Concord, Merrimack Valley, John Stark  and Hopkinton heading to softball semifinals

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  • Teammates surround Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter (middle with mask) after she struck out the final Goffstown batter to preserve the 7-6 win.

  • Teammates surround Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter (middle with mask) after she struck out the final Goffstown batter to preserve the 7-6 win on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord catcher Delany Duford reacts after a Goffstown player was called out for leaving third base early in the top of the seventh inning on Saturday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • The Concord bench erupts as baserunner Sarah Taylor scores in the seventh inning against Goffstown on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021 after a long rain/lightening delay at Memorial Field. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The Concord bench erupts as baserunner Sarah Taylor scores in the seventh inning against Goffstown on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021 after a long rain/lightening delay at Memorial Field. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • LEFT: Goffstown catcher Emily Peterson looks stunned as Concord infielder Sarah Taylor scores in the seventh inning.

  • Concord catcher Delany Duford blocks the plate and tags Goffstown baserunner Samantha Derry in the first inning on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021. Derry was ruled safe by the umpire. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Concord catcher Delany Duford tags Goffstown baserunner Samantha Derry in the first inning on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021. Derry was ruled safe by the umpire. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord outfielder Grace MacDonald slides under the tag of Goffstown second baseman Noelle Simmons at Memorial Field on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord left fielder Alice Rosenberg slides as Goffstown shortstop Lillian Trnka at Memorial Field on Saturday evening, June 5, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord center fielder Kyliegh Gray collides with shortstop Lillian Rienstra at Memoril Field on Saturday, June 5, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/6/2021 3:00:44 PM

Lightning struck twice for the Tide’s softball team on Saturday – the first literal bolt struck in the fifth inning that suspended the quarterfinals game against Goffstown.

After an hour delay, Goffstown scored two runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead over Concord.

Then in the bottom of the inning, lighting struck again on a string of hits by Sarah Taylor, Elizabeth Blinn and Kennedy Ramos that put Tide in the lead 7-5 and on to the win.

In the top of the seventh, Goffstown pulled back within a run on an RBI triple by Noelle Simmons, but Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter fanned the final batter to strand the tying run at third, finishing the complete game win with nine hits, three earned runs and eight strikeouts.

“We didn’t play the cleanest game, but it was definitely the most exciting,” Concord assistant coach Sandy Smith said of the 7-6 victory. “Kudos to Goffstown. They really came to play. We showed a lot by being able to come back every time they scored.”

Concord hoped the storm delay would help Wachter cool off given the heat, but Goffstown came out swinging to take the lead.

“Each time, we answered right at the bottom of the inning,” Smith said.

The Tide’s key players were Ramos, who went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in; Taylor, who went 2-for-3, with two runs scored; Grace MacDonald, who went 2-for-3 with one run scored; Blinn, who went 1-for-2 with one RBI; and Wachter, who went 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI in addition to pitching the entire game.

Concord, 17-2, takes on Merrimack in the semifinals at Memorial Field at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The game will be Concord softball’s 12th trip to the final four in the last 16 seasons.

D-II softball

John Stark 4, Bow 2

Key players: John Stark — Gracie Bolduc went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored 2 runs; Olivia Hargreaves pitched 4⅓ for the win and went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer. Bow — Hannah McGonigle pitched a great game, striking out 8; Lilly Wright (1-3, double, run); Brooke Biehl (2-3, RBI); and Amelia Clark (1-3).

Highlights: John Stark had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth before rain forced a delay. When gameplay resumed, Bow scored a run in the sixth and in the seventh, giving them a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Gracie Bolduc drew a lead-off walk and a Bow error on Lilli Stogners’ infield ground ball put runners on the corners with no outs. Olivia Hargraeves hit the first ball pitched to her deep and over the fence in centerfield, ending the game with a walk-off homerun and punching the teams ticket into the semifinals Wednesday.

Coach’s quote: “It was like playing two games with the rain delay, for sure. Olivia came up big for us today in the circle and at the plate. Hat’s off to Hannah and Bow for the great game they played today as well.” — John Stark’s Gerry Morin

Coach’s quote: “Hannah pitched the best game of her life, and the team played their best game all year. They should be proud of their season, and making a statement in D-II. Good luck to John Stark the rest of the way.” — Bow’s Stacy Boyden

Records: John Stark 10-4; Bow 8-7

Merrimack Valley 9, Kingswood 6

Key players: Merrimack Valley — Kalee Keyser (2-4, 2 runs, HR); Livie Lacasse (4⅔ innings in relief 2-for-4); Emma Steenbeke (2-for-4); (Emily Kelly 2-3, 2 RBI); Arie Perry (2-for-4)

Highlights: Merrimack Valley went up 4-0 after two innings. The Knights come back with five runs in the third to go up 5-4, Livie Lacasse come on to pitch in relief in the third. She scatted four hits and gave up only one for the remaining 4⅓ innings to pick up the win.

Coach’s quote: “Good comeback after being down 5-4 in the top of third inning. Livie did a great job in relief shutting down the Knights, while the Valley bats got kicking to put up four runs in the bottom of the third to take the lead back 8-5. Good W. ... Now on to the final four!” — Kevin O’Brien

Oyster River 1, Pembroke 0

Key players: Pembroke — Eliza Carignan pitched 11 innings of work on the mound, 6 K’s and went 2-for-5 at the plate; Charlotte Corbit (4-5); and Bridget Mercier (2-4).

Highlights: There were 11 innings of well-played softball between the two teams. Pembroke escaped three bases, loaded jams to keep their momentum going. One run was going to win the ball game.

Coach’s quote: “Hard fought battle from both teams. Stellar defensive plays to escape jams. Pitchers duel on the mound. Couldn’t have asked for a better D-II playoff game.” — Ashley Gladu

D-III softball

Hopkinton 3, Mascenic 2

Key players: Hopkinton — Megan Kimball-Rhines (8IP, zero earned runs, 3 hits, 14 strikeouts); Keegan St. Cyr (3-for-4, 3B, 2 runs, including game winner); Maddy Follansbee (1-3, 2B); Kally Murdough (1-4, RBI.)

Highlights: After spotting Mascenic two unearned runs early, the Hawks scored single runs in the 3rd and 5th to tie it. They won in walkoff fashion in the bottom of the 8th – Keegan St. Cyr walked and stole second, advanced to third on an infield hit, and scored on a headfirst slide to beat the throw on a passed ball. It rescued the Hawks, who stranded 13 runners on base. MKR was on fire in the circle, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 14 in 8 innings.

Coach’s quote: “I was getting worried as we weren’t cashing in on opportunities, but MKR kept mowing them down and Keegan made things happen. Hats off to Mascenic - just a scrappy team there!” — Dan Meserve

Records: Hopkinton 12-2; Mascenic 12-3

D-II Baseball

John Stark 16, ConVal 6

Key players: John Stark — Brady Philibotte (3-for-4, 2B, 2RBI); Austin Hazzard (3-for-4, 2B, 3B, 3RBI); Jason Crean (2-3, RBI); Ben MeKean, (triple); Alex Moore, (W, 4IP); Nathan Innerfield, (2IP, 1h, 2 strikeouts).

Highlights: After a scoreless first inning, the Stark bats came alive and were helped by some key Cougar errors, to cruise to the 16-6 run rule win in the quarterfinals.

Coach’s quote: “Playing back to back days, and coming off the big win over undefeated Hanover on Friday, we were a tad sluggish to start, but our bats got rolling and we played some good defense today. Very proud of our boys making their second consecutive final four.” — Dennis Pelletier

Records: John Stark 12-3; ConVal 2-12

John Stark 4, Hanover 3 (Friday game)

Key players: John Stark — Austin Hazzard (7IP, 2HR, 4H, 1BB, 10 strikeouts and 1-3 at the plate with one RBI); Brady Philibotte (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI); Alex Moore, (2-4, 2R, SB).

Highlights: The Generals rallied with 3 runs in the 5th highlighted by Philibotte’s 2-run double that flipped a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Hazzard was lights out the rest of the way for John Stark.

Coach’s quote: “We knew we would be in for a battle playing the only undefeated team in D-II so we grinded the whole game and our senior leaders were huge in crucial moments. Very proud of this team. They’ve stuck together very well!” — Dennis Pelletier

Records: John Stark 11-3; Hanover 13-1

D-III Boys’ Lacrosse

Hopkinton 17,
Hillsboro-Deering 0

Key players: Hopkinton — Sam Brown (6 goals, 3 assists); Ryan Brown (5 goals, 2 assists); Aidan Burns (2 goals, 1 assist, 6 GB, 7/8 FO); Preston Hall (1 goal, 2 assists); Hayden Lynch (1 goal, 1 assist); Patrick Buss (2 assists, 4 GB); Spencer Burdette (2 assists); Steven Newton-Delgado (1 assist, great defense, 5 GB, 5 caused turnovers); Vince Waddell (1 assist, great defense, 5 GB, 1 caused turnover); Danny Lee (11 saves).

Highlights: The Hawks played tough defense, sparking fast breaks and scoring at the other end. They made it 11-0 at half and possessed well throughout to keep the Hillcats from scoring. Hillsboro-Deering fought hard in transition and on defense to challenge the Hawks and finish their season strong.

Coach’s quote: “We continue to play unselfish Lacrosse by passing the ball, moving as a team, and working hard. Danny Lee stood on his head in net today for a convincing first career shutout. We really had a team win, with all players cycling in for most of the game, and all nonstarters getting some groundballs and goals. Congrats to H-D on a solid first season, we love to see the sport growing at the local level!” — Hopkinton head coach Deacon Blue

Records: Hopkinton 10-4; Hillsboro-Deering 0-11

D-III Girls’ Lacrosse

Hopkinton 23, Laconia 9

Key players: Hopkinton — Rose Finlayson (5 goals); Sarah Chodosh (3 goals, 1 assist); Meg Haley (4 goals); Annie Higginbotham (3 goals, 1 assist); Hannah Hoyt (3 goals, 2 assists); Katie Brown (4 goals, 1 assist); Katelyn Bouchard (1 goal); Lauren Graham (1 goal); Ana Miller (4 saves on 13 shots); Francie Trafton excellent defense. Laconia — Daly (4 goals)

Highlights: Storm delay of an hour. Hawks had a 10-goal lead lead going into halftime.

Coach’s quote: “The Hopkinton Lady Laxers showed up today with such great excitement for a semifinal. It definitely helped to have home field advantage. Every single girl on the team was determined to get to the final game on Tuesday that they started the game with a fury and continued the intensity of playing in a semifinal all game long. Coach Bob Howe is a great guy and great coach, who even though ending with a lopsided score was very gracious to my players by telling them all how good they were. I want to thank coach Howe for that, such a sincere guy.” — Hopkinton head coach Mike Zahn




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