2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview
King Philip’s Paige Berdos attempts a sliding catch against Attleboro during the 2019 season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

Attleboro

2019 Record: 11-11
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Mark Homer

The Bombardiers will be fielding one of the most balanced lineups the program has seen in recent memory. Head coach Mark Homer believes his group of enthusiastic, hard-working, and motivated players can compete for the division title in what is always a very competitive division.

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

It will start with a strong group of returners that picked up valuable experience two years ago during the 2019 season. Senior captains Brenna Morse and Lora Woyton have been leaders both on and off the field during the offseason and so far during the preseason. Homer credits their commitment for setting the tone for the entire program. Juniors Lindsey Perry, Hailey Perry, and Meghan Gordon all burst onto the scene as freshmen during the 2019 season and will be key pieces this year.

Homer is going to lean heavily on his senior class, which also features Natalie Mansur, Gabby Bosh, Nina Campbell, and Janie Hillman. The Bombardiers are set to get a boost from a strong core of underclassmen as well, including sophomores Lauren Eby and Sarah Mayer as well as freshmen Rylie Camacho and Kayla Goldrick.

“This year’s team represents one of the most balanced groups we’ve had here at AHS in a while,” Homer said. “Win, lose, or draw this year’s team is about working hard and having fun doing it.”

Canton

2019 Record: 6-14
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Dave Bohane

With four seniors returning and five sophomore and freshmen making their varsity debuts, Canton has a good mix of youth and experience to build on this season. It will be the senior class that the Bulldogs hope will provide the leadership to make a move up the standings and maybe challenge the top teams in the Davenport.

Senior center fielder Liz Bickett has been a star for the Bulldogs, earning all-star honors as a sophomore, and is a power bat in the middle of the lineup. Senior Steph Trendell can play both corner infield positions or jump behind the plate and senior Sarah Kelly can step in at either middle infield spot. Both will be setting the table at the top of the order. Senior Amanda Vrabel will start at catcher and work with Canton’s younger pitchers including juniors Gillian Gordon and Sophia Santos and freshman Jess Wright.

Foxboro

2019 Record: 8-13
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Mark Maguire

Youth will be the story for Foxboro this season, as the Warriors will be relying on players seeing their first varsity action in several positions, including a pair of eighth-graders who have been called up for the spring. Still, confidence is high that the Warriors have the talent to compete with the top teams in the Davenport and make a push up the standings.

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

Senior shortstop Morgan Sylvestre gives the Warriors a good foundation to build on, batting third and giving them a strong arm at short. Junior Peyton Feldman will see time at both third and second and will bat leadoff. Senior Nicole Theriault will play second and center, one of the few outfielders on the roster with any varsity experience, and Fiona Dunn can also jump in at second as well. Eighth-grader Ava Hill has impressed in preseason and will play first. Junior Alexandra Willis will be behind the plate and working with a young pitching staff led by eighth-grader Emma Callahan. The Warriors will also count on Dunn, Juliana Pettigrew, and Lucy Mulkern as pitchers. Andrea and Jill Slattery, Sadie Calabrese, Kaylee Bruce, Ellie Smith, and Grace Pisarczyk will all get the chance in the outfield this season.

Foxboro coach Mark Maguire said, “I’m expecting the girls to compete hard, and really feed off the energy that Peyton and Morgan bring to the top of our order. With strong leadership from our captains, we’re looking for this team to come together quickly and, hopefully compete for the Davenport.”

Franklin

2019 Record: 16-7
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Katie Holbrook

After coming within a game of sharing the league title with Taunton in 2019 (and within one run of facing the Tigers in the South semifinal), Franklin returns only two players and has a new coaching staff with Katie Holbrook taking over this season. Despite all the new faces, the Panthers expect to be in the mix for the league title again this year.

Senior Gabby Colace is the lone player on the roster with significant varsity experience and she will be counted on to be a run producer. Fellow senior Molly Collins will join Colace in the middle infield positions and the Panthers have players who are versatile to play multiple positions. Franklin has a potentially strong lineup with Libby Carter, Georgia Harvey, and Lauren Cote all capable of coming up with big hits and driving in a lot of runs. Juniors Julia White and Aislinn Lavery, and senior Jenny Maciel give Franklin good pitching depth and will try to keep the opposition off-balance and allow the defense to make plays behind them. Sophomore Hailey Fales will get the call behind the plate.

“They have already shown in just one scrimmage and a couple of practices great strides in gelling as a team and their commitment to team unity,” said Holbrook. “What we lack in experience we are making up for in determination and commitment to growth. I am impressed with the depth and solid foundation of all the players and it will give us a lot of options with lineups.”




King Philip

2019 Record: 13-9
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Kate Fallon-Comeau

The Warriors will have a new coach this season with former Mansfield standout player and former Franklin coach Kate Fallon-Comeau takes over at the helm.

King Philip will have a relatively young and inexperienced group at the varsity level so Fallon-Comeau will lean on her four seniors to lead the way. Paige Berdos is a three-year starter and a captain for the Warriors, a member of the varsity team since her freshman season. She’s joined by classmate Anna Bradley as captain and that duo will look to provide excellent leadership to the young Warriors. Seniors Libby Curran and Rubi Butler round out the class of 2021.

Berdos will anchor the outfield from center field and will be the spark for the offense from the leadoff spot. Bradley returns to her spot at first base and provides some pop to the lineup. From there, the Warriors will feature a lot of faces new to the varsity level. Junior Meg Sherwood and sophomore Charlotte Raymond will round out the outside for KP while junior Mia Bennett takes over at second base. Sophomore Libby Walsh brings a big bat to the lineup and will be a reliable option defensively at shortstop while freshman Maddie Paschke is slated to start at the hot corner. Junior Lauren Hooper provides depth and can fit into multiple spots in the lineup.

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

Junior Emma Sheehan and freshman Jordan Bennett are both options to start in the circle for Fallon-Comeau. Both will be new to the varsity level this season so the Warriors will look to play strong defense to help out the pitchers. Sophomore Sarah Cullen will do the bulk of the catching for KP.

“We’re excited to be back out on the field and looking forward to having a successful season,” Fallon-Comeau said.

Mansfield

2019 Record: 12-9
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Lori Letendre

Mansfield has consistently been a playoff team and competitive in the Kelley-Rex division but, with only two players returning from 2019, the Hornets enter the spring as a little bit of a mystery. With four freshmen and a sophomore on the roster, and only two seniors, Mansfield will be looking to put talented players in the right spots to keep battling the league’s top teams.

Senior pitcher Ashlyn Conley is one of the few players with any varsity experience and will be back in the circle this year. Junior first baseman Casey Moussette is the other returning player, after a strong freshman season at the plate in 2019. Abby DeCoste is the only other senior on varsity this season, while Jill Koppy, Molly Kucharski, Callie Lake, and Liv Madeira are all rookies who could step in and make instant impacts. Sophomore Olivia Harnden is another underclassman stepping right into the varsity team this year.

“We have a lot of talent but are still trying to learn to work together at new positions,” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre. “It has been great to be on the field playing again and we are looking forward to the season.”

Milford

2019 Record: 2-18
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Steve DiVitto

Milford is turning the page on a tough 2019. The Hawks have been a powerhouse since joining the Hock but have gone through a transition period after graduating the core of the last state title-winning team. That transition won’t be helped by moving into the Kelley-Rex division this season, but head coach Steve DiVitto is hoping his seniors can build a foundation for several talented underclassmen that are excited about their first opportunity on varsity.

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

The Hawks return five players from the 2019 team. Junior Olivia Morelli will be in the circle this season and can also play shortstop. Seniors Erin McEvoy and Carly Ferreira will be at the corner infield spots and senior Natalie Casilli will be back in the outfield. Senior Elise Fauerbach can play behind the plate or in the outfield. Junior Gianna Cacciola is a new face to watch at third base. Freshman Maeve Driscoll could see time at pitcher or at short and her classmate Camille Bonina will see time at first and in the outfield.

“This year’s team is focused on the here and now and not the past,” said DiVitto. “Keeping our awesome team chemistry will be an important part of this season. We’re excited for the challenges of playing in the Hock!”




North Attleboro

2019 Record: 16-6
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Bill Wallace

North Attleboro ended a two-decade wait for a league title in 2019 and had the potential to be even better last season, but the Rocketeers will come into this spring having graduated seven starters, with only three players returning with varsity experience, and looking for a new crop of players to search for a second straight Davenport crown.

Senior second baseman Emily Nardelli has been a starter since her freshman year and will be an impact player in the lineup and in the field. Senior Belle Clarkin adds versatility with her ability to play catcher, outfield, and first base, and junior Mandi Hanewich will step into center field. Pitching should remain a strength for North with a pair of promising sophomores, Kelly Colleran and Zoey McDonough, jumping into the circle. Colleran will also see time at shortstop and McDonough at first. Junior Ally Levine will be the new starter at catcher and juniors Chloe Mearn and Shaelyn Burns can play corner infield spots. Emma Bailey and Grace Simmons will add to the outfield, while there are a host of young players, including the lone freshman on the roster, Aubrey Amado, who can play multiple positions and add useful depth.

“I feel like a new coach this year after missing last year,” said North coach Bill Wallace, who also notched his 200th career win in 2019. “Since the last time we had softball I have graduated seven starters.”

Oliver Ames

2019 Record: 4-16
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Lindsey Allison

Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division and has a small roster, but it is one that has coach Lindsey Allison excited about its potential and versatility. The Tigers will hope that a change of scenery and a speedy, athletic lineup will see a jump up the standings to put pressure on the top teams in the division this season.

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

The Tigers will have a pair of pitchers this season as senior Emma Varella will be joined by sophomore Katie Melendy. Both have multiple pitches to keep batters off-balance and both can play other positions when they’re not in the circle. Senior Grace Simone will provide leadership for the pitching staff and a big bat in the middle of the lineup. Her leadership will be important as the Tigers will be carrying four sophomores and a freshman along with its five seniors.

Allison said, “As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to a season with a versatile team that works together and picks each other up. These kids work hard every day, strive for greatness, and are hungry for wins. Looking forward to a great season.”

Sharon

2019 Record: 5-15
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Heather Poliferno

Sharon is filled with upperclassman so experience will be key as the Eagles look to compete in a wide-open Davenport division. The three captains this year are shortstop Julia Earley, second baseman Sneha Kini, — both seniors — and junior pitcher Trinity Payne so the Eagles will lean on their strength up the middle of the field.

Payne picked up plenty of experience during her freshman year so will be battle-tested for the 2021 season. Earley and Kini give the Eagles a strong defensive foundation and will provide leadership both in the field and at the plate. Of the 11 players on the roster, 10 are upperclassman so head coach Heather Poliferno has an experienced group at her disposal. Poliferno believes her team has a strong mix of power and contact hitters so versatility throughout the lineup will be key.

The one underclassman on the roster is sophomore Ally Foulsham, who could make an immediate impact in her first season with the program. Foulsham can also toe the rubber in the pitcher’s circle so the Eagles have options to work with in the pitching department. After missing out on last season, the Eagles are eager to get back on the field and compete for a division title.

“My high school coach always used to say ‘why not us?’ and I would say the same thing – Why not us? Our players work hard to be the best they can be,” Poliferno said. “They can compete in any setting. We are hungry to play and we have the skill set to do it. So, why not us?”

Stoughton

2019 Record: 15-7
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Deb Parker

Stoughton had an impressive 2019, finishing in second place in the Davenport behind North Attleboro and winning its opening playoff game on a walk-off against Somerset-Berkley. With five returning starters, the Black Knights will be looking to carry momentum into this spring and make another push for a league title.

One of the keys for Stoughton’s high hopes for the season is the return of senior pitcher Nicole Baker, who had a breakout sophomore campaign and emerged as one of the top arms in the league. Baker is the lone infielder returning but senior Julia Driscoll will take over at third and senior Sarah McGrath will be behind the plate. Junior Sydney Menz, who batted over .400 as a freshman, will start in center, while junior Melody Casna takes over at short. Junior Kate Bulger will get the nod in left and senior Lauren Turner starts in right. Sophomore Kerry Driscoll adds depth in the circle and Stoughton has a crop of freshmen who could contribute right away, including Alyssa Edwards, Maddie Hinds, and Julie Powers.

“It’s a little surreal coming back to the field after losing an entire season,” said Stoughton coach Deb Parker. “If we’ve learned anything from last year it’s that nothing is promised, and we have to take advantage of every opportunity we have on and off the field. These young women work hard, and I believe we have the depth, drive, and talent this year to have a great showing in this very competitive league.”

Taunton

2019 Record: 22-3
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal
Coach: Carrie Consalvi

Taunton is one of the few teams that is coming back from the two-year layoff with a lineup that looks pretty similar to the one from 2019. The biggest change for the Tigers will be on the bench with long-time coach Dave Lewry retiring at the end of the 2019 season and Carrie Consalvi taking over. Consalvi goes into her first spring with a team loaded with talent that looks ready to defend its Kelley-Rex title.

Senior pitcher Kelsey White is back healthy following an injury that would’ve kept her out of last season. The reigning league MVP looks back to the form that helped Taunton win a state title three years ago. Reigning HockomockSports.com Hanna Aldrich is back for her senior season at shortstop and as one of the top power hitters in the Hock. Aldrich is joined up the middle by senior second baseman McKenzie McAloon. All three will be playing DI softball next year. Senior Skylar Rheaume and Tayah Decosta add to the leadership on the team and Taunton will have enviable depth with sophomore Olivia Mendonca back after playing as an eighth-grader and freshman Sam Lincoln looking like Taunton’s next pitching prospect.

“These players have had just about every challenge thrown at them over the past year, but if there was one group that could take all of this and rise to the occasion it is this group,” said Consalvi. “They are hungry to win, and I am hopeful my senior leadership will recall what it took to win that state championship back in 2018 and impart their wisdom with this group of younger players, as it will take every single one of them to make something so special to happen again.”

2021 Hockomock League Softball Preview

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/05/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Softball
Taunton, 14 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 2 – Final (6 inn.)Taunton eighth grader Ava Venturelli sparked a four-run first inning and the Tigers never looked back, picking up their second win in as many days. Venturelli had a bases-clearing triple to give the Tigers an early lead. Sophomore Tayah DaCosta drilled a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth for Taunton. Kelsey White (3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs at the plate) earned the win in the circle. She struck out seven without issuing a walk, scattered three hits and allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings of work. Alexa White struck out two in a scoreless inning of work.

Boys Lacrosse
North Attleboro, 7 @ Wayland, 11 – Final

Oliver Ames, 17 @ East Bridgewater, 4 – FinalOliver Ames junior Shane Kilkelly scored five goals and set up four more, pacing the Tigers to a big non-league win on the road. Sandro Mascierelli added three goals and an assist and Sam Stevens scored once and had four assists. OA coach Ben Devlin said Shane Murphy and Matt Saba both had strong games defensively for the Tigers.

Girls Lacrosse
Oliver Ames, 10 @ Canton, 13 – Final

Taunton vs. New Bedford, 4:00

Sharon, 7 @ Bishop Feehan, 6 – FinalJenna Goldstein scored a hat trick and Emma Eberhardt had a pair of goals and an assist, as Sharon pulled out a close win on the road against a potential playoff opponent. Sharon controlled the draw controls, winning 11-of-15, and head coach Shara Ginthwain said the midfield “did a great job on transitions.” Maeve Barbera had a goal and an assist and Maxine Gordon also scored for the Eagles, while Rose Wald made six saves to preserve the win.

Boys Tennis
Taunton, 5 vs. New Bedford, 0 – Final

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 4 @ New Bedford, 1 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 2 @ Durfee, 3 – Final