King Philip Rallies Late, Takes Down Taunton In Extras

King Philip softball Ava Kelley
King Philip sophomore Ava Kelley runs home for the go-ahead run after a double from Ava Lanza in the 10th inning. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 TAUNTON, Mass. — After suffering a tough extra-innings loss on Saturday night, the King Philip softball team showed up an hour early to practice the next morning eager to bounce back.

On Monday night, the Warriors stayed extra late to get the job done against Taunton.

Junior Sarah Cullen clubbed a two-out single up the middle on a full count in the top of the seventh to bring in the tying run to keep the Warriors alive, and King Philip went on to score two runs in the top of the 10th inning to emerge with a key 4-2 win on the road over the Tigers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With the score knotted at 2-2 since Cullen’s hit in the top of the seventh, King Philip finally broke the deadlock in the 10th inning. Sophomore Ava Kelley led off with a double to the gap in left center and junior Ava Lanza followed with a double to left field to bring in the go-ahead run. Kelley fouled off a bunt on the first pitch but then took a slap approach, finally getting one to fall in fair territory after fouling three consecutive pitches off.

“The plan was if she didn’t get it down on the first one then to take advantage of whatever the defense was giving,” Fallon-Comeau said. “She saw the third baseman was in so she went with the slap and she found a hole to left to bring [Kelley] in.”

Meg Sherwood smacked one to right center that dropped, allowing Lanza to come home to double the lead.

Sophomore Jordan Bennett tossed a complete game for the Warriors and retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning, getting her 10th strikeout for the final out.

“I told my assistant Bri [Sebio] before the inning that if we could get to Sarah, we would tie the game,” said KP head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau.

Freshman Liv Petrillo (3-for-5) started the rally in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double but KP couldn’t move her any closer after a bunt was popped up and another bid was caught at shortstop.

That set the stage for Cullen, who ended up in the nine-hole after Fallon-Comeau shuffled her lineup heading into the contest. Cullen was without a hit in her first two at-bats but made solid contact both times and Taunton played good defense both times.

“I just had a feeling, she had been hitting it well so far today,” Fallon-Comeau said. “I moved her out of the leadoff because I wanted to take the pressure off of her, it’s a tough spot. She’s been there since the beginning of the year and got into a little slump so just a chance of perspective, change of pitches…we wanted to get her up to bat with someone on base.

“She had been striking it well all day, it was just about finding a hole at some point. She just needed to believe in herself and get it done, and she did. And then she made that spectacular catch in center field too [in the 8th inning].”

King Philip sophomore catcher Maddie Paschke ended a threat in the bottom of the sixth by throwing a runner out trying to steal third. After that, Bennett allowed just one hit — a leadoff single to junior Ava Venturelli in the bottom of the sixth.

Bennett retired the next three batters she faced and went on to retire the side in order in the final four innings.

“She’s always unfazed, no matter what the score is,” Fallon-Comeau said. “She kind of just chipped away in the circle, they were hitting her early on but I felt like somewhere in the middle of the game she settled down. She was focused and lasered in and really started to hit her spots. I thought she did a great job.”

Taunton jumped ahead right out of the gate. Freshman Cate Larson (10 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) worked around a leadoff single from Kelley to strand a runner at second in the top half of the first, and the Tigers’ offense cashed in on its first chance.

Kyleah Plumb reached on an infield error after a bunt and took third on the same throwing error. Kaysie DeMoura followed two at-bats later with a well-hit ball up the middle for an RBI and an early 1-0 lead.

Larson retired the Warriors in order in both the second and third innings and Taunton took advantage once again after Plumb reached from the leadoff spot. This time it was a single, a sac bunt from Brooke Aldrich, an infield error, and a double steal that brought Plumb home to make it 2-0.

KP cut the deficit in half the next half inning as Taylor Regan reached on a fielder’s choice, took second on a single from Charlotte Raymond, and came around to score on a single up the middle from Petrillo.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Any time we get to play them, we love it and it’s always a great game,” said Taunton head coach Carrie Consalvi. “We were missing some key players tonight so I’m proud of them for hanging around with [KP] and playing 10 innings with them. [Larson] has maybe pitched a max of four innings in one game this year so for her to go 10 innings was impressive.

“But you can’t expect to score one or two runs and expect to beat KP. They are scrappy and they just keep plugging along. It was the first game in a while our offense went quiet but we’ll look to bounce back.”

Taunton (10-2 Hockomock, 11-2 overall) is back in action under the lights on Wednesday against Franklin. King Philip softball (11-0, 13-2) has the inside track to the Kelley-Rex division title but Fallon-Comeau said the focus remains solely on their next opponent, Mansfield.

“We still have a lot of games left so we didn’t talk about the division,” Fallon-Comeau said. “We have to just keep playing hard, this isn’t it. We still have a lot of Hock games left against good teams so we still have a lot of work to do.”

Stoughton Holds Off Mansfield Rally to Secure Win

Stoughton softball
Melody Casna (36) puts a tag on Jill Koppy at second to catch her stealing in Stoughton’s 6-5 win at Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – It took a while for the Stoughton offense to kick into gear on Wednesday afternoon at the East St. Field, but the Black Knights scored three times in each of the sixth and seventh innings to open up a four-run lead with three outs to go.

Even with that lead, it was anything but easy to close it out.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield rallied with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying run in scoring position with one out, but Kerry Driscoll got a fly ball to left for the second out and sealed the 6-5 victory with her only strikeout of the day.

“We always do,” Stoughton coach Deb Parker said with a laugh when it was mentioned that the Black Knights made it interesting at the end. “Kerry does a nice job to keep us in every game and we know that we need to play defense behind her and we need to give her the run support. So far that’s what the plan has been and it’s been kind of falling into place.”

Mansfield coach Lori Letendre saw her team lose for the third time in three games this season, but all three have been close games against some of the top teams in the Hock. She sees a lot of positives from the way the Hornets continued to battle despite trailing in their final at-bat.

“Both games we played this season we left some runners on, today though we got some in. It’s an improvement over what we’ve been doing,” she explained. “They battled in that seventh inning and that’s all you can hope for. I’m very proud of their effort today. We came so close, it would’ve been sweet to pull that one out.”

There were runners on base in all but two innings, but early on neither team was able to come up with the clutch hit it needed to break the deadlock.

Sydney Menz led off the game by being hit by a pitch and stole second. Camryn Whitman bunted her to third, but Menz was too aggressive with her turn and Casey Moussette threw a strike across the diamond to Olivia DeTrolio for the second out. It proved extra costly because the next hitter, Alyssa Edwards (4-for-4, two doubles, two runs scored) lined a single to left.

In the bottom of the first, Callie Lake drew a lead-off walk and got to second, but Edwards made a nice play charging a grounder from Moussette to get the final out.

Stoughton ran into another out in the third. Edwards ripped a double to right center, but a good throw from right fielder Olivia Bovey caught her in a rundown between second and third. Shortstop Liv Madeira put the tag on her to end the threat.

“We ran ourselves out of a couple of runs,” Parker admitted. “That’s what we talked about after the game. We were a little too aggressive or a little too careless against a team that is very good and you can’t take your eyes off of them.”

Madeira made all three put-outs in that inning, also making a nice running stab of a liner in the hole, snaring a hard-hit liner that was right at her. In the fourth, the Black Knights threatened again. Melody Casna (3-for-3, two RBI) was hit by a pitch in the dirt and Driscoll (2-for-4, two RBI) singled to left. Madeira was able to get the lead runner at third and then second baseman Molly Kucharski caught a soft liner and doubled up the runner at first.

“Defense has been solid this year and that’s really what’s kept us in games,” Letendre said. “They know that they need to make these plays, so everything they go all out for.”

The Hornets took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Alanna Conley (1-for-3) reached on an infield single off Driscoll’s glove. Moussette (3-for-4, two RBI) followed with a single to center. A groundout moved both runners up and Kucharski singled in the game’s first run. Amanda Schwarz followed with her first clean inning, including her third strikeout of the game.

Stoughton has scored in double digits in two of its three wins, so it felt like a matter of time before the Black Knights were able to string together a few hits. Edwards got it started in the sixth with a double down the left field line, advancing to third when the ball got away for a second from the left fielder. Casna ripped a liner to center to tie the game.

Driscoll helped her own cause with a single and Maddie Hinds was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Julie Powers (1-for-2, two RBI) drew a walk to force in Casna with the go-ahead run. Leila Alaoui then singled to right to extend the lead to 3-1.

Mansfield quickly cut the lead in half. Kucharski reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs. Conley drew a walk and pinch hitter Cat Kipp singled to center. Kucharski was waived home and Menz made a perfect throw to the plate to seemingly prevent, but there was contact between Kucharski and Edwards as she rounded third, so the run counted.

It looked like the Black Knights had put the game away in the top of the seventh. Menz singled to left, got to second when Mansfield failed to get the force out, and reached third on a scorching single by Edwards that loaded the bases. Casna came through again with a single to bring in one. Driscoll hit a slow roller and Whitman was able to beat the throw to the plate.

After a fly ball to right for the first out, Powers singled to left to make it 6-2. Schwarz kept her cool, getting her fourth strikeout and a liner to center that Lake tracked down to end the inning.

“Amanda has pitched her heart out for us this season,” Letendre said. “No matter what happens, all she cares about is the next pitch. Sometimes it’s tough to face lineups like we’ve been facing, but there is no fear in that girl and she does a great job for us.”

The Hornets kept it interesting. Lake reached on an error to lead things off, Madeira walked, and Conley was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs and bring the potential tying run to the plate. Moussette came through again, driving a single to center that again halved the deficit. Jill Koppy hit a bloop just beyond the circle that Casna nearly snagged with a diving grab. Driscoll reacted quickly to get the force at second, while Conley scampered home to make it a one-run game.

With the potential winning run on base and just one out, Driscoll made the pitches she needed to so Stoughton could head home with the win.

“A couple of kids stepped up pretty big today and produced multiple hits and drove in some runs and that’s just what you want to have happen,” Parker said. “Definitely happy. Our plan is to maintain that the rest of the way and see where we come out at the end.”

Stoughton (4-2) will be back on the road on Thursday to face Brockton in a rematch of the season opener, which the Black Knights won. Mansfield (0-3) will get a quick turnaround as well, with a trip to Foxboro on Thursday, both teams looking for their first wins of the season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Player of the Week: Meg Sherwood, King Philip Softball

Meg Sherwood
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

King Philip senior Meg Sherwood has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for April 4 through April 10. Sherwood is the 25th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2021-22 school year and the first of the spring season.

Sherwood kicked off the season with a big opening week, helping the Warriors get off to a perfect 3-0 start and take the lead in the Kelley-Rex title race. Sherwood had five hits in the first week, including four for extra bases, and scored the winning run in a dramatic win over rival Taunton that snapped a 21-game win streak for the Tigers and gives KP the early advantage in the division.

“Meg really stepped up for us last week in a big way,” said King Philip head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “Blasting a three-run home run in the bottom of the first against Taunton, then threw her team on her back with the lead off triple in the bottom of the seventh, scoring the walk off winner for us! Against Stoughton, she almost hit for the cycle with a single, double and a triple! Meg is off to a great senior campaign and we’re looking forward to her leadership on the diamond!”

KP opened the season by pulling out a win against Foxboro. Next up was Taunton’s visit to the PAL fields and, although it was only the second game, it as a matchup with big title implications. Sherwood smashed a three-run homer to left in the bottom of the first that answered Taunton’s three-run top half of the inning and tied the game. After KP came back again to tie it 4-4, Sherwood led off the seventh by lining a triple down the right field line. She would come across with the winning run on Ava Kelley’s single to center. KP finished up the week with a big win over Stoughton and Sherwood was again in the middle of KP’s offensive outburst, going 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored, two RBI, a double, and a triple.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Meg Sherwood
Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Meg Sherwood The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview

2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Taunton is coming off a state championship and a perfect season, but there will be plenty of competition for the league crown this season. Read team-by-team previews below. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview

Attleboro

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.”

Canton

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.”







Foxboro

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.”

Franklin

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.”




King Philip

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!”

Mansfield

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.

Milford

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!”




North Attleboro

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!”

Oliver Ames

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.”

Sharon

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.”

Stoughton

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!”

Taunton

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.

2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview