PLAINVILLE, Mass. – The King Philip softball team played the majority of the regular season with a lead.
The Warriors are using the postseason to prove that they can come from behind too.
For the second straight tournament game, fourth-seeded King Philip overcame an early three-run deficit to land a win, this time a 9-3 decision over fifth-seeded Plymouth North in a Division 1 South quarterfinal matchup at the Plainville Athletic League complex.
In the playoff opener, the Warriors found themselves in a 3-0 hole against visiting Milton before even coming to bat but rallied to tie the game and eventually take a 6-3 win.
In the top of the third inning on Wednesday evening, the Eagles of Plymouth South turned their first hit of the game into the first runs of the game. A walk to No. 9 hitter Marissa Durette proceeded back-to-back hits from Emily Jenkins and Megan Banzi, the latter pushing across the first run of the game. An RBI ground out from Kylee Carafoli made it 2-0, and a wild pitch brought one more run for a 3-0 advantage.
King Philip softball
King Philip freshman Jordan Bennett got a big strikeout swinging to end the inning, which seemed to give the Warriors an extra boost of momentum heading into the bottom half.
“She got that strikeout and we wanted to pick her up and score some runs,” said King Philip head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “We started to get the outs [in a row] and we’d feed off that coming up to hit. They did really well. They chipped away at the deficit and just got the bats going.”
Sophomore Ava Lanza got things started with a one-out single, stole second, and took third on a base hit from sophomore Charlotte Raymond, who took second on the throw. After a walk to sophomore Sarah Cullen, junior Mia Bennett smacked a hard hit ball through the right side to bring a run in.
Despite leaving the bases loaded, the Warriors got on the board with a run and from the offense scored in every in after.
After surrendering the three runs in the third, Jordan Bennett settled in to allow just two baserunners over the course of the final four innings. One was a leadoff single in the top of the fourth but that run was quickly erased by KP’s second double play of the game on a pop-up to Maddie Paschke at third and a quick throw to first to Anna Bradley to double the runner up. Bennett ended the inning with one of her five strikeouts.
Sophomore Taylor Regan (4-for-4, three runs) led off with one of her four singles on the night, senior Paige Berdos followed with a single, and Ava Lanza reached on an infield hit after timely base running from Regan on the left side of the infield as KP loaded the bases with one out for this second straight inning.
A pop-up to center made it two outs but Cullen, who hit the go-ahead home run in KP’s win over Milton, came up with another clutch hit with a hard-hit double down the left field line to bring in two runs to make it 3-3 after four innings.
“If they don’t get hits early on, it doesn’t really faze them,” Fallon-Comeau said. “They take each at-bat as a new, fresh start. Who cares if I grounded out last time? They put it past them and focus on the current at-bat.”
Bennett needed just seven pitches to retire the side in order in the top of the fifth and King Philip’s offense had its best showing in the bottom half, despite going against new pitcher Kylee Hefner, who replaced Caroline Collins.
King Philip softball
Ava Kelley led off with a walk and senior Libby Curran dropped down a perfect sac bunt to advance the runner. Regan singled to put runners on the corners and Jordan Bennett was hit by a pitch to load them up.
Berdos came about a foot away from a grand slam but the Warriors got a run out of it as a sacrifice fly and then Lanza doubled down the left-field line for two more runs. Two batters later, Cullen brought in a run with a two-out single, and KP’s lead improved to 7-3 after five innings.
“I knew they’d get the timing down eventually off of [Collins] and then they switched and [Hefner’s] speed was more in their wheelhouse,” Fallon-Comeau said. “And they were hungry up there and ready to hit by the fifth inning.”
Banzi led off the top of the sixth with a double, the only other batter to reach for the Eagles after the third inning, but she didn’t get any further. Bennett got a grounder back to the circle and back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
The Warriors tacked on some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, the fourth straight inning KP pushed across a run. Kelley led off with a single and alertly took second after a pop-up and throwing error. Regan singled again to put runners on the corners and Bennett loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch.
Berdos smashed another deep ball, this one finding space in left field for a two-run double to extend the Warriors’ lead to 9-3.
Bennett needed just eight pitches to sit the Eagles down in order in the top of the seventh to get the win.
“She’s not fazed by too many things, not much gets to her,” Fallon-Comeau said of Bennett settling down after giving up three runs in the third. In the playoff opener, Bennett allowed just one baserunner over the final four innings after giving up three runs in the first. “I think her older sister [Mia] kind of prepared her for this level. She wasn’t thrown off by any of their screaming. She just wants the ball and she’s ready to go, she’s a scrappy kid.”
With the win, King Philip earns a third date with division rival and top-seed Taunton, who handed the Warriors their only two losses of the season. First pitch between King Philip and Taunton is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Thursday at Jack Tripp Field on the campus of Taunton High.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Prior to Monday night’s showdown with fellow unbeaten King Philip, Taunton held a ceremony to honor its seniors. Once the game started, those seniors stepped up again, as they have all season, to lift the Tigers in a big game.
McKenzie McAloon and Hanna Aldrich each hit home runs and Kelsey White tossed a shutout with 13 strikeouts, powering Taunton to a 4-0 win that leaves the Tigers needing just one win over their final two games (including a rematch with KP) to win at least a share of the league title.
“Missing last year was obviously huge for them in their leadership development because they were always the younger kids who produced physically but didn’t have to be verbal,” said first-year Taunton coach Carrie Consalvi. “This year they’ve had to step into a big role. Not only do you have to produce but you also have to take care of everybody else and you have to pick up those younger kids.”
It didn’t take Taunton long to get its bats going. In the bottom of the first, Kyleagh Plumb beat out a bunt single. KP starter Jordan Bennett was able to retire Aldrich on a pop up that was chased down by catcher Sarah Cullen, but with two outs McAloon picked up her team by crushing a two-run blast to right center.
Aldrich said, “It takes a big relief off everything. You’re never down because you got out because she’s always there to pick you back up.”
The score stayed the same until the third inning. Angie Lynch lined a one-put single to center. KP third baseman Maddie Paschke made a nice sliding grab on a Plumb bunt that was popped up short of the circle. Again Taunton was able to strike with two outs. Aldrich hit a screaming line drive into the trees beyond the left field fence.
It was Aldrich’s 11th homer in just 12 games this season, breaking the program’s single-season record despite playing a shortened season.
“It’s crazy,” said Aldrich. “I just didn’t expect it. I’ve been working so hard to just hit line drives and it’s just kind of happening, but it’s pretty cool. It was a lot of self-pressure after 10. It was just one more but it took a lot of relaxing of the nerves to just do it.”
Consalvi said, “I was so proud of her. That was awesome. She’s been teetering for the last couple games. I felt like tonight when that happened you could see the weight come off of her chest.”
McAloon followed the homer by getting hit and White added a single to center to put two runners on but Bennett managed induced a fly ball to right to get out of the jam. The freshman wouldn’t give up another hit and allowed only two base runners over the final three innings.
Although the Warriors have a young roster with limited experience playing in big games like Monday, they showed no fear going up against the Tigers and flashed the leather to limit Taunton’s offense.
Anna Bradley made a diving stop at first to end the first, Paschke made a couple of nice stops at third, and Mia Bennett (in for the injured Libby Walsh) made a nice snare of a line drive to end the fifth.
“We made some phenomenal plays in the field,” said KP coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “We made all the routine stuff. Defensively we showed up and played great. I just knew we were going to struggle at the plate not having seen this caliber of pitcher all season long. It’s very hard to prepare for that.”
The problem for KP was trying to manufacture runs against White, who has allowed only two runs all season. White struck out at least one in every inning and struck out the side twice. After Cullen sliced a double into left field to lead off the second, White struck out the next three hitters to escape the jam. In the third, a two-out error put a runner on second but White got a third strikeout in the inning to end the frame.
Once Taunton jumped up by four runs, things got very difficult for KP to try and put together a comeback. A two-out infield single by Meg Sherwood was canceled by a strikeout, she punched out two more in the fifth, and got a pop up to the catcher, a fly ball into the circle and her 12th strikeout of the night.
“Kelsey is our cornerstone,” said Consalvi. “She is a consistent leader and workhorse out there. She was dominant on the mound for and us and I don’t think there’s any other way for her to be. She’s super important for us going forward and I know she’ll be there for us.”
In the seventh, White got some help from her defense. Kylie Thorpe stayed with a hard hit ball that went off the end of White’s glove for a rare 1-4-3 putout. With two down, Thorpe went a long way to chase down a flyball behind first, making a sliding catch in foul ground just before the fence.
“Two long balls kind of put the nail in the coffin,” said Fallon-Comeau. “It’s hard enough to come back from 2-0 with Kelsey on the mound. She’s very, very good.”
When asked about the importance of being able to count on her classmates this season, Aldrich explained, “Growing up together we just have the confidence that we know, if we don’t get it done then the person behind us will get done and all through the lineup we have a lot of confidence in our teammates.”
Taunton (12-0, 8-0) will have the chance to clinch the outright Kelley-Rex division title when it travels to PAL for the rematch with King Philip (12-1, 8-1) on Tuesday night.
PLAINVILLE, Mass. – With the playoffs right around the corner, the King Philip softball team is clicking on all gears.
The Warriors have boasted solid pitching and a punishing offense all season long, but for the second straight game, the defense stole the show. Aided by terrific effort plays and pinpoint accurate throws in almost every inning, King Philip scored a 7-5 win over visiting Attleboro.
Charlotte Raymond cut a runner down at second base in the early stages to set the tone, senior Anna Bradley made a pair of momentum-swinging plays at first, and Paige Berdos’ alert double play in the final inning helped put an end to Attleboro’s comeback attempt.
“They made the plays they had to, that’s what you have to do against good teams. [King Philip] can really play in all aspects and we were right there with them,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Homer. “We’re disappointed with the loss but there are positives, we were competitive tonight, we were one swing away, we were only one swing away in the first game too.”
Both defenses played mistake-free ball, the second straight contest that saw both sides make big plays on offense and defense with no errors recorded. King Philip held a 1-0 lead, a 5-2 advantage, and a 7-5 edge; the final lead the only one to hold.
Attleboro took its first lead of the game with a pair of runs in the third inning, and just a half-inning after letting that lead slip away, the Bombardiers battled back with three runs to tie the game.
King Philip softball Attleboro softball
“That was a battle,” said King Philip head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “It was an all-around great game again, back and forth between two good games. Our defense has been really solid, and it’s been great these last two games. The assists we’ve gotten from the outfield in both games have changed the game.”
Offense was hard to come by in the first contest between the two teams, a 2-1 win for the Warriors. King Philip wasted little time to get things going on Wednesday night though, pushing across a run in the opening inning.
Berdos led off with a single and sophomore Ava Lanza (3-for-4) followed with a base hit of her own, but Attleboro catcher Lora Woyton caught the runner stealing at third. Two batters later, Raymond smacked a double off the fence in right-center field to plate Lanza and Sarah Cullen (HBP).
Woyton laced a shot to right field to lead off the second inning but Raymond was able to chase down the ball and fire to second where junior shortstop fMia Bennett applied the tag for the out.
Attleboro’s defense continued to make plays as well, as pitcher Lindsey Perry made a spectacular effort to snag a bunt for an out, quickly firing to first to double up the runner in the bottom of the second.
The Bombardiers carried that momentum into the top of the third where Meghan Gordon drove a solo shot over the center field fence to tie the game. Gabby Bosh drew a one-out walk and advanced to second during the next at-bat. Lindsey Perry smacked a hard-hit ground ball up the middle to bring in a run to put the visitors ahead 2-1 in the top of the third.
King Philip softball Attleboro softball
It looked like Attleboro would put a runner on with two outs in the top of the fourth but an incredible stretch at first by Bradley took away the infield hit. King Philip picked up a lot of momentum from the play and that translated to the offensive side of the ball.
Cullen was hit by a pitch again and two pitches later, Raymond drilled a home run over the fence and the Warriors were back ahead. On the next pitch, Meg Sherwood connected for a solo home run and KP’s lead grew to 4-2.
Freshman Maddie Paschke had a one-out single, freshman Jordan Bennett connected for a two-out single and took second on the throw, and Berdos drew a walk to load the bases. Lanza singled through the left side to bring in one run for a 5-2 advantage through four innings.
“I think those big plays on defense kind of carried us,” Fallon-Comeau said. “We got a lot of momentum from those plays, it just fired everybody up and we had the right bats coming to the plate at the right time. And we used that momentum to get some runs.”
Attleboro put two on to start the sixth with freshman Kayla Goldrick drawing a leadoff walk and Gordon followed with a single. Both runners advanced on a ground out to the pitcher, and Jordan Bennett (7IP, 7H, 2BB, 5ER, 5K) induced an infield pop up to get the second out.
Hailey Perry came through in the clutch, driving a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run home run as Attleboro quickly erased the deficit to knot the score at 5-5.
In the bottom of the sixth, junior DP Lauren Hooper got things started with a one-out single. Berdos worked a long at-bat into a single into right field, but KP’s courtesy runner was thrown out at third on the relay. Lanza came through with another clutch two-out hit, this time bringing in Berdos, who had advanced to second on the throw, to take a 6-5 lead.
“She’s really stepped up in a big way for us,” Fallon-Comeau said of Lanza, who was recently inserted into the lineup. “We had an injury, losing our starting shortstop (Libby Walsh). I had intentions of getting her bat in the lineup at some point but it just came at the right time. And she’s proven her bat belongs in the lineup and when you can do that, you’re going to keep playing.”
Cullen reached for the third time, this time on a walk, and Raymond drew a walk as well to load the bases with two outs. Sherwood’s patience at the plate resulted in a third walk and the Warriors brought in an insurance run.
King Philip had one more big defensive play left to make. Attleboro put the leadoff runner on a bloop single to right and the next batter made a lot of contact but the ball was driven hard right to Berdos in center field and without hesitation, the junior fired to first and Bradley was in position to double up the runner. Bennett induced a grounder to the circle for the final out.
While Attleboro softball came away from the series with a pair of losses, there were plenty of positives for the Bombardiers.
“Now we have to make it so we’re not staying with them, that teams are trying to stay with us. And it’s coming. We’re at the level where we go into these games against top teams knowing that we have a chance We feel like we’re peaking at the right time too. We’re not just doing it with one or two girls either, it’s a group effort. We’ve got a great mix of veterans and younger players. It’s a great team, they get along. And they have short memories, we’re already talking about Franklin for the next game.”
Attleboro softball (7-5) will travel to Franklin on Monday for the first of two games against the Panthers. Meanwhile, King Philip (12-0) sets up a Kelley-Rex division title showdown with Taunton, who is also undefeated. The winner of the first game will clinch at least a share of the crown. The Tigers host KP in the first game on Monday at 6:30.
Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Dillon James went six innings, striking out four, and allowing just two hits to pick up his first career win and helping Attleboro split the home-and-home with Mansfield. Cam Foster pitched a scoreless seventh to close the game out. Owen Taber had a big game at the plate and in the field, scoring two runs, hitting a homer, starting two double plays, and making a leaping grab in the first. Jake Gorman provided the game-winning hit in the first inning when he blasted a two-run homer. Taber scored for a second time when he hit a solo homer in the third. Attleboro tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when Nate George walked and stole second and then scored on a Matt McMahon double. Luke Urban and Jared Fraone had the only hits for the Hornets. Aaron Blinn and Colby Geddis combined for four innings of relief, allowing one unearned run and striking out seven between them.
Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 12 – Final – Foxboro scored three times in the third, added six runs in the fifth to take the lead for good, and added three more in the sixth to seal the win and keep the Warriors tied with OA at the top of the league standings. Sean Yoest went 3-for-4 with a walk and scored a pair of runs, Sean O’Leary went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, an RBI, and also scored twice, and Mike O’Toole was 3-for-4 with a run scored and drove in two. Mike LaVita added two hits, a double, and three RBI, as Foxboro had 16 hits and drew nine walks as a team. Cam Prescott went the distance, allowing one earned run and striking out eight. Kyle Doolin, Brandon Mantilla-Mercado, and Brad Franey each had two hits for the Black Knights.
Milford, 2 @ King Philip, 10 – Final – KP scored at least once in each of the first five innings, including three runs in each of the third and fifth innings to split the two-day series with Milford. Nick Viscusi, Conor Cooke, and Dan Nineve each had three hits and two RBI apiece for the Warriors, while Grayden Lawrence added a hit and drove in two. KP scored once in the bottom of the first when Rudy Gately’s sac fly plated Eli Reed. In the second, Reed came in again, this time on a single by Viscusi. Nineve drove in Gately with single in the third and then Lawrence brought in two with a single. Cooke had singles in the fourth and fifth, driving in runs with both, and Viscusi and Nineve each knocked in runs in the fifth as well. Gately was strong on the mound, pitching a complete game with 10 strikeouts to get KP the win.
Sharon, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – OA won its second game in two days to stay level with Foxboro at the top of the Davenport division standings. Matt Nigro grabbed the win with five innings of work, allowing one run and striking out a pair. Kosta Spiliakos closed it out with two scoreless innings of relief and the Tigers turned a 6-4-3 double play to end it. Derek Milliken and Will Whiteside both went 2-for-3. Milliken had a double, an RBI< a run scored, and stole a base, while Whiteside had two steals, a run scored, and an outfield assist when his throw from center cut down a runner at the plate. Jadon Ricci and Nate Carpentier both had a hit and RBI and Jack Morley celebrated his birthday by plating one run with a sac fly and played good defense at second.
Mansfield, 7 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – After giving up 24 hits to Attleboro on Monday, Mansfield bounced right back, holding the Bombardiers to just four hits and splitting the season series. Attleboro grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Hornets scored twice in the sixth to take the lead and then added a five-run rally in the seventh to seal the win. Callie Lake singled and scored on a sacrifice by Olivia Medeira that turned into an error. Madeira scored what turned out to be the game-winning run on a fly ball to center. In the seventh, Alanna Conley, Nicole Kobasa, and Abby DeCoste singled to load the bases and Mansfield took advantage of two walks, a passed ball, a slow roller to first, and a single by Molly Kucharski to score five times. Kucharski went 3-for-4 on the day and Kobasa came up with a pair of nice catches in the sixth inning to help keep Attleboro off the board.
Foxboro @ Stoughton, 4:00
Franklin, 0 @ Taunton, 14 – Final (5 Inn.) – Kelsey White continued to dominate in the circle, striking out 11 batters and allowing just one hit over five innings. It was the eighth shutout in nine games this season for the Tigers, who also had seven homers and 17 hits as a team. Hanna Aldrich went 3-for-3 and hit two homers (and a double), driving in three runs and scoring three times. McKenzie McAloon also hit a pair of solo homers and White helped her own cause with two homers (for the second straight day) and two RBI. Tayah DaCosta had the seventh homer, going 3-for-3 and scoring a pair of runs. Carly Johnson-Pellegri had the lone hit of the day for the Panthers.
King Philip, 17 @ Milford, 3 – Final – KP, the league’s leading offense, pounded out 17 hits and scored 17 runs for a ninth straight win to start the season. Paige Berdos went 3-for-5 with a walk, scored three runs, and drove in one from the leadoff spot and Mia Bennett was 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Anna Bradley was 2-for-3 with two walks and scored three runs from the eight-hole. Freshman Jordan Bennett picked up the win in the circle, allowing one earned run on four hits, and striking out 13. Elise Fauerbach went 1-for-3 and had an RBI for the Hawks, who also got hits from Sarah Wengel, Carly Fereira, and Camille Bonina.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Trinity Payne struck out five and allowed five hits in a complete game victory that earned a split of the season series with OA. Payne also scored once for the Eagles, while Sneha Kini came in to score twice and Ciara McAuliffe scored an important insurance run. Sharon coach Heather Poliferno called it an overall great performance at the plate and in the field!” Emma Varella pitched three innings, striking out three, and Katie Melendy closed the game with three innings of relief and struck out six for the Tigers. Lexi Galsband and Kalei Clark both went 2-for-3 at the plate and Galsband had OA’s lone run.
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield took all five matches in a sweep on the road at Attleboro, also sweeping the season series with the Bombardiers. Kailash Elumelai (first singles) and Dheeraj Valluru (second singles) each rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win while Nikhil Nain picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win to round out singles action. In doubles play, the team of Pratham Tallam and Diwakar Sandhu emerged with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles while Sashu Panaganti and Justin Weiner battled to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at second doubles.
Foxboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Just one day after dropping a close match on the road to Foxboro, Stoughton flipped the script and earned a 3-2 decision over the Warriors on their new courts. Waseem Sablon continued to dominate at first singles for the Black Knights, this time with a 6-0, 6-1 decision. Stoughton then swept doubles action to get the win; sophomores Jake Berry and Evan Khang prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) at first doubles while the pairing of sophomores Murtaza Khalil and Ben Dias earned a 6-2, 6-3 win at second doubles. For Foxboro, Justin Neale won 6-1, 6-4 at second singles and Bo Canfield earned a 6-3, 6-4 win at third singles.
Franklin, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Franklin swept its match with Taunton to stay perfect on the season and stay tied with Mansfield at the top of the Kelley-Rex division. Liam Marr, Vayshnay Malhotra, and Drew Mahoney didn’t drop a game between them to earn straight set wins at the singles. Tyler Fitzpatrick and Tim O’Keefe won 6-3, 6-0 at first singles and Ryan Essam and Ahan Shetty had a clean sweep (6-0, 6-0) at second doubles. Franklin will face the Hornets next week.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon won all but four games to sweep OA for the second day in a row and remain unbeaten on the season and stay one up in the loss column on second-place North Attleboro in the Davenport title race. Mehul (6-0, 6-0) and Ruemon Bhattacharyya (6-1, 6-1) won at first and second singles and Max Chen (6-0, 6-0) made it a sweep with a win at third singles. Wenhao Yang and Savir Basil won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Rowan Gran and Hyojai Park won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
King Philip, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip earned a series sweep against the Hawks after winning all five matches on the road. Senior Nick Putney didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, junior Brady Jannell added a 7-5, 6-1 win at second singles, and junior Jon Cohen was victorious 6-1, 6-0 at third singles for KP. The first doubles team of sophomore Jackson Hom and junior Diego Neto won 6-4, 6-1 while the pairing of juniors Connor Sachleben and Adam Gousie secured a 6-3, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Attleboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final– Mansfield earned wins at second and third singles and first doubles to earn its second victory over Attleboro in two days. Aryanna Khosravani went to a third set with Lauren Anthony at second singles before pulling out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 win. Kate Martin won in straight sets (6-0, 6-3) at third singles and the team of Sarah Harrington and Avdi Sameer came through with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 victory over Attleboro’s team of Tina Lam and Saharla Yusuf, sealing the win. Ella Lynch-Bartek won in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) at first singles and freshmen Maddie Fulscado and Kyra Johnson won 6-4, 6-3 to get points for the Bombardiers.
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this match – Foxboro continued to roll in singles action with all three players winning in straight sets and the Warriors added another point in doubles play this time around in another win over Stoughton. Athena Li, Pam Nelson, and Sarah Prag all secured 6-0, 6-0 wins for the Warriors while the team of Maggie McAuliffe and Abby Costa picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at first doubles. Stoughton’s second doubles team of Nadia Prokopiuk and Emilia Lada picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win.
Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – The Panthers swept the singles and won at second doubles to bounce back from Monday’s loss, split the series with Taunton, and move back to .500 in league play. Freshman Hailey Morin won 6-4, 6-3 at first singles and juniors Vedika Vinayak (6-1, 6-4) and Sarah Schiavo (6-1, 6-3) also won in straight sets. Taunton’s doubles team of Brooke Belle and Sam Parrett won 6-3, 6-3, but Franklin’s Shriya Rajesh and Amulya Jayam won 6-1, 7-6 at second doubles to get a fourth point.
Milford, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final
Sharon, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Sharon won at second and third singles and second doubles to earn the sweep of Oliver Ames. Allie Aguilar earned the straight sets (6-1, 6-1) win at second singles and Hannah Faberman won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles to put Sharon on the brink and Sophia Oh and Ritu Sreeram clinched the win with a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles. Kate McCormick made history for the Tigers at first singles, becoming the first Tiger to win at first singles against Sharon in more than a decade. After winning only five games in Monday’s match with Navya Shulka, McCormick won in straight sets (6-2, 6-4). OA coach Danielle Erickson said, “She truly left it all on the court and played a match to remember.” OA’s second point came from the first doubles team of Caroline Peper and Morgan Vasiliou, who won 7-5, 6-2.
Boys Outdoor Track
Attleboro @ Taunton, 5:00
Sharon, 70 @ Foxboro, 65 – Final
Girls Outdoor Track
Attleboro, 82 @ Taunton, 53 – Final – Kamsi Igbobi had three first-place finishes to lead the Bombardiers to their first dual meet win of the season. Igbobi took first in the 100 meters (13.4), the 100-meter hurdles (18.2), and the shot put with a throw of 34-1. Madison Ellis also had a strong overall meet with three second-place finishes (mile, two-mile, and high jump), and Angela Cooney took third in the 100-meter hurdles and 2-mile in her first meet back after an injury. Eleanor Graber ran the 400-meter hurdles for the first time and took first in a time of 1:34.3 and Kelly Neuendorf qualified for sectionals with PR of 11:52 to win the 2-mile. Dana Blouin also had a PR (5:33.2) to take first in the mile.
Sharon, 63 @ Foxboro, 73 – Final
Taunton, 40 @ Mansfield, 37 – Final – Heavyweight Peter Ye clinched a win for Taunton in the final match, pinning his opponent to turn a three-point deficit into a three-point win in a back-and-forth dual meet. Michale Leskoski, James Collins, Ryan Jones, Ben Mandeville, Christian Balmain, and Jackson Mandeville also won their matches for the Tigers.
2019 Record: 11-11 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Mark Homer
The Bombardiers will be fielding one of the most balanced lineups the program has seen in recent memory. Head coach Mark Homer believes his group of enthusiastic, hard-working, and motivated players can compete for the division title in what is always a very competitive division.
2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview
It will start with a strong group of returners that picked up valuable experience two years ago during the 2019 season. Senior captains Brenna Morse and Lora Woyton have been leaders both on and off the field during the offseason and so far during the preseason. Homer credits their commitment for setting the tone for the entire program. Juniors Lindsey Perry, Hailey Perry, and Meghan Gordon all burst onto the scene as freshmen during the 2019 season and will be key pieces this year.
Homer is going to lean heavily on his senior class, which also features Natalie Mansur, Gabby Bosh, Nina Campbell, and Janie Hillman. The Bombardiers are set to get a boost from a strong core of underclassmen as well, including sophomores Lauren Eby and Sarah Mayer as well as freshmen Rylie Camacho and Kayla Goldrick.
“This year’s team represents one of the most balanced groups we’ve had here at AHS in a while,” Homer said. “Win, lose, or draw this year’s team is about working hard and having fun doing it.”
2019 Record: 6-14 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Dave Bohane
With four seniors returning and five sophomore and freshmen making their varsity debuts, Canton has a good mix of youth and experience to build on this season. It will be the senior class that the Bulldogs hope will provide the leadership to make a move up the standings and maybe challenge the top teams in the Davenport.
Senior center fielder Liz Bickett has been a star for the Bulldogs, earning all-star honors as a sophomore, and is a power bat in the middle of the lineup. Senior Steph Trendell can play both corner infield positions or jump behind the plate and senior Sarah Kelly can step in at either middle infield spot. Both will be setting the table at the top of the order. Senior Amanda Vrabel will start at catcher and work with Canton’s younger pitchers including juniors Gillian Gordon and Sophia Santos and freshman Jess Wright.
2019 Record: 8-13 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Preliminary Round Coach: Mark Maguire
Youth will be the story for Foxboro this season, as the Warriors will be relying on players seeing their first varsity action in several positions, including a pair of eighth-graders who have been called up for the spring. Still, confidence is high that the Warriors have the talent to compete with the top teams in the Davenport and make a push up the standings.
2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Senior shortstop Morgan Sylvestre gives the Warriors a good foundation to build on, batting third and giving them a strong arm at short. Junior Peyton Feldman will see time at both third and second and will bat leadoff. Senior Nicole Theriault will play second and center, one of the few outfielders on the roster with any varsity experience, and Fiona Dunn can also jump in at second as well. Eighth-grader Ava Hill has impressed in preseason and will play first. Junior Alexandra Willis will be behind the plate and working with a young pitching staff led by eighth-grader Emma Callahan. The Warriors will also count on Dunn, Juliana Pettigrew, and Lucy Mulkern as pitchers. Andrea and Jill Slattery, Sadie Calabrese, Kaylee Bruce, Ellie Smith, and Grace Pisarczyk will all get the chance in the outfield this season.
Foxboro coach Mark Maguire said, “I’m expecting the girls to compete hard, and really feed off the energy that Peyton and Morgan bring to the top of our order. With strong leadership from our captains, we’re looking for this team to come together quickly and, hopefully compete for the Davenport.”
After coming within a game of sharing the league title with Taunton in 2019 (and within one run of facing the Tigers in the South semifinal), Franklin returns only two players and has a new coaching staff with Katie Holbrook taking over this season. Despite all the new faces, the Panthers expect to be in the mix for the league title again this year.
Senior Gabby Colace is the lone player on the roster with significant varsity experience and she will be counted on to be a run producer. Fellow senior Molly Collins will join Colace in the middle infield positions and the Panthers have players who are versatile to play multiple positions. Franklin has a potentially strong lineup with Libby Carter, Georgia Harvey, and Lauren Cote all capable of coming up with big hits and driving in a lot of runs. Juniors Julia White and Aislinn Lavery, and senior Jenny Maciel give Franklin good pitching depth and will try to keep the opposition off-balance and allow the defense to make plays behind them. Sophomore Hailey Fales will get the call behind the plate.
“They have already shown in just one scrimmage and a couple of practices great strides in gelling as a team and their commitment to team unity,” said Holbrook. “What we lack in experience we are making up for in determination and commitment to growth. I am impressed with the depth and solid foundation of all the players and it will give us a lot of options with lineups.”
2019 Record: 13-9 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Kate Fallon-Comeau
The Warriors will have a new coach this season with former Mansfield standout player and former Franklin coach Kate Fallon-Comeau takes over at the helm.
King Philip will have a relatively young and inexperienced group at the varsity level so Fallon-Comeau will lean on her four seniors to lead the way. Paige Berdos is a three-year starter and a captain for the Warriors, a member of the varsity team since her freshman season. She’s joined by classmate Anna Bradley as captain and that duo will look to provide excellent leadership to the young Warriors. Seniors Libby Curran and Rubi Butler round out the class of 2021.
Berdos will anchor the outfield from center field and will be the spark for the offense from the leadoff spot. Bradley returns to her spot at first base and provides some pop to the lineup. From there, the Warriors will feature a lot of faces new to the varsity level. Junior Meg Sherwood and sophomore Charlotte Raymond will round out the outside for KP while junior Mia Bennett takes over at second base. Sophomore Libby Walsh brings a big bat to the lineup and will be a reliable option defensively at shortstop while freshman Maddie Paschke is slated to start at the hot corner. Junior Lauren Hooper provides depth and can fit into multiple spots in the lineup.
2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Junior Emma Sheehan and freshman Jordan Bennett are both options to start in the circle for Fallon-Comeau. Both will be new to the varsity level this season so the Warriors will look to play strong defense to help out the pitchers. Sophomore Sarah Cullen will do the bulk of the catching for KP.
“We’re excited to be back out on the field and looking forward to having a successful season,” Fallon-Comeau said.
2019 Record: 12-9 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Lori Letendre
Mansfield has consistently been a playoff team and competitive in the Kelley-Rex division but, with only two players returning from 2019, the Hornets enter the spring as a little bit of a mystery. With four freshmen and a sophomore on the roster, and only two seniors, Mansfield will be looking to put talented players in the right spots to keep battling the league’s top teams.
Senior pitcher Ashlyn Conley is one of the few players with any varsity experience and will be back in the circle this year. Junior first baseman Casey Moussette is the other returning player, after a strong freshman season at the plate in 2019. Abby DeCoste is the only other senior on varsity this season, while Jill Koppy, Molly Kucharski, Callie Lake, and Liv Madeira are all rookies who could step in and make instant impacts. Sophomore Olivia Harnden is another underclassman stepping right into the varsity team this year.
“We have a lot of talent but are still trying to learn to work together at new positions,” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre. “It has been great to be on the field playing again and we are looking forward to the season.”
2019 Record: 2-18 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Steve DiVitto
Milford is turning the page on a tough 2019. The Hawks have been a powerhouse since joining the Hock but have gone through a transition period after graduating the core of the last state title-winning team. That transition won’t be helped by moving into the Kelley-Rex division this season, but head coach Steve DiVitto is hoping his seniors can build a foundation for several talented underclassmen that are excited about their first opportunity on varsity.
2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview
The Hawks return five players from the 2019 team. Junior Olivia Morelli will be in the circle this season and can also play shortstop. Seniors Erin McEvoy and Carly Ferreira will be at the corner infield spots and senior Natalie Casilli will be back in the outfield. Senior Elise Fauerbach can play behind the plate or in the outfield. Junior Gianna Cacciola is a new face to watch at third base. Freshman Maeve Driscoll could see time at pitcher or at short and her classmate Camille Bonina will see time at first and in the outfield.
“This year’s team is focused on the here and now and not the past,” said DiVitto. “Keeping our awesome team chemistry will be an important part of this season. We’re excited for the challenges of playing in the Hock!”
2019 Record: 16-6 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Bill Wallace
North Attleboro ended a two-decade wait for a league title in 2019 and had the potential to be even better last season, but the Rocketeers will come into this spring having graduated seven starters, with only three players returning with varsity experience, and looking for a new crop of players to search for a second straight Davenport crown.
Senior second baseman Emily Nardelli has been a starter since her freshman year and will be an impact player in the lineup and in the field. Senior Belle Clarkin adds versatility with her ability to play catcher, outfield, and first base, and junior Mandi Hanewich will step into center field. Pitching should remain a strength for North with a pair of promising sophomores, Kelly Colleran and Zoey McDonough, jumping into the circle. Colleran will also see time at shortstop and McDonough at first. Junior Ally Levine will be the new starter at catcher and juniors Chloe Mearn and Shaelyn Burns can play corner infield spots. Emma Bailey and Grace Simmons will add to the outfield, while there are a host of young players, including the lone freshman on the roster, Aubrey Amado, who can play multiple positions and add useful depth.
“I feel like a new coach this year after missing last year,” said North coach Bill Wallace, who also notched his 200th career win in 2019. “Since the last time we had softball I have graduated seven starters.”
Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division and has a small roster, but it is one that has coach Lindsey Allison excited about its potential and versatility. The Tigers will hope that a change of scenery and a speedy, athletic lineup will see a jump up the standings to put pressure on the top teams in the division this season.
2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview
The Tigers will have a pair of pitchers this season as senior Emma Varella will be joined by sophomore Katie Melendy. Both have multiple pitches to keep batters off-balance and both can play other positions when they’re not in the circle. Senior Grace Simone will provide leadership for the pitching staff and a big bat in the middle of the lineup. Her leadership will be important as the Tigers will be carrying four sophomores and a freshman along with its five seniors.
Allison said, “As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to a season with a versatile team that works together and picks each other up. These kids work hard every day, strive for greatness, and are hungry for wins. Looking forward to a great season.”
Sharon is filled with upperclassman so experience will be key as the Eagles look to compete in a wide-open Davenport division. The three captains this year are shortstop Julia Earley, second baseman Sneha Kini, — both seniors — and junior pitcher Trinity Payne so the Eagles will lean on their strength up the middle of the field.
Payne picked up plenty of experience during her freshman year so will be battle-tested for the 2021 season. Earley and Kini give the Eagles a strong defensive foundation and will provide leadership both in the field and at the plate. Of the 11 players on the roster, 10 are upperclassman so head coach Heather Poliferno has an experienced group at her disposal. Poliferno believes her team has a strong mix of power and contact hitters so versatility throughout the lineup will be key.
The one underclassman on the roster is sophomore Ally Foulsham, who could make an immediate impact in her first season with the program. Foulsham can also toe the rubber in the pitcher’s circle so the Eagles have options to work with in the pitching department. After missing out on last season, the Eagles are eager to get back on the field and compete for a division title.
“My high school coach always used to say ‘why not us?’ and I would say the same thing – Why not us? Our players work hard to be the best they can be,” Poliferno said. “They can compete in any setting. We are hungry to play and we have the skill set to do it. So, why not us?”
2019 Record: 15-7 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Deb Parker
Stoughton had an impressive 2019, finishing in second place in the Davenport behind North Attleboro and winning its opening playoff game on a walk-off against Somerset-Berkley. With five returning starters, the Black Knights will be looking to carry momentum into this spring and make another push for a league title.
One of the keys for Stoughton’s high hopes for the season is the return of senior pitcher Nicole Baker, who had a breakout sophomore campaign and emerged as one of the top arms in the league. Baker is the lone infielder returning but senior Julia Driscoll will take over at third and senior Sarah McGrath will be behind the plate. Junior Sydney Menz, who batted over .400 as a freshman, will start in center, while junior Melody Casna takes over at short. Junior Kate Bulger will get the nod in left and senior Lauren Turner starts in right. Sophomore Kerry Driscoll adds depth in the circle and Stoughton has a crop of freshmen who could contribute right away, including Alyssa Edwards, Maddie Hinds, and Julie Powers.
“It’s a little surreal coming back to the field after losing an entire season,” said Stoughton coach Deb Parker. “If we’ve learned anything from last year it’s that nothing is promised, and we have to take advantage of every opportunity we have on and off the field. These young women work hard, and I believe we have the depth, drive, and talent this year to have a great showing in this very competitive league.”
Taunton is one of the few teams that is coming back from the two-year layoff with a lineup that looks pretty similar to the one from 2019. The biggest change for the Tigers will be on the bench with long-time coach Dave Lewry retiring at the end of the 2019 season and Carrie Consalvi taking over. Consalvi goes into her first spring with a team loaded with talent that looks ready to defend its Kelley-Rex title.
Senior pitcher Kelsey White is back healthy following an injury that would’ve kept her out of last season. The reigning league MVP looks back to the form that helped Taunton win a state title three years ago. Reigning HockomockSports.com Hanna Aldrich is back for her senior season at shortstop and as one of the top power hitters in the Hock. Aldrich is joined up the middle by senior second baseman McKenzie McAloon. All three will be playing DI softball next year. Senior Skylar Rheaume and Tayah Decosta add to the leadership on the team and Taunton will have enviable depth with sophomore Olivia Mendonca back after playing as an eighth-grader and freshman Sam Lincoln looking like Taunton’s next pitching prospect.
“These players have had just about every challenge thrown at them over the past year, but if there was one group that could take all of this and rise to the occasion it is this group,” said Consalvi. “They are hungry to win, and I am hopeful my senior leadership will recall what it took to win that state championship back in 2018 and impart their wisdom with this group of younger players, as it will take every single one of them to make something so special to happen again.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 – Final – King 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.
Mansfield, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield 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 – Final – King 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
Foxboro, 5 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final – Foxboro 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 – Final – King 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 – Final – Taunton 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 – Final – Canton’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 – Final – Oliver 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 – Final – Longtime 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).
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.”
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”.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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!”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”