TAUNTON, Mass. — After suffering a tough extra-innings loss on Saturday night, the King Philip softball team showed up an hour early to practice the next morning eager to bounce back.
On Monday night, the Warriors stayed extra late to get the job done against Taunton.
Junior Sarah Cullen clubbed a two-out single up the middle on a full count in the top of the seventh to bring in the tying run to keep the Warriors alive, and King Philip went on to score two runs in the top of the 10th inning to emerge with a key 4-2 win on the road over the Tigers.
With the score knotted at 2-2 since Cullen’s hit in the top of the seventh, King Philip finally broke the deadlock in the 10th inning. Sophomore Ava Kelley led off with a double to the gap in left center and junior Ava Lanza followed with a double to left field to bring in the go-ahead run. Kelley fouled off a bunt on the first pitch but then took a slap approach, finally getting one to fall in fair territory after fouling three consecutive pitches off.
“The plan was if she didn’t get it down on the first one then to take advantage of whatever the defense was giving,” Fallon-Comeau said. “She saw the third baseman was in so she went with the slap and she found a hole to left to bring [Kelley] in.”
Meg Sherwood smacked one to right center that dropped, allowing Lanza to come home to double the lead.
Sophomore Jordan Bennett tossed a complete game for the Warriors and retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning, getting her 10th strikeout for the final out.
“I told my assistant Bri [Sebio] before the inning that if we could get to Sarah, we would tie the game,” said KP head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau.
Freshman Liv Petrillo (3-for-5) started the rally in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double but KP couldn’t move her any closer after a bunt was popped up and another bid was caught at shortstop.
That set the stage for Cullen, who ended up in the nine-hole after Fallon-Comeau shuffled her lineup heading into the contest. Cullen was without a hit in her first two at-bats but made solid contact both times and Taunton played good defense both times.
“I just had a feeling, she had been hitting it well so far today,” Fallon-Comeau said. “I moved her out of the leadoff because I wanted to take the pressure off of her, it’s a tough spot. She’s been there since the beginning of the year and got into a little slump so just a chance of perspective, change of pitches…we wanted to get her up to bat with someone on base.
“She had been striking it well all day, it was just about finding a hole at some point. She just needed to believe in herself and get it done, and she did. And then she made that spectacular catch in center field too [in the 8th inning].”
King Philip sophomore catcher Maddie Paschke ended a threat in the bottom of the sixth by throwing a runner out trying to steal third. After that, Bennett allowed just one hit — a leadoff single to junior Ava Venturelli in the bottom of the sixth.
Bennett retired the next three batters she faced and went on to retire the side in order in the final four innings.
“She’s always unfazed, no matter what the score is,” Fallon-Comeau said. “She kind of just chipped away in the circle, they were hitting her early on but I felt like somewhere in the middle of the game she settled down. She was focused and lasered in and really started to hit her spots. I thought she did a great job.”
Taunton jumped ahead right out of the gate. Freshman Cate Larson (10 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) worked around a leadoff single from Kelley to strand a runner at second in the top half of the first, and the Tigers’ offense cashed in on its first chance.
Kyleah Plumb reached on an infield error after a bunt and took third on the same throwing error. Kaysie DeMoura followed two at-bats later with a well-hit ball up the middle for an RBI and an early 1-0 lead.
Larson retired the Warriors in order in both the second and third innings and Taunton took advantage once again after Plumb reached from the leadoff spot. This time it was a single, a sac bunt from Brooke Aldrich, an infield error, and a double steal that brought Plumb home to make it 2-0.
KP cut the deficit in half the next half inning as Taylor Regan reached on a fielder’s choice, took second on a single from Charlotte Raymond, and came around to score on a single up the middle from Petrillo.
“Any time we get to play them, we love it and it’s always a great game,” said Taunton head coach Carrie Consalvi. “We were missing some key players tonight so I’m proud of them for hanging around with [KP] and playing 10 innings with them. [Larson] has maybe pitched a max of four innings in one game this year so for her to go 10 innings was impressive.
“But you can’t expect to score one or two runs and expect to beat KP. They are scrappy and they just keep plugging along. It was the first game in a while our offense went quiet but we’ll look to bounce back.”
Taunton (10-2 Hockomock, 11-2 overall) is back in action under the lights on Wednesday against Franklin. King Philip softball (11-0, 13-2) has the inside track to the Kelley-Rex division title but Fallon-Comeau said the focus remains solely on their next opponent, Mansfield.
“We still have a lot of games left so we didn’t talk about the division,” Fallon-Comeau said. “We have to just keep playing hard, this isn’t it. We still have a lot of Hock games left against good teams so we still have a lot of work to do.”
2021 Record: 3-11 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Kevin Patton
Attleboro had some growing pains during the 2021 campaign, but has a good chunk of the roster back in the fold for 2022 and will try to take the next step forward as a program.
The Bombardiers will have a strong foundation on the defensive end of the field. Captain Fred Wheaton is back for another year to anchor the defense and he’s joined by fellow returners Bobby Sawyer and John Wheaton to give Attleboro a solid veteran nucleus to try and shut down some of the top offenses in the league. Attleboro also has sophomore Harry Wheaton back in net after gaining valuable experience in the cage in 2021.
Having last year’s top scorer in Carter Shelton back in the fold will give the Bombardiers a good start in the attack. Shelton scored 30 goals and had 15 assists, finishing 12th in the Hock in scoring. Captain Keigan Conley is also back to bolster the attack, coming off a 22 goal, 10 assist campaign a year ago. Freshman Nathan Conroy is also in the mix already in the attack.
Attleboro’s midfield will be anchored by captain Ryan Betts along with Chad Beaupin and Seth LaPlace. The Bombardiers also expect contributions from Cole McKenna, Patrick McAvoy, and Spencer Scherck.
“We have a lot of returning guys that picked up valuable varsity experience last season,” said Attleboro head coach Kevin Patton. “We are looking forward to a strong season in 2022.”
2021 Record: 14-2 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Ryan Quinn
Canton split its two games with Foxboro to win a share of the Davenport title in 2021, just the third league title in program history and were an overtime goal away from reaching the Div. 2 South final. The Bulldogs have a lot of experience in the attack and the midfield this season with the goal of putting in another challenge for the league crown and putting together another state tournament push.
The Bulldogs had a dynamic attack last spring and the league’s leading scorer Sam Carlino headlines a strong group this season as well. Junior Jeff Chaput joins Carlino in the attack and the midfield group is filled with experience from last season. Sophomore Brendan Tourgee, juniors AJ Thomas and Chris Hamilton, senior Eddie Gillis, and Charlie Vaughn will all give Canton playmaking at the middie position.
Defensively, Canton will definitely miss graduated goalie Dylan Coyne but the Bulldogs have a talented group of poles that should be tough to score against this season. Senior Sean Connolly will lead that defensive group alongside sophomores Luke Darling and Colin Blake.
“I am really excited about this upcoming season,” said second-year coach Ryan Quinn. “Our student-athletes have been working hard to build on our success from last season, but are very aware that everything we achieve is based upon the work we put in this year, every day. We are led by a small, but strong senior class, and have depth across all four grades levels. This group is a very coachable group and we are very excited to begin”
2021 Record: 11-4 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central/East Quarterfinal Coach: Matt Noone
After graduating just two seniors from last year’s team, Foxboro is back with a strong lineup that will look to reclaim the Davenport title that it shared with Canton in 2021. The Warriors will have depth up and down the field with the goal of not only returning to the top of the division but also being ready for a deep run in the statewide tournament.
Foxboro’s attack is all back from last season. The Warriors finished third in goals scored in the league in 2021 and a year’s worth of experience should make them even more dynamic. Junior Conor Noone was the league’s third-leading scorer last season and he will lead the line again alongside sophomore Lincoln Moore, coming off a breakout rookie campaign, and senior Jack Avery. Senior Tommy Sharkey was an all-star middie last season and he will be joined by junior Finn Stapleton and sophomore Tony Sulham, another player who made a strong varsity debut as a freshman.
Depth should be a strength for the Warriors, who return their second midfield group as well, including sophomores Sully Kenneally, Ryan Cotter, and Ian Foley. Foxboro’s defense is returning as a group too. Seniors Dylan Kerrigan and Ben Ricketts are the leaders at the back and will be joined by classmate Mark Jansen. Senior Matt Grace will start at LSM with sophomore Jack Sullivan backing him up. Sophomore Adam Addeche is back in goal, backed up by classmate Nate Urman, and freshman midfielder John Sacchetti and defender James Dee Gaffney are newcomers with potential.
“The Warriors graduated two seniors and return the core of their team,” said Foxboro coach Matt Noone. “Everyone is a year older with varsity experience which will help us in our 2022 push.”
2021 Record: 18-1 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final Coach: Lou Verrochi
After reaching the program’s first sectional final in 2021, Franklin brings a typically strong lineup of experienced players who will be aiming to make a run in the new statewide tournament. The Panthers have loaded up their regular season schedule to prepare for the rigors of the tournament with state powers Medfield, Lincoln-Sudbury, and St. John’s Prep among the teams that Franklin will challenge itself against to be ready to shoot for silverware this spring.
Franklin’s attack scored more than 300 goals in 19 games last season and should be just as dynamic this year with junior All-American Luke Davis joined by classmate Jayden Consigli, who were both in the top five in scoring in the league in 2021. Junior Tyler Sacchetti will be the third member of the attacking crew. Sophomore Drew Hansen and Ed O’Brien and junior John Walshe will make up the first midfield. Junior Justin Alexander was one of the best face-off middies in the state last year and the Panthers will be counting on him to control possessions again this season.
Senior Kyle Palmieri will lead the defensive group, which should once again be a challenge for the opposition to score against. Junior Ben Harvey and senior Billy Gardner will also be key players at close defense. Sophomore goalie Matt Corvi will step into the cage this spring and has the potential to be a standout.
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“Once again, we will have a very competitive team this spring with a very tough schedule,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi.
2021 Record: 9-5 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Hal Bean
With more than a dozen players back in the fold from last year, King Philip is looking to take another step forward after posting a 9-5 record last year.
The Warriors have key pieces in the lineup all over the field, starting with senior goalie James Boldy. Boldy had a great campaign a season ago and will be among the top goalies in the league this year. He will work with fellow senior captain Will Weiblen and senior Shaun Fitzpatrick as the anchors of the King Philip defense.
There is a strong core of midfielders back in the mix this year, starting with returning faceoff specialist Thomas Brewster. He will be joined by a very experienced group that features seniors Ben Riggs, Sean McCarthy, Andrew Longobardi, Nolan Feyler,
Brayden Thompson, John Campbell, and Ian Hill, along with sophomore standout Noah Minkwitz. Riggs (31 points last year) will be one of the most dangerous two-way players in the league but KP has a lot of depth in the position.
Offensively, King Philip has Sean Crowther back in the fold, who was just one of six Hock players to reach the 40-goal mark on the season. He’s joined by Kip Bishop and Colin Lightbody, who both registered 19 points a year ago, as well as Colin Gillis and sophomore Donovan DeVellis.
“King Philip boys lacrosse expects to compete in every game and anticipates a productive season and playoff run,” said KP head coach Hal Bean “We all are looking forward to a fun season!”
2021 Record: 6-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Tim Frias
With a handful of young faces fighting for spots in the lineup, Mansfield is hoping to pick up valuable experience early and make a late charge for a spot in the state tournament.
The Hornets do have some experience on the defensive side of the ball with Ryan DeGirolamo starting in the cage and senior captains Zander Holmes and Mark DiGirolamo patrolling the space in front of him. Mansfield has a handful of young poles that will be in the mix including Liam Barry, Patrick Gormley, Nolan Bordieri, and James DeGirolamo.
The group of upperclassmen will make up the majority of the field with senior Dash Munson joining a trio of talented juniors in Grady Sullivan, Drew Sacco, and Cody Gordon. The Hornets have a lot of young players looking to find spots in the midfield and lineup and general, and new names that could contribute early on include Aidan Steele, Jake Feinberg, and Liam Steele.
2022 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview
In the attack, senior Jack Roberts will be accompanied by a pair of sophomores in Tommy Smith and Andrew Burnham.
2021 Record: 2-11 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Austin Costa
Under the guidance of new head coach Austin Costa, the Scarlet Hawks are aiming to show improvement throughout the season and set the program on an upward trajectory.
There is a strong mix of veteran leadership and new faces eager to find a spot in the lineup for Costa and the Scarlet Hawks this season. Senior captain Eric Landry is set to be the leader on the defensive end, and his experience will be key as Milford tries to fend off some lethal offenses. Landry will be joined by Brian Goncalves and junior Nick Casilli, both returners for the Scarlet Hawks. Defensive experience will be key as the Hawks turn to Alex McGuire for his varsity debut in the cage.
Offensively, look for veterans Jacob Ligor and Eric Farrell to be major contributors for the Scarlet Hawks. Both have a good amount of experience playing at this level and know what it takes to compete in the Hockomock League. Other returners for Milford include Kyle Donelan, Shawn O’Donnell, and Ronn Swineford while freshmen Alex Maietta and Jayden Martins have impressed early on and could be key contributors right away.
2021 Record: 7-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central/East Quarterfinal Coach: Kevin Young
North Attleboro finished in a tie for third in the Davenport division last year and had an impressive playoff win over Belmont before being beaten by sectional finalist Medfield. The Rocketeers only graduated two players from last season’s team, so Big Red comes into the spring with big expectations of competing for a first league title since 2017 and being a threat in the state tournament.
The North attack should be an area of strength this season with seniors Matt Antonetti, Connor Ruppert, and Clayton Billingkoff all back up top. Antonetti led the team with 57 points in 2021. Juniors Jack Regan and Luke Ward have both had strong preseasons, while freshmen Ethan Gustafson and Brady Brackner could be poised for breakout debuts. Senior Jared Vacher will do his best to get as many possessions as possible for the North attack by winning draws.
North’s defense has plenty of experience as well. Senior Max Hobbs, Anthony Ferro, and James Brennan will get plenty of help from sophomore Connor Rajotte and junior LSM Julian House. The Rocketeers can also count on two experienced goalies with senior Ethan McGrath and junior JT Gallagher both back in the cage this spring.
“We know the Hockomock will be strong this year,” said North coach Kevin Young. “I am excited to watch this group compete and grow as a team.”
2021 Record: 3-11 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Ben Devlin
Oliver Ames coach Ben Devlin stepped down after last season, but he was convinced to come back this spring to lead a young Tigers team. Twenty-four of the 34 players in the program this year are either freshmen or sophomores, so OA will be counting on younger players to step up across the field and Devlin is excited about the promise he sees during the preseason.
Senior midfielder Wyatt Fritchman and junior attacker Ben Reardon will be the leaders on offense. Fritchman was second on the team in scoring last year and Reardon went on a run of nine goals in the final three games of his sophomore season. Senior Wes Tower is back to run things in the midfield and sophomores Ryan Jaco and Alex McAndrew have the potential to find the back of the net.
On the other end of the field, senior Cam Tower has been converted to LSM this season. The other poles will be led by junior Jake Manthous, who also was in charge of the face-offs last year, and sophomore Landon Grothe. Junior Noah Isleib returns in goal to keep things organized on defense and sophomore Ethan St. Jean will be his backup.
“Despite being much younger, we are looking to improve on last year’s results and continue building the program,” said Devlin. “We expect to have some growing pains early in the season, but look to improve as the younger players get experience and develop their game during the season. It’s never easy to rebuild in a talented league like the Hock. There aren’t any easy games as every team is talented and well-coached…but we are setting our sights on winning enough games to reach the postseason.”
2021 Record: 9-6 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Jon Shocket
Sharon has a solid core back from last year’s nine-win team but without any juniors on the squad, there will be a lot of young players in the lineup with most getting their first taste of varsity lacrosse.
With over a half dozen seniors on the roster, head coach Jon Shocket will lean heavily on their veteran leadership and experience as the new players get integrated into the lineup and acclimated with the speed of the high school game. The senior trio of Ben Shocket, Brady Daylor, and Ryan Zunenshine are this year’s captains.
The other seniors on the team include Jace Nestler, Matt Mahoney, James Lillenfeld, and Chance Hanah, and all four will be vital as the Eagles make a push for the postseason. There are four freshmen already in the lineup including Matt Powers in net, Jordan Burke at attack, and Zach Bernstein and Ben Goldberg at defense. Sophomores Gabe Korn, Ryan Brown, Jacob Kaufman, and Ronin Widland will also be in the mix for the Eagles.
“I hope to get a lot of growth from our team as we get more experience,” Shocket said.
2021 Record: 9-7 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Mark Homer
Last spring, Attleboro was an inning away from upsetting crosstown rival Bishop Feehan and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. The Bombardiers were also the only team to score on state champ Taunton. That is a good foundation to build on coming into a new season, as Attleboro brings back a strong core of players looking to challenge the top two in the Kelley-Rex and make another state tournament push.
Senior Lindsey Perry, who can also play second base, will be in the circle for the Bombardiers to start the season and will be throwing to sophomore Rylie Camacho, who had an impressive debut campaign at the plate and in the field. Senior Hailey Perry is coming back from a knee injury but should be at shortstop early in the season. Attleboro added pitching depth this season with junior Lily Routhier transferring in from Wheelock School (R.I.). Routhier will also play center field when she’s not pitching.
Sophomore Kayla Goldrick is another player coming off a standout rookie season and she will be at third and in the middle of the order. Junior Lauren Eby will return at the other corner and junior Sarah Maher gives Attleboro versatility by being able to play multiple positions. The Bombardiers have a balanced lineup and will be able to incorporate new faces to the program and players pulled up from JV to find the right combinations.
“The team’s goal is to stay competitive for every practice and game, and qualify for states,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We must be consistent in every aspect of the game. It’s always a tall order, but this team has the potential and determination to make it happen. We’re gonna have fun doing it.”
2021 Record: 5-11 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Sandy Lombardi
Canton returns seven players from last year’s team, which went on the road to beat Cardinal Spellman in the first round of the state tournament. After Dave Bohane stepped down, Sharon girls basketball coach and former Duxbury softball coach Sandy Lombardi has taken over the Bulldogs hoping to take the mix of experience and new talent on another trip to the postseason.
The Bulldogs will have depth in the circle this season with seniors Gillian Gordon and Sophia Santos bringing experience to the position and sophomore Jess Wright adding another option. Senior Taylor Reynolds brings a strong bat to the top of the order and will play in left field. Senior Emily Ciampa will return at second base, with Wright playing mostly at first, and junior Olivia Mackwell behind the plate. Sophomore Laura Valkanas will be at shortstop.
Freshman Chloe Guerschuny is a new face at third base and classmate Klara Redquest will take over from Liz Bickett in center. Senior Jessica Vo, junior Sam Vrabel, and sophomore Anna Lehan are all newcomers on varsity who will give Canton additional options in the outfield and in the lineup.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Lombardi said, “We have a good mix of upper and underclassmen. The girls are working hard and we are looking forward to competing in a tough Hockomock League.”
2021 Record: 11-6 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Mark Maguire
With two eighth graders in the starting lineup, including one in the circle, no one was quite sure how good Foxboro could be last spring. As it turned out, the Warriors were good enough to make a run all the way to the Div. 2 South quarterfinal. With additional pitching depth and critical varsity experience, Foxboro will try to build on that momentum and make another deep tournament run.
Senior Peyton Feldman was one of the top hitters in the league last season and she will be moving to shortstop while continuing to lead off. Senior Allie Willis will add leadership from the catcher position, as she is in her third year behind the plate. Her experience is critical when working with Foxboro’s young pitching staff. Freshman Emma Callahan had a breakout season as the starter last year and she will get the chance to play some second and third base as well to make sure her bat stays in the lineup. Freshman Vittoria Cuscia and sophomore lefty Angelina Rifai will give Foxboro more options in the circle.
Foxboro will have plenty of speed in the lineup this season. Freshman Jillian Slattery and Natalia Leach are athletic outfielders and will add production from the bottom half of the order. Freshman Ava Hill is back to start at first base after a solid eighth grade season and Fiona Dunn will get the start in right field.
“We are a young team that is looking to compete for the Davenport division,” said Foxboro coach Mark Maguire. “We have some very good athletes that look to take their softball skills to the next level. They are a group of kids who are a pleasure to coach.”
2021 Record: 6-9 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Katie Holbrook
Last season, Franklin showed that it could score runs in bunches, hitting double digits in five of its 15 games, but the Panthers could also allow runs in bunches with teams reaching double digits six times. With seven returning players, second-year coach Katie Holbrook is hoping that experience and depth will carry the Panthers back up the standings and into the postseason.
Franklin will have depth in the circle this season with senior Aislinn Lavery taking the bulk of the innings and junior Kiera Kotwicki able to step in when needed. Both will mix pitches and keep teams off-balance. Junior Hailey Fales will be back behind the plate, adding another layer of experience to the pitching staff. Senior Julia White battled an injury all spring in 2021 but she is back healthy and back in the middle of the infield and the order. Junior Georgia Harvey is a versatile player who can fill in at multiple positions and batted 0.426 as a sophomore.
Sophomore Carly Johnson-Pellegri had an impressive rookie season and will be moving from second to short and senior Hannah Cacciapaglia is back at first, and in the middle of the order, after recovering from an injury that kept her out all of last spring. The outfield looks strong for the Panthers this season. Senior Kelly Moussa has a strong arm in right and juniors Reece Allen and Dana Stott are two newcomers that could play big roles for the team this season.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
“We have a lot of different players who can jump in and be the spark at any given moment,” Holbrook said. “There are a lot of new players in the mix, but they are already showing signs of coming together as a team and leadership is not lacking in this group. If they can remain poised and confident and play their game, we should do well this season.”
2021 Record: 14-3 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal Coach: Kate Fallon-Comeau
King Philip lost only three games last season and all of those were to league and state champion Taunton. The Warriors bring back a lot of players from last season and that has put high expectations on one of the state’s perennial powers to get back on top not only in the Kelley-Rex division but also once the tournament kicks off.
A year of varsity experience might be most beneficial in the circle where senior Emma Sheehan and sophomore Jordan Bennett give the Warriors a lot of depth for a long season. Both saw plenty of action last year, including in the playoffs and they should be ready for the challenge of the new season. Junior Sarah Cullen will also be back behind the plate for the Warriors after an impressive debut season in which she batted nearly .500.
Infield defense was a strength for the Warriors, even after an injury to junior shortstop Libby Walsh. Senior Mia Bennett returns at second base and sophomore Maddie Paschke will be back at third base, after an impressive playoff run at the hot corner. Senior Meg Sherwood will add leadership in the outfield, while juniors Charlotte Raymond and Ava Lanza provide a spark in the lineup.
KP coach Kate Fallon-Comeau said, “We’re hoping to have a solid season, make the tournament, and see where it goes from there!”
2021 Record: 9-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Lori Letendre
Mansfield made a surprising run to the quarterfinal of the South sectional last spring, winning at Needham and at No. 2 seed Natick before falling to perennial power Silver Lake. With seven starters returning, the Hornets will be aiming at another tournament run this year and building the confidence that they can challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex.
Pitching will be a question mark for Mansfield this year after graduating last year’s starter Ashlyn Conley. Senior Julia Kelly, better known for her exploits on the volleyball court, will join the team for the first time in her career and will get the chance in the circle. Junior Amanda Schwarz will also be given time in the circle, as she makes the jump up from JV.
The lineup was young and inexperienced last season, but still proved to be dynamic and most of the players who came through with big at-bats have returned. Seniors Alanna Conley, Olivia DeTrolio, and Casey Moussette are all back along with sophomores Molly Kucharski, Callie Lake, Jill Koppy, and Liv Madeira, who all had impressive rookie seasons.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
“It’s been fun to get back on the field and start working with a great group of girls and we are looking forward to the season!” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre.
2021 Record: 0-14 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Steve DiVitto
The Kelley-Rex division is loaded every year and a young Milford roster is hungry to move past a couple of tough seasons to be more competitive in a difficult league schedule. While the Hawks went winless in 2021, they lost twice to Mansfield by a combined five runs and lost by only two runs to Franklin and Sharon, so the Hawks had opportunities to come out on top. Now, with a year that is closer to normal, Milford hopes to take the next step and turn those close defeats into victories.
While the roster is almost all underclassmen, Milford does return seven players from last year. Only two of the returners are upperclassmen, senior pitcher and outfielder Olivia Morelli and senior third baseman Gianna Cacciola. Both captains are entering their third seasons on varsity and going to be expected to provide leadership for the rest of the lineup, which is almost all freshmen and sophomores.
Also returning this year are sophomores Maddie Burns (catcher and first base), Camille Bonina (first base and outfield), Grace Bonina (middle infield), Maeve Driscoll (pitcher, shortstop, and outfield), and Sarah Wengel (outfield and first base). Each player gained valuable experience as freshmen and provide a lot of versatility in how the team will line up. The Hawks will also look to a trio of freshmen for instant impact as starters or off the bench, including pitcher Cae Pellegrini, outfielder Jianna Fernandes, and shortstop Olivia Baglione.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
“With such a young crew, we will rely on our two seniors, our captains, who have four years of experience to help lead the way,” said Milford coach Steve DiVitto. “We pride ourselves on keeping strong team chemistry; something that will be an important part of this season. We’re hungry to get back on the field!”
2021 Record: 12-4 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Bill Wallace
North Attleboro has won back-to-back league titles for the first time in program history and would love to make it a three-peat before moving to the Kelley-Rex division next season. The Rocketeers graduated four starters, so there will be opportunities for underclassmen to step in and contribute right away, but North also has a strong core, particularly with two strong starting pitchers, to make a run in the Div. 2 tournament.
Juniors Zoey McDonough and Kelly Colleran are back and give North an impressive one-two punch in the circle. Both players were all-stars in their debut seasons, and both are Div. I college recruits. Since they’re also important to the lineup, McDonough will play first and Colleran will play short when they’re not pitching. Senior Mandi Hanewich is battling a hand injury at the start of the season, but the four-year varsity player will add leadership in center, while senior Ally Levine will be behind the plate working with North’s staff. Junior Grace Simmons is the fifth returning starter and the right fielder will also get the chance to produce at the plate as well.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Senior Shaelyn Burns will take over at third after being the DP for most of last season, while freshman Maryellen Charette gets the nod at short or at first, depending on who the starting pitcher will be. Junior Emma Hanwell and senior Grace Barry will both get chances in the outfield, while juniors Maddie Bailey and Julia Forman will play second and be the DP. Freshman Aryanna McDavitt provides much-needed versatility, as she can play anywhere in the infield and pitch when called on.
“Our goals don’t change – what does change is the approach to get there,” said North coach Bill Wallace. “We’re working at it, let’s see if we retain it. The girls are focused – they know what’s in front of them!”
2021 Record: 4-10 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Lindsey Allison
Despite having no seniors on the roster this season, Oliver Ames has set a goal of getting back into the state tournament picture and moving up the standings in the Davenport division. The Tigers return five players from last year’s team but there is excitement about the underclassmen who will be stepping into the lineup this year and the energy that they’re bringing to the team.
Junior Maddie Homer is the team’s top returning hitter and was also an all-star at shortstop last spring. She will provide leadership in the infield. Junior Katie Melendy has a year of varsity experience in the circle and will look to build on her four wins as a sophomore. Lexi Galsband will be at first base and fellow junior Caitlin Miller returns in center, while sophomore Katherine Farley is stepping in behind the plate.
The underclassmen will give OA important versatility to find the right spots for everyone in the lineup. Sophomores Madison Monteiro, Paige Taylor, Sammy Johnson, and freshmen Emily Martin and Devon Morris will fill out the roster this season. Although young, there is a lot of club experience that they will add to the Tigers.
“Overall, I am impressed with the attitudes, hard work, and teamwork that I have seen so far this season and I am looking forward to watching them grow together as a team,” said OA coach Lindsey Allison. “We expect to be competitive in the Hockomock League and get back to the culture of making tournament an expectation.”
2021 Record: 2-12 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Heather Poliferno
For Sharon to move up the Davenport division standings, the Eagles are going to need to produce more runs this season. Sharon was last in the league with 31 runs scored in 14 games last year, but there is optimism around the team this spring that the combination of returning players and talented new faces is making good contact, being aggressive on the base paths, and look ready to create more opportunities to manufacture runs.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
Senior Trinity Payne will be a second-year captain for the Eagles, and she will need to produce in the circle (60 strikeouts last year) and at the plate (0.343 average in 2021). Senior catcher Ciara McAuliffe can hit for power and is an experienced battery mate for Payne, which will be a key to Sharon limiting the opposition’s base runners. Senior Savannah Gray is another power hitter in the middle of the Sharon order and a leader at first base.
Junior Ally Foulsham gives Sharon important versatility, being able to play solid defense at several positions and even jump in the circle to give Payne a breather. Foulsham, who will start at third base this spring, played third, short, and pitched last year and had a fielding percentage over 90 percent. Sophomore Maddie Hu will be the new shortstop this season and junior Natalie Kessler will start in the outfield but could see time at a few positions, including catcher.
“Our players have worked incredibly hard the last couple of weeks,” Sharon coach Heather Poliferno, “and we are all eager for them to get out on the field and show everyone what Sharon High softball is capable of.”
2021 Record: 8-7 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Deb Parker
After a year off, Stoughton got to experience the postseason in 2021, and a playoff win, and now the Black Knights will enter a normal spring with confidence that they can build on that foundation to make another run for a state tournament spot. With depth and talent throughout the lineup, Stoughton will be hoping to be back in the mix in the Davenport division standings as well.
Senior Sydney Menz will be the anchor for the team in center and as one of the top hitters in the middle of the order. She will be joined in the outfield by classmate Kate Bulger and freshman Angie Berry, who is going to get the chance to step right into the lineup this spring. Pitching is always critical and junior Kerry Driscoll will get the nod as the starter after getting a taste of facing varsity lineups last season.
2022 Hockomock League Softball Preview
The infield will be led by senior shortstop Melody Casna. Surrounded by underclassmen, Casna will give a dash of experience and is a vocal leader. Sophomore Alyssa Edwards is back at the corners, primarily at third, after a freshman season that saw her lead the team with a 0.417 batting average.
“I have so much confidence in this team and I expect big things from them this year,” said Stoughton coach Deb Parker. “They have come together really quickly and have chemistry that I have not seen in a long time. I am excited to see what this team will accomplish together this season, they have talent, depth, and personality, and they are willing to work. They are really fun to coach!”
2021 Record: Won Div. 1 State Title Coach: Carrie Consalvi
Not every team rebuilds in the same way. After graduating five starters from last year’s state championship-winning team, including in the circle and the heart of the order, Taunton will have plenty of new faces stepping into big roles this spring, yet the expectations remain high for the Tigers to challenge for a third straight league title and make another tournament run.
Senior Kylie Thorpe will be the anchor in the middle of the infield and add strong leadership at the top of the order. Freshman Brooke Aldrich will take over for her sister Hanna at shortstop and has already shown off a strong arm and a strong bat. Junior Kaysie Demoura will give the Tigers vocal leadership from behind the plate and looks set for a breakout season at the plate, while senior Angie Lynch was one of the stars of Taunton’s playoff run as a leadoff hitter and center fielder.
Junior Ava Venturelli is back in the fold this spring and the University of Louisville-commit will bring her big bat to left field, having hit a pair of homers during the preseason jamboree at the PAL fields. It won’t be easy to fill the shoes of Kelsey White in the circle, but senior Olyvia Mendonca will get that assignment and has had a strong preseason.
“We have a great crew this year, very different team from last year,” said second-year coach Carrie Consalvi, noting her team will have plenty of personality and rely on key leaders this year.
PLAINVILLE, Mass. — After missing a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, King Philip made sure to take advantage of its opportunity with the game on the line an inning later.
Senior Meg Sherwood (2-for-4, home run) led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple down the right field line and sophomore Ava Kelley followed with her first hit of the game, a sharp single up the middle to give the Warriors a 5-4 walk-off win over Taunton, snapping the Tigers’ 21-game win streak.
“I think they know how big of a win this is but I told them they can enjoy it from the rest of the night, but we’re right back to work tomorrow,” said King Philip head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “We have 20 regular season games to go, we have to take it one game at a time.
“We just put a big bullseye on our back and everybody is coming for us now.”
Taunton took the lead with a three-run first inning only for King Philip to quickly erase it with three runs of its own in the bottom half. The Tigers grabbed their second lead of the game with a run in the top of the fourth inning but once again, the Warriors had the answer and pulled even again.
The host Warriors had a chance to take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after freshman Liv Petrillo was hit by a pitch and Maddie Paschke reached on an error after a bunt. But Taunton freshman Cate Larson (3IP, 5H, 3ER, 6K 0BB), who came on in relief in the fourth inning, sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around another sac bunt to strand runners at second and third.
King Philip sophomore starter Jordan Bennett (7IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 6K, 0BB) fielded a grounder for the first out of the top of the seventh and then got back-to-back outs against the top of the Taunton lineup to set up the Warriors’ walk-off.
“We kind of did it a little bit in the tournament last year where we’d go down and come back so I love that about them, they are very resilient and they don’t get fazed by being down,” Fallon-Comeau said of coming back from a pair of deficits. “They make the plays they need to and know they can dig out of it.
“I wish we didn’t give up the runs first, but that’s softball for you. It should be a back-and-forth, that’s a sign of a great game. But I love that they are so resilient.”
While it ended how KP wanted, it wasn’t an ideal start. Angie Lynch smacked a hard grounder in the infield for a single and then Kaysie DeMoura’s sac bunt wasn’t fielded cleanly, sending Lynch to third. After DeMoura stole second, Brooke Aldrich reached first on a fielder’s choice with Lynch safe at home.
Aldrich followed suit with a stolen base and a ground out from Ava Venturelli brought DeMoura home, and then a hard-hit single to left field from Hayley Krockta brought Aldrich in. Bennett induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
It didn’t take long for King Philip to muster up a response. Junior Sarah Cullen laced a double to right and Ava Lanza reached safely on a bunt to put runners on the corner. After Taunton starter Liv Mendonca (3IP, 5H, 3ER, 6K 0BB) got a strikeout, Sherwood launched a home run deep over the left field fence to make it 3-3.
“We needed this, this team needed like this because we’ve kind of been sleepwalking,” admitted Taunton head coach Carrie Consalvi. “I’m glad we had this moment and it will feed some hunger. [King Philip] is our equal, they are a great team that’s well-coached and I think both teams played hard until the end. I think we needed this.”
Taunton nearly went back ahead in the top of the second after a bunt from Kyleah Plumb and an error allowed Kylie Thorpe to reach to put runners on the corner. But KP catcher Maddie Paschke gunned the runner down at second, and after a dropped third strike, Paschke got the out at first and first baseman Taylor Regan quickly fired it back home to catch the runner in a pickle for the third out.
Krockta started the top of the fourth inning with a bang, launching a 3-1 pitch deep over the fence in center to put the Tigers back ahead. Plumb had a one-out double but Bennett got back-to-back strikeouts to limit the damage.
Paschke got a fly ball to drop in shallow center for a one-out single and Cullen followed with her second double of the game. Bennett came up for her first at-bat as the flex and dropped down the squeeze bunt to bring in the tying run in the form of courtesy runner Olivia Ali. Larson stranded the runner at third with a pop up to left.
“We aren’t leaning on just one player, they are spreading it around. Meg, a senior captain, had the big home run and then of course the triple. I wanted to go with squeeze [for Ava] but didn’t want to go on the first pitch, and they were ready, so you’re playing a little mind game.
“But we still have a lot of work to do and [Taunton] is going to get better, they absolutely are.”
It’s the second time that Fallon-Comeau has snapped a lengthy Taunton winning streak. Back in 2019 as the head coach at Franklin, she led the Panthers to a 2-1 upset win that ended a 28-game win streak. That was also the last time Taunton lost to a division opponent.
King Philip softball (2-0 Hockomock, 2-0 overall) is scheduled to return to action on Thursday with a trip to visit the Black Knights of Stoughton (2-1). Taunton (1-1, 1-1) will look to start a new winning streak on Friday when it visits Sharon.
2021 Record: 5-11 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Steve Dunlea
With a good mix of new faces and experienced veterans, Attleboro is aiming to be in the mix of a loaded Kelley-Rex division. For the Bombardiers, it will lean heavily on a deep pitching staff.
It starts with seniors Billy Saltmarsh, who is committed to UMass Dartmouth, and Cian Kelleher, who is committed to Stonehill. They’ll be joined in the rotation by junior lefty Danny Johnson while senior Jamie Bloch and junior Sean O’Hara lend strength to the relief corps. Sophomore Matt Harvie, sophomore Johnny Pagano, and freshman Tyler Dunlea will also be in the mix to see innings on the mound.
Senior captain Owen Taber (UMass Dartmouth) will be an anchor of the Bombardier defense at second base while juniors Peter DelPozzo and Cooper Johnson, along with Pagano, look to fill in at shortstop as senior captain Evan Houle works his way back from an injury from basketball season. Johnson, DelPozzo, and Dunlea are in the mix for the starting job at third while Bloch (committed to UMaine Farmington) and Christian Dame provide depth at first base.
In the outfield, senior Nate George will cover a lot of ground from his spot in centerfield, and the Bombardiers will rotate between Parket Sacket, Hayden Hagerty, Ben Hochwarter, Danny Johnson, Brody McKenna, and Harvie for the other two outfielder spots. Junior Aidan Hochwarter provides a steady presence both at the dish and behind the plate at catcher.
“The strength of this team is its chemistry,” said Attleboro head coach Steve Dunlea. “We have a great group of returning players who have really worked hard to build a team bond through the pandemic. I give a lot of credit to the captains from last year and this year. Despite the challenges they faced with COVID, they were able to rebuild the chemistry of the Attleboro baseball program that was lost when the 2020 season was canceled.”
2021 Record: 8-7 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Ben Shuffain
Canton got off to a great start to the 2021 campaign, winning six of their first seven games but ended up with a first-round exit in the playoffs. With a strong core of returning players plus a couple of promising young players, the Bulldogs are aiming to get back to the postseason again this season.
The Bulldogs certainly have some holes to fill with the loss of a talented senior class and the departure of ace Andrew Middleton. Fourth-year head coach Ben Shuffain will lean on captains Andy Butler and Matt Chafin to lead the charge this season, along with three-year players Nico Bonanno, Matt Quan, and Zach Peters. Chafin was one of the best offensive players in the league last year, finishing second with a 0.442 average.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Shuffain has a lot of options for pitching, with at least a dozen choices to fill out the rotation and relief corps. Jay Kelleher, Hayden Rose, and Owen Lane will all be in the mix for innings on the mound. Matty Lesser, James Young, Jack Digirolomo, and freshman Kyle Redquest will work the infield while the catching duties will fall to Sean Sullivan and Matt Hart.
“We are a very experienced team with a lot of guys with a lot of innings pitched from last season and wins under their belt,” Shuffain said. “With a few of last year’s backups moving into starting roles and the addition of a few younger guys and the experienced upperclassmen this team should have a good season as they will continue to work hard on the field and in the weight room.”
2021 Record: 5-10 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South Preliminary Round Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro has some of the top returning talents in the league but will look for some of its younger players to provide the depth needed to compete for a division title this season.
Junior captain Sean O’Leary is one of the top arms in the league and has a lot of varsity experience under his belt already. He will be the ace of the staff that will also feature junior Mathieu Sullivan, who made his varsity debut last season, and freshman Nolan Gordon, who has impressed during the preseason. Pitching depth will come from seniors Andrew Peterson, Tom Marcucella, Liam Mulkern, and junior Alex Stern.
Senior captain Tom Marcucella is one of the most experienced players in the league and his versatility gives head coach Derek Suess a lot of options in the infield. Marcucella can play at any of the four infield spots but will spend the majority of his time at first base. Junior Ryan LeClair is back in the mix at shortstop after a breakout season a year ago, sophomore Tyler Prescott is back for his second year with the squad, and freshman Ryan O’Leary offers a solid bat and glove. Senior Kyle Smith and junior Josh Connolly provide solid depth in the infield.
Senior captain and three-sport star Jack Watts will patrol center field for the Warriors and will be flanked by juniors Kenny Mello and Louis Carangelo, all three looking to make an impact with their bats this season. When not pitching, Gordon will also be in the mix for some innings in the outfield and sophomore Shane Henri gives Suess another solid option. Mulkern is the starting catcher with freshmen Ben Angelini and Mike Marcucella in the mix as well.
“We have great leadership from our captains and upperclassmen which has set the tone for the rest of our guys,” Suess said. “The underclassmen have bought in and can contribute right away. We must embrace the daunting challenge of playing in the Hock, and compete with confidence to give ourselves the best chance to reach our goals.”
2021 Record: 16-2 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final Coach: Zach Brown
Franklin graduated some of the best players in the league after last season, but the Panthers still have a loaded lineup and a deep and talented pitching staff that could result in a very deep playoff run.
Not many teams could lose one of the best hitters in the league (Nate Cooke, 0.429) and one of the best catchers in the league (Jake Fitzgibbons, 0.353) and still boast one of the best lineups in the league but that’s how deep the Panthers are. Jack Marino, Ben Jarosz, and Chris Goode were all among the league leaders offensively a season ago, and Franklin also has sophomore Henry Digiorgio and junior Eisig Chin back after picking up a year of varsity experience. Junior Ryan Gerety, a Northeastern commit, is one of the best fielders in the region and is very dangerous at the plate.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
And after surrendering a league-low 40 runs last season, Franklin returns its entire rotation. Jacob Jette had a great junior season and will be one of the best pitchers in the Hock while junior Alfred Mucciarone will look to build upon a solid sophomore campaign. Relievers James Kuczmiec and Ethan Voellmicke dominated last season, coming in time after time and shutting opponents down.
2021 Record: 8-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Jeff Plympton, Jr.
It was a good start for head coach Jeff Plympton as the Warriors won eight games last season and went to the playoffs, bowing out to eventual state champions Xaverian.
King Philip has the majority of its lineup back and will be looking to make some noise in a very competitive Kelley-Rex division. After averaging almost five runs a game last year, the Warriors have some key bats back in the lineup this year. Senior Shawn Legere is a returning league all star that starts at shortstop and is coming off a season in which he hit 0.386 and scored a league-best 16 runs. Rudy Gately had a breakout sophomore season and will be a key bat in the lineup again this year.
Gately will also be a go-to option on the mound for Plympton after going 4-0 last season, striking out 33 in 34.1 innings of work with an impressive 1.03 ERA. Tommy Martorano also gained a lot of experience last year as a sophomore and will give the Warriors a solid 1-2 punch for its starting rotation.
“We have a lot of arms to roll out if we need them which is great,” Plympton said. “Shawn Legere provides great leadership to the team and demands hard work at practice and games. Our fielding should be strong this year but I’m looking forward to watching our offense. Last year we struggled at the plate but this year looks promising. Last season we notched our first playoff win in over a decade and we look to keep those strides moving forward this year.”
2021 Record: 8-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Chris Hall
With a talented and experienced pitching staff and a list of players eager to make a name for themselves at the dish, Mansfield enters the season with the goal of challenging for the Kelley-Rex division title.
The Hornets were young last spring, and a lot of players earned their first varsity starts on the mound and at-bats. Mansfield has the majority of its team back and will be looking to turn that valuable experience into a successful 2022 campaign. They certainly aren’t shying away from testing that talent with defending state champions Xaverian, Maryland powerhouse Archbishop Spalding, and other top teams on its schedule along with a loaded Hock schedule.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Seniors Anthony Sacchetti, Aaron Blinn, Jimmy Gilleran, and Colby Geddis highlight a deep and talented pitching staff for the Hornets. All of those arms got their feet wet during last year’s season and now give head coach Chris Hall a lot of flexibility with his rotation. There won’t be a drop off as the games go on with four solid options.
The big challenge for the Hornets a season ago was offense, scoring a division low 57 runs. With a strong offseason under their belts, there are a lot of names eager to step up and improve that number. Sacchetti, Gilleran, Geddis, and classmates Andrew Slaney and Jared Fraone will try to lead the way while juniors Conner Zukowski, Sam Martin, Caden Colby, Aidan Jones, and Rocco Scarpellini are all in the mix. Sophomores Connor Curtis and Jake Maydak both played varsity last year and could be impact players right away. Behind the dish, Aidan Jones and Wyatt Bolduc are battling for the starting spot at catcher after the Hornets lost senior Liam Anastasia to an injury.
“The keys to success this season rely heavily on every player doing their job,” Hall said. “The Hornets bring a well-rounded roster to the table and expect to compete all season long. Pitching and defense continue to be a strength for the Hornets. Offensively, the Hornets look to use a variety of talent to score runs and win baseball games.”
2021 Record: 5-9 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Alex Dion
There were some growing pains for the Hawks a season ago with a young squad, but with just five players graduated from a year ago, the Hawks are hoping to be a contender in a deep Kelley-Rex division.
Head coach Alex Dion plans to get contributions from all four classes this season, starting with a strong group of seniors that cover the field. Tyler Lane and Grant Scudo will see time in the outfield, Justin Luchini mans first base, Alex McColl can play in a number of spots in the infield, Cole Forrest is a versatile weapon, and John Denegris is an option on the mound.
The rotation will be anchored by junior Evan Cornelius, junior Tyler Caldon, and sophomore Anthony LaPierre. Cornelius started every game for the Hawks last season and will play at first when he’s not on the mound. Caldon and LaPierre, both right-handed pitchers, are up from the JV squad and have impressed in the early going.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Offensively, sophomore Keith Lee picked up valuable experience after starting nine games as a freshman last season. He will start behind the dish and be one of the most important bats in the lineup. Sophomores Damien Carter and Sean McGee also started last season and will make up Milford’s middle infield.
“I am excited about the potential that this group has,” Dion said. “With strong senior leadership and varsity players in all four grades we have an opportunity to compete this year and for years to come. This is a great league and I have a lot of respect for the other teams in it. It starts on the mound and if we can get quality pitching out of the arms that we have here we have a chance to compete. We will have to win games in a variety of ways and I believe that we have the athletes to do that.”
2021 Record: 12-5 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Mike Hart
After splitting the division title a season ago, the Rocketeers enter the 2022 campaign with a chance at winning back-to-back division titles for the first time in 30 years.
Replacing ace Dennis Colleran won’t be easy but North Attleboro has some solid arms on the mound including senior Danny Curran and senior David Floyd, who missed last season. Curran went 2-0 last year and struck out 22 in 23 innings of work with a 3.65 ERA. Head coach Mike Hart also has pitching options in senior Anthony Wescott, and juniors Jordan Paradis, Derek Maceda, and Ayden Delaney.
One of the big reasons the Rocketeers had such success last season was their offense, which scored a Davenport division 110 runs. Maceda was one of the best bats in the league and will patrol the outfield for the Big Red along with Curran, Paradis, and senior Christian Bates. In the infield, Floyd will be joined by classmates Brody Rosenberg, Gavin Wells, and Nik Kojoian, and senior Tyler Bannon will patrol shortstop. Junior Aidan Conrad had a breakout season starting behind the dish a year ago.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
“We’re going to look to put a lot of pressure on other teams offensively,” Hart said. “We have many capable pitchers who can provide quality innings. We feel our defense will limit mistakes and not give many runs away. If we want to have a successful season we will need contributions from everybody on the roster on a daily basis. We will rely on our senior leadership and experience to guide us through the season. We need guys to excel in their role and focus on the job at hand.”
2021 Record: 9-6 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Joe Abarr
After earning a share of the Davenport title last season, the Tigers have the pieces in place to make another run at the division crown this year.
A combination of veterans and new faces eager to make an impression gives head coach Joe Abarr a nice mix to work with. Offensively, the Tigers will look for their senior captains to lead the way. Jake Waxman will play first base and potentially some outfield and is one of the best bats in the Hockomock League while Joe Cicchetti could also see time at first as well as the outfield, and is a strong two-way player. Patrick Finnerty is back in the mix after a strong junior season.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
On the mound, OA has a pair of lefties at the top of the rotation. Nick Clark (3-0, 2.78, 32K) and Jack Richardson (2-2, 2.07, 21K) are both coming off great junior seasons and will give the Tigers a solid 1-2 punch on the mound this year. Richardson will also see time in the outfield and will be a key piece of the lineup offensively.
“We have a good mix of returners and young talented players looking for opportunities to help our team win,” Abarr said. “We are excited for a full ‘normal’ season back in the Hock.”
2021 Record: 3-12 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Preliminary Round Coach: Andrew Poliferno
Sharon enters the season with a roster eager to compete among the Hockomock League’s top teams, but the Eagles will have to do so all on the road this season. With the construction of the new high school currently underway where Sharon’s field was, it will be all road trips for the Eagles this season.
It will start with the 10 seniors on the team, including captains Dan Okstein and Dylan Labbe. Okstein is back after an injury limited his time a year ago and will be a key piece in the lineup offensively. He will be the anchor of the outfield, playing mostly in left but could also see time in center. Labbe has a ton of varsity experience and will be the ace of the pitching staff this year. Also on the mound returns sophomore Luke Meixel, one of the league’s breakout players last year as a freshman. junior Alex Coughlin, Ryan Baker, Zach Loomis, Jack Broughton, and Okstein will also be in the mix for innings on the mound.
Offensively, Nate Yaffe is back after a great year at the dish a year ago and will take over at shortstop. Not only is Yaffe consistent with the bat, but he’s also very dangerous on the base paths. Another speedy option at the dish will be Palash Raina and the Eagles are hoping to get key contributions at the plate from Okstein and varsity newcomer Connor Blaney. Liam Conway takes over behind the dish and Will Hippler, Owen Kevorkian, Eli Greenfield, Josh Tolentino, and Jake Loomis are all in the mix for spots in the lineup as well.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
“As a second-year varsity coach, I couldn’t be prouder to see how ready our players are to play their 2022 season,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Poliferno. “It is evident our players worked hard during the off-season to prepare to compete in the Hockomock. Our players are gritty, determined, and not afraid to put in the hard work that it takes to improve. In addition to their drive to succeed, the team vibe is positive and players go out of their way to encourage one another. I believe we have the makings of a very talented and passionate group of players ready to make noise for their 2022 season.”
2021 Record: 4-10 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Kevin Carty
There will be a lot of new faces in the Stoughton lineup this season, and that goes for the dugout too as Kevin Carty takes over for Mike Armour, who was the longest-tenured coach in the Hockomock League.
Carty is going to lean heavily on his seniors, who make up over half of the Knights’ roster. There is a lot of versatility among the senior class as well with players like Joe McNulty and Jonah Ly, who could see time in the outfield, the infield, on the mound, and in McNulty’s case, even behind the dish. Brad Franey, Anthony Girolamo, Anthony Tilton, James Price, and Owen Wiesnberger are all seniors that are in the mix for infield spots.
Girolamo, Ly, and Price will be joined by sophomore Will Worsley, junior Jeriel Cuello, junior Sean Farley, junior Joe Rush, and sophomore Hunter Malkin as options on the mound for Carty.
“We have a deep group of seniors that will carry us this year,” Carty said. “These seniors are very athletic and can play anywhere on the field. They have the ability to be great leaders for the younger players. We will go as far as they carry us.”
2021 Record: 13-5 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal Coach: Blair Bourque
Replacing a league MVP is never an easy task as the Tigers have to do with Danny MacDougall, but Taunton has a lot of depth and a lot of new faces looking to make a name for themselves as they help Taunton challenge for the Kelley-Rex title.
The strength of the 2022 Tigers will be offense and defense. Taunton has already lost some pitchers to injury so it will be a group effort on the mound this season. Coming off a season in which they scored 119 runs (nearly 7 runs a game), the offense will once again be a key component. Dawson Bryce had a breakout year after hitting 0.341 and driving in 12 runs a season ago, and junior Ryan MacDougall is one of the best power hitters in the league.
Seniors Evan Cali, Colby DeCouta, Colin Botelho, and junior Braden Sullivan are all very experienced at the varsity level and head coach Blair Bourque will lean on their leadership this season.
“Unlike in years past, we don’t have any true pitchers; our pitching staff consists of position players who will need to step up and give us an opportunity to compete,” Bourque said.”Offensively, we’ll look to have productive at-bats, be patient, and take advantage of mistakes. We should have one of the more productive offenses Taunton has had in some time. Although we’ll continue to play fundamental baseball, we hope to be able to capitalize when opportunity presents itself.”