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High Schools: WLC softball tops Hawks, plus, ConVal boys and girls lacrosse play thrilling games

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Wilton-Lyndeborough’s Abby Leblanc slides in safe at home as the ball gets away from Hopkinton’s Katie Meserve. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Neal Brennan pitches for the Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team against Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Hopkinton on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal’s Grace Dell scores one of her six goals against Derryfield on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal girls' lacrosse team hosted the Derryfield School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:18PM

Lexi Balam doesn’t give up many home runs, which is a big part of why the Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team is on its way to a top-five seed in Division IV. So when Hopkinton bruiser Megan Blanchette crushed a two-run bomb over the left-field fence to give the Hawks a 2-0 first-inning lead, it was a bit of a surprise.

“That was a very nice hit – she smoked it,” Balam said. “I learned my lesson, not to go high on her again.”

But Balam and the Warriors didn’t let that get them down.

“I’ve thrown a lot of games in my life,” the junior pitcher said, “so I know that one hit doesn’t really define you, and if you let it get to you, then everything just builds up and it can affect the team. If you just keep playing, that sets the tone for the team to let them know that that’s okay and we can come back.”

Balam led that comeback immediately, doubling to lead off the bottom of the first and scoring on a two-run triple from Emma Skelly. Lily Foisie added a two-run single as WLC put together an eight-run inning and took a commanding lead.

Hopkinton scored two in the third and three in the fifth to make it close. But, Sam Yurcak kept the WLC offense rolling, singling in Abby Leblanc in the fourth and then ripping a triple in the fifth to score Brooke Lane.

Balam pitched a complete game with four strikeouts and the Warriors hung on to win 11-7.

WLC is 14-3 with one game remaining, a home matchup with last year’s DIV runner-up Derryfield on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Cougars beat WLC in a walkoff in last year’s semifinals, and the Warriors got some revenge ten days ago, winning an extra-inning contest that featured multiple two-out, two-strike comeback rallies.

“I think it’s going to be an interesting game,” Balam said. “Emily Moll, their pitcher, she throws very well. We were able to hold our own against her last time. Hopefully we can do it again and hopefully we stay solid in the field.”

A win would hold off Colebrook for the fourth spot in the division and give the Warriors home field advantage for the first two playoff rounds. 

BASEBALLHopkinton 4, WLC 3

The Hawks won their rematch with the Warriors on a rainy afternoon that all but guaranteed an uptick of errors. Balls hit through the thick, slick infield grass arrived at fielders soaking wet; WLC made three uncharacteristic infield errors on the afternoon. 

Hopkinton scored in the first, second and third off WLC starter Neal Brennan to take a 3-0 lead, at which the Warriors slowly chipped away. Brennan singled in Jake Levert in the third and hit him in again on a groundout in the fifth. Down just 3-2 in the seventh, reliever Troy Brennan hit leadoff man Caleb Yianakopolos, who advanced to third on groundouts and then scored when the pitcher was called for a balk. 

That run would prove costly, as the Warriors were able to score one more in the seventh but ultimately come up short, 4-3, when Hopkinton starter Colby Marshall fanned cleanup hitter Owen Hughes to end the game.

WLC (13-2) falls to the No. 2 seed, behind 13-1 Pittsfield. The Panthers still had three games left as of press time Wednesday. The Warriors have one more, a home game against Derryfield (7-7) on Thursday at 4 p.m.

Somersworth 7, Conant 2

The Orioles couldn’t overcome an early deficit as Somersworth three-hit Conant for a 7-3 win on Monday.

Corbin Sasner started and went six innings with three strikeouts and three earned runs as the Orioles made six errors on the day.

Aidan Kirby, Nick Germano and Jarod Hart had Conant’s hits.

The Orioles (7-7) were the 11th seed in Division III as of press time, with a Wednesday matchup against Newport and then a season finale at home against Mascenic (8-8) Friday at 4 p.m.

Plymouth 15, ConVal 5

 The Cougar woes continued Monday as ConVal lost their ninth straight game. Plymouth had a 5-0 lead after two innings, and although the Cougars cut it to 5-3, Plymouth wouldn’t give it up, winning 15-5.

Duncan Cahoon went 1-4 with two RBI; Jack Plourde was 2-4 with an RBI and Manny Bowman drove in ConVal’s other run.

ConVal (4-10) has a microscopic shot at the playoffs if they win out. The Cougars faced 1-14 Kingswood on Wednesday and conclude the season Friday at home against Pelham (7-6) at 4 p.m.

SOFTBALLPlymouth 17, ConVal 0

ConVal made seven errors and walked eight as Plymouth beat the Cougars in five innings, 17-0. Taylor Jarest, Anna Bartsch and Kylee Brown had ConVal’s three hits.

ConVal (3-11) played at Kingswood (2-13) on Wednesday and host Pelham (7-7) Friday at 4 p.m. in the season finale. If the Cougars win out and Portsmouth loses, it would come down to percentage points for the final playoff spot.

Campbell 13, Mascenic 0

With senior catcher Sam Bilodeau unavailable after having her wisdom teeth out, Mascenic coach Dutch Stauffeneker was forced to go to his backup. Unfortunately, fireballing ace Maddie Labrie throws too hard for most catchers to handle, so her backup, Sam Hughson, took the mound against undefeated Campbell. The result was a 13-0 loss, only Mascenic’s second of the season.

“I told the girls, [Campbell’s] good, but they aren’t 13 runs better than us,” Stauffeneker said.

Mascenic has two more tests to conclude the season : undefeated Newport Thursday at 4 p.m., and at Conant (9-5) on Friday at 4 p.m.

GIRLS’ LACROSSEDerryfield 13, ConVal 12

ConVal had their storybook statement win all wrapped up. The Cougars were down early against No. 1 Derryfield Tuesday night when senior captain Lily Sheridan was tossed after receiving her second yellow card. But the Cougars rallied behind their captain and scored five straight goals to take a 7-5 lead.

The two teams went back and forth, and ConVal found themselves up 12-11 after a late Dee Kashulines goal. The Cougars got the ball back with a minute  left and desperately tried to kill the clock, but turned it over with just 28.5 seconds remaining. Derryfield evened the score immediately.

With the score tied, senior captain Grace Dell made a strong move into the Derryfield crease and was cross-checked from behind, taking a stick directly to the back of the head. Dell went down and stayed down but no penalty was called and the game went into overtime.

 Goalie Emma Crowley made several incredible saves late in the game and in overtime, but the Derryfield attack eventually overwhelmed the ConVal defense, and they’d score in sudden death to win it. 

Crowley finished with 15 saves. Dell scored six goals; Kashulines had two; Sara Krslovic had one and an assist, and Brooke Ellis made four assists.

ConVal (9-4) is one of six teams bunched up with nine or ten wins, and though it would take a miracle to oust them from the playoffs, the Cougars would love to slide up a couple spots in the seeding. Just like last year, ConVal ends their season against Bishop Brady (7-5) in a game with huge playoff implications.

The Cougars play at Bishop Brady Friday at  7 p.m.

BOYS’ LACROSSEConVal wins back-to-back thrillers

The ConVal boys’ lacrosse team had a flair for the extraordinary this week, winning both their games with goals in the final minute.

On Monday, the Cougars beat Trinity 6-5 on a goal by Jake Phillips with just 10 seconds left on the clock. Pat Laroche made 15 saves for ConVal, including two huge ones late in the game – one a rare kicksave.

Phillips had two goals in the game; Cam Tracy had two as well and Hunter Gullage had one with three assists.

On Tuesday, ConVal traveled to Monadnock and won 9-8 in the last minute. Laroche was instrumental again. He made a big save with just over a minute left and whipped it to Dan Spezzaferri in the midfield, who assisted Liam Denehy for the gamewinner with 59 seconds left.

Gullage had three goals and two assists; Denehy had two goals and an assist and Phillips scored one. Laroche made 12 saves.

Head coach Nick Duffy said that Zach Obuchowski, Austin Davis and Andrew Stockwell played great defensive games.

The pair of wins put ConVal (7-6) back in the playoff picture. They’re currently the seventh seed of eight in Division III with two 7-6 teams and one 7-7 team behind them. The Cougars wrap up the regular season against Bishop Brady (2-11) Friday at 6:30 p.m.