Softball tournaments: Gilford powers past Bishop Brady in D-III

  • Gilford’s Jillian LaChapelle connects during a Division III first-round matchup with Bishop Brady at Gilford High School on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.  NIck Stoico / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady’s Halle Laramie swings away during a Division III first-round matchup at Gilford on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.  Nick Stoico / Monitor staff

  • Gilford freshman pitcher Ella Harris deals during a Division III softball first-round game against Bishop Brady on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Nick Stoico / Monitor staff

  • Gilford’s Randi Byars (8) slides home safely with her teammates cheering in the first inning of a Division III softball first-round matchup against Bishop Brady on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Nick Stoico / Monitor staff

  • Gilford’s Kasey Moore drilled a two-run homer over the fence in left in the sixth inning that ultimately won the game for Golden Eagles as they moved past Bishop Brady, 7-5, in the first round of the Division III softball tournament.  Nick Stoico / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 5/31/2018 12:23:54 AM

GILFORD – After chasing a high pitch for strike two in the sixth inning, Kasey Moore looked over to Gilford coach Joan Forge and patted her chest.

“That was me,” she said, communicating to her coach that she knew it was a pitch to leave alone.

With Ella Harris on third, Moore drilled the next pitch over the left-field fence for a two-run homer that led No. 8 Gilford to a 7-5 win over No. 9 Bishop Brady in the first round of the Division III softball tournament Wednesday.

“I have a tendency to chase after the high balls, and I know for a fact that (coach Forge) doesn’t like when I do that,” Moore said. “When I made contact with the ball, there’s this thing called the ‘sweet spot’ and I definitely knew as soon as I hit it.”

Moore went 4-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored to help Gilford (12-5) advance to the quarterfinals, where it will face undefeated No. 1 White Mountains.

Gilford pitcher Ella Harris allowed a leadoff home run to Bishop Brady’s Halle Laramie in the first, but the freshman didn’t let the homer shake her as she held Brady hitless through the next two innings. She finished with seven strikeouts on six hits and one walk along with earning her first playoff win.

“She has composure as a freshman,” Forge said of Harris. “She has the right mindset as a pitcher, and that’s to have composure and let things go. I’ve never seen her rattled. She knows she has a team behind her and she has an offense that can generate runs, so when that run scored she wasn’t worried.”

Laramie, a freshman that’s already a top-two hitter for Brady, hit a second home run in the seventh. It would have tied the game had Moore not cleared the fence in the half inning prior. Instead, Laramie’s solo shot brought the Green Giants within two runs, but Brady couldn’t find any more answers as its next two batters flew out to end the game.

“It’s been the same throughout the season,” Brady coach Freddy Rivera said. “We’ve got a tremendous hitting lineup but we never strung hits together to put up big runs. We have in the past, but in the bigger games we seem to tighten up and just not get that timely hit when we need it.”

Laramie showed off her power at the plate in her freshman season – those two home runs Wednesday brought her season total to 10.

“We have a bright future ahead of us, so I’m excited about that,” Rivera said about the freshmen on his team.

Jillian Lachapelle led off the sixth and gave Gilford a 5-4 lead before Moore added two more runs with her homer. Lachapelle doubled to start the frame, reached third on a wild pitch, and scored on another pitch that sailed over the catcher’s mitt.

The teams were tied, 4-4, after the fifth. Lachapelle walked and came home a double by Ami Rivera. Rivera went on to score on a single by Aniecia Vargas, lifting Brady to a 4-3 lead. Gilford tied it in the bottom half. With the bases loaded and Moore on third, Karly Sanborn hit to shortstop and Moore beat the throw to the plate.

Gilford will face White Mountains on the road Saturday at 4 p.m. The Golden Eagles lost a 5-4 contest when the teams last met May 22.

“That shows how powerful our team is,” Moore said. “I have these girls’ backs just as much as they have mine, and I am so comfortable with this team that I know we can go all the way.”

(Nick Stoico can be reached at nstoico@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickStoico.)SOFTBALL

DIVISION III FIRST ROUND

No. 7 Belmont 10, No. 10 Conant 2

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB; 2-for-4, 2 RBI), Kelly Allen (2 hits), Morgan Hall (2 hits), Lizzie Fleming (2 hits)

Highlights/key moments: Belmont held a 3-2 edge going to the fourth inning and broke away with seven runs on seven hits. The Bears will travel to Litchfield to take on undefeated No. 2 Campbell in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Coach’s quote: “A few stumbles this week and we bounced back well in this game.” – Belmont’ Bill Clary

Records: Belmont 13-4; Conant 9-8

No. 6 Mascenic 1,
No. 11 Winnisquam 0

Key players:Mascenic – Maddie Labrie (no-hitter, 16 K); Winnisquam – Emily Decormier (defense), Aubrey St. Onge (pitching)

Highlights/key moments: Mascenic scored the winning run in the sixth and silenced Winnisquam’s offense. Labrie notched her 500th career strikeout.

Records: Mascenic 16-3; Winnisquam 8-9

No. 1 White Mountains 12,
No. 16 Franklin 0

Highlights/key moments: Franklin came up empty against Division III heavyweight White Mountains in the first round of playoffs.

Records: White Mountains 17-0; Franklin 5-12

DIVISION II FIRST ROUND

No. 11 Merrimack Valley 7,
No. 6 Windham 5

Key players: MV – Sadie Barton (7 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 K, 2 BB), Haleigh Boutwell (3-for-4, double, RBI), Meghan McGonagle (3-for-4, 2 RBI), Sadie Merrow (2-for-4, double, RBI), Molly McLaughlin (2-for-4, RBI), Alani Ramas (RBI single), Miah Boucher (hit), Jadyn Holmes (bunt single)

Highlights/key moments: The Pride erased a three-run deficit in the final inning. Merrow doubled home the first two runs to make it a 5-4 ballgame, and MV took control with consecutive RBI singles by McLaughlin, Boutwell, Ramas and McGonagle. Barton retired the Jaguars in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win. The Pride will travel to No. 3 Pembroke for the quarterfinals on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Coach’s quote: “Outstanding win for this group. They are so resilient. Whether hitting with two strikes or down a few runs, they never hang their heads. They rise to the challenge.” – Merrimack Valley’s Sam York

Records: Merrimack Valley 9-8; Windham 12-6

No. 2 John Stark 5,
No. 15 Portsmouth 3

Key players: Stark – Izzy Nelson (2-for-3, 3 RBI, R; CG, 13 K), Sydney Nelson (2-for-3, RBI, R), Anna Stenger (2-for-3, 2 steals), Haley Philibotte (2-for-3)

Highlights/key moments: The Generals jumped out to an early lead when Nelson drove home Kali Koehmainen and Philibotte in the first inning. Stark sent eight batters to the plate in the fifth to add three insurance runs. The Generals host No. 7 Goffstown in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Records: John Stark 15-2; Portsmouth 5-12

No. 8 Coe-Brown 5,
No. 9 Souhegan 4

Highlights/key moments: The Bears edged the Sabers to advance to a quarterfinal matchup with No. 1 Milford, the undefeated two-time defending champions.

Records: Coe-Brown 12-5; Souhegan 11-6

No. 3 Pembroke 7,
No. 14 Oyster River 2

Highlights/key moments: The Spartans cruised by the Bobcats to advance to the quarterfinals, where Pembroke will host No. 11 Merrimack Valley on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Records: Pembroke 15-2; Oyster River 6-11

DIVISION IV FIRST ROUND

No. 7 Hopkinton 7,
No. 10 Sunapee 2

Key players: Hopkinton – Megan Blanchette (7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 3 K), Gabby Lajeunesse (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI), Megan Kimball-Rhines (2-for-3, double, run, RBI), Brooke Carlson (defense)

Highlights/key moments: The Hawks set the tone with a three-run first inning sparked by a Kimball-Rhines single. Blanchette helped her own cause with an RBI base knock, Alexis Ferns added an RBI groundout and Katie Meserve squeezed home the third run, which proved to be all Hopkinton needed to dethrone the three-time defending champions. The Hawks head to No. 2 Woodsville for the quarterfinals on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Coach’s quote: “I was thrilled with our focus and intensity from everyone (Wednesday). To beat the reigning champs was quite an accomplishment.” – Hopkinton’s Dan Meserve

Records: Hopkinton 11-6; Sunapee 9-8




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