FOXBORO, Mass. – It had been a difficult day at the plate for Foxboro. The Warriors left seven runners on base through the opening five innings of Monday afternoon’s Davenport division title showdown with Oliver Ames, and all but one of those runners was in scoring position.
After a couple of singles and a stolen base, Foxboro had runners at second and third with nobody out in the sixth, trying to rally from a 1-0 deficit. A strikeout and a pop up to second later and the Warriors were in danger of wasting yet another great scoring opportunity.
Up stepped No. 9 hitter Autumn Stowell. The sophomore first baseman delivered the biggest hit of the season, lining a single to center to bring in a pair of runs. Foxboro worked around a two-out hit in the top of the seventh, pulling out a 2-1 come-from-behind win that leaves the two teams tied atop the division standings with one league game remaining.
“The bottom of our order has really been delivering for us, so I have a lot of faith in them,” said Foxboro coach Mark Maguire. “I always tell Autumn to spin the top and that’s what she did with a beautiful hit. The first batter of the game scored for them and then we locked it down. We’re really coming together.”
OA grabbed the lead in its first at-bat. Maddie Homer led off the game by beating out a bunt single and then stealing second. Devon Morris moved Homer over to third with a ground out to second and Emily Martin followed with a fly ball to center that was plenty deep enough for Homer to speed home with the opening run.
Foxboro nearly answered right back in the bottom of the first. Natalia Leach beat out and infield single and freshman Meghan Kelley ripped a single off the glove of first baseman Samantha Johnson and up the right field line. After Kelley stole second, the Warriors had two in scoring position with just one out. Katie Melendy, as she would almost all game, escaped unscathed, inducing a pop up to short and getting her first strikeout of the day.
The Tigers went back to small-ball in the second with Caitlin Miller dropping one down and beating the throw. She also stole second and took third on a sac bunt from Madison Monteiro, but Vittoria Cuscia got a grounder to second to end the threat. Cuscia started the Foxboro half of the inning with a single and Jillian Slattery followed with one of her own. With runners at second and third and no outs, Melendy got back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to end the inning.
In the third, Kelley lined a double over the head of Miller in center and was aggressive on a ball in the dirt to steal third. OA elected to throw down on a first-and-third steal attempt and Katherine Farley threw a strike to get the runner for the second out. Melendy ended the inning with her fourth strikeout.
“Our defense plays really well in high-pressure situations,” said OA coach Lindsey Allison. “We practice it all the time, runners on second and third, runners on second, just kind of holding it. Sometimes I’ll go out there and say, this is what you do for a living. They don’t really get rattled and I was really impressed they were able to do that again.”
She added, “I felt like we deflated their balloon quite a few times on defense but they didn’t die. They stayed hungry and they stayed in the game the whole way.”
OA’s best chance to extend the lead came in the fourth. Melendy lined a single to right center and Miller drew a walk. They moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Cuscia struck out Farley for the first out and Slattery made a nice basket catch on a line drive by Monteiro. Freshman third baseman Mia Flanagan stayed composed on a long throw across the diamond to end the inning.
“Maybe I should’ve stayed with the small-ball a little bit but you just never know,” Allison said about her team’s approach at the plate. “They were getting inside pitch after inside pitch and they were just having trouble getting around on it. She (Cuscia) found what worked and we couldn’t make the adjustments.”
Emma Callahan led off the fifth with a single, advanced to second on a sac bunt by Leach and third on a grounder to the right side from Kelley, but with two outs Miller made a good running catch in the gap on Flanagan’s liner to keep Foxboro off the board.
Foxboro had been frustrated about not cashing in on its many chances, but the Warriors were still only down a run in the sixth. After Cuscia got through the only clean inning of the game (getting a strikeout, a pop up to short, and a fly ball to center), Ava Hill got them started with a leadoff single in the bottom half. Cuscia followed with a single to right, sending Hill to third, and then stole second.
The energy was sky high on the Foxboro bench, but Melendy seemed unfazed as she got a strikeout and a fly ball to second. Maguire trusted that the bottom of the order could come up with a clutch hit and Stowell paid off that faith by lining a single to center. Hill scored easily and Cuscia came flying around third with the go-ahead run.
OA had one more chance to keep the game alive. Monteiro started the seventh with a soft liner to the right side. Callahan got a great jump from second base and laid out to make the diving grab. Cuscia got her fifth strikeout of the day and, after Miller gave OA brief hope with an infield single, Slattery hauled in a fly ball in center to seal the win.
Maguire said, “I just told the girls right now, if Emma doesn’t make that diving play then it could be a whole different outcome. You saw how pumped up she was when she made that play. It picks teams up when they know their teammates are going to lay out for them.”
Despite the loss, OA can still clinch at least a share of the title in its final league game. It would be the first title for the Tigers since 2014 and Allison talked about what that would mean to the players.
“These seniors have been through a lot,” she explained. “Even the kids, they’re playing this year for the seniors to get them to another tournament. It’s a tough loss. We stay sad tonight and we get up and we go to work tomorrow.”
The Warriors can also clinch at least a share of the league title with a win in their Hock finale, which would end a 51-year drought.
“It means everything,” Maguire said. “We set goals at the beginning of the year and that’s one of them. We have 13 girls in our program but they’re 13 quality kids that bring it every day. They’re going to be pumped…and I’m going to be pumped.”
Foxboro (8-10, 8-7) has a rematch with Newton South on Tuesday and then travels to North Attleboro on Thursday. Oliver Ames (9-10, 8-7) faces North Attleboro in its final game of the regular season on Wednesday.
2022 Record: 15-7 2022 Finish: Reach Div. 1 Sweet Sixteen Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro is hoping a mix of experienced veterans and skilled newcomers will keep the squad playing competitively in the best league in the state, and more specifically maybe the most talented division across any sport in the league.
Senior Lily Routhier returns to the circle after going 8-2 last season, striking out 47 with a 2.24 ERA during the regular season. Routhier will likely see an increase in innings with the graduation of Lindsey Perry (69 innings), and she’s also one of the best offensive weapons in the league after posting a 0.510 average (fourth in the Hock) with 41 hits and 45 RBI. There are a lot of weapons in the lineup back with senior captains Rylie Camacho (0.410) and Lauren Eby (0.490) leading the way, and senior Sarah Maher, fresh off a 36-hit, 22-RBI regular season, will take over in center field and set the table offensively from the leadoff spot. Paige Quaglia, Merry Bosh, Lilly McGilvray, Jenna Callahan, and Nina Sullivan are all in the mix to get some time in the outfield and provide offensive depth.
In the infield, there are some newcomers looking to find a spot in the lineup. Maddie Moran and Victoria Parent are in the mix for time at third base while Emily Eby, who had an impressive freshman campaign with 20 hits, will play at second base. Destiny Miranda is also competing for time behind the dish while Ari Amaral will continue to be a force with her bat in the lineup.
“Things will not change for us as far as offense and defense, and we will work to be consistent and continue to improve as the season goes on,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Homer. “We want to be at our best when the competition calls for it and find positives in all adversity that we will face during the season. We want to continue the success we had as a team last season and improve. Every game will be a challenge for us.”
2022 Record: 4-16 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Sandy Lombardi
With seven returning players, Canton coach Sandy Lombardi is confident that the Bulldogs can make a jump in her second year in charge. Playoff contention is the aim for a team that won only four games in 2022 but also lost four games by four runs or less, including a pair by just one run.
Junior first baseman and pitcher Jess Wright was the team’s MVP last season and she returns to the heart of the lineup along with senior catcher Olivia Mackwell. The pair combined for 48 hits and 30 RBI last season, so will be important pieces in the heart of the order. Also returning for the Bulldogs are junior shortstop Laura Valkanas, sophomore infielder Chloe Guerschuny, and an outfield of junior Anna Lehan and sophomores Klara Redquest and Kailyn Durham. Senior Abby Chin carries an injury into the season but Canton will hope that she can return to contribute.
Canton is hoping that a group of newcomers will add the depth it needs to compete over a long season. Junior Alexa Gordon and freshman Shaelyn Murphy can both step into the circle to give the Bulldogs big innings. Freshmen Abby Stock and Caitlin Reynolds and junior Sami Grady can all fill spots in the infield and junior Kaitlyn Bigham is a versatile player off the bench.
“We have a great mix of returning varsity players and new varsity players,” Lombardi said. “We are looking to improve on our record from last year and to qualify for the tournament.”
2022 Record: 12-10 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 3 Sweet Sixteen Coach: Mark Maguire
It has been over 51 years since Foxboro last won a softball league title, but with experienced pitchers and a versatile lineup of players who can fill in at multiple positions, this might be the season that the Warriors can finally come out on top.
Pitching depth should be a strength for the Warriors this season. Sophomore Vittoria Cuscia was a league all-star after being Foxboro’s ace last year and classmate Emma Callahan was an all-star as an eighth grader. Despite their youth, both pitchers have already won games in the postseason. Both players will also fill in at third base. Sophomore Ava Hill, who is already entering her third season on varsity, will move from first to behind the plate.
The Warriors should be athletic this year. Freshman Meghan Kelley will get the start at short, the latest in a line of talented underclassmen to step into that position, and will bat third. Freshman Mia Flanagan and sophomore Autumn Stowell can each play second base, while junior Angelina Rifai, sophomore Natalia Leach, and Stowell will get time at first. The outfield is experienced with all three starters returning. In left is Leach, while sophomore Jillian Slattery is back in center, and junior Fiona Dunn will be in right. All three will also be in the middle of the order for the Warriors. Freshman Emma Fisler will get chances to contribute in multiple positions.
“Our strengths are our young, tough pitchers,” said Foxboro coach Mark Maguire. “We are very athletic in the outfield and we have pretty good team speed. Although we are a young team, mostly freshman and sophomores, this group has been ‘battle tested’ the last couple of years playing significant games in the Hockomock League and state tournaments.”
2022 Record: 11-10 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Breanna Shaffer
Last season, Franklin won nine games in the league, but was only able to take fourth in the Kelley-Rex division. This year, the addition of North Attleboro makes the division even deeper, but the Panthers will turn to King Philip alum, and two-time state champion, Breanna Shaffer and lean on an experienced lineup to try and make a push up the standings.
The Panthers will have plenty of pitching depth this year. Senior Kiera Kotwicki returns in the circle and has the experience of battling the top teams in the league. Senior Caroline Bruso and freshman Sophia Scaramone will also get their chances to toe the rubber. Senior catcher Hailey Fales will guide the pitching staff as well as being a big bat in the heart of the Franklin lineup.
Junior Carly Johnson-Pellegri is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign and returns at short. Senior Katy Liberman is back at third base, while sophomore Sarah Boozang takes over at first base and junior Katie Dowley will be at second. Seniors Reece Allen and Dana Stott are back as starting outfielders and classmate Avery Chalk will step into the outfield as well.
“This group of seniors work hard and lead by example every day,” said Shaffer, who previously coached JV at Canton and Sharon. “The leadership and experience that they bring to this team will leave such a positive impact on this program. I am excited to see what this team will accomplish this season!”
2022 Record: 22-3 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Quarterfinal (Kelley-Rex champion) Coach: Kate Fallon-Comeau
King Philip comes into every season with state title aspirations. This spring, the Warriors have added motivation, as the defending Kelley-Rex division champions watched rival Taunton, who KP beat twice in the regular season, go all the way for the second year in a row. The league seems as competitive as ever, but the Warriors return a strong core that looks ready to make a run at another title.
There is plenty of experience and leadership coming back this season. Junior Jordan Bennett will be in the circle for the third year in a row and has developed into an ace who can be relied upon against even the strongest lineups. Freshman McCoy Walsh and junior Taylor Regan will add depth to the pitching staff and can eat up some innings. Junior Maddie Paschke will be behind the dish to work with the pitchers.
Seniors Charlotte Raymond and Sarah Cullen will both patrol the outfield this season, while classmate Ava Lanza will be at third. Sophomore Liv Petrillo returns to the left side of the infield while senior Libby Walsh is back in the mix this season. Junior Ava Kelley had a big season at the plate in 2022 and she returns to take the third outfield spot.
“We’re looking forward to another exciting season and competing in one of the best and most respected leagues in the state,” said KP coach Kate Fallon-Comeau.
2022 Record: 10-12 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Sweet Sixteen Coach: Lori Letendre
Mansfield finished 4-2 in non-league play a season ago and reached the Div. 2 Sweet Sixteen. This year, the Hornets will play in the Davenport division for the first time and could benefit from not having two games apiece against perennial powers like Taunton, King Philip, and North Attleboro. With a roster that is still relatively young, only two seniors and nine freshmen, Mansfield will hope that being battle-tested in 2022 could help in a fight for a league title in 2023.
The Hornets graduated seven seniors, including five starters, from last year’s team, so there will be a lot of new faces in the lineup, but a talented group of juniors will provide leadership for the younger players. Junior Callie Lake was a spark plug for the Mansfield offense last season and a strong defensive center fielder. Junior Live Madeira returns at shortstop, giving the Hornets another good glove and tough out, while classmate Jill Koppy controls the game from behind the plate and fellow junior Molly Kucharski will start again at second.
Senior Amanda Schwarz will be the starting pitcher for the Hornets at the beginning of the season after sharing time with Julia Kelly last year. Mansfield will have plenty of depth in the circle this spring, as freshmen Molly Crowley and Dani Jameson can also step in and give them important innings.
Mansfield coach Lori Letendre said, “We have a lot of new players on the team this year and will be looking for leadership from our captains and returning starters. They are a talented group and I am starting to see the chemistry that will bring us together as a team. It should be a fun season!”
2022 Record: 3-17 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Steve Divitto
With a young squad last season, Milford struggled through some growing pains during the spring of 2022. After only graduating a pair of seniors from the roster, the Scarlet Hawks are looking to compete against one of the most talented leagues in the state and make a push for the postseason.
Milford is still young as they don’t have any seniors on the roster this year but the majority of the players on the team have one or two years of experience already. There is a group of seven juniors that include catcher Maddie Burn, first baseman Camille Bonina, middle infielder Grace Bonina, pitcher/shortstop Maeve Driscoll (who can also play in the outfield), outfielder Olivia Luchini, who is back from injury, infielder/outfielder Maeve Williams, and outfielder Sarah Wengal. Head coach Steve DiVitto will be leaning on their experience and leadership to guide a young squad.
Cae Pellegrini, Jianna Fernandes, and Olivia Baglione emerged as key contributors as freshmen last year and are looking to take the next step this time out. Pellegrini returns to third base, Fernandes will patrol the outfield, and Baglione is back at shortstop. A group of freshmen featuring Ava Baglione, Angelina Bonina, Katelyn Kearnan, and Isabella Loscerbo will look to make an impact right away. In the circle, Driscoll will look to pick up where she left off last year before being derailed by injury, with freshman Angelina Bonina in line to get some innings as well.
“With no seniors this year, we will be looking to our juniors and returners as leaders,” DiVitto said. “While still considered young, the vast amount of game experience that our players have had makes us a veteran team. No more excuses; we are ready to compete in the best league in Massachusetts. The girls are ready to get on the field.”
2022 Record: 17-7 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Final Four (Davenport champion) Coach: Bill Wallace
After three straight Davenport titles, which was the first three-peat in program history, and reaching the Div. 2 Final Four for the first time last season, North Attleboro returns to the ultra-competitive Kelley-Rex division with a lineup that features a lot of new faces and a lot of underclassmen. The Rocketeers still expect to be right in the title mix and make another run in the tournament.
Pitching will be the key for North this season. Reigning league MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Kelly Colleran will be back in the circle as the team’s main starter. Colleran was dominant last year, both as a pitcher and a hitter, and will have big expectations this spring. Sophomore Arianna McDavitt got a couple of starts last year and freshman Grace Forman can step in to eat some innings as well. Sophomore Maryellen Charette will be behind the plate for North after a solid freshman campaign.
Colleran and McDavitt will also play short when not pitching. Senior Maddie Bailey and sophomore Mary Rogers will play second and freshmen Lucy Palmer (first base) and Molly Willey (third base) will take over at the corners. Sophomore Emily Tucker gives North versatility off the bench. The outfield will be relatively experienced, as seniors Emma Hanwell and Grace Simmons will be in center and right. Senior Julia Forman and her sister Grace can play multiple positions.
“If our hitting continues to improve, we should be a dangerous team,” said North coach Bill Wallace. “We will continue to work on defense and hitting but team chemistry and leadership will give us the opportunity to continue to grow as a team. I really enjoy coaching this group.”
2022 Record: 7-14 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32 Coach: Lindsey Allison
Oliver Ames didn’t graduate a single player from last season and the Tigers will be aiming for another playoff appearance and to make a run at their first league title since 2014. The Tigers should be solid defensively and have a lineup able to manufacture runs and they will hope to build on last year’s postseason experience.
Pitching is always critical and senior Katie Melendy returns for her third year in the circle. After a strong offseason, Melendy could be ready for a breakout year after putting up a 2.03 ERA last spring. Senior shortstop Maddie Homer and senior center fielder Caitlin Miller give OA a strong spine and junior catcher Katharine Farley brings her cannon of an arm back behind the plate.
Juniors Madison Monteiro, Paige Taylor, Sammy Johnson, and Skylar Dearborn are all back for the Tigers, while sophomores Emily Martin and Devon Morris round out the infield after solid freshman campaigns. Junior Crystaliah Covel and sophomore Ava Tracia are newcomers who will add versatility to the OA roster.
“It has been a really smooth transition into the season in order to get game-ready,” said OA coach Lindsey Allison. “We are looking forward to a great season and continuing to build on last year’s successes. In practices, the defense has been really solid, as they are all used to each other mostly from last season. Katie Melendy has put in a lot of work in the offseason, and we are looking forward to seeing her build on her success from last year with support from the power and speed of the OA lineup.”
2022 Record: 2-16 2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Heather Poliferno
Sharon swept a season series with Duxbury last year, but struggled in Hockomock play, scoring only 13 runs in the 16 league games. The Eagles will go into this season hoping to pull some surprises and, with a roster that includes eight freshmen and sophomores, build some momentum for the future as well.
Ally Foulsham will get the call in the circle this season. The senior has worked this offseason to finetune her pitches and Sharon coach Heather Poliferno is hoping for big things from her captain both as a pitcher and in the middle of the lineup. Senior Natalie Kessler also returns for the Eagles. After spending 2022 in a utility role, playing multiple positions, Kessler will start in center this season.
Junior Natalie David will be moving from the outfield to first base this spring and is another hitter that the Eagles will be counting on to try and improve their offensive output. Junior Maddie Hu will be at shortstop, using her speed to cover a lot of ground in the field and causing havoc on the base paths.
Poliferno said, “Every year, we go into the season with the mentality of ‘why not us?’ We will be going into every game this season with that thought.”
2022 Record: 11-10 2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32 Coach: Laura Whittaker
Stoughton heads into the spring with a new coach, as Laura Whittaker takes over in the dugout. The expectations will remain high for a team hoping to challenge for the Davenport division title, which would be its first league title since 2005, and to make a run in the Div. 2 tournament.
The Black Knights will have a lot of returning talent to lean on this season. Senior Kerry Driscoll will be back in the circle, after an 11-8 season, and also in the heart of the order here she was the team’s leading hitter in 2022. Senior Camryn Whitman returns at shortstop with junior Alyssa Edwards next to her at third. Both players provide leadership and swing big bats to add to a potent lineup. Junior Julie Powers gives the Black Knights a lot of stability from behind the plate.
Juniors Leila Alaoui (second base) and Maddie Hinds (first base) round out an experienced, tested infield. Sophomores Caitlin Driscoll and Angelina Berry and newcomers Anna Hobbs and Lauren Price will give Stoughton plenty of speed in the outfield and some big arms to slow down runners. Julia Monaghan, Emersyn Grover, and Megan McGowan add depth and consistency to the lineup, while Alyssa Antonino, Grace Weisenberger, and Isabella Kuznitz give Whittaker a lot of versatility off the bench.
2022 Record: 21-4 2022 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship Coach: Michelle Raposo
The two-time defending Div. 1 state champions have a new coach this season, as Michelle Raposo, a starter on the Taunton teams that won titles in 2002 and 2003, takes over the Tigers this spring. Taunton looks poised to make a run at a three-peat with the return of six starters and the addition of one of the state’s top pitching prospects.
Pitching is always the place to start when thinking about a team’s state title qualifications and the Tigers will bring back sophomore Cate Larson, who was part of a pitching duo that helped Taunton win it all in 2022. In addition, junior lefty Sam Lincoln is back after a year away from the program and the Texas Tech commit would be a boost to any team’s staff. Senior Kaysie DeMoura is back behind the plate after a breakout season and her leadership and ability to work with both pitchers will be critical.
There is plenty of experience on Taunton’s roster. Senior Ava Venturelli had a standout season in 2022 and the Louisville commit is back in the outfield this year. Senior Kyleah Plumb is the spark plug at the top of the order, senior first baseman Hayley Krockta added power in the heart of the order, and senior Mia Fernandes will return at second base. Sophomore Brooke Aldrich returns at short following her solid freshman season. Eighth-grader Bella Bourque will take over at third and freshman Mia Torres will start in the outfield. Senior transfer Morgan Fitzgerald and Molly Carnes will give the Tigers extra depth in the outfield as well.
“The team chemistry these 15 girls have in such a short amount of time is remarkable,” Raposo said. “Not only do these girls have chemistry, they all have talent and determination to work hard and get better every day. I am excited to see where this season takes us as my first year taking over as head coach.”
2021 Record: 9-7 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Mark Homer
Last spring, Attleboro was an inning away from upsetting crosstown rival Bishop Feehan and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. The Bombardiers were also the only team to score on state champ Taunton. That is a good foundation to build on coming into a new season, as Attleboro brings back a strong core of players looking to challenge the top two in the Kelley-Rex and make another state tournament push.
Senior Lindsey Perry, who can also play second base, will be in the circle for the Bombardiers to start the season and will be throwing to sophomore Rylie Camacho, who had an impressive debut campaign at the plate and in the field. Senior Hailey Perry is coming back from a knee injury but should be at shortstop early in the season. Attleboro added pitching depth this season with junior Lily Routhier transferring in from Wheelock School (R.I.). Routhier will also play center field when she’s not pitching.
Sophomore Kayla Goldrick is another player coming off a standout rookie season and she will be at third and in the middle of the order. Junior Lauren Eby will return at the other corner and junior Sarah Maher gives Attleboro versatility by being able to play multiple positions. The Bombardiers have a balanced lineup and will be able to incorporate new faces to the program and players pulled up from JV to find the right combinations.
“The team’s goal is to stay competitive for every practice and game, and qualify for states,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We must be consistent in every aspect of the game. It’s always a tall order, but this team has the potential and determination to make it happen. We’re gonna have fun doing it.”
2021 Record: 5-11 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Sandy Lombardi
Canton returns seven players from last year’s team, which went on the road to beat Cardinal Spellman in the first round of the state tournament. After Dave Bohane stepped down, Sharon girls basketball coach and former Duxbury softball coach Sandy Lombardi has taken over the Bulldogs hoping to take the mix of experience and new talent on another trip to the postseason.
The Bulldogs will have depth in the circle this season with seniors Gillian Gordon and Sophia Santos bringing experience to the position and sophomore Jess Wright adding another option. Senior Taylor Reynolds brings a strong bat to the top of the order and will play in left field. Senior Emily Ciampa will return at second base, with Wright playing mostly at first, and junior Olivia Mackwell behind the plate. Sophomore Laura Valkanas will be at shortstop.
Freshman Chloe Guerschuny is a new face at third base and classmate Klara Redquest will take over from Liz Bickett in center. Senior Jessica Vo, junior Sam Vrabel, and sophomore Anna Lehan are all newcomers on varsity who will give Canton additional options in the outfield and in the lineup.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Lombardi said, “We have a good mix of upper and underclassmen. The girls are working hard and we are looking forward to competing in a tough Hockomock League.”
2021 Record: 11-6 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Mark Maguire
With two eighth graders in the starting lineup, including one in the circle, no one was quite sure how good Foxboro could be last spring. As it turned out, the Warriors were good enough to make a run all the way to the Div. 2 South quarterfinal. With additional pitching depth and critical varsity experience, Foxboro will try to build on that momentum and make another deep tournament run.
Senior Peyton Feldman was one of the top hitters in the league last season and she will be moving to shortstop while continuing to lead off. Senior Allie Willis will add leadership from the catcher position, as she is in her third year behind the plate. Her experience is critical when working with Foxboro’s young pitching staff. Freshman Emma Callahan had a breakout season as the starter last year and she will get the chance to play some second and third base as well to make sure her bat stays in the lineup. Freshman Vittoria Cuscia and sophomore lefty Angelina Rifai will give Foxboro more options in the circle.
Foxboro will have plenty of speed in the lineup this season. Freshman Jillian Slattery and Natalia Leach are athletic outfielders and will add production from the bottom half of the order. Freshman Ava Hill is back to start at first base after a solid eighth grade season and Fiona Dunn will get the start in right field.
“We are a young team that is looking to compete for the Davenport division,” said Foxboro coach Mark Maguire. “We have some very good athletes that look to take their softball skills to the next level. They are a group of kids who are a pleasure to coach.”
2021 Record: 6-9 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Katie Holbrook
Last season, Franklin showed that it could score runs in bunches, hitting double digits in five of its 15 games, but the Panthers could also allow runs in bunches with teams reaching double digits six times. With seven returning players, second-year coach Katie Holbrook is hoping that experience and depth will carry the Panthers back up the standings and into the postseason.
Franklin will have depth in the circle this season with senior Aislinn Lavery taking the bulk of the innings and junior Kiera Kotwicki able to step in when needed. Both will mix pitches and keep teams off-balance. Junior Hailey Fales will be back behind the plate, adding another layer of experience to the pitching staff. Senior Julia White battled an injury all spring in 2021 but she is back healthy and back in the middle of the infield and the order. Junior Georgia Harvey is a versatile player who can fill in at multiple positions and batted 0.426 as a sophomore.
Sophomore Carly Johnson-Pellegri had an impressive rookie season and will be moving from second to short and senior Hannah Cacciapaglia is back at first, and in the middle of the order, after recovering from an injury that kept her out all of last spring. The outfield looks strong for the Panthers this season. Senior Kelly Moussa has a strong arm in right and juniors Reece Allen and Dana Stott are two newcomers that could play big roles for the team this season.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
“We have a lot of different players who can jump in and be the spark at any given moment,” Holbrook said. “There are a lot of new players in the mix, but they are already showing signs of coming together as a team and leadership is not lacking in this group. If they can remain poised and confident and play their game, we should do well this season.”
2021 Record: 14-3 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal Coach: Kate Fallon-Comeau
King Philip lost only three games last season and all of those were to league and state champion Taunton. The Warriors bring back a lot of players from last season and that has put high expectations on one of the state’s perennial powers to get back on top not only in the Kelley-Rex division but also once the tournament kicks off.
A year of varsity experience might be most beneficial in the circle where senior Emma Sheehan and sophomore Jordan Bennett give the Warriors a lot of depth for a long season. Both saw plenty of action last year, including in the playoffs and they should be ready for the challenge of the new season. Junior Sarah Cullen will also be back behind the plate for the Warriors after an impressive debut season in which she batted nearly .500.
Infield defense was a strength for the Warriors, even after an injury to junior shortstop Libby Walsh. Senior Mia Bennett returns at second base and sophomore Maddie Paschke will be back at third base, after an impressive playoff run at the hot corner. Senior Meg Sherwood will add leadership in the outfield, while juniors Charlotte Raymond and Ava Lanza provide a spark in the lineup.
KP coach Kate Fallon-Comeau said, “We’re hoping to have a solid season, make the tournament, and see where it goes from there!”
2021 Record: 9-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Lori Letendre
Mansfield made a surprising run to the quarterfinal of the South sectional last spring, winning at Needham and at No. 2 seed Natick before falling to perennial power Silver Lake. With seven starters returning, the Hornets will be aiming at another tournament run this year and building the confidence that they can challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex.
Pitching will be a question mark for Mansfield this year after graduating last year’s starter Ashlyn Conley. Senior Julia Kelly, better known for her exploits on the volleyball court, will join the team for the first time in her career and will get the chance in the circle. Junior Amanda Schwarz will also be given time in the circle, as she makes the jump up from JV.
The lineup was young and inexperienced last season, but still proved to be dynamic and most of the players who came through with big at-bats have returned. Seniors Alanna Conley, Olivia DeTrolio, and Casey Moussette are all back along with sophomores Molly Kucharski, Callie Lake, Jill Koppy, and Liv Madeira, who all had impressive rookie seasons.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
“It’s been fun to get back on the field and start working with a great group of girls and we are looking forward to the season!” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre.
2021 Record: 0-14 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Steve DiVitto
The Kelley-Rex division is loaded every year and a young Milford roster is hungry to move past a couple of tough seasons to be more competitive in a difficult league schedule. While the Hawks went winless in 2021, they lost twice to Mansfield by a combined five runs and lost by only two runs to Franklin and Sharon, so the Hawks had opportunities to come out on top. Now, with a year that is closer to normal, Milford hopes to take the next step and turn those close defeats into victories.
While the roster is almost all underclassmen, Milford does return seven players from last year. Only two of the returners are upperclassmen, senior pitcher and outfielder Olivia Morelli and senior third baseman Gianna Cacciola. Both captains are entering their third seasons on varsity and going to be expected to provide leadership for the rest of the lineup, which is almost all freshmen and sophomores.
Also returning this year are sophomores Maddie Burns (catcher and first base), Camille Bonina (first base and outfield), Grace Bonina (middle infield), Maeve Driscoll (pitcher, shortstop, and outfield), and Sarah Wengel (outfield and first base). Each player gained valuable experience as freshmen and provide a lot of versatility in how the team will line up. The Hawks will also look to a trio of freshmen for instant impact as starters or off the bench, including pitcher Cae Pellegrini, outfielder Jianna Fernandes, and shortstop Olivia Baglione.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
“With such a young crew, we will rely on our two seniors, our captains, who have four years of experience to help lead the way,” said Milford coach Steve DiVitto. “We pride ourselves on keeping strong team chemistry; something that will be an important part of this season. We’re hungry to get back on the field!”
2021 Record: 12-4 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Bill Wallace
North Attleboro has won back-to-back league titles for the first time in program history and would love to make it a three-peat before moving to the Kelley-Rex division next season. The Rocketeers graduated four starters, so there will be opportunities for underclassmen to step in and contribute right away, but North also has a strong core, particularly with two strong starting pitchers, to make a run in the Div. 2 tournament.
Juniors Zoey McDonough and Kelly Colleran are back and give North an impressive one-two punch in the circle. Both players were all-stars in their debut seasons, and both are Div. I college recruits. Since they’re also important to the lineup, McDonough will play first and Colleran will play short when they’re not pitching. Senior Mandi Hanewich is battling a hand injury at the start of the season, but the four-year varsity player will add leadership in center, while senior Ally Levine will be behind the plate working with North’s staff. Junior Grace Simmons is the fifth returning starter and the right fielder will also get the chance to produce at the plate as well.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Senior Shaelyn Burns will take over at third after being the DP for most of last season, while freshman Maryellen Charette gets the nod at short or at first, depending on who the starting pitcher will be. Junior Emma Hanwell and senior Grace Barry will both get chances in the outfield, while juniors Maddie Bailey and Julia Forman will play second and be the DP. Freshman Aryanna McDavitt provides much-needed versatility, as she can play anywhere in the infield and pitch when called on.
“Our goals don’t change – what does change is the approach to get there,” said North coach Bill Wallace. “We’re working at it, let’s see if we retain it. The girls are focused – they know what’s in front of them!”
2021 Record: 4-10 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Lindsey Allison
Despite having no seniors on the roster this season, Oliver Ames has set a goal of getting back into the state tournament picture and moving up the standings in the Davenport division. The Tigers return five players from last year’s team but there is excitement about the underclassmen who will be stepping into the lineup this year and the energy that they’re bringing to the team.
Junior Maddie Homer is the team’s top returning hitter and was also an all-star at shortstop last spring. She will provide leadership in the infield. Junior Katie Melendy has a year of varsity experience in the circle and will look to build on her four wins as a sophomore. Lexi Galsband will be at first base and fellow junior Caitlin Miller returns in center, while sophomore Katherine Farley is stepping in behind the plate.
The underclassmen will give OA important versatility to find the right spots for everyone in the lineup. Sophomores Madison Monteiro, Paige Taylor, Sammy Johnson, and freshmen Emily Martin and Devon Morris will fill out the roster this season. Although young, there is a lot of club experience that they will add to the Tigers.
“Overall, I am impressed with the attitudes, hard work, and teamwork that I have seen so far this season and I am looking forward to watching them grow together as a team,” said OA coach Lindsey Allison. “We expect to be competitive in the Hockomock League and get back to the culture of making tournament an expectation.”
2021 Record: 2-12 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Heather Poliferno
For Sharon to move up the Davenport division standings, the Eagles are going to need to produce more runs this season. Sharon was last in the league with 31 runs scored in 14 games last year, but there is optimism around the team this spring that the combination of returning players and talented new faces is making good contact, being aggressive on the base paths, and look ready to create more opportunities to manufacture runs.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Senior Trinity Payne will be a second-year captain for the Eagles, and she will need to produce in the circle (60 strikeouts last year) and at the plate (0.343 average in 2021). Senior catcher Ciara McAuliffe can hit for power and is an experienced battery mate for Payne, which will be a key to Sharon limiting the opposition’s base runners. Senior Savannah Gray is another power hitter in the middle of the Sharon order and a leader at first base.
Junior Ally Foulsham gives Sharon important versatility, being able to play solid defense at several positions and even jump in the circle to give Payne a breather. Foulsham, who will start at third base this spring, played third, short, and pitched last year and had a fielding percentage over 90 percent. Sophomore Maddie Hu will be the new shortstop this season and junior Natalie Kessler will start in the outfield but could see time at a few positions, including catcher.
“Our players have worked incredibly hard the last couple of weeks,” Sharon coach Heather Poliferno, “and we are all eager for them to get out on the field and show everyone what Sharon High softball is capable of.”
2021 Record: 8-7 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Deb Parker
After a year off, Stoughton got to experience the postseason in 2021, and a playoff win, and now the Black Knights will enter a normal spring with confidence that they can build on that foundation to make another run for a state tournament spot. With depth and talent throughout the lineup, Stoughton will be hoping to be back in the mix in the Davenport division standings as well.
Senior Sydney Menz will be the anchor for the team in center and as one of the top hitters in the middle of the order. She will be joined in the outfield by classmate Kate Bulger and freshman Angie Berry, who is going to get the chance to step right into the lineup this spring. Pitching is always critical and junior Kerry Driscoll will get the nod as the starter after getting a taste of facing varsity lineups last season.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
The infield will be led by senior shortstop Melody Casna. Surrounded by underclassmen, Casna will give a dash of experience and is a vocal leader. Sophomore Alyssa Edwards is back at the corners, primarily at third, after a freshman season that saw her lead the team with a 0.417 batting average.
“I have so much confidence in this team and I expect big things from them this year,” said Stoughton coach Deb Parker. “They have come together really quickly and have chemistry that I have not seen in a long time. I am excited to see what this team will accomplish together this season, they have talent, depth, and personality, and they are willing to work. They are really fun to coach!”
2021 Record: Won Div. 1 State Title Coach: Carrie Consalvi
Not every team rebuilds in the same way. After graduating five starters from last year’s state championship-winning team, including in the circle and the heart of the order, Taunton will have plenty of new faces stepping into big roles this spring, yet the expectations remain high for the Tigers to challenge for a third straight league title and make another tournament run.
Senior Kylie Thorpe will be the anchor in the middle of the infield and add strong leadership at the top of the order. Freshman Brooke Aldrich will take over for her sister Hanna at shortstop and has already shown off a strong arm and a strong bat. Junior Kaysie Demoura will give the Tigers vocal leadership from behind the plate and looks set for a breakout season at the plate, while senior Angie Lynch was one of the stars of Taunton’s playoff run as a leadoff hitter and center fielder.
Junior Ava Venturelli is back in the fold this spring and the University of Louisville-commit will bring her big bat to left field, having hit a pair of homers during the preseason jamboree at the PAL fields. It won’t be easy to fill the shoes of Kelsey White in the circle, but senior Olyvia Mendonca will get that assignment and has had a strong preseason.
“We have a great crew this year, very different team from last year,” said second-year coach Carrie Consalvi, noting her team will have plenty of personality and rely on key leaders this year.
Baseball D1 South
#16 Durfee, 1 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final (5 Inn.) – Franklin exploded for 12 runs in the fourth innning, turning a two-run game into a blowout against visiting Durfee. The Panthers built a 3-1 lead over the first three innings but the offense was nearly unstoppable in the fourth, recording nine hits and three walks to put the game out of reach. Junior Chris Goode (double, run, three RBI), sophomore Ryan Gerety (double, three runs, two RBI) and freshman Henry DiGiorgio (three runs, RBI) all smacked three hits to lead the way for the Franklin offense. CJ Jette added two hits and two runs, Jack Marino drove in two runs and scored twice, Jake Fitzibbons hit a double, had a walk and drove in two runs, Nate Cooke reached twice with an RBI, and Ben Jarosz had a hit, two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Jacob Jette earned the win on the mound, allowing one run on three hits and a walk in four innings of work while striking out six. Franklin will host #8 Norwood on Wednesday at 7:00PM.
#10 Walpole, 4 @ #7 Taunton, 6 – Final (8 Inn.) – Taunton senior Danny MacDougall launched a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth as the Tigers survived a scare from visiting Walpole. The Timberwolves got off to a strong start with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning but Taunton was quick to respond, plating four runs in the bottom of the first. Ty Cali, Dawson Bryce, and Danny MacDougall all singled to load the bases and sophomore Ryan MacDougall cleared them with a three-run triple to put the hosts ahead. A wild pitch allowed Ryan MacDougall to score to make it 4-2. Walpole cut the deficit to one with a run in the top of the second and then tied the game with a single in the top of the seventh. Bryce managed a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth to keep the inning alive and Danny MacDougall launched his third home run of the year to win it. Conor Quinlan shined in relief for the Tigers, taking over to start the third inning. Quinlan allowed just one run on five hits, striking out eighth to get the win. Taunton will travel to #2 seed Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday at 4:00.
#12 Mansfield, 0 @ #5 Wellesley, 1 – Final – Mansfield went pitch-for-pitch with Wellesley but couldn’t push across a run, falling 1-0 on the road to the Raiders. Aaron Blinn allowed just one run on three hits without issuing a walk, striking out nine in five innings of work. James Gilleran struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief. Mansfield was limited to just two hits between two Wellesley pitchers, putting on five baserunners via walk but couldn’t get a run home.
#22 Attleboro, 4 @ #6 Braintree, 14 – Final
#14 King Philip, 3 @ #3 Xaverian, 8 – Final
#9 Oliver Ames, 11 @ #8 North Attleboro, 12 – Final – North Attleboro’s Gavin Wells singled up the middle with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Rocketeers a walk-off win over Oliver Ames in an epic back-and-forth battle at Community Field. Oliver Ames jumped ahead with five runs in the first two innings and a two-run home run from Jake Waxman helped push the Tigers’ lead to 7-4 in the top of the fifth innings. The Rocketeers responded with six runs in the bottom half as Christian Bates smacked a two-run double to tie the game and Derek Maceda put North ahead with a two-run double for a 9-7 advantage. Wells added an RBI single in the sixth to make it a three-run game and Dennis Colleran launched a solo home run to make it 11-7 going into the last inning. Down to their final three outs, the Tigers rallied to tie the game as Nate Fulford blasted a three-run home run to make it 11-11. Jared Penta led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and stole second. North loaded the bases with no outs after an intentional walk and Wells brought in the game-winner with a base hit. Penta and Wells each had three hits for the Rocketeers while Colleran and Tyler Bannon each had two hits. For OA, Will Whiteside went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs while Jadon Ricci (two RBI, two runs), Waxman, and Patrick Finnerty (run, RBI) each had two hits. North Attleboro will travel to #1 seed Nauset on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00PM.
#11 Canton, 0 @ #5 Plymouth South, 4 – Final – Plymouth South scored twice in each of the first two innings and that was all the offense the Panthers needed to knock off visiting Canton. The Bulldogs were limited to just three hits total with Nate Hewitt recording a pair of them, including a double. Matt Quan also reached base twice with one hit and one walk.
Softball D1 South
#16 Stoughton, 0 @ #1 Taunton, 17 – Final (5 Inn.) – Taunton opened its playoffs with an offensive explosion. The Tigers had 17 hits as a team, including three homers, and rolled to a big win. McKenzie McAloon led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, four runs scored, and five RBI. Hayley Krockta went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI and bashed a home run. Angie Lynch (2-for-4) added a homer, drove in two, and scored twice, while Tayah DaCosta had Taunton’s third homer, part of a 3-for-4 day where she drove in three and scored two runs. Kelsey White dominated in the circle, allowing only one hit and striking out 11 over five innings. Nicole Baker had the lone hit for the Black Knights. Taunton hosts Walpole on Wednesday in the quarterfinal.
#13 Milton, 3 @ #4 King Philip, 6 – Final – King Philip overcame an early three-run deficit to fend off an upset big from Milton. An infield single, a bunt single, and a home run in the top of the first gave the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead but KP scored in four straight innings between the third and the sixth to get the lead for good. Paige Berdos got the hosts on the board in the third inning, leading off with a single, stealing a base and scoring on a sac fly from Charlotte Raymond. Patience at the plate helped the Warriors bring two more runs in during the fourth inning to tie the game. Maddie Paschke walked, Ava Kelly singled, and Taylor Regan walked to load the bases before Jordan Bennett drew a walk to bring a run in. Berdos was then hit by a pitch to bring in another run to make it 3-3. In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Sarah Cullen smacked a two-run home run to put KP ahead for the first time and the Warriors added a key insurance run in the sixth when Raymond drove in Berdos with a single. Bennett settled in nicely after the first inning, allowing just one base runner after the third inning which was a walk in fifth that was erased on a double play. King Philip will host #5 seed Plymouth North on Wednesday at 6:30 at the Plainville Athletic League complex.
#18 Mansfield, 5 @ #2 Natick, 4 – Final (8 Inn.) – Mansfield pulled off the upset of the tournament so far, going on the road and beating the number-two seed in extra innings. Natick came from behind to tied the game in the seventh and force extras, but Jill Koppy led off the top of the eighth with a triple and she came in to score the game-winning run on a two-out single from Ashlyn Conley. Natick had a 2-0 lead after four innings, but the Hornets responded with a four-run fifth. Ashlyn Conley singled to start the rally and Nicole Kobasa followed with a hit of her own. Alanna Conley drove them both in with a single. After an error moved Conley to third, she was brought home on a bunt by Olivia DeTrolio that led to another defensive mistake. Callie Lake bunted and heads up base running from DeTrolio turned it into Mansfield’s fourth run. Mansfield will travel to Silver Lake in the D1 South quarterfinal.
#14 Attleboro, 3 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final
#11 Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 @ #6 North Attleboro, 2 – Final (9 Inn.) – North faced extra innings for the second playoff game in a row, but the Rocketeers couldn’t find a way past the defending South champions. The Rocketeers got off to a great start with a run in the first. Mandi Hanewich doubled and was bunted to third by Emily Nardelli. Zoey McDonough drove in the go-ahead run with a single. North doubled its lead in the fourth. Ally Levine reached on an error and pinch runner Emma Hanwell scored on a Shaelyn Burns double. B-R tied the game in the fifth with a two-run inning. The game stayed tied until the top of the ninth when a solo homer put the Trojans in front. McDonough allowed only one earned run and struck out seven in the loss. North also flashed the leather, with two double plays, one initiated by Belle Clarkin and the other started by Kelly Colleran.
#12 Foxboro, 18 @ #5 Diman, 6 – Final – The top three in the lineup drove in 13 combined runs and the Warriors rolled to a win in Fall River. Foxboro scored 10 runs in the first four innings and scored at least once in every inning but the sixth. Leadoff hitter Peyton Feldman set the table for Foxboro, as she went 3-for-3 with three walks, but she also added punch with a double, a triple, three runs scored, and five RBI. Emma Callahan had a pair of hits and drove in four and Morgan Sylvestre went 2-for-5 with four RBI. Jillian Slattery continued her strong playoffs with two hits, three runs scored, and two RBI from the nine-hole. Fiona Dunn scored four times and Nicole Theriault scored three times for the Warriors. Callahan had seven strikeouts and got better as the game went on, retiring the final 11 hitters that she faced to pick up her second postseason win. Foxboro will travel to Notre Dame Academy in the D2 South quarterfinal.
#22 Canton, 6 @ #6 Plymouth South, 18 – Final – Canton cut an 8-0 deficit to just three in the fourth inning, but Plymouth South scored eight times over the fifth and sixth innings to seal the win and a place in the quarterfinal. Brogan O’Leary sparked the fourth inning rally with a single and Taylor Reynolds and Olivia Mackwell both drove in runs. Amanda Vrabel had the big hit, a two-RBI triple. Reynolds added another RBI in the fifth.
Boys Lacrosse D1 South
#16 Mansfield, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 16 – Final – Franklin’s Justin Alexander only lost one faceoff as the Panthers rolled to their third win over Mansfield this season, this one in the state tournament. Sophomore Luke Davis led the attack with three goals and six assists, Matt Lazzaro added three goals and four assists and Jayden Consigli netted five goals in the win. Owen Kielty added a pair of goals and Joe Consigli notched a goal and four assists. Franklin will host #9 seed Wellesley on Wednesday at 6:30.
#10 King Philip, 2 @ #7 Duxbury, 16 – Final
#8 Nauset, 11 @ #1 Canton, 15 – Final
#8 North Attleboro, 3 @ #1 Medfield, 16 – Final
#7 Walpole, 12 @ #2 Foxboro, 9 – Final
Girls Lacrosse D1 East
#9 Acton-Boxboro, 10 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final – Franklin jumped ahead of Acton-Boxboro early and never surrendered the lead to advance to the next round. The Panthers took a 5-1 lead after the first quarter and pushed the advantgae to 11-1 by halftime. Franklin held a 13-4 advantage going into the final quarter where A-B pumped in some goals to tighten the score. Katie Jones scored three goals and had two assists while Katie Peterson accounted for a pair of goals and a pair of assists in the win. Jamie Tanner played well on defense and in the midfield, notching six draw controls and three caused turnovers. Brigid Earley made eight saves in the win for Franklin, who will host #5 seed Lincoln-Sudbury on Wednesday at 4:00.
Boys Tennis D1 South
#8 Needham, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin took wins at first and second singles but lost both doubles matches and third singles, falling to Needham to end the season. Senior Liam Marr emerged from a battle at first singles with a 6-4, 4-6, 14-12 win while Vayshnav Malhotra recorded a 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 win at second singles for the Panthers.
#11 Plymouth North, 0 @ #3 Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon won all five matches in straight sets to get past Plymouth North and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. Freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, junior Ruemon Bhattacharyya added a 6-4, 6-3 win at second singles, and junior Max Chen battled to a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles. Sharon’s first doubles team of freshmen Matthew Lally and Alex Budoraclev won in straight sets while the Eagles also were victorious at second doubles. Sharon will travel to #2 seed Brookline on Wednesday at 3:00 at Waldstein Park.
#5 Bishop Feehan, 3 @ #4 Canton, 2 – Final
Girls Tennis D1 South
#8 Sharon, 2 @ #1 King Philip, 3 – Final
#8 Monomoy, 2 @ #1 Foxboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro dropped a total of four games between its three singles matches and that was enough to take down Monomoy and advance. Athena Li rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win at first singles, Pam Nelson continued her hot streak with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking at second singles, and Sarah Prag clinched the win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles. Foxboro will host the winner of #4 seed Martha’s Vineyard and #5 seed Medfield on Thursday.
Wrestling D2 South
#3 Hingham, 33 @ #2 North Attleboro, 45 – Final
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro has been working all season to build a lineup that from top-to-bottom can make teams pay. On Friday afternoon, all of that work paid off as the Warriors got a total team effort in the Div. 2 South preliminary round game against Medfield.
The bottom four in the Foxboro order combined for six hits, seven runs scored, and three RBI as the Warriors rolled to a 12-0, five-inning victory.
“You need that,” said Foxboro coach Mark Maguire. He praised the influence of former Foxboro star (and league MVP) Hannah Davis, who has been helping out this season. He added, “The end of the order, I’m really happy for them because at first it was the Peyton [Feldman] and Morgan [Sylvestre] show and now the end of the order is getting involved. They’re making the plays in the field more because of it too.”
There has been a youth movement with the Foxboro program this season, as three eighth graders are in the starting lineup, including starting pitcher Emma Callahan, who allowed a lead-off single and then retired the next 15 batters she faced to earn the win. Nine-hitter Jillian Slattery also stepped up with two hits, two RBI, and two runs scored and first baseman Ava Hill reached base twice and scored once.
Sylvestre said, “From the youth to the high school, there’s a step but they’ve adjusted well. The three eighth graders we have, they play club so they’re already at the level we need them at, but they’re just going to be studs when they’re older.”
Maguire noted, “Jill has been made maybe the biggest leap. She’s really getting the barrel on the ball, really helping the bottom of our lineup. We didn’t know whether these kids could play at this level or not. All three of them have been a blessing. If we don’t have the eighth grade waiver, we’re not competing in the league.”
Medfield started the game well, as Brooke Lyons lined a single into left field, but Callahan came right back to strikeout the next hitter, snagged a pop up in the circle, and then got a fly ball to Nicole Theriault in center to get out of the inning unscathed.
After putting two on with two outs in the bottom of the first but not getting a run against Medfield starter Chloe Hunt, Foxboro broke the deadlock in the second.
Theriault, the No. 6 hitter, led off the inning with an infield single and Fiona Dunn followed with a single to right. Hill dropped a bunt in front of the plate and reached when Medfield catcher Bitsy Crowley held the ball to keep Theriault at third. A one-out error scored the first run and two-out walks to Sylvestre and Kaylee Bruce (0-for-1, three walks) made it 3-0.
It could’ve been more for Foxboro, but Alexandra Willis’ line drive to right was snagged by Jess Coletti to end the rally.
Callahan sat down the side in order in the top of the third, with help from a nice play by Sylvestre, who showed off her range at short to end the inning. In the bottom half, Foxboro broke the game wide open.
Again the offense was sparked by the bottom half of the order. Theriault (3-for-3, walk, two runs) singled to left and stole second. Dunn reached on an error and then Hill was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Slattery (2-for-3) stepped up and drilled a double over Coletti’s head in right to bring in two.
Although Hill was cut down at the plate, Callahan doubled to score the third run of the inning and Sylvestre (1-for-3, three RBI) scored two with a double to left. Foxboro led 8-0 and was cruising into the first round.
The Warriors put the game away in the fourth. With one out, Slattery doubled to the base of the wall in right. Feldman, who had reached base twice previously, got her first hit of the day on an infield single and, with Slattery on third, got caught in a run down. After the throw went into center, she moved up to second and Slattery came home with Foxboro’s ninth run.
Callahan helped her own cause with her second hit and second RBI of the game, forcing a pitching chance, as Medfield turned to Kaelyn Larkin. After Sylvestre popped up to third, Bruce reached on an error. Willis kept the rally going with an RBI single to score Callahan and then Theriault got her third hit, a single to center to plate Bruce.
With then chance to put an early end to the game, Callahan continued to keep the Medfield lineup under control. After a grounder to the sure-handed Sylvestre at short and Callahan’s third strikeout of the game, Willis capped the win by quickly getting out from behind the plate to make a sliding grab on a pop up in foul ground.
“Right when I saw Emma pitch, after the 5-0 win over Franklin in the first game of the season,” said Maguire about the moment when he realized his team’s potential. “She goes in there with that attitude and we’re just going to keep on working. Right when I saw that, I’m like we’re good.”
In 2018, Foxboro made a run to the D2 South quarterfinal and Sylvestre, who was a freshman on that team, thinks the Warriors have the talent to make a similar playoff push this spring. She said, “We definitely feel confident coming in because this is like as good a team as we’ve had since Hannah’s senior year. I think this is the best team we’ve had since, maybe it’s even better because our picthing is really good. We can definitely make a run.”
Foxboro (9-5) will now travel to Fall River to take on fifth-seed Diman Voke in the next round.