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Softball: Wilton-Lyndeborough is having fun and winning – a lot

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team hosted Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, May 10, 2019 3:28PM

There’s something different in the air up on top of the hill at Wilton-Lyndeborough High School this year, where the Warriors softball team is loose, having fun, and winning – a lot. 

“I don’t know if it’s because it’s our senior year, but I think we can all agree it’s been pretty relaxing,” said pitcher and six-year WLC vet Lexi Balam, one of the Warriors’ four senior captains along with catcher Janel Bachand, second baseman Rachel Christino and first baseman Emma Skelly.

“It’s been all of us getting along, working together as a team,” Bachand said after Thursday’s 6-1 win over Portsmouth Christian Academy. “It’s more laid back. We obviously want to win, but we don’t have that much to worry about anymore now that it’s the end of our senior year.”

Skelly said the team suffered from chemistry issues in the past year or two, but those struggles appear to be a thing of the past.

“There’s really no drama,” Skelly said.

The biggest internal issue the Warriors are dealing with is the absence of  Brooke Lane, who is terrific at shortstop and third base but has been away from the team recently due to an illness. 

“It changes everything,” said head coach Denny Claire, who’s been forced to shuffle his lineup and fielding positions. Of course, the 32-year vet has made his share of adjustments en route to his nearly 500 wins as a head coach, and as usual, these seem to be working.

Sam Yurcak slid into the shortstop position and played it well on Thursday.

“She’s a little erratic but she’s hustle, hustle, hustle,” Claire said. 

The Warriors got some big hits from the top of their order on Wednesday as they beat Newmarket in the seventh inning, when Balam, Yurcak, Christino and Skelly all had clutch knocks to get WLC back on top after making an uncharacteristic seven errors. 

Thursday was just the opposite; the Warriors made one error and won with ease despite quiet bats.

“Our top four are usually crushing hitting the ball, but not today,” Claire said.

Fortunately for the Warriors, PCA Dover kicked the ball around a bit, allowed some unearned runs, and between those, a solid game from Balam (7 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 ER) and three total singles from Bachand, Skelly and Christino were enough to propel WLC to a 6-1 win, their fourth straight. At 10-1, the Warriors trail only Epping (12-0) in Division IV. The hope is to avoid playing the Blue Devils in the tournament for as long as possible, but no matter who the Warriors draw, they’ve got high hopes.

“I say graduate and the next day win the ‘ship,” Bachand said (the DIV title game is set for June 8, and WLC’s graduation is June 7).

“I think we can do it if we keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” Balam said.

WLC plays Newmarket again Saturday at home at 11 a.m. and then at Sunapee on Monday before hosting Farmington on Wednesday.