Dramatic Win Keeps Franklin Playoff Hopes Alive

Franklin softball
Franklin players race to celebrate with senior Meg Caron (26) after she drove in the game-winning run in the 10th inning to beat North Attleboro and keep Franklin’s chance to reach the tournament alive. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin came into Monday’s Memorial Day matinee with North Attleboro needing a victory keep alive hopes of reaching the postseason. After punching in a run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, throwing a runner out at the plate to stay tied in the ninth, and escaping a bases loaded jam in the top half of the 10th, the Panthers were just 60 feet from the win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Senior Meghan Caron, the lone Panther player celebrating senior night before the first pitch, stood at the plate with Tara Hartnett poised at third. Caron hit a chopper towards the left side of the infield and North shortstop Emily Nardelli had to come home with it, but Hartnett was off on contact and slid in ahead of the throw.

Franklin pulled out a 4-3 victory that split the season series against the Rocketeers and also sends the Panthers into the season finale knowing that a win will clinch a spot in the state tournament.

“I’m so pumped for her,” Franklin coach Kate Fallon-Comeau said of Caron. “They call her ‘Meg Money’ because she was so clutch when she was younger, growing up, and I’m just glad she was the one that was clutch today.”

It was a back-and-forth game from the start. The Panthers took the lead in the bottom of the first thanks to an unearned run. Allie Shea (3-for-5) got it started with a single to left and Anna Balkus beat out a bunt single. Nardelli made a diving stab of a Maddie White grounder up the middle to get a force at second but a bobble on a grounder off the bat of Hartnett brought Shea home.

North took its lone lead of the game in the third inning. Olivia Capobianco singled with one out and stole second. Abby Gallagher followed with a walk and then Ashley Cangiano lined a double into right center than scored one. North coach Bill Wallace held up Gallagher, as the Franklin relay got the ball in quickly, but Bella Erti helped her own cause with a single that drove in both runners for a 3-1 advantage.

Franklin cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Balkus and White singled to start the inning and, after a force at third to get the lead runner, Hartnett singled to right to drive in White and make it 3-2.

After the third both pitchers settled into their starts. Erti retired 12 straight Franklin hitters from the third to the seventh inning and finished the game with eight strikeouts. Cherry kept the Rocketeers off-balance, moving the ball around and although she walked eight hitters, she also struck out 15 and didn’t allow a run over the final seven innings.

“She settled in nicely,” Fallon-Comeau said of her starter. “She found the pitch that worked for her and, you know, she just pounded parts of the zone that they didn’t seem to be hitting hard.”

North had its chances to extend the lead, stranding a pair of runners in the fourth and one each in the fifth, sixth, and seventh. “We did [get the hits] early to go up 3-1,” Wallace said, “but then we had runners in scoring position all day but we left a small village on base.”

The inability to tack on insurance runs came back to haunt the Rocketeers in the seventh. A one-out walk to the nine-hitter Gabby Colace got the rally started. Shea followed with a single to left and both moved up into scoring position on a groundout to first by Balkus. White hit a bouncer to short that Nardelli bobbled for a split second before firing to first. It was a bang-bang play at the bag and White was ruled safe, allowing the tying run to score.

“It’s either now or never, so get it done. If you want your season to continue then you need to get a run here, two would be nice,” said Fallon-Comeau of her message to the team before the seventh. She added, “They’ve been that way all season. They don’t get down. They really rise up for the competition.”

North nearly broke the deadlock in the ninth. A one-out walk to Gallagher was followed by a blast to center by Cangiano that one-hopped the fence. This time, Wallace elected to send the runner, but the relay from Balkus to Hartnett to catcher Maggie Hobby was perfectly executed to cut down the go-ahead run at the plate.

Fallon-Comeau explained, “I can’t tell you how many balls we’ve hit off the fence and say okay get the fastest kid in our program out at home. We do it all the time because it comes down to get the ball and perfect throw and perfect throw. If you don’t have that, then it’s a run.”

Franklin put two on in the ninth as well, with one-out singles by Shea and Balkus but Erti got a pop on the infield and a strikeout to end the threat.

“She grinded and that’s typical of her that she gets better as the game goes on,” Wallace said of Erti. “She’s not the least bit tired right now. In her eyes, she’d rather be out there throwing two, three more innings.”

The Rocketeers threatened again in the 10th. Katherine Munley drew a walk and with two outs Andrea Miceli lined a single to left. After Abby Warren drew a walk, the bases were loaded but Cherry was able to bear down and struck out Capobianco to keep the game tied.

“Little things win games like that and we didn’t do enough of the little things to win,” said Wallace, who added that this was good preparation for his team before the tournament. “We’ve got to do a better job situationally hitting, things like that, and these are things we can point out at practice.”

In the bottom of the inning, Hartnett singled to start the inning and moved up to second on a wild pitch. She failed to move up a base on a hard grounder to the right side by Kylie-Jade Bouzan but went to third on a second wild pitch. That gave Caron the chance to be the hero on senior night.

“We did it. I don’t know how we did it, but we did it,” said Fallon-Comeau. “Bill and I, since probably back when I was in high school because he was the coach when I played, have always had these barnburner games. It goes back-and-forth, back-and-forth all the time and I’m just glad it swung back in our direction this time because we needed it.”

Franklin (9-10, 8-8) will have one last game against Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday night. If the Panthers win, then they are in the playoffs. North Attleboro (15-3, 11-3) will face Davenport division champ Milford on Thursday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/02/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 3 – Final (8 Inn.)Milford junior Nick Marcolini earned the win on the mound and scored the game-winning run as the Hawks took down visiting Attleboro in extra innings. Marcolini led off the eighth with a walk, stole second, and advanced to third. He came in to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly from Colby Pires. In a relief appearance, Marcolini tossed three scoreless innings with two strikeouts to get the win. Luke Rosa was the starter for Milford, allowing two runs in five innings with four strikeouts. Matt Swanson added two hits, including a double and a run scored, for the Hawks.

Oliver Ames, 13 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalFoxboro held a 4-2 lead after an inning of play but OA chipped away and used five runs in the third inning to seize an 8-4 lead and never looked back. Jack Erlich went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI and Mitch Goulet had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and four RBI. Nick Zwerle and Tom Parker combined for 6.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Tigers. Foxboro’s Chad Bearce was 2-for-4 with a triple while Joe Cavaleri and JT Burke each drove in a pair of runs.

Taunton, 7 @ Canton, 0 – FinalTaunton’s Trevor Pietrzyk (two doubles, triple) set the tone, going 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with an RBI and a run scored as the Tigers notched a win on the road. Jakob Roberts added two hits and two RBI while Ben Joyce drove in a pair of runs. Tyler Medeiros and Jacob Crawford each had a hit, an RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers. Medeiros got the win on the mound, scattering three hits over five innings of work with five strikeouts. Brendan Bignar and Logan Lawrence each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

Franklin, 14 @ Stoughton, 10 – FinalFranklin scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 9-9 tie and emerge from Stoughton with a win on the road. JB Flores went 4-for-4, including a double and an RBI while scoring a pair of runs. Evan Wendell also had a strong day for Franklin with a pair of doubles, runs scored and four RBI. Jake Macchi added three hits and three RBI for Franklin while both Scott Elliott and Colby Fitzgibbons had two RBI apiece. Ben Guzman got the win in relief, allowing three hits and one run over three innings of work. Stoughton’s Matt Hadley and James Genest both went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Geroge Currier and Cian Swierzewski each drove in two runs for the Black Knights.

King Philip, 8 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalKing Philip tied the game in the fifth, took the lead in the sixth, and then tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh inning to complete a comeback from at Sharon. KP took a 3-0 lead in the second before Sharon pulled ahead with four runs in the third. Pat Limerick had three hits and one RBI, sophomore Chris Sawyer had two hits and two RBI, and Tyler Nault delivered with an RBI pinch-hit single for the Warriors. Terry Murray earned the win in relief, throwing three scoreless innings with one strikeout.

Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalMansfield senior Kevin Dow had a dominating performance on the mound, throwing a complete game with just two hits allowed and no walked and one unearned run allowed to lead the Hornets to a win over previously unbeaten North Attleboro. Dow struck out nine and didn’t issue a walk to get the win. Offensively, Dow went 2-for-4 and had an RBI triple in the third inning that put Mansfield up 2-0. Dow then scored on an RBI single from senior Tyler Dalton. Mansfield took the lead in the top of the second when Cullin Anastasia scored. Zach DeMattio and Brendan McHugh (run) each had a hit for Big Red.

Softball
Milford, 12 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalMilford plated six runs in the sixth inning to break open what was a two-run game to grab a win on the road. The Hawks took a 5-3 advantage into the sixth before exploding for six runs. Jess Tomaso (2-for-4, three RBI) hit a home run in the sixth for her 100th career hit. Emily Piergustavo added two hits, two runs, and four RBI, Maddy Bonvino went 3-for-4 with a double, triple, and two-run home run and Kate Irwin had three hits, three runs, and an RBI for the Scarlet Hawks. Kelley Reichert got the win in the circle, striking out nine. Attleboro leadoff hitter Jordyn Lako went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and MacKenzie Killough blasted a two-run home run in the third inning.

Canton, 0 @ Taunton, 13 – Final (5 Inn.)Taunton sophomore Jaylin Couto struck out 10 while allowing just two hits and one walk to help the Tigers notch a win over visiting Canton. Couto improved to 3-0 with five scoreless innings. Offensively, Kelsey White went 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI, and a stolen base, Kya Enos had two hits including a double, a run scored and an RBI, Abbie McDonough recorded two hits, scored three runs, stole a base, and had an RBI, and freshman McKenzie McAloon drove in three runs for the Tigers.

Foxboro, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final Foxboro senior Mandy Ryan had an RBI single in the top of the seventh to help the Warriors come up with a win on the road. Hannah Davis and Chelsea Gibbons each had two hits while Emma Rohan earned the win in the circle, striking out four. Oliver Ames’ Caroline Mahoney went 2-for-4 with RBI, Katie Mills was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Marissa Guarino had two hits and an RBI, and Alexis Campbell had two hits and a run scored for OA. Freshman Emma Varella pitched a complete game for OA, striking out three.

Stoughton, 2 @ Franklin, 12 – Final

North Attleboro, 7 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro broke open a two-run game with four runs in the last two innings to make it two wins in two days for the Rocketeers. Bella Erti struck out 11, allowing only four hits and no walks to pick up the win. Abby Warren and Olivia Capobianco paced the North offense with three hits apiece, while Ashley Cangiano and Katie Daby each had two hits. Katherine Munley came through with a couple of nice grabs in the field, according to North coach Bill Wallace, and Cangiano threw out her third runner attempting to steal in two days. Mary Muldoon drove in the lone Mansfield run in the second, singling in Caty DeMassi. Kara Bendanillo went 2-for-3 for the Hornets.

Boys Lacrosse
Canton, 11 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalCanton raced out to a 5-1 lead at half time and never looked back to beat Attleboro. The Bulldogs, who never trailed in the game, had seven different goal scorers including senior Joey Vaughan.

Foxboro, 11 @ Sharon, 5 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 20 – Final

King Philip @ Taunton, 3:45

Mansfield, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – FinalOA goalie Nick Gillis had a huge game in the cage and Frankie Ireland netted three goals to help the Tigers score a big win over Mansfield. Eric LeBlanc and Sam Stevens added two goals each in the win.

Milford, 3 @ North Attleboro, 17 – FinalFor Milford, Josh Ligor, Andrew Gallagher, and Mike Demko each scored once while Cullen Burns recorded an assist.


Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 6 @ Canton, 15 – FinalCaroline Tourgee had four goals, Molly Colburn scored three goals and had a pair of assists, and Maggie Connolly had two goals and four assists for the Bulldogs. Leah McClellan and Kaitlyn Goyetch each added two goals and an assist, while Alexa Maffeo scored once and had a pair of helpers. Rachel Beatty scored once for Canton and Vicky Revanche made 12 saves in the Bulldogs net.

Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 19 – FinalKP used nine different goal scorers to put an end to it two-game losing streak. Alli Meehan (one assist), Caroline Klim, Mackenzie Mazur, and Ali Wilson all recorded hat tricks for the Warriors, while Jess Sullivan scored a pair. Izzy Agricola, Jenna Hitchen (one assist), Olivia Tormey, and Dana Truini also scored for KP.

Sharon, 8 @ Foxboro, 19 – FinalSabrina Robbins and Emma Eberhardt both had hat tricks for Sharon in the loss. Robbins added eight draw controls, while Eberhardt also had two assists and four draw controls. Maxine Gordon and Abbi Solomon scored the other goals for the Eagles and Taylor Kim scooped four ground balls.

Franklin, 15 @ North Andover, 10 – Final

Oliver Ames, 9 @ Mansfield, 19 – FinalThe Hornets won for the second time in three days to get back to .500 on the season and move into a third-place tie with OA in the Kelley-Rex division. Mansfield had six different goal scorers in the game, led by Katy Garvin’s six and Maggie Danehy’s four. Hannah Sternburg made six saves in the Mansfield goal.

North Attleboro, 15 @ Milford, 2 – FinalNorth Attleboro had its passing game working on Wednesday, getting an assist on all 15 of its goals. Freshman Maggie O’Brien notched her first varsity goal in the win and also had four assists on the day. Julia Tolfa chipped in with six draw controls for the Rocketeers.

Boys Tennis
Milford, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro swept doubles play and picked up one win in singles to get a win over visiting Milford. Jared Cooper won 6-3, 6-1 at third singles while the team of Ryan Gordon and Estrada won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles and Luis Sandoval and Eli Araujo didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles. Milford’s Brendan Shaughnessy won 6-3, 6-3 at first singles and classmate Cam Doherty took a 7-5, 6-3 decision at second singles.

Canton, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalTaunton picked up its second straight win by sweeping visiting Sharon, taking all three singles matches in straight sets without dropping a game. Francois Hennaux (first singles), Brett Beaulieu (second singles) and Mike Briggs (third singles) all won 6-0, 6-0. The team of Charlie Fiske and Dylan Kulas won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles while Kyle Dennehy and Alex Pugh prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 10-1 at second doubles.

Foxboro, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin’s doubles teams combined to drop just one game total in a sweep over visiting Stoughton. Tony Calderone and Derek Wu won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Shournik Sompally and Saket Gandham won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles. Rohan Herur won 7-5, 6-3 at first singles, Liam Marr dropped just two games in a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and Tyler DiPalma won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.

Sharon, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip pushed Sharon to the edge but the Eagles prevailed, keeping their lengthy league win streak alive. Senior Andre Olivei won 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 at first singles and sophomore Alberto Olivei recorded a 6-2, 6-3 win at third singles. Sharon’s third win came from Ashwin Sreevatsa and Arie Chinnappan, who won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles. King Philip’s Nick Putney won 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (4) at second singles and the team of Sean Desrochers and Nate Ihley picked up a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) win at first doubles.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro swept singles play in straight sets and took another win in doubles play to record a win on the road at Mansfield. Richard Bermudez won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Christian Bermudez notched a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles and freshman Jonah Manso took care of business with a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. North’s second doubles teams of Alex Pfeffer and Sam Gallagher won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles. Mansfield’s Jalaj Singh and Sethu Odayappan won 6-3, 7-5 at first doubles.

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 3 @ Canton, 2 – FinalTaunton’s first doubles pairing of McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin overcame a one-set deficit to record the third and final point to help the Tigers beat Canton. Lucie and Martin won 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 while Taunton’s second doubles team of Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier won 6-0, 6-3 at second doubles. Freshman Jocelyn Pagliuca won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles for Taunton. Canton freshman Natalie Keppler won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and classmate Rachel Kupferman didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles.

Attleboro, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalFoxboro’s Sophia Prinos and Pamela Nelson won their singles matches in straight sets to help the Warriors earn a victory. Prinos won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Nelson notched a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Kayla Prag emerged with a 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 win at third singles. The Warriors’ team of Sarah Prag and Julia Muise won 6-1, 5-7, 11-9 while Olivia Dantona and Kendall Millender recorded a 6-1, 6-4 win at second doubles.

Franklin, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final

King Philip, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalSharon picked up a pair of wins in singles play and two more in doubles to get a win over King Philip. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles while Lulu Yuan emerged with a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles. Katie Merport and Emily Wen won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles and Sophia Fein and Rithika Neti recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win at second doubles.

Mansfield, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro swept singles play, taking all three matches in straight sets, to defend home court against Mansfield. Jordan Willis won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, Emily Chiasson took a 6-4, 6-0 decision at second singles, and Azka Siddiq didn’t lose a game in a win at third singles. North’s team of Leah Marceau and Tara Nair won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles. Mansfield’s first doubles team of Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske won 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 for the Hornets.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 @ St. John’s Shrewsbury, 1 – Final

Taunton, 3 @ New Bedford, 0 – FinalTaunton went on the road and returned with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-17) win over New Bedford. Lens Esquil notched 11 kills and four blocks, Collin Hunter added five kills and four blocks, Malik Charles chipped in with four kills and a pair of blocks, and Alex Tavares notched four kills and a block. Freshman Tyler Stewart recorded his first two career kills in the win.


Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/11/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 6 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalAttleboro senior James Weir shined on the mound, allowing just two hits with four strikeouts in a complete game effort. Weir earned the win with just one earned run allowed. Eoin Kelleher (double) and Dakota Kirby each had a pair of hits for the Bombardiers along with an RBI each. Jon Candiales added a pair of hits and three runs scored for Attleboro.

Foxboro, 3 @ Sharon, 8 – FinalSharon junior Noah Kamens tossed a complete game without allowing an earned run to help the Eagles pick up their first win of the season. Kamens stuck out four while walking three in the win. Senior Drew Naisuler went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI while junior Jared Reef added two hits, an RBI, and a run scored.

Canton, 2 @ North Attleboro, 6 – FinalNorth Attleboro broke open a tie game with three runs in the top of the fourth and then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to earn a win over Canton. In his varsity debut, senior Ben Arrighi came on with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and induced a ground ball to get out of the inning. Arrighi then escaped another bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh to earn the save (2.1 IP, 0 R). Jeff Gale went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, including a triple, and had an RBI single in the sixth inning to put Big Red up 6-2. Nick Sinacola added two hits while Peter Cohen earned the win on the mound. Canton’s Matt Casamento had a two-run home run in the third that tied the game 2-2.

Franklin, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final (8 inn.)Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Taunton, 3 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalMansfield took the lead in the bottom of the first inning but Taunton answered with three runs in the top of the second to earn the win. Jack Moynihan earned the win on the bump, scattering five hits with five strikeouts and just on unearned run allowed. Josh Lajoie didn’t allow a hit in two innings of relief, striking out four to earn the save. Offensively, Trevor Pietrzyk (2-for-4) knocked in one run and Jacob Crawford had two RBI. Moynihan also had a hit and scored a run. For Mansfield, Sam Nugent went 2-for-3 and Tyler Dalton had an RBI single. Sophomore John Carney struck out five without allowing a hit in 3.2 innings of relief.

Stoughton, 10 @ Milford, 3 – FinalStoughton’s offense exploded for seven runs in the top of the eighth inning to pick up a victory on the road. Sophomore James Genest went 3-for-5 (double, run, RBI), while Ruben Gonzalez (double, run), Robbie Seaman (double, two runs), and George Currier (run, RBI, SB) each had two hits. Sophomore Michael Nazzaro chipped in with a two-run double.  Zak Paquette started for Stoughton and went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs (1 earned) on five hits with seven strikeouts. Junior Evan Gibb got the win pitching 2.2 scoreless innings allowing just one hit.

Softball
King Philip, 7 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalKing Philip’s Elise Pereira allowed just four singles and one run while striking out 12 batters to lead the Warriors to a win on the road. Brianna Lacy paced the offense with three hits, including a home run. Faith Turnese added two hits and Sydney Phillips had two RBI in the win.

North Attleboro, 20 @ Canton, 0 – FinalBella Erti (three innings, one hit allowed) and Jaclyn Buckley (two innings and two hits allowed) combined for the shutout for North, which has scored at least 20 runs in each of its two games this season. Ashley Cangiano and Olivia Capobianco each went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBI, while Abby Warren went 3-for-3 with two triples and six RBI. Erti also went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in a pair and Emily Nardelli had one RBI and three runs scored. North coach Bill Wallace said Andrea Miceli had a great game in the field.

Sharon, 7 @ Foxboro, 18 – FinalFoxboro seniors Hannah Davis and Mandy Ryan, and freshman Nicole Theriault each had three hits to pace the Warriors to a big win at home. Junior Emma Rohan recorded 10 strikeouts for the Warriors.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Franklin, 15 – Final (6 inn.)Franklin scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back to secure its first win of the season. The Panthers tacked on four more in the second, five more in the fourth and a single run in the sixth inning. Kylie Bouzan and Meg Caron finished with two RBI apiece while Emily Valentino earned the win, striking out four while scattering six hits. For Oliver Ames, Marissa Guarino was 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored, Kayla Georgeu added a double, and Katie Abreu scored a run.

Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 13 – FinalTaunton sophomore Jaylin Couto allowed just one earned run on four hits in four innings of work. Couto also struck out four while Kelsey White finished with three innings of no-hit ball with three strikeouts. McKenzie McAloon (3-4, two doubles, three RBI), Hanna Aldrich (2-3, two doubles, three RBI), Jaime Brown (2-3, double), Kya Enos (1-2, two RBI), and Kelsey White (triple, two RBI) paced the Tigers’ offense. Grace Benton went 2-for-3 on the game for the Hornets, recording half of the team’s hits on the day.

Milford, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalMilford rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to escape Stoughton with a win. The Hawks put the bat on the ball but Stoughton played phenomenal defense to keep them off the board for six innings. In the top of the seventh, Emily Hartman (2-for-2, run) led off with a double, Shannon Cormier walked and Maddy Bonvino loaded the bases with a bunt single. Kelley Reichert gave Milford the lead with a two-run single and Sabrina Haarstick gave the Hawks insurance with another two-run single. Antonia Bonina had another strong day offensively, going 3-for-3 while Reichert earned the win, striking out seven with three hits allowed and just one unearned run. Stoughton took the lead when Nikki Coppola led off the bottom of the first with a walk, took second on an error and scored on a ground ball to short from Jordan Lyons. Gina Carafa tossed a complete game for Stoughton, allowing just six hits.

Boys Lacrosse
Franklin, 18 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final

Milford, 2 @ Canton, 14 – FinalCanton senior Charlie O’Connor made his season debut and didn’t lose a face off, scoring two goals as well, to help the Bulldogs pick up a win over visiting Milford. The Bulldogs had eight different players score a goal including junior Teddy MacDonald, who notched his first career goal. Freshman goalie Dylan Coyne had a shutout in net in the fourth quarter for Canton.

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 19 – FinalLouis Piccolo recorded six points while Andrew Whalen and Pete Conley each picked up five points as Foxboro improved to 4-0. Piccolo had three goals and three assists, Whalen scored once and had four assists, and Conley scored four times and chipped in with one helper.

Mansfield, 10 @ King Philip, 14 – Final

Oliver Ames, 7 @ North Attleboro, 17 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Jason McNeany dominated the face off X (18-for-20) to help the Rocketeers pick up a win at home over OA. Sophomore Andy DeMattio scored five goals, Damien Curtis scored four goals, and McNeany added four points in the win. Nate D’Amico made eight saves in net for the Rocketeers. Eric LeBlanc had three goals for Oliver Ames while Shane Kilkelly found the back of the net twice.

Sharon, 14 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalBrothers Brett and Drew Litner each finished with six points to pace the Eagles to a win on the road. Brett had five goals and one assist while Drew had one goal and five assists. Kadin Nestler added three goals for Sharon while Johnny Greenberg posted the shutout.

Girls Lacrosse
Taunton, 2 @ Sharon, 15 – FinalSharon coach Shara Ginthwain called the Eagles’ win a “total team effort,” as eight different players scored goals. Sabrina Robbins had another strong overall game with three goals, three assists, and six ground balls, while Emma Eberhardt also finished with a hat trick and three assists and added 10 draw controls as well. Freshman Jenna Goldstein made it a hat trick of hat tricks for the Eagles and Cass Barbera chipped in with six ground balls. Taunton’s Hannah Moniz and Alana Tavares each scored once while Lorna Li made 11 saves in net.

Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 20 – FinalHalle Atkinson and Shannon D’Arcangelo each recorded three goals to pace the Panthers to a win at home. Alex Field scored her goal of the season while Victoria Quinn had a strong game in midfield with four draw controls. Grace MacCallum anchored the defense with three ground balls.

Canton, 7 @ Milford, 6 – FinalMaggie Connolly scored a first half hat trick to help the Bulldogs pull out their first win of the season and first under new coach Laurie Chabot.

Foxboro, 10 @ Norwell, 11 – Final

King Philip, 12 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final KP made it three wins in three games to start the season with six different players finding the back of the net. Katie Crowther and Caroline Klim each scored three goals for the Warriors, while Alli Meehan added two goals and an assist, Dana Truini had a pair of goals, Jess Sullivan had a goal and an assist, and Olivia Tormey scored in the win. Caroline Watson made 13 saves in the win.

North Attleboro, 18 @ Oliver Ames, 10 – FinalFor Oliver Ames, Ella Hogan and Olivia Piazza each netted three goals while Chloe Kilkelly and Sofia Masciarelli added two goals apiece.

Boys Tennis
King Philip, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip lost a total of three games in singles play on its way to a sweep on the road at Attleboro. Marco DiStefano won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles, Nick Putney didn’t lose a game in a win at second singles and Jack Cannon took a 6-0, 6-1 decision at third singles. The team of Nick Ihley and Nate Ihley registered a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles and Zak Ryan and Jake Mager made their varsity debuts with a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Canton, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro picked up its third win of the season, sweeping Canton on the road. Senior Richard Bermudez won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and Christian Bermudez won with the same score at second singles. Freshman Jonah Manso won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. The team of Ben Pfeffer and Vikram Senthilkumaran won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles and Alex Pfeffer and Sam Gallagher teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Sharon, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalSharon picked up its third win of the season with a sweep on the road against division foe Foxboro. Fred Bondar notched a 6-1, 6-2 win at first singles, Andre Olivei picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles and Danujan Thirumavalavan didn’t lose a game at third singles. Junior Max Brody and senior Russell Rapaport won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles while Sharon’s pairing of Ashwin Sreevatsa and Arie Chinnappan, won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin earned a clean sweep, dropping just one game in the five matches. Rohan Herur and Saketh Saripalli each won 6-0, 6-0 at first and third singles, respectively. Liam Marr recorded a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles for the Panthers. The team of Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu (first doubles) and the pairing of Tony Calderone and Dan Angermeier (second doubles) each won 6-0, 6-0.

Mansfield @ Taunton, 3:45

Milford, 0 @ Stoughton, 5 – Final – Stoughton picked up its first win of the season, sweeping Milford. Freshman Waseem Sablon picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, junior Erik Anderson recorded a 7-5, 6-1 win at second singles and LJ Fernandiz won 6-3, 6-3 at third singles. Stoughton’s team of Hassan Khan and Andrew Chiang won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles and the pairing of sophomores Brendon Buckley and Mike Veliotis won 6-0, 6-3 at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalTaunton won in straight sets in all five matches to notch a victory on the road. Jillian Pagliuca won by default at first singles, senior Vanessa Rosa won 6-1, 6-3 at second singles, and freshman Jocelyn Pagliuca earned a 6-2, 6-3 win at third singles. The team of juniors McKenzie Lucie and Sam Martin won 6-3, 6-3 at first doubles for the Tigers and senior Amanda Pugh and junior Brianna Fevrier won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:30

Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro picked up a pair of wins in both singles and both doubles to beat Canton. Senior Jordan Willis won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and senior Katie Ovoian won 6-1, 7-5 at second singles. The team of seniors Leah Marceau and Shurobhi Nandi won 6-0, 6-3 at first doubles while juniors Mae McLaughlin and Tara Nair emerged with a 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles. Canton freshman Rachel Kupferman won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles.

Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – FinalSharon emerged with a 3-2 victory in a showdown with division rival Foxboro. The Eagles picked up wins at second singles and both doubles matches. Lulu Yuan won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, Katie Merport and Emily Wen prevailed with a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles and Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein teamed up for a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles. Foxboro’s Sophia Prinos won 6-2, 7-5 at first singles and freshman Pam Nelson earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at third singles.

Franklin, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalOliver Ames defended its home court with a sweep of visiting Franklin. Sarah Leger won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Tate Hadges took a 6-0, 6-1 decision at second singles and Maura Kiernan didn’t lose a game in a win at third singles. The team of Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu recorded a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles while Rachel Stryke and Olivia Groebe prevailed 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles.

Stoughton, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final

2018 Hockomock League Softball Preview

2018 Hockomock Softball Preview
Milford won the Div. 1 state championship in 2017 and brings back six starters to try and repeat, but the rest of the Hockomock League will be aiming to take down the Hawks this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Hockomock Softball Preview

Attleboro

2017 Record: 9-10
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Mark Homer

Attleboro made a return to the state tournament last spring thanks to a no-hitter from McKenzie Bergdoll in the final game of the regular season and now the Bombardiers, who lost only three players from last year’s roster, are looking to build on that success to make another run at the postseason this year. Bergdoll, a junior, will be back in the circle again this season as well as one of the big bats that Attleboro will rely on to make it back-to-back playoff appearances.

Senior rightfielder Casey Whelan will add experience to a relatively young outfield unit and fellow seniors Vanessa Dancer and Adrianna Elel will provide leadership. Juniors Jordyn Lako and Kayla Battisti are back to contribute to the Bombardiers playoff challenge and there are high expectations for a talented group of sophomores that includes Makenzie Killough, Ashley Macia, and twin sisters Emma and Jenna Gittle.

“With the loss of only three seniors last year, our season has several impact returning veterans along with some new freshman that will fill the holes quite nicely,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “This season’s early player roster looks very promising but it will be the leadership of the team that will determine our direction and state the facts at the end of the season.”

Canton

2017 Record: 1-19
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Jennifer Robillard

Canton is coming off a difficult 2017, after winning one game under first-year head coach Jennifer Robillard, but both the coaches and players have a year of experience to build on and an infusion of young talent, with five freshmen being added to the varsity roster, has the Bulldogs looking at 2018 as a year to get the program heading in the right direction.

Sophomore Caroline Hughes will be the starting pitcher and will bat third this season and the coaches are confident that she can provide a lift to the team. Senior Hannah Jerrier will also be back in the middle of the order, after missing almost all of last season after breaking her hand during basketball, and should give the Bulldogs some added pop in the lineup. Senior Katie Halloran will be back in the middle of the infield and senior Evelyn Carrington returns in center. Unfortunately, injuries have struck again with sophomore Jackie Howard lost for the season, but Robillard believes that several of the new faces can come in and contribute right away.

“As a first-year varsity coach, last year was a learning experience for both myself and the girls,” Robillard said. “I am confident that we will make great strides towards success this season.”

Foxboro

2017 Record: 5-16
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Mark Maguire

Foxboro earned a playoff berth through the Sullivan Rule a season ago, despite 15 losses in the regular season, but the Warriors were much better than their overall record and No. 20 seed may have suggested. Out of the 16 games that Foxboro lost in 2017, six were by two runs or less, including a 2-0 loss to Ursuline Academy in the tournament, and those close games are what head coach Mark Maguire is hoping his team can turn into wins this year to make a run at the playoffs.

The Warriors will be looking to senior catcher Hannah Davis to provide the offensive punch, as the perennial league all-star has been among the Hockomock’s best hitters for the past three seasons. Classmate Lexi Buckner will also add some offense in the middle of the order and the lefty will be moving from second base to first this year. Senior Kelly McCarthy will be back in center and at the top of the order, while Chelsea Gibbons will be at third and Camryn Willis will be back at shortstop. Foxboro also has experience in the circle as third-year starter Emma Rohan will get the ball again for the Warriors.

“We have good senior leadership,” said Maguire about the team’s strengths. “Right down the center of the field we have vocal leaders to help the defense. We’re a good hitting team and I think fielding and pitching should be even better this year.”

Franklin

2017 Record: 10-12
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Kate Fallon

Franklin missed the playoffs a season ago and have a relatively young roster this season, with just one senior in the squad, so the Panthers are flying under the radar as the season gets underway, but they don’t mind if teams overlook them at the start of the season as they try to get back into the postseason.

While there are a number of new faces for Franklin this season, the battery of junior pitcher Jackie Cherry and junior catcher Ally Shea are back, which gives the Panthers a strong foundation on which to build. Junior shortstop Tara Hartnett is also back to give Franklin strong middle of the infield defense and sophomore Anna Balkus will be in center. Senior Meg Caron, the lone upperclassman on the team, will add versatility playing at third and some outfield this season.

“We’re looking to make it back to the tournament this season,” said Franklin coach Kate Fallon. “Ally Shea and Meg Caron will provide excellent leadership for our up and coming athletes and no doubt in my mind they will be an integral part of our successes this season!”

King Philip

2017 Record: 18-7
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Norm Beauchemin

Despite a lot of turnover in the lineup last spring, King Philip followed up its 2016 state championship by winning the Kelley-Rex division title and reaching the quarterfinal of the Div. 1 South sectional. With 10 returning players this season, KP has typically high expectations and one of the state’s perennial powers seems poised to make another run at a league title, which would be its 11th in the past 12 seasons, and to go deep in the state tournament.

The biggest change for the Warriors this season will be in the circle where senior Elise Pereira takes over as the primary starter after the graduation of Jenn Hutnyan. Pereira saw plenty of action last year too, but will have to shoulder the majority of the innings this season, backed up by Faith Turnese. Brianna Lacy will be behind the dish, returning as one of the league’s top defensive catchers. Senior Hailey McCasland returns at second base and junior Meghan Gorman is back at shortstop after a breakout sophomore season. Jess Bonner returns at third and senior Sydney Phillips will once again be in centerfield.

It is a loaded lineup with a ton of speed and a strong defensive unit, according to KP head coach Norm Beauchemin. He added, “This is a very hungry team that should compete for the Kelly-Rex and make a strong run in the playoffs.”

Mansfield

2017 Record: 13-9
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Lori Letendre

After booking a return to the state tournament last spring, Mansfield returns 10 players, including five starters, to try and make it four playoff appearances in a row. The Hornets are relatively young with only three seniors on the roster and have some holes to fill, including two-thirds of the outfield, but there is a lot of confidence that the program will be able to compete with the best in the league.

Sarah Cahill took over as the starter during the season last year and she will be back in the circle again this spring trying to build on an impressive debut. Cahill will be throwing to her battery mate, as Caty DeMassi is back behind the plate. While the corner infield spots are open this year, Megan Letendre and Kara Bendanillo are back to fill the other infield spots and give the Hornets strength up the middle. Junior Mady Bendanillo is also back to patrol centerfield and fill one of the middle of the order spots, as one of the league’s most dangerous hitters. Freshman Elle Veheggen joins the team this spring as a newcomer to keep an eye on.

“We are a young team,” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre. “The girls have been working hard in the off-season and came into tryouts well-prepared.”

Milford

2017 Record: 25-1
2017 Finish: Won D1 State Championship
Coach: Steve DiVitto

The defending Div. 1 state champions look loaded for another run at the title with nine returning players, including six starters, back from last season’s tournament run. Kelley Reichert will take over for Ali Atherton in the circle after seeing time as a reliever and starter in each of the past three seasons. The lineup looks just as potent as last year with senior shortstop Emily Piergustavo back after being named HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and league MVP.

Senior first baseman Jess Tomaso is back to add power in the heart of the order and senior Kate Irwin, fresh off reaching 1,000 points in her Milford basketball career, will return to set the table as the lead-off hitter and emotional spark plug. Senior second baseman Maddy Bonvino, senior rightfielder Shannon Cormier and junior catcher Emily Hartman will add depth to a fearsome lineup that features lots of power and speed.

“This year’s team is focused on the here and now and not the past,” said Milford coach Steve DiVitto. “Each year a new page is turned over, and the focus this year is: what’s your legacy going to be? Keeping our awesome team chemistry will be an important part of this season.”

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 14-7
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Bill Wallace

The Rocketeers had a young squad last season but managed to surprise a few people by reaching the Div. 1 South semifinal, including an upset of league rival Taunton, and after that year of experience North Attleboro is expecting to be competitive again this spring. Sophomore pitcher Bella Erti is back in the circle after a strong freshman campaign and will be throwing to classmate Ashley Cangiano with the hope of improving on her breakout season.

Olivia Capobianco is back in centerfield after turning in a strong season and she will also be one of the table-setters for the lineup. Abby Gallagher and Katherine Munley will join Capobianco in an experienced outfield for the Rocketeers. Annabelle Hebard, Katy Daby and Abby Warren will play the corner infield positions, while Andrea Miceli is back at second base after a strong year at the plate and in the field. Stephanie Inglese and freshman Emily Nardelli will compete for the shortstop position.

North Attleboro coach Bill Wallace said, “If we want to repeat the success of last year we will need to find some power in the middle of the lineup lost to graduation last year.”

Oliver Ames

2017 Record: 4-16
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Lindsey Allison

Oliver Ames will have plenty of experience this spring as it makes a run at a return to the state tournament. The Tigers have 10 players back from last year’s roster, including six seniors, highlighted by junior pitcher Kayla Georgeu, who will take the ball as the primary starter again this spring and who head coach Lindsey Allison thinks is ready to “come into her own” both in the circle and at the plate.

The strong senior class includes infielder Alexis Campbell, who will also chip in as a pitcher this year, outfielders Sarah Tetrault and Marissa Guarino, infielders Caroline Mahoney and Rachel Han, and catcher Antonia Peretti. Sophomore Katie Abreu had a strong rookie campaign and is expected to have an even better second season with the Tigers.

“The best thing about this team is their heart and determination – they show up to practice excited to work together and work hard every day,” Allison said. “They are coachable and strive to get better at every opportunity.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 6-14
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Heather Poliferno

There is a change at the top for Sharon this spring and Heather Poliferno takes over for the Eagles, replacing Deb Parker after her move to league rival Stoughton, and the new staff is confident that the experienced players on the roster will set the tone for the team and give the Eagles a chance at booking a place in the state tournament.

Seniors Jamie Kessler and Jenika Patel and junior Rebecca Clayman are the captains this season and will provide leadership that Poliferno called “key to our success this season.” Junior Alli Small and freshman Julia Earley are players to keep an eye on this season for the Eagles as they could be big contributors in the field and at the plate. Junior outfielder Courtney Sollis brings an accurate arm and consistent contact at the plate.

“Our passion for the game and drive to compete is why we will be a strong contender in the Hock this year,” Poliferno said.

Stoughton

2017 Record: 10-11
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Deb Parker

After back-to-back playoff appearances, Stoughton welcomes a new coach this spring to take over a roster filled with experience and talent. Deb Parker has made the move across the Davenport from Sharon to take over the Black Knights with an eye at another run at the postseason and with senior pitcher Gina Carafa back in the circle and the middle of the order there is plenty of optimism for a strong spring.

Joining Carafa in the Stoughton lineup is junior Jordan Lyons, who Parker called a “standout” third baseman. Lyons is one of a group of talented juniors that Stoughton will be counting on this season, including second baseman Nikki Coppola, shortstop Karly Estremera, and catcher Brianna Ferrandiz. Sophomore Lexi Baptista will add versatility to the lineup and Parker is excited about the freshmen class and expects that they will be able to contribute as well.

“The energy of this team is infectious!” said Parker. “ I am looking forward to this season and have very high expectations about what this team will be able to accomplish.”

Taunton

2017 Record: 17-5
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Dave Lewry

Even with a host of underclassmen in the lineup, this is an experienced Taunton roster that will be trying to put together a run not only at a league title but also at a deep tournament run, after seeing the last couple of seasons end earlier than expected. With 10 returning varsity players, including seven starters, the Tigers will have high expectations and the key to reaching those goals will be replacing pitcher Courtney Fisher, as freshman Kelsey White and sophomore Jaylin Couto will step into the circle as regular starters this season. Junior Alexa White will also see time at pitcher.

The lineup is loaded again this spring, starting with senior catcher Kya Enos, who added power to her game last year. Junior Jaime Brown is in her fourth year on varsity and is coming off a season in which she was named HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. Freshmen Hanna Aldrich and McKenzie McAloon stepped right in at the middle infield positions last year and will be building on that experience this year. Senior Lianna Duarte is back in center and senior left-fielder MacKenzie Handrahan will bring power to the middle of the lineup as well.

“I think we should have a solid infield defense,” said Taunton coach Dave Lewry. “Offensively we have the capability of putting runs on the board with a deep and experienced lineup.”