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Home runs propel WLC softball past nemesis Sunapee

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, April 16, 2018 7:40AM

Janel Bachand was in a slump coming into Friday’s game, and what team could be tougher to break out against than bitter rival and defending three-time champ Sunapee? After all, the Warriors hadn’t beaten the Lakers in three years – in fact, nobody had beaten Sunapee since 2015. And after two at-bats against  Sunapee’s Hannah Cooney, Bachand was hitless. But in the fourth inning, the Warriors’ catcher got one she liked and pounded it over the left-field fence for a three-run homer that broke the game wide open.

“It was kind of like a little kid going into a candy shop for the first time and seeing everything for the first time,” Bachand said. “I’ve been in kind of a slump and hitting that home run was definitely hitting the sweet spot.”

Wilton-Lyndeborough had gone up big in the first, where Lexi Balam (3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) singled and scored on a grounder by Abby Leblanc. Outfielder Emma Skelly (2-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB) followed that with a moonshot homer of her own and WLC was up 3-0.

The young Warriors would give up a trio of unearned runs in the fourth and nearly opened the floodgates for the Lakers, longtime Warrior rivals.

“We weren't sure how we were going to match up with them, just because they're Sunapee,” said head coach Denny Claire. “But they didn't seem to be nervous.”

Indeed, this year’s Warriors are a loose bunch, and the Lakers aren’t quite what they were in the past few years of Fredericks/Larpenter dominance. 

Balam stayed strong on the mound for a complete game, and while Sunapee would chip away after Bachand’s home run, Wilton stayed ahead and held on to win it 10-5.

“I was really excited that we finally put it together and won,” Bachand said. “It's really early, but I think we'll be really good this year. We have a lot of power and we're young, but we've been together. We made it to the Final Four last year with all sophomores and freshmen so I think this year we can step it up even more.”

WLC improves to 3-0. They had no trouble with Hinsdale earlier in the week, either, beating the Pacers 15-3. Balam pitched four innings there and allowed one run before Brooke Lane closed it out. Leblanc and Sam Yurcak had three hits each in the game.

WLC hosts Portsmouth Christian (1-1) Wednesday at 4 p.m.