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DIV Softball Championship

Warriors take home state title

WLC wins eighth championship in thrilling bottom-of-the-seventh walkoff victory, thanks to clutch hits and gritty plays

  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.

It was never a sure thing. Even with as good of a softball team as the WLC Warriors fielded this year, a state championship was not going to be handed to them. They found that out the hard way earlier in the season, dropping out of the No. 1 spot in DIV with a pair of tough losses. And even when they were winning by four runs, only three outs away from a championship, the outcome was far from determined. But as they’ve done so many times this season — and so many times on their way to their seven previous state titles — the Warriors lived up to their name, dug deep and battled their way to one more championship.

“Honestly, we were all kind a little iffy on [a title shot] because we lost a lot of our good players last year,” said sophomore pitcher Sarah Holka. “Toward the end of the season, I thought, ‘We actually have a chance.’ After those two losses, I was like, ‘We can’t win every game. We really have to play.’ Towards the end, we really started focusing.”

WLC came into the Final Four with what may have been the most difficult possible road to a title. The three teams remaining — Woodsville, Sunapee and Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover — were the last three teams to beat the Warriors. Sunapee and PCA each handed the Warriors a regular-season loss, and undefeated No. 1 Woodsville was the team that beat WLC in last year’s final. After the Warriors beat their bitter rival Sunapee and PCA upset Woodsville, the stage was set for a WLC/PCA rematch in the title game on Saturday.

WLC started off the game the right way, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first when senior Sami Bosquet knocked in senior Kim Edmunds and Holka, who’d both singled, to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.

But this was a game in which no lead was safe. PCA tied the game in the top of the first after first baseman Mikaela Harkovich singled, stole second and scored on a play at the plate on Ashley Vining’s double. Vining advanced on the play and scored on a passed ball before Holka settled down and struck out two to end the inning.

The Warriors would answer right back in the second, taking the lead once again when Holka singled in Tesa Simpson. WLC kept pouring it on in the 4th, adding two more to their lead when Ally Schwab smashed a double off the wall, and things looked good for the Warriors.

Once again, though, PCA did what they had to do to stay in the game. The Eagles managed to plate two in the 5th, and did even more damage in the process, as a PCA baserunner sliding into third in a close and controversial call caught Bosquet with a cleat, spiking her leg and leaving her in pain on the infield dirt.

“I knew was going to get a pinch runner, because I wasn’t about to run, but I told Coach I wasn’t coming out,” Bosquet said.

PCA continued to threaten in that inning, but stranded a runner when junior centerfielder Jenna Bragdon made another of her signature spectacular catches in the outfield to save at least one run and end the inning.

After a 1-2-3 bottom of the 5th, PCA tied the game once again in the 6th, and the momentum seemed to be in their favor. That was when Bosquet stepped up and made what may have been the biggest, best and toughest play of a career defined by just such moments. Edmunds, Holka and Schwab all reached base safely, loading them up for the scrappy senior. Stepping up to the plate in what would be her final at-bat in a WLC uniform, Bosquet ripped a ball into the outfield with room to run.

All three runners scored, and as PCA tried to catch Schwab sliding into home, Bosquet made a bid for third. The catcher threw down and had Bosquet dead to rights, but spiked leg and all, she somehow managed to avoid the tag of the diving PCA third baseman. Hobbled, she heroically juked and scrambled her way out of the pickle, winding up standing on third base as the crowd roared their approval of her efforts.

“I knew it was my last game,” Bosquet said, “so I wasn’t going to give in — so I tried my hardest. I was just thinking ‘I need to at least get a base hit.’ Fortunately, I got a little more than that.”

“She played probably her best game,” head coach Dennis Claire said afterward, “probably her best game. She played super.” Bosquet finished the game 3-4 with five huge RBI.

The senior was briefly lifted for a pinch runner, who scored from third to give WLC a 9-5 lead. At that point, it seemed like Bosquet and the Warriors had done enough to earn a state championship. Unbelievably, PCA had even more gas left in their tank, and they burned through all of it in the top of the 7th.

The Warriors had played a pretty strong game defensively, but they ran into a bit of trouble in the final inning.

A pair of walks and steals put Eagles runners on second and third; both were knocked in by a pair of singles. With one out, diminutive PCA hitter Hannah Daly popped a ball up to the edge of the infield grass, where it fell just over Simpson’s head and just in front of Edmunds. Edmunds scooped the ball up and tried to steal an out at third, but the throw skittered away into the WLC dugout and another two runs scored.

With everything going PCA’s way, things were looking grim for Wilton; fortunately, Bosquet’s terrific game wasn’t over yet. She stabbed a sharply-hit ball to third and calmly turned an inning-ending double play to get the Warriors out of one last jam and send them into the bottom of the 7th tied 9-9.

WLC got incredible contributions from their younger players this season, so it was fitting that 7th-grader Lexi Balam was first up in the final frame for the Warriors.

“I told the little 7th-grader ‘If you get a hit, we’re going to win this game,’ Claire said. Balam delivered with a single. Junior second baseman Lorrie Blais bunted her over to second; Simpson flew out and Edmunds hit into a fielder’s choice, advancing Balam to third. That’s when Holka stepped up to the plate with the winning run on third and the championship hanging in the balance.

“I felt like I had the world on my shoulders, I’m not even kidding,” Holka said. “The pressure was insane. There was just so much pressure, but I knew I just had to get the ball in play.”

Holka went with a pitch and slammed it through the infield for a single, easily plating Balam for the winning run.

“I turned around and everyone started running out,” Holka said, “and I started tearing up and, oh my gosh — then the celebration began.”

Holka finished the game 4-5 with two RBI and two runs. She was also the winning pitcher, striking out seven PCA batters.

It was the eighth championship in school history for the Warriors, and the second for the solid senior tri-captains Bosquet, Edmunds and Sophie LeVert.

“That’s what you need,” Claire said of his strong senior leadership. “The three captains, this was their goal. It’s going to be a fun ride home.”

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