Key players: Belmont – Jada Edgren (1st 200), Alice Riley (2nd 1,600), Sana Syed (1st 100 hurdles, 1st 300 hurdles), Kayli Lowe (third high jump), Skylar Ruelke (2nd long jump); Hopkinton – Cailey Stockwell (1st 800, 1st 1,600), Anna O’Reilly (2nd 800) Sydney Stockwell (3rd 800); Winnisquam – Sara Seymuor (2nd shot put), Hannah Blackburn (2nd discus), Jessie Carney (1st javelin)

Highlights: Gilford ran away with the meet in Belmont, finishing with 103 points to beat out the host Raiders (79) and third-place Inter-Lakes (71). Hopkinton (70) just missed out on a top-three result, Winnisquam (27) was eighth and Franklin (four) was 14th. Belmont’s Gabrielle Day, Syed, Ruelke and Edgren were first in the 4x100 relay. Hopkinton’s O’Reilly, Megan Ellsworth, Cailey Stockwell and Sydney Stockwell were first in the 4x400 relay.

Merrimack Valley sixth

Key players: MV – Emma York (2nd 1,600, 5th 800), Sophia Reynolds (1st 3,200); Pembroke – Madison Bennett (5th 100, 5th triple jump), Kassidy Larson (3rd javelin); Bow – Kristina Pizzi (2nd 400)

Highlights: Bedford (154) and Nashua South (114) were the top two teams at the Pelham Invitational. MV wound up sixth with 29 points, while Pembroke was 10th with 13 points and Bow (nine) was 12th. MV’s Madisyn Garrity, York, Cassidy Considine and Theresa Irving were second in the 4x400 relay.


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