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Division IV Softball

WLC’s postseason run comes to an end in finals

Walks and miscues prevent Warriors from repeating as Division IV champions

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team lost to Woodsville 19-10 in the Division IV championship game on Sunday, June 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • In his 26th year at WLC, coach Dennis Claire led the Warriors to their eighth championship game in the last nine years and an 11th straight No. 1 seed. Claire was recently named the Division IV Coach of the Year for a third season in a row. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Wilton-Lyndeborough junior Sami Bosquet never thought she would have to pitch in Sunday’s Division IV championship game.

Bosquet, No. 3 on the Warriors’ pitching depth chart, knew if she was in the circle things were not going her team’s way.

And when Bosquet entered the game with one out in the fourth, most of the damage had been done. Early walks and errors were just too much to overcome, as WLC lost 19-10 to Woodsville and was denied a second straight Division IV championship.

“We didn’t play great and we know that, but that happens,” said WLC coach Dennis Claire.

The pitching has been up and down this season and on Sunday, it mostly showed signs of the latter.

But to get to the championship game was a huge accomplishment for WLC. Even though the team returned seven starters from last year’s undefeated title winners, no one really expected the Warriors to make a second straight trip to the final and for the eighth time in nine years.

“I don’t think coach expected us to be here. I don’t think any of us expected to be here,” said Bosquet. “It’s good that we got here. We worked really hard to make it this far.”

Senior Deanna Davidson was the starting shortstop on the 2012 team, but volunteered to take the ball since last season’s Division IV Player of the Year Sam Broderick graduated and left a huge void in the pitching department.

At times, Davidson struggled. She would have a bad inning here or there, like when Hinsdale scored 19 runs in the fourth inning of the season opener, but had really stepped up in WLC’s previous three playoff games. Sunday was just not her day.

“After our first game at Hinsdale, I thought it was going to be a rocky season, but just to get here, I’m so proud,” said freshman catcher Ally Schwab.

Davidson was pulled after allowing five hits and issuing five walks in 1 2∕3 innings. She went to her more natural position of shortstop, but even that didn’t work out. Two batters later, Davidson dove for a ball deep in the hole and dislocated her shoulder. Her final game in a WLC uniform was over.

“I just wanted to get back [to Plymouth] for a semifinal game and to make it to the championship game and finish in second place is so awesome,” said Davidson.

Freshman Sarah Holka, who also began pitching this season, didn’t fare much better. She had only made a few appearances during the regular season and also struggled with her control, surrendering 10 walks in 1 2∕3 innings.

“It’s just one of those days where we couldn’t get the ball over the plate,” said Claire.

That’s when Claire had to go to Bosquet with the Warriors trailing 16-9 and the bases loaded.

“I was hoping it was a joke because it’s kind of stressful considering it’s the championship game,” said Bosquet. “And I know I’m not a pitcher. I can get it over the plate, but I’m not a pitcher.”

A wild pitch and an ensuing error led to two more Woodsville runs, but after that Bosquet held her own. With Bosquet’s lob ball style, Woodsville had a hard time adjusting. In all, WLC issued 16 walks.

“We hit the ball alright overall. Tens runs should be enough to win a game, but not when you walk so many people,” said Claire.

But once the pitching finally settled down, WLC just couldn’t get the bats going. After scoring nine runs in the first three innings, including four in the bottom of the second to combat nine for the Engineers, the Warriors managed just one more on an Andrea Heck ground rule double in the fourth.

“At least we went down fighting and that’s all that really matters,” said Bosquet.

Since scores were first recorded in 1984, Sunday’s game is the second highest combined total in state softball finals history. It only trails the 1988 Class S title game that ended in a 19-15 win for Lisbon.

“When you give up 19 runs in the fourth inning of your first game of the year and you lose 20-15 and then you come all the way back and make the finals, how can you not be happy,” said Claire. “It would have been nice to win it, but I’m proud of the girls.”

As a program, WLC has now played in 14 state softball championship games and owns a 7-7 record. By earning the No. 1 seed this year with a 13-3 mark, the Warriors were the top team in Class S/D-IV for the 11th straight season.

The Warriors narrowly defeated Groveton in the first round and then smashed their way past Sunapee in the quarterfinals. In a rematch of last year’s extra inning championship game, WLC defeated Profile 9-3 in the semis.

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