ConVal holds on for victory

Cougars stay atop D-II standings

So far this season, the ConVal softball team has just found ways to win.

And Wednesday was no different.

The Cougars threw out two potential tying runs at the plate in the top of the seventh inning and hung on to defeat Milford 5-4 and entered this week as the top ranked team in Division II.

On back-to-back plays, with the infield in and two runners in scoring position, senior shortstop Lauren Mackey and senior catcher Marena Brock connected to cut down the Spartans at the plate to preserve the one-run lead.

“Mackey made two big plays,” said coach Jim Coppo. “We had just moved them in and she made the plays. Neither kid ever got close to scoring and Brock did a great job blocking the plate.”

ConVal was 9-1 prior to Monday’s trip to Merrimack Valley and was the only team in D-II with less than two losses.

Junior Courtney Fisher held the Spartans hitless through three innings and finished the game with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

After Milford took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first without even recording a hit, the Cougars rebounded to score twice in the last of the first to take the lead for good. Brock drove in JoEllen Racicot with a double and then scored on Lauren Mackey’s RBI single.

ConVal scored three more times in the third on a Katie Walker RBI single and Ana Hautanen’s two-run double for a 5-1 lead.

“Every kid throughout our lineup has contributed in some way this season,” said Coppo. “The experience of this team speaks for itself.”

Milford would score once in the fourth and twice more in the fifth to cut ConVal’s lead to just one.

Hautanen, who drove in the game-winning run against Conant on Monday, was the only ConVal player with two hits.

ConVal hosts Lebanon on Wednesday and travels to Souhegan on Friday.

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