Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Softball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League Co-MVPs
Hannah Davis, Foxboro
Kya Enos, Taunton
Hockomock League All Stars
Mckenzie Bergdoll, Attleboro
Elizabeth Bickett, Canton
Hannah Davis, Foxboro
Anna Balkus, Franklin
Meghan Gorman, King Philip
Elise Pereira, King Philip
Faith Turinese, King Philip
Emily Piergustavo, Milford
Kelley Reichert, Milford
Kate Irwin, Milford
Jess Tomaso, Milford
Maddy Bonvino, Milford
Bella Erti, North Attleboro
Abby Gallagher, North Attleboro
Olivia Capobianco, North Attleboro
Alexis Campbell, Oliver Ames
Gina Carafa, Stoughton
Jaime Brown, Taunton
Kya Enos, Taunton
MacKenzie Handrahan, Taunton
Kelsey White, Taunton
Hannah Aldrich, Taunton
Liana Duarte, Taunton
Makenzie Killough, Attleboro
Evelyn Carrington, Canton
Lexi Buckner, Foxboro
Meg Caron, Franklin
Jessica Bonner, King Philip
Caty DeMassi, Mansfield
Sabrina Haarstick, Milford
Ashley Cangiano, North Attleboro
Katie Mills, Oliver Ames
Rebecca Clayman, Sharon
Jordan Lyons, Stoughton
McKenzie McAloon, Taunton
Mansfield, 9 @ Attleboro 2 – Final – Mansfield struck for five runs in the top of the third inning and never looked back on the road at Attleboro. Senior Tyler Dalton earned the win on the mound, striking out six in five innings of work with three hits and two runs allowed. Jake Gerraughty and Justin Pena each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Kyle Moran (RBI), Dan Saraceno, and Kevin Dow (three RBI) each had two hits apiece to pace the Mansfield offense.
Canton, 7 @ Norwood, 9 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Stoughton edged Foxboro in a pitchers duel between Zak Paquette (S) and Steve McLaughlin (F). Paquette allowed just one run on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in a complete game effort. McLaughlin allowed two runs in over five innings of work for the Warriors. George Currier (2-for-3) came up with the big hit for Stoughton, connecting on a two-strike, two-out, two-RBI single in the first inning.
Franklin, 1 @ Walpole, 0 – Final – Franklin senior Jake Noviello dazzled in a complete game effort, helping the Panthers pick up a 1-0 win. Noviello blanked the Rebels through seven innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out six. Franklin’s lone run came off the bat of James Leofanti, scoring classmate Steve Luttazi (2-for-3) on a sacrifice fly. Jake Macchi and Jack Nally also had two hits for the Panthers.
North Attleboro, 8 @ Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – North Attleboro turned a pitchers’ duel into an impressive with behind a big fifth inning. The Rocketeers pushed eight runs across in the fifth inning, all with two outs. Big Red loaded the bases (Nick Sinacola single, Zach DeMattio walk, Nate Pearce walk) to get things started. Nolan Buckley had a two-run single, Aidan Harding (4-for-4) knocked in a run with an infield single, Sinacola (4-for-5) got back up and plated two with a single and Jeff Gale capped the scoring with a two-run single. Sinacola got the win on the mound, throwing a complete game with 10 strikeouts and just two walks. He had a no-hitter through four innings of play.
Sharon, 1 vs. Archbishop Williams, 6 – Final
Taunton, 6 vs. Durfee, 5 – Final – Taunton scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to knot the score at five and scored the game-winning run an inning later to stay unbeaten so far this season. Christian Simoes (two RBI), Tyler Medeiros (two hits), and Jack Moynihan (two hits) all had RBIs in the fifth inning to tie the game. Trevor Pietrzyk (two hits) drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Medeiros earned the win on the mound, striking out five with six hits allowed in six innings. Josh Lajoie pitched a scoreless seventh inning to record the save.
Milford, 2 vs. Concord-Carlisle, 3 – Final
Foxboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – Foxboro opened the game with two runs in the top of the first inning but Stoughton answered with four runs in the bottom half to take the lead and never look back. The Black Knights added single runs in each the second, third, and fourth innings and then exploded for eight runs in the fifth to get the win. Gina Carafa (three doubles) and Nikki Cappola (two doubles) each finished with four hits and three RBI to pace the Stoughton offense. Lexi Baptista and Bri Ferrandiz each had two RBI as well. Hannah Davis had two hits for Foxboro, including the 100th of her career. Carafa got the win in the circle, striking out eight with three hits and two walks allowed in five innings of work.
Franklin, 1 @ Taunton, 14 – Final (5 inn.) – The Tigers scored in four of the five innings of play in a big win over visiting Franklin. Jaime Brown (three runs), Liana Duarte (three RBI), Mackenzie Handrahan (two RBI) and Kelsey White (two runs) each recorded two hits for Taunton while Payton Ceglarski chipped in with a pinch-hit two-run home run and Rylie Murphy had a pinch-hit two-run single. Jaylin Couto struck out three with four hits allowed in four innings of work. Alexis White recorded three strikeouts in one inning of relief. Ally Shea went 2-for-3 for the Panthers. Kylie Bouzan knocked in courtesy runner Maggie Hobby in the fourth inning for Franklin’s run.
King Philip, 16 @ Bishop Feehan, 6 – Final – King Philip’s offense roared to life, belting out 16 hits in a big win on the road at Bishop Feehan. Hailey McCasland and Jessica Bonner (three RBI) each had three hits for the Warriors while Marjorie Guerrier, Meghan Gorman (three RBI), Brooke Taute, and Sydney Phillips each had two hits. Bonner put the Warriors ahead, 8-6, with a hit in the top of the sixth inning. Faith Turnese allows just one hit in three innings of relief work to earn the win.
Milford, 11 vs. Hopkinton, 2 – Final – Milford’s offense continued to roll, putting up 11 runs against neighboring Hopkinton. Jess Tomaso had a big day at the plate with three hits, including a home run and a double, whiling knocking in four runs and scoring once. Kelley Reichert went 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and earned the win in the circle, striking out six without allowing an earned run in five innings of work. Kate Irwin (double, stolen base), Emily Piergustavo (RBI, run), Emily Hartman (double), and Shannon Cormier (double, two runs) each had two hits for the Hawks.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 7 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Kayla Georgeu was 2-3 with a single and an RBI double while Abbi Holmes and Colleen Larson both had RBIs as well. Lexie Campbell (1-4), Caroline Mahoney (1-3) and Katie Mills (1-2) all scored runs for OA.
Mansfield 13, @ Needham, 0 – Final (5 inn.) – Sarah Cahill struck out seven and allowed only one hit as the Hornets starter and Felicity McMullin struck out one in relief. Mansfield started well with a run in the first before breaking the game open by scoring five runs in each of the second and third innings and adding a pair in the fourth. Caty DeMassi went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and Kerran Holmes went 2-for-2 with an RBI. The Hornets also got hits from Kara Bendanillo, Megan Letendre, Mady Bendanillo, Grace Benton, and Mary Muldoon.
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 16 – Final – Canton jumped out to a quick start, building an 11-1 lead by halftime. The Bulldogs had nine different scorers including first-career goals from senior Brian Ghostlaw and sophomore Tommy Ghostlaw. Freshman Dylan Coyne had a shutout in net in the fourth quarter for Canton.
Milford, 16 @ Northbridge, 5 – Final – Milford freshman Jack LeBlanc was impressive at the face off X in his first varsity game, winning 8-of-13 attempts to help the Hawks pick up the win. Brendan White (five goals) and Andrew Gallagher (two goals, four assists) paced the offense while Ryan Hazard had a strong all-around game with four goals and five ground balls.
Oliver Ames, 20 @ Milton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames received strong defensive efforts from Shane Murphy, Matt Saba, and Mark Vasapollo to help goalie Nick Gillis record a shutout on the road against Milton. Owen Gallagher paced the offense with six goals while Eric LeBlanc added three tallies.
Canton, 11 @ Oliver Ames, 19 – Final – Emalyn Duvall, Chloe Kilkelly, Ella Hogan, Olivia Piazza and Sofia Masciarelli all tallied points for OA while Ariana Waldorf had a strong game in net. Maggie Connolly scored four goals for the Bulldogs and Vicki Revenge stepped in as the back-up goalie to make 11 saves in the loss.
Mansfield vs. Watertown, 12:00
Milford vs. Ashland, 12:30
Sharon, 8 @ Hopkinton, 13 – Final – Sabrina Robbins scored four goals and grabbed five ground balls for Sharon and Emma Eberhardt added a hat trick of goals, four assists, and six draw controls. Jenna Goldstein scored Sharon’s other goal and Bridget McManus led the Eagles defense with an interception and three ground balls.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 3 vs. Norton, 2 – Final – Mansfield notched two wins in singles play and one in doubles to pick up a non-league win over Norton. The team of juniors Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske had the game of the match, earning a 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6) win at first doubles for the Hornets. Senior Sarah Doyle won 6-3, 6-3 at first singles while junior Elizabeth Elsner recorded a 6-4, 6-3 decision at second singles.
2016 Record: 2-18 2016 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro struggled through a difficult 2016, the first season under new head coach Mark Homer, winning only two games while giving up a league high 177 runs and scoring a league-low 46. Heading into this spring, the Bombardiers will be counting on a group of young players to try and turn things around and it seems to be working so far, as Attleboro has played two games and already matched last year’s win total.
One of the true bright spots from last season was freshman pitcher McKenzie Bergdoll, who showed flashes of the potential to be an ace for Attleboro, and this season she will be counted on to keep the Bombardiers in games and to provide big hits from the three-spot. Julia Woyton will be behind the plate this year while senior Ilea Caverley and junior Casey Whelan (outfield) and Jordyn Lako (second base) are the few returning players on the roster.
The Bombardiers are going to turn to youth this spring with freshman MacKenzie Killough taking over at shortstop. Freshmen twins Emma and Jenna Gittle will add depth to the Attleboro pitching staff and classmate Ashley Macia will take over in centerfield. Homer also said that there were underclassmen who would provide speed off the bench.
“The expectations are to play hard, be committed and get excited with every game and practice that they take part in,” said Homer. “With the added depth in each position this year, the girls hope to gain advantages from the previous year and reach their set goals for the season.”
2016 Record: 3-17 2016 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Jennifer Robillard
Former King Philip and Sacred Heart University shortstop Jennifer Robillard takes over the Canton program this spring with the hope of bringing some of the success that she enjoyed playing for two state champions and a Division I college to the Bulldogs, who are coming off a three-win season.
The Bulldogs will be looking to their experienced players to help turn things around in 2017, including seniors Molly Loughran, Taylor Carrington, and Julia Ezepik and junior Hannah Jerrier, who are all captains this spring. Jerrier and Ezepik will start the season injured, but Robillard is hoping that other players can step up until they return. Canton will have depth in the circle, as both junior Caitlyn Cahill and freshman Caroline Hughes will see action at pitcher.
Lillian Carrington and Samantha Keefe are two other players that will be counted on to contribute and both provided home runs in a loss to Mansfield in the second game of the season. Robillard is excited about the opportunity to get back into the Hockomock League and she sees a team that “wants to learn.”
“This team has a lot of potential. If we can tap into this potential, I truly believe that we are going to take teams by surprise,” Robillard said. “I am here to share my passion for and knowledge of the game I love with these girls. It is important to me that these girls learn how to be strong, independent and respectful young women.”
2016 Record: 9-13 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Mark Maguire
In 2016, Foxboro finished 6-10 in the Hockomock League but got its chance to play in the postseason and took advantage with a preliminary round win over Westwood and a near-upset of Abington in a nine-inning classic. The Warriors will hope to build on that experience this spring with a number of key players returning.
League all-star Hannah Davis is back behind the plate for the Warriors and will be one of the top hitters in the Hockomock. Davis will likely be in the three-spot in the lineup and right behind her will be senior Kelly Fisher, who head coach Mark Maguire called one of the best first basemen in the league. Kelly McCarthy will try to set the table for the power hitters in the lead-off spot.
Sophomore pitcher Emma Rohan is back in the circle and Maguire expects that she will compete every game and build on her rookie campaign. Behind Rohan, Cam Willis will moved from second base to short and Chelsea Gibbons will provide good ‘D’ and a solid bat at third. Lefty Lexi Buckner could grab the second base spot and senior Jamie Gorham could provide an unexpected boost as a first-year player in the outfield. Mandy Ryan and Kayla Wheatley are two of the players coming up from JV that Maguire is hoping will step in to provide depth.
“They’re all working hard and they’re ready to build together as a team,” said Maguire. “The expectations are really to compete every game.”
2016 Record: 12-11 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Kate Fallon
Once the rains go away for a few days, Franklin will be able to open its new field and make official its move back to the high school after a couple seasons playing at Dean College. The Panthers are excited about the new facility and about the team’s potential for success this spring with seven returning starters from last year.
Leading the way is third baseman, and four-year starter, Olivia DiGiacomo, who has been a mainstay at the hot corner and provides leadership for the infield. To her left is shortstop Alyssa DaSilva, a three-year starter with two years of experience at short. Sophomore Allie Shea is back at first base and senior Clara DeCarvalho is back behind the plate and poised for a “breakout season,” according to head coach Kate Fallon. The outfield is also filled with veterans, including seniors Rachel Cousineau in left and Olivia Haba in center.
The seventh starter is senior Alex Niss, who started as a pinch hitter last season before taking over the DP role and turning into one of the top power hitters in the Hockomock League. The Panthers should be solid defensively and at the plate and Fallon is hoping that sophomore pitchers Jackie Cherry (who carried a shutout into the seventh in the season opening loss to North Attleboro) and Emily Valentino can make an instant impact in the circle.
“Win 11 games and make the tournament again,” said Fallon when asked about the expectations for the team this season. “I expect the seniors to provide leadership and be role models for the underclassmen. It’s always a dogfight in this league…but I think we are a good team.”
2016 Record: 24-4 2016 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship Coach: Norm Beauchemin
King Philip comes into 2017 on the back of its third state title in the past six years and, while expectations remain high for one of the region’s top programs, there are key pieces from last year’s team that need to be replaced in order for the Warriors to get back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and in the state.
The biggest absence this season is, of course, pitcher Kali Magane, who is now in the circle for Boston University and who was dominant during KP’s playoff run a year ago. Senior Jenn Hutnyan will step in to be the team’s starting pitcher after several starts and relief appearances in the past two seasons. Hutnyan will also be an important bat in the lineup. Junior Brie Lacy will be back behind the plate to help Hutnyan and head coach Norm Beauchemin noted that junior Jessica Bonner will be a solid defensive third baseman.
KP rarely rebuilds and almost always reloads for another title push. This year should be no different with a lineup that features several familiar names from last season’s title run, including sophomore Meghan Gorman and juniors Brooke Taute, Elise Pereira, and Hailey McCasland. Each of those players had important roles last season and will be ready to step up for the Warriors this spring as KP tries to regain the league title after Taunton ended its nine year run in 2016.
“Though it’s hard to replace last year’s seniors,” said Beauchemin, “we have a solid core of returning players ready to represent King Philip and its proud softball legacy.”
2016 Record: 13-9 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Lori Letendre
Mansfield is coming off a 13-win season that included a tournament win against Notre Dame Academy, but after four years of being able to count on Maddie Letendre in the circle the Hornets will be handing the ball over to a new pitcher this spring, although as it turns out only the first name will be changing.
Megan Letendre, who played shortstop as a freshman, will take over in the circle for the Hornets and her development as the No. 1 pitcher will go a long way to determining if Mansfield can repeat last year’s success. Pitcher is not the only position that needs to be replaces, as the Hornets will have a new catcher and three new infielders. Still, with nine returning players, there is plenty of experience on the roster.
Kara Bendanillo will move from third base to second, according to head coach Lori Letendre, and Megan Letendre will sometimes see time at second when not pitching. Liz Mackin will take over at first base, while Marissa Staffier and Amanda Giambanco will take the corner outfield positions. Mady Bendanillo will be back in center after an impressive first season for the Hornets.
“This is one of the hardest working teams I have had at Mansfield and they have been putting in a lot of effort to get ready for the season,” said Coach Letendre.
2016 Record: 17-5 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Steve DiVitto
Milford has been the class of the Davenport division for the past four seasons and the Hawks come into 2017 with the expectations of being heavy favorites for another league title, but, with three seniors and nine juniors on the roster and eight starters returning, head coach Steve DiVitto is hopeful that the talent will translate to a deep run in the state tournament.
The Hawks are one of the few contenders to return not just one but two starting pitchers from last season. Senior Ali Atherton is back to be the primary option in the circle and the Southern New Hampshire-commit has been dominant at times in her career. If Atherton gets into trouble or needs a rest, junior Kelley Reichert has demonstrated that she is more than just a fill-in but can also shut down opponents. They will be pitching to sophomore Emily Hartman, who will step into the starting lineup this season.
There are very few question marks in this year’s lineup with junior Emily Piergustavo moving from second to short to replace Jill Powers, which is Piergustavo’s natural position and one she has played several times in the past year. Junior Jess Tomaso is back at first base and in the heart of the lineup where she will be joined by senior outfielder Maggie Farrell and senior third baseman Kaitlyn DeCapua. Junior Kate Irwin will try to be the table-setter at the top of the order and juniors Maddy Bonvino (second base) and Shannon Cormier (outfield) will also be contributors.
“This has been a focused and driven group ever since the end of last season,” said DiVitto. “They have worked hard in the off-season and that was very apparent in the early stages of the season. We are excited to compete in the best league in the state, which will hopefully prepare us for a long run into June.”
2016 Record: 11-10 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Bill Wallace
North Attleboro returned to the postseason in 2016 and for the Rocketeers to get back to the tournament this spring it will be the younger players that will lead the way. Head coach Bill Wallace knows that his team will be “green” (with only four seniors on the roster), but he is excited about North’s athleticism and versatility.
Pitching may be North’s biggest strength this season with five players in the rotation, led by freshman Bella Erti, who won her first career start, and last year’s starter Amelia Murphy. Juniors Olivia DesRoches, Jaclyn Buckley and Abby Warren could also step into the circle to help out. Senior Sam Courtemanche will be behind the plate to help the pitchers.
Senior Liz Morehouse returns at first base and Andrea Miceli will be at second. Megan Barlow moves in from the outfield to take over at short (and provided the walk-off hit in North’s season opening win), while Murphy will see time at third when she’s not pitching. Olivia Capobianco will play center with Katherine Munley and Kristina Murphy in left and right with freshmen Ashley Cangiano and Abby Gallagher getting playing time.
“With only four seniors on the roster, I am hoping the learning curve will be brief!” said Wallace. “This may be the year we see a lot of pinch hitting and pinch running! For a young team, they are very focused between the lines!”
Oliver Ames finished in second in the league in 2016 and qualified for the postseason, but that will be an even tougher task now that the Tigers have made the move to the Kelley-Rex division. Even with facing the likes of defending state champion King Philip twice this spring, head coach Lindsey Allison is optimistic that the 10 returning players have the experience to get back into the playoffs.
Senior Victoria Ziner will be the spark on offense for the Tigers this season, but OA also has a number of juniors that Allison said can “do some damage at the plate.” Among those players is Caroline Mahoney, whose bat “is still as dangerous as ever,” according to Allison. Freshman Katie Abreu will be a newcomer to watch for the Tigers as her versatility will make her a valuable member of the lineup.
The Tigers will bring back sophomore Kayla Georgeu in the circle and will be hoping that she continues to develop and keep OA competitive against the league’s top teams. Junior Alexis Campbell will be a second pitcher and also help out at second base.
“We have a solid 10 players returning from last year’s roster,” said Allison, “and we are looking to fill holes behind the plate, in the outfield and at first base this year. Definitely hoping to use some of the speed we have on our team to our advantage this year.”
2016 Record: 4-16 2016 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Deb Parker
Sharon is coming off a four-win season in 2016 but head coach Deb Parker believes that the Eagles have the potential to be a contender in the Davenport division this spring as long as the players continue to develop over the course of the season.
Although the Eagles are a relatively young team, Parker is counting on senior captains Clara Cook and Sam Marglous to provide the leadership needed to keep the team on the right track. Cook will be back in the circle for Sharon, while Marglous will be back behind the plate. Parker said, “Both have been solid contributors for their entire high school careers.”
Sophomore centerfielder Rebecca Clayman and shortstop Ally Small, who Parker referred to as “standouts,” will be the anchors of the defense. Freshman Shoshanna Lowe will step in to play third base and should have a positive impact in the lineup as well.
“I believe we have the right combination of experience, talent and drive to be a contender in the Hock,” said Parker. “This is a team that works hard every day to be better than they were the day before. They have great chemistry and our captains have done an excellent job leading them into the season.”
2016 Record: 10-11 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Tim Norton
The Black Knights made a return to the state tournament in head coach Tim Norton’s first season in charge, and nearly pulled out a win against Braintree, and Stoughton will be counting on last year’s freshmen to continue developing and keep the program heading in the right direction.
One of the sophomores that the team will be leaning on is third baseman Jordan Lyons, who brings a strong bat to the hot corner and her leadership skills had her named a captain for this spring. Brianna Ferrandiz will take over behind the plate for Sam Tullis and Karly Estremera will move into the infield and continue to be the table-setter as the leadoff hitter.
Norton is excited to have depth in the circle with Shannon Flaherty and Gina Carafa both capable of racking up innings and “setting great examples on and off the field.” Stoughton will also have depth in the outfield with first-year starters Krista Michienzi, Val Whalen and Alessandra Loffredo.
“We were extremely fortunate in Stoughton last year to have such a strong freshman class with great senior leadership,” Norton explained. “This year that sophomore class is going to have to come into their own. While this team is young they got a taste of the post season last year and are hungry for more.”
2016 Record: 22-2 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Dave Lewry
Last season, Taunton won its first outright league title, ending King Philip’s nine-year reign atop the Hockomock. It was a fitting coda to the impressive careers of Taunton’s senior class, but this spring the Tigers will now have to move forward with six new faces in the starting lineup, including at pitcher and the middle infield positions. Taunton typically reloads quickly and head coach Dave Lewry believes this year’s team has a plenty of potential.
Senior Courtney Fisher will step into the circle hoping to make a seamless transition from 2016 Player of the Year Aimee Kistner. Fisher tossed three shutout innings and had three hits in the season opener and got several opportunities to pitch in the past two seasons. She will be pitching to junior captain Kya Enos, who is making the move back to catcher after two seasons in the outfield. Other starters coming back include first baseman Katie VanZandt, junior outfielder Liana Duarte, and sophomore Jaime Brown, who is in her third year at third base.
The Tigers have always found young players who can step right in an make an impact at the varsity level and this year could be a breakout season for eighth grader Hannah Aldrich, who will take over from Jordan Wade at short. Sophomore Alexa White looks ready to step in at second, while senior Rebekah Lajoie and junior Hailey Medeiros are in line to start in the corner outfield places. Taunton could also get contributions at pitcher from eighth grader Kelsey White and freshman Jaylin Couto.
“While we lost six starters from last season, I am excited about the potential of this year’s team,” said Lewry. “I expect there will be some growing pains with six new starters in the lineup, but with some seasoned veterans and good young talent we are optimistic that we’ll be competitive this season.”
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Division 1 State Championship game was certainly far from over when King Philip took a 1-0 lead over Doherty the top of the first inning. But with Kali Magane in the circle and the way that she’s been pitching in the postseason, it sure felt like more than just a one run cushion.
The confidence level grew after the Warriors tacked on another run in the top of the third and then peaked when Jenn Hutnyan launched a three-run home run in the fifth inning.
Magane did the rest, tossing a one-hit shutout with 13 strike outs, fanning the side in order in the bottom of the seventh, punctuating King Philip’s 5-0 win to claim the Division 1 State Championship.
It marks the third D1 State Title in the past seven years for the Warriors.
“We’ve been trying for four years so it’s good to finally get it the last one,” beamed Magane, a senior. “It always feels good when it’s a strikeout, nice to end it like that. We hadn’t faced [Doherty] before so I had to see what they were hitting. In the past, I had been focusing on jamming hitters and keeping them off balanced. But they ended up chasing it high more so that’s what I went with. As the game went on, I just kept adjusting to what they were hitting.”
Senior Christa Wagner started the game with a leadoff single and quickly took second with her first of three stolen bases of the game. Hailey McCasland advanced Wagner with a ground out and Elise Pereira’s contact was deep enough to center to score the run on a sacrifice fly.
Wagner reached on a fielder’s choice in the third and promptly swiped second and third, just beating the throw to third. Doherty pitcher Peyton Sylverster saw her pitch elude catcher Emma Brennan and Wagner took advantage, sprinting in to make it 2-0.
“We don’t like to say [the 2-0 lead is safe] but I’m breathing pretty good,” King Philip coach Norm Beauchemin said. “There’s a reason why that [Doherty] is here…but [Kali] is an equalizer.”
Magane was dominant from start to finish. Doherty’s lone hit was a leadoff single in the top of the second inning and a runner reached on an error in the fifth but neither advanced past second base. Magane retired the side in order in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings and recorded a strikeout in every inning.
“She’s a tremendously smart pitcher. She knew where their weaknesses were and she attacked it,” Beauchemin said.
The Warriors put the proverbial nail in the coffin in the top of the fifth inning. McCasland singled and Pereira drew a two-out walk to put two on. Hutnyan, who had made contact in her first two at-bats but was without a hit, fell behind Sylvester 0-2. But that did’t stop the junior from connecting on the next pitch, smacking a bomb over the left center field fence and putting KP up 5-0.
“She had a two strike lead and I was nervous but I was looking for a pitch to hit,” Hutnyan said. “I wasn’t trying to swing for the fences or anything but it just went off my bat the right way. I could feel it when it came off my bat, it felt good. It gave us a cushion but we still had to play like it was a 0-0 game.”
Magane was at her best following the home run. After the error to start the fifth, Magane fanned three straight. She induced an infield pop up and grounder to third before getting his 10th strikeout to end the sixth. She finished off the season with three straight swinging strikeouts to earn the championship.
“They’re a very relaxed team, they all enjoy each other and have each other’s backs,” Beauchemin said. “They have a lot of confidence and they play a lot of softball. They were able to build up the confidence and they knew if they could play their game today, they’d be tough to beat.”
The Warriors totaled nine hits with Wagner, McCasland and Gorman each having two and Caeli Bench, Brooke Taute and Hutnyan each adding one.
King Philip softball finishes the season with a 24-4 record, and were quick to credit their schedule as a reason they were ready to play today. Over the past 10 years, teams that now reside in the Hockomock League have won the D1 State title six times. Taunton won in 2007 before joining the league, Milford won back-to-back in 2012 and 2013, the latter their first year in the Hock and King Philip won in 2011, 2012 and now 2016. The Warriors also loaded their non-league schedule up, including Bishop Feehan and Newton North.
“I think our schedule paid off, absolutely,” Beauchemin said. “There weren’t that many easy games, so if you don’t have any easy ones, you have to fight for it. When you get into these situations, you have a lot of confidence. We were tested a lot this year, and these girls responded very well.”
“I think our schedule helped prepare us a lot for this game,” Hutnyan said. “We’ve seen pitching exactly like that before, a lot of teams haven’t so that helped us. And I don’t think a lot of teams have seen pitching like Kali, she’s an awesome pitcher, she really is.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.