Softball: ConVal’s dynamic diamond duo signs collegiate letters of intent

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior softball players Morgan Bemont (American International College) and Lily Mandel (Keene State College) signed their collegiate letters of intent at the high school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/21/2022 11:54:59 AM
Modified: 12/21/2022 11:54:24 AM

ConVal’s dynamic diamond duo, Morgan Bemont and Lily Mandel, have been playing softball together for over a decade. And just as the two Cougar seniors stepped onto the field in tandem so many times over so many seasons, Bemont and Mandel took the next step in their softball careers together Tuesday night, signing their collegiate letters of intent in a dual ceremony at the high school.

“They just are amazing teammates,” ConVal head coach Amanda Hinton said Tuesday. “They care about each other as much as they care about themselves. It speaks to what our team is about too. The whole team is like that. There are three other people here from our team that are just here to support them. They all support each other and I think it’s so great.”

Bemont was in the running for Division II Player of the Year last season and should be again this spring as a returning First Team All-State shortstop, while Mandel was DII Honorable Mention as a pitcher and corner infielder as ConVal had their best season in a decade, advancing to the final four.

“I think Morgan’s the best player in the state – and I said that last year,” Hinton said. “I literally think she’s the best player that I have seen play softball in the last couple years...Lily is awesome on the mound, but she’s also a fantastic third baseman, so that’s really important.”

The two began their softball careers on the fields of Adams Playground, where Bemont was the star pitcher that Mandel modeled her game after.

“When we were in our 10U days, she was the pitcher I looked up to – I wanted to be her,” Mandel said. “She was the pitcher I looked up to when I was eight, and then going on into semis and all that together? You can’t really describe it – it’s just good.”

From their two-minute-straight secret handshake, their year as ConVal batterymates when Bemont was behind the plate and Mandel on the mound, to their bus ride to Plymouth for the semifinals, the two seniors have been side-by-side throughout their softball careers, and they’ll have one last ride together this spring when ConVal likely makes another playoff run; both said they hope to “go out with a bang.” Then, their paths will diverge.

Bemont is heading to Division II American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts to play for head coach Shalise Tolentino; the Yellowjackets’ NE10 schedule should bring her back to the area when AIC plays Franklin Pierce several times a year. Known for hitting the seams off of softballs, Bemont will turn her academic attention to a different kind of stitching at AIC.

“I’m looking to study human biology,” Bemont said, “and American International has a good program – and I love Coach Shalise.”

Mandel will be closer to home at Division III Keene State College, where she plans to study graphic design.

“Keene has a good program for [graphic design],” Mandel said. “And, Coach [Carrah Fisk Hennessey] is really easy to talk to. She seems like she’d be a great coach. The team’s dynamic when I went to tour, they were just great and it seems like something I’d want to be a part of.”


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