Oliver Ames, 49 @ Foxboro, 45 – Final – Oliver Ames opened the second half with a big run and then held on as Foxboro made a fourth-quarter push. Similar to Friday night’s game, OA turned a close game at halftime (25-25) into a double-digit lead entering the fourth quarter, this time using a 15-2 run to start the third quarter. But Foxboro didn’t back down, battling back in the fourth to make it a one-possession game late. Junior Dylan Gordon stole a pass and scored with just under a minute to go to make it 48-45 but the Tigers were able to hold on for the win. OA senior Amari Brown led all scorers with a game-high 28 points, scoring 14 points in each quarter. Sophomore Alex Penders scored a career-high 19 points while Gordon added 14 points.
Canton, 16 @ Mansfield, 55 – Final – Mansfield’s defense pitched a first quarter shutout and allowed just one first half field goal in a big win over Canton. Baskets from Brendan Foley, TJ Guy, Matt Boen, Brian See, and Chris Hill helped the Hornets establish an 11-0 lead after eight minutes, and junior Matt Hyland helped Mansfield extend the lead to 26-3 at half. Guy added eight of his game-high 15 points in the third quarter. Mansfield’s Matt Boen and Canton’s Eric Mischler each had eight points.
North Attleboro, 42 @ Mansfield, 69 – Final – Mansfield came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 39 points in the first half to take control of the game and never looked back. Brooke Berube led all scorers with 14 points and Abby Wager added 12 points and a strong all-around game on both ends of the floor to help the Hornets pick up the non-league win. Kayla Vine also had 12 points for Mansfield. North tried to chip away at the lead in the second half and had it down to 13 with five minutes to play, but couldn’t get any closer. Taylor McMath had 12 points to pace North and Amanda Kaiser added six.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 8 – Final – King Philip lit the lamp four times in the opening period and tacked on three more in the second period on its way to a big win over Oliver Ames in a non-league clash. Conor Cooke (Paul McDonald, Aidan Boulger) and Brad Guden scored just a minute apart to get the scoring started while David Lawler (power play from Boulger, Max Robison) and Rocco Bianculli (Kevin Birenbaum) added two more late in the period. Boulger added two goals in the second, Sean Crowther added another goal, and Shaun Fitzpatrick capped the scoring in the third.
Stoughton, 2 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 5 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Jen Daniels scored twice and three Warriors each scored once as King Philip avenged its loss to Franklin to split the seasons series. Kara McWhinnie, Sydney O’Shea, and Kelly Holmes also scored for KP.
King Philip, 129.70 @ Sharon, 108.70 – Final
FOXBORO, Mass. – It was a game that ebbed and flowed. First one team had momentum and then the other would make a play and the ice would start to tilt back the other way.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames rallied from one goal down in the third period, taking the lead with just 1:41 left, but King Philip answered back only 43 seconds later with the goalie pulled and the two teams skated off with a point apiece following an exciting 2-2 tie. It was the season opener for both teams, who will meet again on the same ice less than 24 hours from when this game finished.
“I didn’t expect anything different,” said King Philip coach Ken Assad about the matchup with MOA. “I knew they were going to be tough beat. Our girls were picking things up day-by-day and I didn’t know how today would go. We still need to pick some things up speed-wise but they did a pretty good job today.”
King Philip had the game’s first good chance when Libby Curran fired a shot through a crowd that had to be knocked aside by MOA goalie Jess Widdop. The visitors came right back with chances of their own. Emma Pereira circled all the way around the zone, behind the net, and back in front where she picked out Julia Muttart for a chance that was saved by Mallory Johnston.
Ella Waryas showed off her stick-handling when she weaved through traffic starting at her own blue line, but her backhand shot was saved. Meg Sherwood set up Kelly Holmes for a chance right in front but Widdop made the stop and then the rebound was flicked just over the bar.
After a scoreless first period, MOA started the second brightly. Reese Pereira had two tries at the near post but Johnston kept her pad on the ice and blocked both efforts.
Just when it looked like MOA was starting to assert control, KP opened the scoring on the other end. Nicole Brady touched the puck past a defender and into the right circle before sending a low pass to the edge of the crease. Kara McWhinnie was in front and got the deflection under the pads of Widdop to make it 1-0.
Almost immediately after going in front, Sydney O’Shea had a chance to double the lead with a wrister from the slot, but Widdop saved. Reese Pereira then had a shot gloved by Johnston and Waryas was denied on the rebound.
KP finished the second with nearly four minutes of power play time and could have gone into the intermission with a bigger lead if not for the MOA goalie. Holmes fired a pass across goal to Avari Maxwell at the post but Widdop got the pad down to make a point-blank save. With less than 30 seconds left in the period, Katarina Precobb slipped a pass to Morgan Cunningham on the back post but Widdop’s blocker was in the way.
“In the first half of that game, she was the game for us,” said MOA coach Roy Bain. “She was the team. She had a blocker save that was huge, a leg save on a rebound. She kept us in it, kept us in striking distance.”
Assad added, “We need to take our opportunities that we created. She’s a great goalie and we’ve just got to be able to pounce on those rebounds. We practiced the power play a lot the last couple days and I’ll give the girls credit they ran it to perfection but we just have to put it in the net.”
It stayed a one-goal game heading to the third and MOA came flying out of the break in search of the tying goal. Emma Pereira had a blast from the point that Johnston parried. KP nearly snuck a second on the break when O’Shea’s pass sprung Jenn Daniels only for Widdop to stand tall again.
With 10:57 on the clock, MOA was level. Megan O’Hara got free at the left point and sent a shot through traffic that somehow found a little seam to get to the net and then ricocheted off the post and in. It was all MOA from that point on. After recording 10 shots on goal through the first period, the Warriors had 12 in the third period alone.
Emma Pereira continued to be the driving force for MOA. The senior defenseman raced down the left side and then turned towards goal, forcing Johnston (20 saves) into a good stop. Then, with 1:41 to play, Pereira cut across the high slot and forced a glove save out of Johnston. The rebound dropped right at the stick of Waryas, who made no mistake and slammed it into the empty net.
“We were able regroup,” Bain said about the strong third period from his team. “It took some time. They didn’t like where they found themselves but they came back like they always do. Kudos to KP, there was no quit in them either.”
MOA thought it had the come from behind victory, but there was still drama left in the game.
KP pulled Johnston for the extra skater. As the clock ticked down under one minute to play, Holmes made her first varsity goal a memorable one. The freshman got loose in the slot and sniped the space above Widdop’s shoulder to salvage a point.
“We’ve got some talented forwards on our team,” Assad said, “and we know we can score when we want to. When we pulled the goalie and put Kelly out there and she got the puck on her stick and she went end-to-end and got a great shot off.”
2019-2020 Record: 19-1-4 2019-2020 Finish: Division 2 State Co-Champion Coach: Dennis Aldrich
The pandemic has cost Canton an opportunity to defend its first D2 state championship, but the Bulldogs have an experienced squad that will be looking to claim a second straight league title. Although dynamic defenseman Olivia Maffeo has transferred, Canton can count on 13 returning players, including nine forwards, so there is plenty of continuity as the program makes its move to the rebuilt Metropolis Skating Rink.
Maffeo’s goals will certainly be missed, but the Bulldogs will expect the forward lines to pick up the slack. Seniors Maria Femia, Lizzie Tassinari, and Ellie Rae Roberts all have four years of experience at the varsity level and each is capable of putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis. The forwards will also be the first line of defense, as their forechecking ability puts pressure on the opponents in all three zones.
Defense has been a strength for Canton throughout this impressive run of success. This year, there will be a few new faces on the blue line but junior Allie McCabe and sophomore Maya Battista will lead the defensive unit and both stood out last year for their strength, skating, and passing out of the zone. Backstopping the Canton defense is sophomore goalie Carolyn Durand, who recorded 14 shutouts as a freshman.
“I look for our team defense to be a strength as usual and am looking for our experienced forwards to find the back of the net more often with the confidence gained by capturing the first state title for Canton High School Girls Ice Hockey,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich.
Last winter, Franklin pushed its league title defense right to the final game of the regular season and this year the Panthers will be hoping to reclaim the crown in what should be a typically competitive league campaign. Franklin will hope that a young defensive group can get up to speed right away to complement the experience that the Panthers have in attack.
The forward line should be a strength for Franklin this season. Senior Amanda Lewandowski is back to be the focal point after recording 21 points as a junior. Fellow seniors Libby Carter and Katelyn Brown will add experience and energy to the forward line, providing not only scoring punch but also helping out in the defensive zone as well. Sophomore Lyndsey Atkinson is coming off an impressive rookie season in which she led the team with 10 goals.
Defensively, Franklin graduated a group of players that had several years of varsity experience so it will be new faces that will have to step in this year. Junior Katie LeBlanc and sophomore Shaw Downing are two of the defenders back from last year’s squad. If teams get through the Franklin defense, senior goalie Gabby Colace is back to keep things difficult for opposing forwards. Colace was one of the league’s top shot stoppers last year, allowing fewer than two goals per game.
“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to get on the ice and compete,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke. “This year we expect to have a balanced squad. The Hock should be very competitive as always. ‘Play every game like it’s the last’ will be our motto.”
2019-2020 Record: 10-11-1 2019-2020 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ken Assad
After coming up just one point shy of the state tournament last season, the Warriors are entering the 2020-2021 campaign with a lot of determination, ready to make a run at the Hockomock League title.
The Warriors have a large amount of returning players back for this season and all now have a year of experience under their belts playing for head coach Ken Assad, who enters the season with plenty of optimism and excitement. Assad will look to role three to four lines throughout the season, giving the Warriors a lot of flexibility with their offensive looks. In senior captain Averi Maxwell (18 points) and juniors Moran Cunningham (24) and Sydney O’Shea (20 points), King Philip has one of the most dangerous attacking units in the league. Not only will the Warriors get a lot of production from that line, but it should also open things up for everyone else on the ice.
Junior Jen Daniels (16 points) is back after a breakout sophomore campaign, sophomore Katarina Precobb will look to follow up a strong freshman season, and seniors Nicole Brady, captain Olivia Donovan, Kara McWhinnie, and sophomore Bridgette Nally will all be in the mix offensively for the Warriors. There will be a lot of familiar faces on the defensive end for the Warriors as well with senior assistant captains Gabriela Trujillo and Libby Curran anchoring the blue line unit. Juniors Meg Sherwood and Alison Donovan bring key experience from last year while sophomores Brielle Hearon and Emma Sullivan will factor in defensively as well.
Mallory Johnston picked up some valuable experience between the pipes last season filling in for an injury and will now take over the starting job in net for KP. The Warriors also have a strong freshmen class ready to contribute right away with Kelly Holmes (forward) and Mara Boldy (defense) in the mix.
“With the experience we have this year and always being very optimistic for a good start, I expect them to work hard in all three zones and be a top contender for a Hockomock title this year,” Assad said. “There is great team chemistry on this team and with our captains’ leadership, they will definitely give it 110%. The girls accept the fact there is not going to be a tournament and are very excited to get on the ice no matter what the season will look like and for that, I continue to be very proud of them and what they have gone through.”
Coming off a strong 2020 campaign and with a group of veteran players on the roster, MOA head coach Roy Bain has a positive outlook on the upcoming season for his Warriors.
MOA recorded double-digit wins last season and nearly pulled off a gigantic upset in the opening round of the state tournament (5-4 loss to #8 seed Boston Latin). The Warriors have 11 seniors on this year’s roster and that, plus a strong mix of experienced underclassmen, should mean good things for the season. The defensive unit for the team remains intact with senior Emma Pereira, the team’s MVP from a season ago, back to anchor that unit. She’ll reunite with junior Julia Muttart for one pairing while seniors Melissa Shanteler and Megan O’Hara are back together on the blue line again this year.
Not only will there be familiar faces along the blueline, junior Jess Widdop returns for her third season between the pipes for MOA. Widdop had a strong season in goal for MOA a year ago and with so much familiarity among the defensemen, the Warriors will be one of the toughest teams to score against. Freshman Kata Callanan will push for time in net as well.
On the other end of the ice, Bain has compiled four lines that could all see time on the ice. Senior Alex Ledin (16 points), senior Ella Waryas (15 points) and sophomore Reese Pereira (17 points) accounted for the majority of the Warriors’ scoring last year and will be among the most dangerous lines in the league. The line of Sam Ledin, Kylie O’Keefe, and Emma Garland will provide a change of pace, using their speed on both ends of the ice; the trio of seniors Lily O’Brien and Tess Luciano centered by junior Cierra Doherty will provide veteran leadership; and sophomore Mya Waryas will be surrounded by freshmen Maeve Anastasia and Cam Shanteler for a youthful option.
“This team only graduated two players, it has essentially the same personnel from last year, but with a renewed sense of the possibilities of what they can build for this program,” Bain said. “Some of the seniors were cheated out of their seasons in other sports and know what’s at stake for girls hockey. I’m impressed by the focus they’ve shown this far. The rules they play under may have changed, but their mindset and their love of the game has not.”
The Black Knights took a step in the right direction last season, picking up points in four contests including three wins. Stoughton will look to build on that this year in a very competitive Hockomock League.
Morgan Lessa was one of the best forwards in the Hockomock League last season, second in the entire league with 21 goals scored and tied for second-most in points with 31. Haley Nelson also had a strong junior campaign and was a big reason for Stoughton seeing an improvement on the ice from the season before. Nelson accounted for nine goals and six assists.
Zofia Bangs made an immediate impact for the Black Knights last season and is coming off a strong field hockey season. Both Bangs and Jillian Parker played key roles in the attack for the Black Knights. Stoughton will have to replace goalie Brianna Buckley (graduation). Buckley recorded over 350 saves last season and was a key piece in the Stoughton defense.
TAUNTON, Mass. – No team wants to lose a game, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any benefits from doing so.
Taunton softball dropped just its second game of the season on Friday night, falling behind North Attleboro early and seeing its rally come up short. With one game left to correct things before the state tournament, the Tigers bounced back in a good way.
The defending state champs belted out 12 hits, scoring three runs in each the fourth and fifth innings before exploding for five more in the sixth to earn a 12-0 win over potential playoff foe and league rival King Philip.
The win clinches the Kelley-Rex division title outright for the Tigers, their third ever Hockomock title and second division crown since 2016.
“I don’t take losses very lightly myself but you’d like to think some good can come out of a game like [last night],” said Taunton head coach Dave Lewry. “Cocky is too strong of a word but maybe we were a little overly confident. Hopefully, it let us know we are human, that you have to play the game. Hopefully, we can look back on it and that is the one that propelled us.
“We started the hitting last night and it seemed like it carried over to today. It took us a couple of innings to get going but we started putting the bat on the ball and started looking more like the Tigers that we think we are.”
The hosts took the lead in the bottom of the second inning with a solo run but the offense really got going over the final three innings. Taunton pushed across three runs in the fourth (all with two outs), three more in the fifth, and ended the game via mercy rule with a five-run sixth inning against the Warriors, the two-time defending division champs.
“It’s nice to get the Kelley-Rex, that’s not an easy championship to win,” Lewry said. “There are some really good teams in this league. Franklin had a heck of a year, KP came back and played well…everybody. It feels good to win it. I really didn’t want jackets with co-champs on it.”
Kelsey White got back on track after suffering a loss to the Rocketeers the night before. The sophomore tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits — a two-out grounder up the middle in the first, a bloop single that didn’t reach the outfield in the third, and a dribbler up the third base line in the fourth. She had one walk (in the first inning) and struck out five, retiring the final seven batters in order.
KP had one of its best changes in the opening inning as senior Meghan Gorman drew a two-out walk and Liliana Rolfe singled to put runners on first and second, but White got a chopper back to the circle for the third out.
The Warriors’ biggest threat came in the third when Destiny Goyco hit a bloop single to second. Courtesy runner Kara McWhinnie took second after a nice basket catch from Jaime Brown in foul territory on the third base side and advanced to third on a sac bunt. But White prevented what would have been the tying run from crossing by getting a strikeout for the third out.
“Kelsey pitched much better today, she definitely did,” Lewry said. “She didn’t have all of her good breaking balls but they were good enough and her changeup was excellent tonight, and she was spotting everything. She did a real nice job and she needed that too, she was a little bit shaken by her quick exit last night.”
Taunton took the lead in the bottom of the first inning behind a leadoff walk from Payton Ceglarski. Courtesy runner Kylie Thorpe moved to second on a sac bunt from Kelsey White and came around to score on a two-out bloop single from Alexa White to make it 1-0.
Kelsey White helped her own cause in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out double. Paige Silvia and Alexa White followed suit with back-to-back RBI doubles, and the latter scored on a single from Ava Venturelli up the middle to push the advantage to 4-0.
The Tigers stayed hot in the fifth inning, putting up three more runs. Abbie McDonough showed off her wheels with a leadoff triple and scored on a single from Hanna Aldrich. McKenzie McAloon clubbed an RBI double, Tayah DaCosta advanced the runner with a fly ball, and Kelsey White drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Venturelli got the big sixth inning started with a leadoff walk and pinch hitters Skylar Rheaume and Olyvia Mendonca both walked to load the bases. Aldrich hit a hard ground ball to third and beat the throw at first to bring courtesy runner Haylee Hartung in and keep the bases loaded.
Pinch hitter Kaysie DeMoura brought a run in by drawing a bases-loaded walk and Thorpe, in a pinch-hit situation, drove in two more runs with a hard hit ball through the right side. Kelsey White brought in the final run with a hard hit ball to left that was mishandled, allowing DeMoura to score.
“We swung the bat good, we made good contact,” Lewry said. “We have to hit…we have the pitching and defense but we have to hit to score runs, you’re not going to score many unless you do.”
Both Taunton (14-2 Hockomock, 20-2 overall) and King Philip (11-5, 12-8) will now await seeding for the MIAA D1 South Sectional tournament. The Tigers are likely to be a top four seed while the Warriors could potentially host a preliminary game.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – With the calendar turned to May and the state tournament right around the corner, the King Philip softball team is ready to put the rest of the South sectional on notice.
After stumbling out of the gates with a 4-5 start, the Warriors have won five straight by outscoring opponents 68-3 and looked to be primed for another playoff push after a 13-3 win on the road over Attleboro.
“The thing is, we figured it out about two weeks ago,” said King Philip coach Norm Beauchemin, who in his seventh year at the helm of the Warriors. “As far as the defense, the lineup…we’ve brought some kids up that can help the team. Everybody wants in right now, it’s a commitment.
“Most of our losses are in the first half of the season. In the second half of the season, over the past five years, we probably only have a handful of losses.”
Recent history certainly supports Beauchemin’s claim. The Warriors won 11 of their final 12 regular season games in 2016 and went on to win the D1 State Title. The following year, KP had nine wins in its final 13 games and just a year ago, the Warriors won 12 of its final 13 games and made it to the sectional semifinals.
So far this year, the Warriors are 5-1 in May and have five games to go.
Maybe the most noticeable difference for KP is its offense. The Warriors have scored in double figures in four of the last five and needed to use a rally in its first meeting with Attleboro to claim a 6-3 victory.
This time around, the Warriors belted out 17 hits, scoring four runs in each the fourth and fifth innings to turn what was a one-run game into a comfortable win.
“King Philip] played well today, they swung the bats, had a good amount of hits, they made the plays in the field, the pitcher was consistent and made us swing the bats,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “And we didn’t do that, especially in that one inning.
“Going down the road, we have a tough schedule, but once the pitching, hitting, and defense comes together, I know we can win some games. Because I know what they are capable of.
King Philip had an ideal start, tacking on two runs in the top of the first inning. Paige Berdos led off with a single and Meghan Gorman drew a one-out walk. A sac bunt from Liliana Rolfe moved the runners into scoring position and Faith Turinese helped her own cause with a two-run, two-out single to put the visitors ahead.
“It’s all about getting people in the right positions, getting them comfortable in those spots,” Beauchemin said. “And then getting the lineup so we’re getting runs. It doesn’t matter how many hits you get, it matters when you get them”
After walking in her first at-bat, Gorman was quick to put the bat on the ball in her next chance in the third inning. After hitting two hard foul balls, Gorman got a hold of the third pitch she saw and sent it flying over the center field fence for a 3-0 lead through 2.5 innings.
Attleboro answered in the bottom half to make it a one-run game. Meghan Gordon doubled into the right-center gap and McKenzie Bergdoll ripped a two-out home run into center field to make it 3-2 after three innings.
But King Philip didn’t let Attleboro’s momentum last very long, pushing across four in the fourth. Ryann Stagg had a bunt single, Berdos followed with a single (and advanced on the throw) to put runners on second and third.
Raegan Simeone dropped down a squeeze bunt to bring the first run in, Gorman legged out an RBI double, Rolfe plated a run with an infield ground out, and Turinese added another RBI with a two-out single to push the lead to 7-2.
Lora Woyton led off with a single in the bottom half for Attleboro but Turinese (7IP, 7H, 2BB, 3K, 3ER) got a line drive to shortstop and Gorman alertly fired back to fire for a double play.
Abby Carey got things going to KP in the top of the fifth with a single and pinch runner Kara McWhinnie took third on a two-base error when Destiny Goyco put the ball in play. After Stagg walked, McWhinnie sprinted home on a wild pitch to make it 8-2.
Berdos followed with an RBI single and Simeone dropped in a single to push two more across for an 11-2 advantage.
In the sixth, Goyco doubled, Stagg walked, and Madison Kelley drove in pinch runner Heather Nix. Gorman added a hard hit single up the third base line for an RBI for a 13-2 advantage.
“We’ve got a team where we can create,” Beauchemin said. “Everybody is in right now. If someone hits a home run, they don’t mind bunting next time up if they have to. It’s a very selfless team.
“Our offense is a lot better, and we’re hitting at the right spots. That’s a nice team [Attleboro]. Our pitching has improved a lot too. Our pitching coming together has helped our offense too because we can relax a little bit.”
Woyton smacked a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth for Attleboro’s third run.
King Philip softball (9-4 Hockomock, 9-5 overall) is back in action on Friday when it hosts Mansfield. The Hornets earned a 10-3 win in the first meeting at the end of April. Attleboro (7-4, 7-6) will look to get back on track on Thursday when it visits Oliver Ames at 3:30.
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).
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – Attleboro rallied with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to grab the lead and then held on for a non-league win over North. Alvaro Espinal started the rally when he was hit by a pitch and then came around to score on a Mason Houle double. Lorenzo Wilson plated Houle with a single, followed by a base hit from Robert Furtado. With two outs, Eoin Kelleher singled to bring in both runners and put Attleboro in front. Kelleher (seven strikeouts) also grabbed the win on the mound, retiring the final 10 batters he faced after giving up five runs, all in the fourth inning. North took advantage of a walk, two errors, and a catcher’s interference to put together thr fourth-inning rally, with Kyle Bolger providing the big hit on a bases-clearing double.
King Philip, 4 @ Canton, 3 – Final – King Philip earned its third win in the past four games, holding on for a one-run win on the road. The Bulldogs led 3-0 through four innings but the Warriors went ahead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. David Morganelli went the distance on the hill, striking out three and allowing six hits, one walk, and just one earned run to pick up the win. Zach Zarba and Tim Crowley each had a pair of hits and each drove in a run for the Warriors, while Robbie Jarest had a hit and an RBI. Conor Cooke and Chris Sawyer each had two hits for KP. Canton’s Matt Pigeon went 3-for-3 and senior Paul Corcoran had an RBI for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 9 vs. Milton, 11 – Final – Foxboro jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, and then scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game but Milton prevailed in the championship game of the third annual Steven J. Sullivan tournament. Senior Brian Duncan had a team-high three hits and a run scored, Anthony Mollica (three walks, triple, two runs, two RBI), Kyle McGinnis (two walks, two RBI, run, triple) and Adam Lanctot (run, RBI) each had two hits for the Warrior.
Mansfield, 6 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Mansfield held just a one-run lead through five innings of play before plating four in the sixth and one in the seventh to pull away from the Scarlet Hawks. Jake Gerraughty shined on the mound, allowing just one hit while talking two and striking out three in a complete game effort. Offensively, Dan Saraceno went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Sam Nugent (run), Gerraughty (run), and Mike Hargadon (run, RBI) each had two hits for Mansfield. Milford starter Colby Pires scattered five hits and three walks with just one earned run over five innings of work.
Sharon, 1 @ Weymouth, 5 – Final
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 10 – Final – Bella Erti struck out eight and walked none to earn the non-league win against Attleboro. Emily Nardelli powered the North offense with three hits, including a double and a two-run homer. Abby Gallagher had a pair of hits, including a solo homer, and Ashley Cangiano and Belle Clarkin also added two hits for the Rocketeers, who used a six-run sixth inning to break the game wide open. Annabelle Hebard, Katy Daby, and Emma Bailey each drove in runs for North. Attleboro’s run came on a solo homer by Makenzie Killough. Jenna Gittle also went 2-for-3 for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 15 – Final (5 Inn.) – King Philip’s offense came alive, belting out 14 hits in a win over visiting Canton. Meg Gorman led the way, hitting two home runs and a total of three hits, knocking in four runs. Kara McWhinnie added a home run and a double, and Faith Turinese, Paige Berdos and Reagan Simeone each had a pair of hits for the Warriors. Turinese was strong in the circle, allowing only three hits striking out eight and no walks in five innings. Liz Bickett and Steph Trendell each had solo homers for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 16 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final (5 Inn.) – Foxboro scored five runs in the top of the first and never looked back, taking control of the game with an eight-run third. Nicole Theriault had a big day with three hits and three runs scored for the Warriors. Chelsea Gibbons and Camryn Willis also scored three times in the win, while Alexandra Willis had a pair of hits and a pair of runs. Morgan Sylvestre scored twice and Maria Dunn drove in a pair. Grace Simone (RBI), Kayla Georgeu, Abbi Holmes (run) and Kalei Clark (two runs) each had hits for OA. Clark scored 2 runs, Holmes scored a run. Emma Varella added two RBI for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 1 @ Franklin, 13 – Final (5 inn.) – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Franklin got off to a strong start, scoring five runs in the first inning and four more in the second to beat Stoughton. Junior Sarah Jackson launched a two-run home run to highlight the Panthers’ big first inning. Ally Shea went 4-for-4 (courtesy runner Molly Collins scored three runs), Gabby Colace had three hits and two RBI, and Maddy White added two hits and two RBI. Jackie Cherry allowed just one run on two hits, walking two and striking out three in four innings of work to get the win. Nikki Coppola had a solo home run in the second inning for the Black Knights.
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 18 – Final (5 Inn.) – Sarah Cahill allowed only one hit and struck out eight to earn the five-inning shutout for the Hornets. Mansfield jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one, tacked on a run in the second, four in the third, and then seven in the fourth, while pounding out 11 hits as a team. Megan Letendre and Ashlyn Conley each had a pair of hits and each drove in a pair of runs. Nine Mansfield batters had at least one hit in the game.
Sharon, 0 @ Taunton, 18 – Final (5 inn.) – Taunton scored eight runs in the first inning and never looked back in a while over visiting Sharon. Sophomore Hanna Aldrich paced the offense with a pair of home runs and five RBI, sophomore McKenzie McAloon added a pair of hits and two runs scored, sophomore Tayah DaCosta had two hits, scored three runs, and two RBI, junior Abbie McDonough had a double and two RBI, and sophomore Skylar Rheaume added a hit and an RBI. Alexa White earned her second win of the year, allowing just one hit in three innings of work while striking out six. Freshman Olyvia Mendonca did not allow a hit in two scoreless innings of relief.
Attleboro @ Bishop Feehan, 10:00
Foxboro, 7 vs. Marshfield, 5 – Final – After falling behind 4-1 at the end of the first quarter, Foxboro’s defense put a lock on the Ram attack. The Warriors shut Marshfield out in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 4-3 at halftime, and then allowed just one second half goal, scoring four of their own to get the victory in Chowda Cup action. The Warriors used a balanced attack with Pete Conley scoring twice and Charlie Baughan (assist), Aidan Stapleton (assist), Bobby Yerardi (assist), Shayne Kerrigan, and Nick Penders each scoring once. Foxboro coach Matt Noone said the Warrior defense played awesome in front of goalie Matt Tully (11 saves).
Franklin, 9 vs. St. John’s Prep, 10 – Final (2 OT) – Franklin had a lead and possession with under a minute to go but St. John’s Prep got the ball back after a save and scored with 16 seconds left and went on to win in double overtime. Owen Palmieri had three goals, Jake Davis added two goals and an assist, and Matt Lazzaro scored once and had two helpers. Will Davis made 17 saves in net for the Panthers while senior Jacob Alexander won 15-of-23 faceoffs.
King Philip, 9 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – Colin DeVellis scored four goals and recorded two assists to lead the Warriors to a non-league road win. KP also got two goals and an assist apiece from Andrew Sajdak and Sam Mattson. Robbie Tartaglia scored the other goal, Chris Longobardi won 12-of-17 face-offs, and Andrew McKinney made 12 saves for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 11 vs. Hanover, 10 – Final
Milford vs. Blackstone Valley Tech, 6:00
Oliver Ames, 16 @ Bellingham, 2 – Final – OA had seven different scorers, led by Hunter Costello’s five goals, to stay unbeaten through six games this season. Cullen Gallagher had a strong game defensively in his LSM role and also popped up with a pair of goals on the other end. The Tigers defense was led by Shane Murphy, Matt Saba, and Tyler Campbell, who held Bellingham to just two scores.
Sharon, 10 vs. Nipmuc, 8 – Final
Stoughton, 2 @ Dedham, 12 – Final
Attleboro, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 20 – Final
Canton, 13 vs. Quincy, 2 – Final
Foxboro, 9 @ Longmeadow, 16 – Final
Mansfield, 6 @ Hopkinton, 16 – Final – Mansfield fell behind early, trailing 9-1 at halftime, but battled back in a nearly even second half. Hornets coach Lauryn Wilkie said that the score didn’t reflect how well the Mansfield midfield and defense played against a good Hopkinton attack. Melissa Shanteler was highlighted for her marking of Hopkinton’s Lydia Rudden, holding the 200-goal scorer to just one for the game, and Wilkie said that Shealyn Sears also played well in the defense. Katie McCarthy made six saves for the Hornets who got three goals apiece from Katie Garvin and Lauren Whitman. Wilkie added, “The girls are really starting to hit their stride, we just need to find the net more.”
Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – Final – It was a one-goal game at halftime, but the Eagles used a 7-4 second half to pull out the non-league road win and extend their win streak to five games. Emma Eberhardt scored six times for Sharon and also pulled down 15 draw controls. Mia Lappen scored three goals and Cass Barbera and Bridget McManus each tallied twice in the win. OA had five players score in the game, led by Olivia Piazza, who had four goals and three assists.
King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 15 – Final
Milford, 18 vs. Blackstone Valley Tech, 3 – Final – Milford took an early lead and never looked back, cruising to its third win of the season. Senior Sophia Bucal paced the offense with five goals while Emily Haley, Annie Flanagan, Riley Campbell and Elena Bon Tempo each scored three goals apiece. Senior Stella Amour scored her first career goal for the Hawks.
Milford, 1 vs. Hopedale, 4 – Final
Milford, 0 vs. Hopedale, 5 – Final
Attleboro @ North Attleboro, 2:00
King Philip, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Milford earned a 3-0 sweep over King Philip in the first ever meeting between the programs, winning 25-19, 25-17, 25-18. Milford senior Joao Boaventura was terrific all around, pounding down 18 kills, adding six aces, and finishing with 12 digs. Josh Orellana added 28 assists for the Scarlet Hawks. Jimmy Peterson and Max Armour had three kills apiece for King Philip while Kyle Desrochers finished with 10 digs.
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.”