Softball: Hopkinton falls to undefeated Prospect Mountain in semis

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 06-08-2023 10:33 PM

All season long, the Hopkinton High softball team defied its own expectations.

With seven freshmen on the roster and several players in new roles, a run to the semifinals seemed improbable. But the Hawks’ run came to an end in Wednesday night’s Division III semifinal, but it took defending champion Prospect Mountain to take the Hawks down. The top-ranked Timberwolves built an early lead in an 8-1 win over No. 5 Hopkinton at Plymouth State University’s Chase Field.

“I really wasn’t sure how we were going to be and where we were going to end up,” Hopkinton head coach Dan Meserve said. “I thought we’d be .500, to be honest. But the freshmen really stepped up and played well.”

But the typically sharp Hawk defense and clutch fielding wasn’t there on Wednesday, with the first three Prospect Mountain batters all reaching base on errors and eventually scoring to give the Timberwolves a 4-0 lead after the first inning.

Prospect Mountain added three more runs in the third inning, with a Hawk error loading the bases with two outs and a double by the Timberwolves (18-0) plating three more to make it 7-0.

Hopkinton (13-6) scored its lone run in the fifth inning on a wild pitch, but the Hawks stranded nine runners and struck out 12 times.

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Seniors Kyanna Landry and Maddie Carmichael and freshman Annie Morrall had hits for the Hawks.

Junior pitcher Steph Elrick struck out four batters and allowed eight hits and just one earned run in six innings.

“I thought Steph pitched a great game,” Meserve said. “She’s a contact pitcher, so we expected (Prospect Mountain) to put the ball in play. We just didn’t play a great defensive game. We just gave them too many opportunities. We should’ve been out of that (second) inning but couldn’t get out of it.”

Despite the loss, it’s a season that Meserve looks back at fondly with plenty of positive takeaways. He noted that the freshmen played key roles this year and that Elrick, as expected, was “a workhorse in the circle.”

He also pointed out that his team is only the second to hold the Timberwolves to single digits all season. His batters hit 16 homers over the fence, the most of any squad in Meserve’s 17 years coaching at Hopkinton.

“Overall, I’m thrilled,” Meserve said. “It was a great season.”

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