Warriors Walk Off With Win Over Visiting Whalers

King Philip softball Ryann Stagg
King Philip junior Ryan Stagg smiles as she’s greeted by teammates after driving in the game-winning run. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
PLAINVILLE, Mass. – The 15th-seeded King Philip softball team was just one out away from a hard fought victory over #18 New Bedford when the task at hand became a bit more difficult.

The Whalers, limited to just three hits through six innings by KP senior pitcher Faith Turinese, suddenly had an offensive surge. Down to the final out and trailing 3-1, New Bedford smacked three consecutive doubles leading to two runs to knot the score and extend the game

But the game didn’t last much longer. The Warriors, seemingly unfazed by the rally from the visitors, had an immediate response in the bottom of the seventh. Destiny Goyco was hit by a pitch to put the winning run on base. Ryann Stagg, the nine hitter, fell behind 0-2 but drilled the third pitch she saw into the gap in left field, and with the outfield playing in, courtesy runner Heather Nix sprinted around the bases and all the way home to give King Philip a 4-3 walk-off win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s never easy,” quipped KP skipper Norm Beauchemin as the Warriors notched a tournament win for the fifth straight season. “[New Bedford] plays some good competition, they play a lot of people in the South Coast [Conference]. They usually try to play a pretty good schedule.

“They are tough kids, they have a great attitude. They work hard and they play hard, we’re no different than King Philip teams of the past in terms of attitude.”

Of the Whalers’ three hits prior to the seventh inning, two came in the opening frame. After Turinese (7IP, 6H, 1BB, 2ER, 7K) fanned the first batter of the game, New Bedford strung together back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Turinese got another strikeout, this one on a dropped third strike. With first occupied, the runner was automatically out but the Whalers were aggressive on the bases and the runner on second took off to third.

The throw from home was high, allowing the run to scamper home and just beat out a great throw from left fielder Liliana Rolfe and put the visitors up 1-0 early on.

From that point on, Turinese allowed just two bases runners between the second and sixth innings. After a leadoff walk in the second, Turinese retired eight straight before the Whalers had a pair of runners reach in the fifth on errors.

Meanwhile, senior Meghan Gorman was the catalyst on the offensive side of the ball. She was hit by a pitch in the first and stole both second and third with two outs but was stranded there. She was back at in the fourth inning, lacing a double to drive in Raegan Simeone, who had doubled in the at-bat before.

Rolfe wasn’t credited for an RBI on the next play but was certainly responsible for giving KP the lead. She reached on a bunt single, moving Gorman to third, With the infield in focusing on the bunt, Rolfe took off for second. Although the Whalers made the play at second, the throw allowed Gorman to sprint home for the go-ahead run.

“Two really smart players. You’re not going to find many players more heads up than Meg but Lil is not far behind at all. If you blink, they are taking a base. That’s a decision she made, and we’ve been an aggressive base-running team through the years. If they make the play and you’re out, but it was the right play, I’m good with it. “

An inning after taking the lead, a pair of errors threatened to give it back to New Bedford. Back-to-back mistakes put runners on first and second, and both runners advanced on a ground out to Turinese in the circle. Turinese got a ground ball and the Warriors were able to catch the runner on third off of the bag as Paige Berdos fired to Gorman for the tag. A fly ball to first baseman Anna Bradley ended the inning.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP tacked on another run just a half inning later, with Gorman coming through again. Berdos got things going with a two-out double and stole third before pinch hitter Madison Kelley drew a walk. Gorman smoked the first pitch she saw off the center field fence for an RBI double, putting the hosts up 3-1.

New Bedford got its first hit of the game since the first inning with a leadoff single in the sixth but the runner didn’t go any further as Turinese got three straight infield fly balls.

King Philip softball (13-9) advances to play at #2 Taunton (20-2) in the First Round of the MIAA D1 South tournament on Monday at 7:00. The Tigers won both regular season games, taking a 7-0 decision at PAL in early April and a 12-0 win at Jack Tripp Field in the regular season finale.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/07/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Foxboro, 2 @ Norton, 3 – Final (9 inn.) Foxboro built a 2-0 lead but Norton chipped away with single runs in the fifth, sixth, and ninth, the last to earn a walk off win over the Warriors. Brian Duncan (RBI), Joe Cavaleri (run), and Sean Yoest (RBI) each had two hits for Foxboro while Michael Devlin was strong on the mound, scattering seven hits and one walk over six innings, striking out four with two runs (one earned) allowed.

Softball
Attleboro, 17 @ Milford, 0 – Final (5 inn.)Attleboro junior Emily Gittle pitched a perfect game, retiring all 15 batters she faced to lead the Bombardiers to a win. Gittle struck out the first 12 batters she faced, finishing with 15 total. Loya Woyton had four hits for Attleboro, Makenzie Killough and Gabby Bosh each socked three hits and McKenzie Bergdoll chipped in with two hits for the Bombardiers.

King Philip, 17 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalKing Philip senior Heather Nix allowed just three hits in a strong performance in the circle, helping the Warriors shut out the Tigers. The Warriors belted out 16 hits as a team with Madison Kelley and Anna Bradley leading the way with three hits apiece. Kara McWhinnie, Meghan Gorman and Liliana Rolfe added two hits apiece for KP.

Boys Tennis
Mansfield, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalMansfield won all five matches in straight sets to secure a win on the road. Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Luke Devine earned a 6-4, 6-3 decision at second singles, and Nilay Pangrekar prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 at third singles. The team of seniors Max Bank and Sethu Odayappan picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at first doubles while the team of senior Sam Donellan and sophomore Dheeraj Valluru walked away with a 6-4, 6-2 decision at second doubles.

King Philip 4, @ Oliver Ames 1 – FinalKing Philip won two matches in singles and two matches in doubles to get a victory on the road at OA. Jack Cannon won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles and Nate Ihley picked up a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles. The team of Brady Jannell and Harrison Cooper didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles. Oliver Ames’ Yusaf Hameed won his fourth straight match, taking a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles.

Sharon, 0 @ Wellesley, 5 – Final




Girls Tennis
Foxboro, 5 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – FinalFoxboro notched its 12th win of the season, winning all five matches in straight sets. Pam Nelson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Prag earned a 6-1, 7-5 decision at second singles, and Julia Muise picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. Foxboro’s first doubles team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta won 6-1, 6-4 while Maggie McAuliffe and Kethry Milne teamed up for a 6-4, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKing Philip won a close match, with most of the matches going down to the wire before the Warriors came away with wins in all five. Erin Regnier won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Katarina Schneider emerged with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win at second singles, and Mia Valencia grabbed a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles. The team of Grace Ely and Katie Welch secured a 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles while Isabelle MacMeans and Meghan Powers teamed up for a 7-5, 7-5 win at second doubles.

Taunton, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalTaunton picked up wins in all three singles match and added one more in doubles play to knock off Mansfield. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca battled to a 0-6, 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. Taunton’s Brianna Fevrier and Kayla Parrett won 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) at first doubles. Mansfield’s Alex Burnham and Lauren Hobaica won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles.

Boys Outdoor Track
Taunton @ Attleboro, 3:45

Canton, 36 @ North Attleboro, 100 – FinalCanton’s Tommy Pulcini set a new PR in the discus, earning first with a throw of 131’4″ while also taking second in the shot put. Zach Goldstein was first in the 400M (52.6, PR) and Justin Rose crossed first in the the 400M hurdles (64.8).

Foxboro, 56 @ Sharon, 79 – Final

Oliver Ames, 69 @ Franklin, 67 – FinalOliver Ames’ Aaron MacDonald notches four first-place finishes and Anthony DeCosta and Harrison Webster each won a pair of events to help the Tigers edge Franklin. MacDonald won the 400m (50.9), the 200M (22.7), the triple jump (39’6”), and the long jump (20’5.75”). Webster crossed first in the 100M (11.3) and won the high jump (5’2) while DeCosta had the longest throws in the discus (111’11.5″) and the shot put (42’10”). Sean Flaherty added a win in the 400M hurdles (59.4) for OA.

Mansfield, 99 @ King Philip, 37 – Final Mansfield’s Anthony Comer broke the hand time for both the 100M and 200M and Andrew Williams took first in three events as the Hornets beat King Philip. Comer clocked in at 10.7 in the 100M and 22.0 in the 200M, good for first in both. Williams won the 110M hurdles (16.1), the long jump (21’0″) and the high jump (6’4″). Dan Rapoza (first, 153’8), Jack Taylor (131’1″), and Josh Cook (123’5″) swept the javelin, all setting personal bests. Jason Windvogel ran a season best of 4:37 to take the 1 Mile and Patrick Heavey ran a season best of 2:05 to win the 800M for the Hornets. Other winners for Mansfield included Raffi Marzella (400IH, 60.8) Colbey Eason (50’0), the 4×100 relay team (Ethan Thevenot, Joe Cappelletti, Vinnie Holmes, Jack Barry; 45.1), the 4×400 relay team (Raffi Marzella, Stephen Saba, Jack Rivard, Jason Windvogel; 3:37.).

Stoughton @ Milford, 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track
Taunton, 75 @ Attleboro, 61 – Final

Canton, 42 @ North Attleboro, 94 – FinalLongtime Canton distance runner Chloe Pennacchio earned a first place in the 1 Mile and set a new career-best time of 5:45.2 while Marie Messinger earned a three-second PR in the 2 Mile, clocking in at 13:33.3 for first place. Sophomore Maddie Rousseau was first in both the 100M (12.9) and the 100M hurdles (16.2) and took second in the long jump (15’8). Leah Murphy set a new PR in the high jump (4’8) for third and was third in the 200M at 28.6. Bronwyn Mahoney earned second in both the discus (98’4) and the shot put (32’10”) for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 64 @ Sharon, 71 – Final

Oliver Ames, 67 @ Franklin, 69 – Final

Mansfield, 90 @ King Philip, 46 – Final Mansfield’s Julia Hill took first place in three events, including a 3-inch PR in the long jump. Hill landed at 16’11 in the long jump to take first and also won the triple jump (34’6″) and the 400M hurdles (69.7). Amanda Mangano had ran a PR in the 200M (24.9) and also won the 100M (12.2) and the high jump (5’0″). Freshman Caitlin Dumochel set a new PR in the javelin by over two feet to get the win (80’7″), freshman Kate Miller set a new PR in the 800M by over two seconds (2:26.4), and sophomore Grace Fernandez recorded a new personal best in the 1 Mile by over four seconds (5:29.9).

Stoughton @ Milford, 3:45

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 @ Nipmuc, 0 – Final

2019 Hockomock League Softball Preview

2019 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Taunton won the D1 state title last spring and comes back as one of the favorites for a league title as another competitive Hockomock softball season kicks off. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock Softball Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 9-12
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Mark Homer

After back-to-back playoff appearances, the expectations are high around the Attleboro program this spring. The Bombardiers return eight of nine starters from last year’s team and the lineup should be loaded with good hitters, as well as multiple players who can step into the circle and produce a good start. With the depth on the roster this season, Attleboro will be eyeing another postseason berth.

Senior McKenzie Bergdoll is one of the top power hitters in the league and will be back for another spring in the heart of the Attleboro lineup. She will be joined by classmates Jordyn Lako and Kayla Battisti as starters. Junior Makenzie Killough will be back at shortstop and also batting cleanup and providing protection for Bergdoll in the order. Sophomore Lora Woyton returns behind the plate, sophomore Autumn O’Connell will be in center and batting second and junior Ashley Macia will be out in left. Sophomore Brenna Morse will be taking over in rightfield. In the circle, Attleboro has plenty of depth with juniors Emily and Jenna Gittle and Bergdoll all able to step in. The Bombardiers will try to take advantage of their overall team speed and head coach Mark Homer said there are a few freshmen who may see playing time right away.

“The bar was set high from last season,” said Homer. “So the girls are onboard to perform well again this season with high hopes of competing in every game they play. They have set some goals to achieve one a\t a time. I am cautiously optimistic with our chances of winning more games this season than we have in the past. Knowing that there are no easy games on our schedule so we have to come to play every night.”

Canton

2018 Record: 8-13
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Dave Bohane

Canton had quite the turnaround in 2018 under second-year head coach Jennifer Robillard, winning eight games, seven more than in 2017, and making a return to the state tournament. Robillard, last season’s HockomockSports.com Coach of the Year, has moved on to a position at Bentley and football coach Dave Bohane has taken over a team that has seen an influx of young talent and has momentum on its side heading into the spring.

Junior pitcher Caroline Hughes is one of the reasons for optimism in the program, as she is looking to build off a strong sophomore season in which she pitched almost every inning. Hughes was also one of the team’s top hitters and she will be at the heart of the lineup along with sophomore outfielder Liz Bickett, who batted .409 last season. Bickett is just one of several sophomores who the Bulldogs will be counting on, including infielders Olivia Lanci and Sarah Kelly, catchers Steph Trendell and Amanda Vrabel. Junior catcher Jackie Howard and seniors Haley Donovan and Ally Chin will provide leadership for this young group to try and get the Bulldogs right back into the state tournament mix.

“I am very excited to be coaching this team,” said Bohane, who has previously served the program as an assistant coach. “They are extremely hard working and devoted to the program. I think they will set the standard for our future players who come through the program. It’s a very tough league, but we will take it one game at a time and try to improve each game”.

Foxboro

2018 Record: 11-12
2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mark Maguire

Foxboro made a run in the Div. 2 tournament last season, winning a pair of games before being knocked out in the quarterfinals, and the Warriors will hope to build on that exciting finish to 2018 by making a run at the Davenport crown this spring. Even with the loss of catcher Hannah Davis, who was instrumental in the team’s playoff run, Foxboro has a strong returning core and some talented young players stepping in to give head coach Mark Maguire confidence ahead of the new season.

Senior Emma Rohan will be back in the circle for her fourth year as the Foxboro starter and she has the experience of pitching in a number of big games and against the top teams in the league. Senior Cam Willis will play first this season, but can also step in and pitch if needed along with junior Amelia Stowell. The pitchers will have a rookie to throw to, as freshman Allie Willis will be stepping in behind the plate. Sophomore Morgan Sylvestre returns at shortstop after a strong first season on varsity and will be one of the leaders of the infield. Senior Chelsea Gibbons is at third base and freshman Peyton Feldman takes over at second. Sophomore Nicole Theriault will be in centerfield but can play a number of positions, senior Riley Martignetti gives the team pop from the right side of the plate, and senior Jill Finn can play all three outfield positions.

“Preseason is going great as the girls are working very hard to be ready for the season,” said Maguire. “We have a group of girls who work hard. I think team defense should be good with our senior leadership, and the younger players who aggressively look to make plays in the field. I have high expectations for this team, as we look to compete for a Davenport title and gain a state tournament berth.”

Franklin

2018 Record: 9-11
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Kate Fallon

Franklin has consistently been right behind perennial league leaders Taunton and King Philip in the Kelley-Rex division standings but has narrowly missed out on the playoffs by a single win in each of the past two seasons. This year, the Panthers have eight seniors coming back with the goal of getting the team back into the postseason and use a typically tough schedule to prep for a tournament run.

Pitching will be a strength for the Panthers this year with seniors Jackie Cherry and Emily Valentino giving the team depth and different options in the circle. Throwing strikes will be the key for both and limiting opposition base runners. Behind the plate, Franklin has plenty of experience as well with seniors Ally Shea and Maggie Hobby both capable of stepping in and handling the pitchers as well as providing power at the plate. Senior Tara Hartnett will be back at shortstop and provides strong defense up the middle. Junior Anna Balkus will be in centerfield and will set the table for the offense as the lead-off hitter. Junior Maddy White will be at third base and joins Shea and senior Kylie-Jade Bouzan as the team’s primary run producers.

“We are excited to see the Panther players on the field again,” said Franklin coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “Overall our tough league and non-league schedule will keep us focused for tournament and we will rely on our solid pitching and defense.”

King Philip

2018 Record: 21-4
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Norm Beauchemin

Every season King Philip loses important players and every season the Warriors seem to be right back in the mix for the league title. This spring should be no different. KP will have several important players to replace in the lineup, but it expects to challenge for a 12th title in the past 13 seasons and also make another tournament run, following last year’s South final loss to Kelley-Rex rival Taunton.

Meghan Gorman is the player to watch for the Warriors this season, as the senior shortstop is one of the top defensive players in the state and also the spark plug at the top of the lineup. Senior Faith Turinese will move from the outfield into the circle and will split time with classmate Heather Nix as the top pitchers for the Warriors. Turinese also batted over .400 last year and will be an important bat in the middle of the order. Junior Destiny Goyco will step in behind the plate, after overcoming an injury from basketball season, and fellow junior Liliana Rolfe will take over at third. Grace Kelley will be at second base and Anna Bradley will be at first. The outfield will be filled with speed, including Kara McWhinnie in left, sophomore Paige Berdos in center, and either Ryan Stagg or junior Reaegan Simeone in right.

“One to nine, everyone hits the ball,” said KP coach Norm Beauchemin. “I’m looking forward to another solid season. The league overall is going to be very competitive, so it should be fun.”

Mansfield

2018 Record: 7-13
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Lori Letendre

Mansfield is looking to bounce back from a tough 2018 season in which the Hornets struggled in the Hockomock (going 4-12 in league play) and missed the playoffs. This year, Mansfield hopes for a quick turnaround and return to the state tournament with an experienced roster that brings back 11 players, seven starters, and seven seniors from last season.

The battery of senior pitcher Sarah Cahill and senior catcher Caty DeMassi is back and should give the Hornets a good foundation on which to build on this season. Seniors Megan Letendre and Kara Bendanillo will hold down the left side of the infield and provide pop in the middle of the lineup, while Mady Bendanillo returns in centerfield to give Mansfield a dynamic defensive player and another strong bat. There is an influx of youth as well with two sophomores and a freshman jumping into varsity and having the chance to contribute right away.

“Our goal is to make it back to the tournament this year and with strong leadership from our captains and our seniors, I think we will have a good shot at it!” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre.

Milford

2018 Record: 18-3
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Steve DiVitto

The biggest question for Milford is how do the Hawks move on from a group of 10 seniors that won a combined 79 games, four league titles, and the 2017 state championship? Milford has been the team to beat in the Davenport division for six years and a relatively inexperienced group will have to face a season in which the target for every team in the league is squarely on their backs.

Junior Megan Hart is one of the primary options to replace Kelley Reichert in the circle to start the season, with freshman Olivia Morelli showing potential to step in and contribute innings right away. Senior Lucy Creedon can step in at first or in the outfield. Junior April Swain will jump into the outfield along with classmate Taylor Waldrup, while junior Amanda Wenckus can play either position on the left side of the infield and sophomore Carly Ferreira can play either corner infield spot. Sophomore Elise Fauerbach can play behind the plate or in the outfield, while her classmate Natalie Casilli will take an outfield spot. There are a lot of spots to fill this year, but head coach Steve DiVitto is talking about that as an opportunity for a new group of players to step into.

“We understand that lack of experience is something that we will need to combat with, however the bar will continue to be set high!” DiVitto said. “Each year a new page is turned over, and as always the focus is: what’s your legacy going to be? Keeping our awesome team chemistry will be an important part of this season. We’re excited for the challenges of playing in the best league in the state!”

North Attleboro

2018 Record: 16-5
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Bill Wallace

Two seasons ago, North Attleboro was a young team that made a surprise trip to the South semifinal, but this year the Rocketeers will have much higher expectations. North is now the experienced team in the Davenport division and has aspirations of unseating Milford and winning a first league title since 1990 and adding to the league’s recent history of strong tournament performances with another deep run.

Junior pitcher Bella Erti will be one of the league’s top pitchers again this season, after a 15-5 sophomore season in which she struck out 137 batters. She also hit .357. Junior Ashley Cangiano is also back for her third year as a starter and is one of the top catchers in the league. Abby Gallagher returns to the North outfield after hitting .500 last season as a sophomore and senior Olivia Capobianco will be back in centerfield and the middle of the North lineup. Freshman Mandi Hanewich and sophomores Emma Bailey and Belle Clarkin will compete for the third outfield spot after impressive preseasons. Senior Katie Daby is at first, while sophomore Emily Nardelli moves from shortstop to second base. Junior Alex Moulson takes over at short and her classmate Annabelle Hebard will be at third. Emily Bedard and Makenzie Nardelli add to North’s infield depth and Alivia Byrne will give Erti a rest in the circle and is another big bat in the lineup.

“We will need to be more multi-dimensional, as late in the year we couldn’t sustain our offensive start to the season,” said North coach Bill Wallace. “This group really wants to make their mark on the league and they know how much work that is going to take.”

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 3-17
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Lindsey Allison

Last season was a struggle for the Tigers, with only three wins and head coach Lindsey Allison is hoping that a group of younger players can add to the returning core and make a push to get Oliver Ames back into the state tournament. Allison is confident that the offense will get into the swing of things for the Tigers after scoring only 66 runs last season, second-lowest in the league.

Senior Kayla Georgeu will be back in the circle for OA and in the heart of the lineup. The Tigers will count on sophomore Emma Varella to provide some innings at pitcher, as well as playing in the infield. Senior first baseman Katie Mills is a big bat for the Tigers and junior Katie Abreu can step in at either shortstop or centerfield depending on the game to provide vocal leadership. Sophomore Grace Simone will be behind the plate this season.

“Every spot is open for the taking and there are many young players who are hungry to be on the field,” said Allison. “This group of players seem like a team – not just a group of individuals. They compete with one another for positions, but also support each other. They hold each other accountable and communicate. I am excited to see what hard work can accomplish this season.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 0-20
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Heather Poliferno

It was definitely a rough debut season for Sharon coach Heather Poliferno, but it was also a chance for a number of young players to get experience at the varsity level. This spring, there is renewed enthusiasm with a crop of underclassmen joining the experienced players to give Poliferno and the Eagles confidence for a much better spring.

Freshman Trinity Payne is the player to watch for the Eagles this season as she takes over as the starting pitcher and has already drawn the attention of coaches in the Davenport division. She will be used at a couple of different positions and gives the Eagles versatility in the lineup. Senior Alli Small will be back at shortstop this season, while classmate Jody Goldenberg is back at first, and senior Rebecca Clayman will be the leader of the outfield group. As the program is growing, Sharon is hoping for much different results this season.

“We are very excited for this season!” said Poliferno. “We have many returning players leading our varsity team, as well as the addition of a very talented freshman class. Though we have only had a handful of practices, one of our clear strengths is our desire to be the best on the field.”

Stoughton

2018 Record: 7-13
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Deb Parker

Stoughton struggled to find a groove in 2018 and ended up missing the playoffs under first-year head coach Deb Parker, who had made the switch from Sharon before last season. This year, the Black Knights bring back starters in key positions and once again have the potential to make a run at a state tournament berth and even challenge for the Davenport title.

Seniors Nikki Coppola (second base) and Jordan Lyons (shortstop) give Stoughton a strong combination up the middle and senior Karly Estremera brings plenty of experience at third base. Sophomore pitcher Nicole Baker will take over full-time in the circle this season and Parker is impressed by the work that she put in during the off-season to get ready. Baker will be throwing to an experienced catcher, as senior Brianna Ferrandiz is back behind the plate for the Black Knights. Junior Lexi Baptista will lead the outfield crew in center and could also be one of Stoughton’s top hitters this season. Freshmen Melody Casna and Sydney Menz will give the Black Knights versatility by playing multiple positions.

“This team has come together so quickly, it is a real tribute to the leadership of our captains,” said Parker. “This team knows what they are playing for this year and we have high expectations going into the season. Softball in the Hockomock League is incredibly competitive but if we continue to work hard, we should have a great season.”

Taunton

2018 Record: 26-2
2018 Finish: Won D1 State Championship
Coach: Dave Lewry

How do you follow up a state championship? For Taunton, it just may be to make a run at a repeat. The Tigers lost the second, third, and fourth hitters in the lineup (including league MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Kya Enos), who combined for 88 RBI, but there is a ton of talent coming back from last season, all of whom contributed at one point or another during Taunton’s run to the title.

It starts in the circle where sophomore Kelsey White will be the starter again this season after going 16-2 as a freshman and pitching every inning during the playoff run (not to mention batting .418). Her sister Alexa will also see time at pitcher, along with freshman Olyvia Mendonca, but will also play most of the season in centerfield. The infield will be a strength for the Tigers, with all four players back. Senior Jaime Brown (batted .469) is back for her fifth year at third base and is one of the top hitters in the league, sophomore Hanna Aldrich (.385 average with four homers and 30 RBI) is in her third year at shortstop and was this site’s Underclassman of the Year in 2018, sophomore McKenzie McAloon returns at second base for her third season, and junior Paige Silvia is back at first. Silvia and junior Riley Murphy are also in the running to replace Enos behind the plate, while junior Abbie McDonough takes over in left and eighth-grader Ava Venturelli could start the season in right.

“While we lost three outstanding players to graduation, I am excited about the potential of this year’s team,” said Taunton coach Dave Lewry. “We have a good nucleus of returning players looking to defend our D1 state championship.”