Softball: Wachter leads Concord to semis with win over Goffstown

  • Maddy Wachter stands in the circle ready to throw another pitch during Concord’s game against Goffstown. The Tide won 4-0 on Saturday. MATT PARKER / Monitor staff

  • Kyleigh Gray (left) stands on third base and eyes home plate during Concord’s game against Goffstown. The Tide won 4-0 on Saturday. MATT PARKER / Monitor staff

  • Sarah Taylor hits the ball during Concord’s game against Goffstown. The Tide won 4-0 on Saturday. MATT PARKER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/4/2022 5:45:55 PM

Maddy Wachter readied to throw another pitch.

Concord’s sophomore ace was having a typical day. She had already struck out 10 batters and allowed two hits through five innings – typical, for her.

There’s an unselfishness in her game that allowed for more than just another dominant performance in the circle. It also allowed the Crimson Tide’s offense time to figure things out and they did in their 4-0 win over No. 7 Goffstown (14-7) in Saturday’s quarterfinal win at Memorial Field.

No. 2 Concord (18-1) has had a spoil of riches this season, none taken for granted either. It knows its pitching is strong, its offense is powerful. When one lacks, the other makes up for it.

Enter Wachter.

She faced four batters in the first and struck out the second and fourth. The next two innings she struck out five batters with the sixth taken care of on a pop fly to the outfield. And for Wachter it was just another day at the ball park, playoffs or not.

“I just tried to do my part,” she said. “I keep the same mindset, no matter what. I always want to win and I just want our team to do the best we can.”

Her doing her part allowed the Tide’s offense to figure things out at the plate, and things started to click in the bottom of the third.

Senior outfielder Kyleigh Gray got on base with a single and moved to second after a sacrifice bunt from Olivia Crawford. Sophomore catcher Delaney Duford sent Gray to third with a single and then Gray reached coveted home plate after an RBI single by freshman Andie Moreira for the game’s first run.

Delaney, one of Concord’s more aggressive base runners, stole second during Moreira’s at-bat, and then stole home on a passed ball with Sarah Taylor at the plate for Concord’s second run.

With two runs on the board, the Tide further settled in defensively. Wachter in the fourth struck out two more and in between the two strikeouts was the Grizzlies’ first hit, but a fly out followed it and closed the frame.

Concord scored one more run in each the fourth and fifth innings to build on its lead. Senior first baseman Elizabeth Blinn hit the ball deep into left field for a triple as the Tide’s leadoff hitter in the bottom of the fourth. She was sent home on a sacrifice fly by Brooke Wyatt.

In the fifth inning, Crawford hit an RBI single and sent Delaney home for the de facto game sealer.

“We told them before the game, there’s no seeding anymore,” Concord coach Duke Sawyer said. “It’s the playoffs. Everybody comes to play, they’re going to give everything they’ve got.”

This is the second consecutive season where the Tide have reached the semifinals after a quarterfinal win over Goffstown and both games weren’t easy. Last season’s quarterfinal win against the Grizzlies served as a tone-setter en route toward the state championship game. And while Saturday’s win could serve the same purpose, the Tide have had all the motivation they’ve needed to make it back after losing last year’s title to Salem.

Concord next takes the diamond Wednesday when it travels to DM Field at Plymouth State for the semifinal round. It will play No. 3 Londonderry (19-2) with an expected first pitch at 5 p.m.

Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.

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