2021 Hockomock League Softball All Stars

Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Softball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Kelley-Rex Division Co-MVPs

Hanna Aldrich, Taunton
Kelsey White, Taunton

Kelley-Rex Division All Stars

Lora Woyton, Attleboro
Lindsey Perry, Attleboro
Libby Walsh, King Philip
Sarah Cullen, King Philip
Charlotte Raymond, King Philip
Jordan Bennett, King Philip
Paige Berdos, King Philip
Kelsey White, Taunton
Hanna Aldrich, Taunton
McKenzie McAloon, Taunton
Kylie Thorpe, Taunton
Tayah DaCosta, Taunton

Davenport Division MVP

Morgan Sylvestre, Foxboro

Davenport Division All Stars

Liz Bickett, Canton
Morgan Sylvestre, Foxboro
Peyton Feldman, Foxboro
Emma Callahan, Foxboro
Emily Nardelli, North Attleboro
Zoey McDonough, North Attleboro
Kelly Colleran, North Attleboro
Belle Clarkin, North Attleboro
Maddie Homer, Oliver Ames
Trinity Payne, Sharon
Sydney Menz, Stoughton
Nicole Baker, Stoughton

Honorable Mentions:
Hailey Perry, Attleboro
Stephanie Tendell, Canton
Allie Willis, Foxboro
Molly Collins, Franklin
Mia Bennett, King Philip
Ashlyn Conley, Mansfield
Elise Fauerbach, Milford
Mandi Hanewich, North Attleboro
Grace Simone, Oliver Ames
Melody Casna, Stoughton
Angelina Lynch, Taunton

Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Softball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. 2021 Hockomock League Softball All Stars

McAloon’s Hit Helps Cement Legacy For Taunton’s “Big Three”

Taunton softball Hanna Aldrich McKenzie McAloon Kelsey White
Taunton’s “Big Three” of Hanna Aldrich, McKenzie McAloon, and Kelsey White pose with the state championship trophy after beating Wachusett. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 TAUNTON, Mass. – With one swing of the bat, Taunton senior McKenzie McAloon not only etched her name into the historic lore of Tiger softball, but she also cemented the legacy of a veteran trio aptly named “The Big Three.”

Joined by pitcher Kelsey White and shortstop Hanna Aldrich, McAloon helped Taunton’s “Big Three” put an exclamation point on their storied careers in a Tiger uniform with their second state title, the program’s sixth overall.

And fittingly, that trio proved to be the catalysts in the biggest game of the year.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

White, who is committed to play at Villanova, capped one of the best individual seasons in state history by firing a complete game shutout with 13 strikeouts, allowing just two hits in the process.

Aldrich, a Lehigh University-commit, set a new program record this spring, launching 15 home runs, five more than the previous record. Her two-out double was Taunton’s first extra-base hit of the game.

But the most important hit of the season, one that will define this state championship win, came off the bat of McAloon, who is headed to Bryant University to play softball. On the first pitch of her third at-bat, McAloon laced a ground ball up the middle and Aldrich came scampering home from second to score the lone run of the game.

 










“She sometimes can get lost in the mix among the three of them but what she does behind that plate is so underrated, and what she gives to this team as far as leadership and taking the younger kids under her wing, she’s always so positive,” said first-year Taunton coach Carrie Consalvi. “She’s the whole package, she’s that kid you’re going to see really blossom in college, I really feel that.

In her first two at-bats of the game, which took place back on Wednesday, she popped up to the catcher and to short.

The lengthy break gave McAloon and the Tigers some time to adjust to the pitching of Wachusett ace Riley Quirk, who had allowed just three base hits through the first five innings.

McKenzie McAloon Hanna Aldrich Kelsey White

“She definitely threw faster than most girls we’ve seen this year and then she has that rise ball,” McAloon said. “Over our little break that we had, we were hitting off the pitching machine, I was going to the field with my dad working on not swinging on something above my eyes and just really looking down and seeing something under my hands.”

It didn’t take long for McAloon to get a pitch she liked, connecting on the first pitch from Quirk to give the Tigers the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs.

“She comes with a lot of first pitch strikes and I’m a first pitch strike hitter, I like to go after that and attack it, it’s usually the best pitch I’m going to get especially as the four batter,” McAloon said. “I knew once it was coming over the plate that I was going to go for it. If it was a strike, I was going to swing.

“I went up to the plate with confidence. Hanna got into scoring position for us so it was perfect timing, I knew I just had to put the ball in play for my team.”




White came back out and retired the side in order for the fourth time, getting her 13th strikeout of the game to clinch the championship. On the other end of the strikeout was McAloon, who caught 116 innings this season after playing second base during her first three seasons with the Tigers.

McAloon, White, and Aldrich were all in the starting lineup when Taunton knocked off Wachusett for the 2018 State Championship as well.

“I was so hyped up for her,” White said of McAloon, who drove in her 25th run of the season for the game-winning run. “She just deserves every single second of this. It’s great that we’re ending our last season on a great note. We really wanted this, this was our goal to leave high school with the title.”

McAloon finished the season hitting 0.443 with 27 hits, launching six home runs of her own. She also only allowed just two passed balls in the 116 innings that she caught with only two players able to steal a base.

Aldrich kept the inning alive with her double, the Tigers had two quick outs on a pop fly to the first baseman in foul territory and a strikeout. The shortstop fell behind in the count but patiently worked her way back to a full count before lacing a double into the gap in right-center.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

McKenzie McAloon Hanna Aldrich Kelsey White

“Kenz is so deserving of that,” Aldrich said of McAloon. “She’s probably one of the people that works the hardest on the team and she totally deserved that today.”

Aldrich closes the season with 40 hits for a whopping 0.625 batting average, and of course, the program’s new home run record (15). White went over 200 strikeouts for the season during the game with under 100 innings pitched, adding 11 home runs (which also broke the old program record) and 28 RBI.

“This is awesome,” McAloon said. “We lost our season last year, but coming out here and winning, this is what we’ve wanted all season long. We’ve worked hard for this. Every practice, every pitch, we’ve all worked for this. It’s just a dream to finish with a state championship.”

Taunton Wins Rain-Delayed Final, Secures Sixth Title

Taunton softball
The Taunton softball team poses with the 2021 MIAA Division 1 State Championship trophy after beating Wachusett. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


TAUNTON, Mass. – The players seemed unfazed by the lightning in the distance, but at the end of the fifth inning and the Div. 1 state championship game still scoreless, the athletic directors and MIAA officials gathered the umpires and coaches to deliver the news that the game would have to be halted.

Ominous clouds turned into a torrential downpour and the rain delay stretched into another day, then another, eventually forcing a five-day wait before the game could be resumed at Jack Tripp Field on Monday night. After a grueling tournament of games every other day (and a back-to-back) played in mostly sweltering heat, the teams suddenly had nothing to do but wait.

When the game restarted, Taunton (20-0) put together a two-out rally in the sixth and senior McKenzie McAloon delivered an RBI single that put the Tigers in front. Kelsey White shut the door in the seventh, striking out the final two batters (finishing with 13 in the game) to beat Wachusett 1-0 and deliver the second state title in three seasons and the sixth overall for the Tigers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s the team who’s mentally stronger that’s going to pull this out at the end of the day and it ended up being us thank goodness,” said first-year Taunton coach Carrie Consalvi. “With our big three (seniors White, McAloon, and Hanna Aldrich), we talked about it, they’ve got the better of you the last couple go arounds, it can’t keep happening. We went back and we prepared. I said just mentally be tough and ready to go and it will happen.”

She continued, “They were overdo and I’m happy for them because I know they wanted it and they’ve worked at it and the last couple of games haven’t sat well with them. So, you know they’re going back and they’re working. You just need to get in the mindset that you’re ready to go and they did.”

Asked about how the five-day break impacted the team, White replied, “We obviously had an off day on Wednesday, so it gave us a chance to regroup and work on what we needed to, like laying off the rise ball and taking time to find our pitches and hunt down our pitches. Those five days really helped me relax and stay focused.”

 

In the sixth, Wachusett had pinch hitter Mia Cassella start things off and she bounced one to third. Tayah DaCosta bobbled it but then calmly collected herself and threw a strike to first for the out. After White struck out the next hitter, she went to 0-2 on Hannah White, but the next pitch hit the Mountaineers’ two-hole batter. White made sure there would be no more drama, as Ella Pender couldn’t catch up to the rise for the third out.

Taunton had the top of the order due up in the sixth. Riley Quirk, who struck out nine and allowed only three hits through the first five innings, quickly retired Angie Lynch on a pop up to the first baseman and Kaysie DeMoura on a strikeout.

The middle of the order had been struggling to make solid contact all game, but Aldrich battled to a full count before crushing a two-out double that one-hopped the fence in right center. McAloon wasted no time, going after the first pitch and knocking a grounder right back up the middle and into center to plate the game’s only run.

“She comes with a lot of first pitch strikes,” McAloon explained. “I like to go after that first pitch and I like to attack it because it’s usually the best pitch I’m going to get. So, as soon as I saw it come over the plate, I knew I was going to go for it.”

Aldrich added, “Going in I was more nervous than I thought I was going to be, but finally not swinging and missing felt great and then for Kenzie to send it all the way and to get home was awesome too.”

White drew a walk and DaCosta hit a deep fly ball to right, but it stayed in the yard and Quirk was out of the jam with the heart of the order due up in the seventh. Wachusett had one last chance to be the first team in 18 games to score a run against the Tigers.

Quirk, whose ringing double in the second was one of only two hits allowed by White, popped up to Lynch in right center for the first out. White did the rest herself, striking out the next two batters to seal the title.

“In her beast mode, take no prisoners tonight,” Consalvi said of White. “You could tell there was a little extra pop on that ball tonight. She was ready to go.”

Coming into the final, Taunton had been taking advantage of early runs to ease some of the pressure in games, but Quirk had the Tigers off-balance. She struck out the side in the first and allowed only two balls out of the infield through the first five innings.

She also gave the Mountaineers a big lift at the plate with a lead-off double in the second, but the courtesy runner was cut down at third on a nice play by Aldrich at short. White was then able to snare a comebacker and get the lead runner at second.

White got Taunton’s first hit with a line drive single in the bottom half of the inning but courtesy runner Katelyn Bizarro got not further than first. Lynch had a two-out infield single on a swinging bunt in the third, but Quirk struck out the side around that hit. White came right back by striking out the side in the Wachusett half of the fourth, but the middle of the Taunton lineup was again held quiet in the bottom half.

Wachusett got a leadoff single in the fifth, but White got a strikeout, a good play by McAloon on a bunt, and another strikeout to end the threat. Olyvia Mendonca had a one-out single in the fifth, moved to second on Hayley Krockta’s bunt, and then reached third on a wild pitch, but Quirk got her ninth strikeout of the game to end the inning.

Little did everyone know at the time that it would be five days later before the next pitches were thrown, and that they would be the last ones of the 2020-21 season.

Aldrich noted, “Every day we’d get ready thinking we had a game then get the text that it was postponed to the next day. We have our superstitions so we’d do the exact same things every day before our games, so actually being able to play today was a big reset and the joy and enthusiasm from everyone, they were just pumped for today.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s awesome,” said McAloon. “To come out here and just come out and win, this is what we wanted all season. We worked hard for this, every practice, every pitch, we all worked hard for this and it’s just a dream to finish on a state championship.”

White added, “Definitely leaving high school this was our one goal, just to win the state championship and leave high school with that title. We really wanted this. We’re so excited that it finally happened.

“It’s great that it’s our last season and we end on a great note with great memories as well as great people.”

Taunton Grinds Out Win, Returns to State Title Game

Taunton softball
Taunton players congratulate shortstop Hanna Aldrich (11) after her grab that ended the sixth inning in the 2-0 win over Billerica. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


TAUNTON, Mass. – After rolling through the South sectional, outscoring opponents 37-0 along the way, Taunton had yet to look anything but perfectly comfortable during its playoff run. That changed on Monday night in the Div. 1 state semifinal at Jack Tripp Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Tigers were pushed for seven innings by a scrappy Billerica team that was the No. 17-seed coming into the playoffs but knocked off a pair of unbeaten teams on it way to the North title. Taunton rode its pitching, defense, experience, and a big hit from the bottom of the order to pull out a 2-0 win and advance to the state title game.

When asked if this time of game might help the Tigers as they look ahead to a state championship game, first-year coach Carrie Consalvi said, “One hundred percent. Actually, as a coach, this is the most rewarding type of win because this is what you preach all year.

“It’s a star-studded team and it’s been driven by the big three (White, Aldrich, and McAloon) all year and your challenge as a coach is you have to keep preaching team, team, team and that’s exactly what came through tonight.”

She added, “Complete team effort. Our big three were a little bit quiet and the other ones responded and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Billerica came into the semifinal as a significant underdog, but that was nothing new for a team that finished the regular season at 8-7 and knocked off the top two seed in the North. The Indians put a pair of runners on in the second on walks, got a runner to third base in the third, and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh.

 

Despite all the pressure on her shoulders, the 90-degree weather, and without her team jumping out to the early lead that has become common over the past few games, Kelsey White continued to dominate. She finished with 15 strikeouts for the second game in a row, continued her shutout streak, and allowed only one hit, while also making a pair of put outs in the field.

It started in the first, as White struck out a pair and chased down a popped up bunt over her head by Samantha Gaona. In the bottom half of the inning, Angie Lynch continued her hot stretch at the plate with a leadoff single, took second on the throw back to the infield, and then stole third. Billerica lefty Analise Grady got pop ups from Hanna Aldrich and McKenzie McAloon to get out of the jam.

In the second, White walked a pair, but got a strikeout to end the threat. One inning later, with the game still scoreless, Zaria Jean-Pierre belted a one-out shot to right center. For a second it looked like it might leave the yard but it one-hopped the fence for a double. Jean-Pierre got to third base when a pitch bounced a couple feet away from McAloon, but White struck out the next two hitters to keep the game scoreless.

Taunton finally grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the third. A one-out single by Lynch, who has reached base eight times in her past three games, got the rally started and Kaysie Demoura reached on a throwing error, putting two runners in scoring position for the heart of the order. Grady induced an Aldrich swinging bunt back to the circle. Lynch waited until the throw went to first and then raced home, sliding in just ahead of the tag.

White inadvertently helped her own cause leading off the fourth when she took a pitch off the helmet. Katelyn Bizzaro came in as the courtesy runner and moved to second on a bunt by Tayah DaCosta and then stole third.

After Olyvia Mendonca was robbed on a great diving grab in shallow right by Emily West, Consalvi elected to let Hayley Krockta come up for her second at-bat rather than pinch hit with Kyleah Plumb. Krockta came through, knocking a single into left with the help of a well-timed bounce over the third baseman’s glove to bring in a key insurance run.

“I almost did,” Consalvi said about making the switch. “[Kyleah] had her helmet on and at the last second I said, not yet. Hayley comes in and gets that big hit. Perfect timing. We worked hard at practice, so I’m happy for her.”

Taunton now had a small cushion and White seemed to be getting stronger. She struck out a pair and grabbed a line drive in the fifth and struck out the first two in the sixth. Aldrich ended the inning by chasing down a sinking liner behind third.

Still leading just 2-0 in the seventh, White found another gear, striking out the first two batters before walking one to bring the tying run to the plate. She made sure there would be no unnecessary drama, recording her third strikeout of the inning and 15th of the game to seal the win and the second title game appearance of her career.

When asked about the stretch of games that her team has had to get to this point, including five games in the past eight days, Consalvi said, “Grueling, a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of expectations here to win and to produce and it’s been tough. It’s been hot, there’s been back-to-back games, it’s been what five games in seven or eight days or something like that? You try to do what you can and keep it light and just keep it rolling at this point.”

Taunton (19-0) will be back home again on Wednesday night, hosting Central champion Wachusett, the defending state champ, in a rematch of the 2018 final that the Tigers won.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton Continues Shutout Streak to Win South Title

Taunton softball Hanna Aldrich
Taunton senior Hanna Aldrich runs home after hitting her team-record 15th home run of the season against B-R. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


TAUNTON, Mass. – In the second game of the season against Attleboro, Taunton senior Kelsey White gave up two runs to visiting Attleboro. Sixteen games later, those remain the only runs allowed by the Tigers this season. Taunton is outscoring its opponents 200-2.

The shutout streak extended to 16 straight games on Saturday night, as Taunton blanked Bridgewater-Raynham 4-0 at Jack Tripp Field to continue its unbeaten season and win the Div. 1 South title for the second time in three seasons. White was dominant in the circle yet again, striking out 15 batters, allowing only three hits, and not allowing a single ball to leave the infield.

First-year Taunton coach Carrie Consalvi said of White, “For me this is kind of tough to have your first playing season like this because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. We are literally spoiled by her dominance and perseverance and no emotion, it’s like a machine out there. She actually leaves me speechless. She’s just brilliant to watch.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

White struck out at least two batters in every inning. She also had three assists, showing her ability to field her position. Over the first four innings, she personally accounted for 11 of the 12 outs. The two-time league MVP and Villanova-commit deflected praise onto catcher McKenzie McAloon and the way she called the game against the Trojans.

“She plays with my travel team too so she knows me, how I pitch, my pitches that work well, and when to throw them,” White said. “We have a great relationship and coach actually let McKenzie call the whole season and it’s just been working really well. I give her a lot of kudos for my success.”

B-R came in with the game plan of attacking White and the Taunton defense with small ball. Riain Keefe started the game with a bunt down the third base line and reached on a throwing error. White struck out the next batter and then was able to back pedal and field Taylor Feist’s bunt to get the force at second. A perfect changeup got the second strikeout to end the first.

 

Consalvi said, “All we did is work bunt and slap defense, over and over and over, so we were prepared for the little game and I think that showed. The mindset was try to take that away from them and just have the defense be there with the gloves and come up with some timely hits.”

Taunton has flipped the pressure on its opponents by getting early runs throughout this playoff run. The Tigers did it again on Saturday.

Angie Lynch has been the spark plug for the offense, leading off the final with a single to right. She moved to second on a sac bunt by Kaysie Demoura and then stole third. Lynch got an easy trip to the plate because Hanna Aldrich, who set a program record for homers in a season, blasted a shot halfway up the trees beyond the left field fence for a 2-0 lead.

“It definitely take a little pressure off of me because I get a little nervous in the beginning when it’s a tie game,” White admitted. “When we get those runs, it takes a little pressure off my shoulders.”

The score stayed the same into the bottom of the third. Lynch, who reached base three times for the second straight game, started the inning by taking a pitch off of her arm. Demoura had another perfect sac bunt, and Lynch took advantage to go first to third. Aldrich was hit by a pitch and then McAloon drove fly ball to center to get the run home.

“Angie Lynch is that key, when she does that, we just roll right off that,” said Consalvi. “Angie sets us up and then you’ve got one of those big bats and one of them is going to come through. Hannah, Kelsey, McKenzie, they’re just going to be irreplaceable.”

In the fifth inning, the Tigers missed a chance to break the game wide open. Olyvia Mendonca battled to draw a one-out walk, pinch hitter Kyleah Plumb beat out a bunt single, and, after a strikeout, Lynch hit a grounder into the hole between short and third. Mendonca beat the throw to third, loading the bases. B-R pitcher Lily Welch was able to get her third strikeout of the inning to escape the jam.

White has not only been outstanding in the circle this season, but also at the plate. With two outs in the sixth, she belted a solo shot to left, helping her own cause and giving Taunton an extra insurance run.

Meanwhile, White was also dealing against a B-R lineup focused on bunting and trying to put the ball in play. She struck out the side in the second, freezing the third batter with a pitch on the corner, added two more in both the third and fourth and added a comebacker to close out the frame.

In the fifth, Riley Sroczinski led off with a grounder to deep short. The infield single was the first hit allowed by White. After fielding a sac bunt, White then struck out the final two batters to end B-R’s best threat to that point. After a one-out infield hit in the sixth, White struck out the next batter and got a pop up to Aldrich at short to end the inning.

B-R tried to rally in the seventh, taking advantage of a second Taunton error and another infield hit to put two runners on with two outs, but White seemed unfazed by the noisy visiting dugout, striking out the final batter to secure another title.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It has been four years since White pitched Taunton to a state title as a freshman. Despite all that has gone on since then, including a season lost to Covid (and a knee injury), she explained, “It doesn’t feel any different, but it’s a new team, a new philosophy, so it feels really good.”

Consalvi said, “[Kelsey] did a great job tonight, like she has all season. You have to remember this is her fourth game this week. After coming off a Covid year and an injury, she’s still a machine, so it’s really a true testament to her strength.”

Taunton (18-0) will host North champion Billerica (the No. 17 seed) in the state semifinal on Monday night at 7:00.

Taunton Beats KP For Third Time, Returns to South Final

Taunton softball
Taunton junior Angie Lynch comes home with the first run in the D1 South semifinal against King Philip. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


TAUNTON, Mass. – It is never easy to face a team three times in a season, especially a talented rival that would love nothing more than to get revenge for losing the league title and put an end to an unbeaten season. Add in the second tough game in 24 hours and it was a recipe for an upset in Thursday night’s Div. 1 South semifinal at Jack Tripp Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Nights like this is where experience, especially championship experience, pays off. Taunton used it tournament nous, a quick start, and another solid pitching performance to beat King Philip 7-0 and advance to the South final for the second time in three seasons.

“Two really good back-to-back games,” Taunton coach Carrie Consalvi said of playing Walpole and then KP. “Honestly, the score doesn’t reflect our feeling these last two games. I felt like that was a much closer game.

“KP is such a good team, I did not want to see them a third time. They’re good, they’re young, and they’re seeing Kelsey a third time, they’re going to make adjustments and they did.”

While KP (14-3) came up short of reaching the final, there was plenty of optimism coming from the Warriors bench. Only two of the 10 Warriors who started Thursday’s game have graduated, two were juniors, and the rest were freshmen or sophomores getting their first taste of varsity action. Consalvi mentioned that KP will be a problem for the rest of the South next year.

“I’m excited because I have, as I call them, my seven fresh-mores,” said KP coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “Seven in my starting lineup. I’m ecstatic and just the experience they got today from playing this caliber of team just sets us up for the future. The future is bright.”

 

The Warriors put the bat on the ball against Taunton starter Kelsey White as any team has this year. KP had a pair of two-out infield singles from Charlotte Raymond and Sarah Cullen in the first inning, but White ended up striking out the side to get out of the jam.

White, who has allowed only two runs all season (both in the second game of the season against Attleboro), struck out eight and only gave up four hits, and only one of those got to the outfield grass, but also only had two clean innings. She struck out five of the first seven hitters she faced but had only three more in the final 5-1/3 innings.

Fallon-Comeau joked, “Each time I played them I said no more than eight [strikeouts]. It’s an attainable goal and, you know what, third time’s the charm.

She added, “We finished our game last night and it was late and I huddled with the kids and said, hey, we’ve got to go to Taunton tomorrow. ‘Okay, coach can we hit tomorrow morning?’ We hit for an hour and a half. They put that pitching machine at the front of the circle, and they had that thing jacked up as fast as it would go. I can’t ask for anything more from them.”

Of course, it makes things easier to be pitching with a lead and Taunton made sure to get out in front early. Angie Lynch (3-for-4) led off the first with a single to center and moved to second on a bunt by Kaysie Demoura. Hanna Aldrich lined a pitch from KP starter Emma Sheehan to right for an RBI single.

McKenzie McAloon followed with a double just over the head of left fielder Ava Kelley. Aldrich had to hold up and make sure it dropped so she stopped at third. White was intentionally walked to load the bases. Tayah DaCosta had a swinging bunt up the first base line and Sheehan’s attempt to get the runner at home was late. Olyvia Mendonca followed with a sac fly to center to score McAloon for a 3-0 lead.

After White made quick work of the top of the second, Taunton tacked on two more runs. Lynch again was the spark with a one-out single, moving to second on a throwing error. Demoura singled as well to put runners at the corners for Aldrich. KP brought in Jordan Bennett to face one of the league’s top hitters and Aldrich lined another single to right center, scoring both runners.

Bennett would settle into her relief outing, throwing 5-2/3 innings (after throwing seven the night before) and allowing only two more runs. One of those runs came in the third, when DaCosta (1-for-3, two RBI) belted a leadoff homer into the trees in left center. Mia Bennett would have three assists in the inning, retiring each of the next three batters on nice plays at short, including a rangy play up the middle on a bloop from Kylie Thorpe.

The Taunton defense hasn’t been tested often this season, thanks largely to the dominance of White (and freshman Sam Lincoln) in the circle, but the Tigers were forced to make plays on Thursday and came through it cleanly. A nice running grab by right fielder Skylar Rheaume on a drive by Taylor Reagan in the seventh was the pick of the bunch.

Consalvi explained, “This game, the Walpole game, and we had a couple of good scrimmages…it finally gave a chance for our defense to get some work in. Tonight you saw it come through with the composure. Get runners at first and second, second and third, and they’re okay, keeping it together, and ready to go.”

Taunton’s offense came close to extending the lead in the fourth and fifth innings, as first Aldrich and then White both sent Kelley back to the fence in left. DaCosta was also robbed of a hit when Jordan Bennett nonchalantly snared a hard-hit line drive back up the middle.

KP’s best chance at getting on the board came in the sixth, but with two runners in scoring position Kelley smacked a line drive right to Aldrich at short. The Tigers tacked on one more in the bottom half of the inning. Mendonca led off with a single, Kyleah Plumb bunted her way on, and Lynch brought in the run with her third hit of the night.

“For a little while my big three kind of went quiet and everybody else just picked them up,” Consalvi said about the balance in her lineup. “When you’re squeezing out wins when the big three are quiet, that’s a good sign. Hopefully it’s coming together at the right time.”

Taunton (17-0) will try to continue its perfect season on Saturday night when it hosts No. 11 seed Bridgewater-Raynham, the defending South champion, at 7:00.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.