Gilford softball defeats Belmont 3-0

The Gilford High School softball team finished its season by winning 15 in a row and recording its eighth shutout, but it wasn't easy, according to coach Joan Forge. "Belmont has improved tremendously since our 9-0 win over them a few weeks ago. We were making contact on offense, but Belmont made some great defensive plays today". Belmont pitcher Megan Prescott had a no-hitter until the top of the 6th when Caitlin Houston singled. Gilford had two chances to score late in the game, but were denied by the tough Belmont defense. The first chance came in the 6th inning when Caitlin Houston led of with a single, advanced to 2nd base on a Alyssa Wilson sacrifice bunt, she got to 3rd on an error, Mollie Dignan was up to bat and laid down a bunt for a suicide squeeze play, but the Belmont defense made the play at the plate to get Houston out. Gilford had another opportunity in the 7th when Lisa Osborne led off with a single, went to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Abby Harris, Osborne advanced to 3rd on a Paige Laliberte hit. With Osborne on 3rd, Sarah Lachapelle hit a hard shot to Belmont's 2nd baseman, Megan Bailey, who fired home and got Osborne out at the plate. Belmont came up in the bottom of the 7th and for the 1st time of the game threatened the Gilford defense. Cassie Contigiani led off with a single, Mary Kate Russo laid down a bunt which was misplayed by the Gilford defense, resulting in runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Makayla Donovan hit a short fly ball between short stop, centerfield and leftfield, but Gilford leftfielder Mikaela Mattice made a spectacular catch to save the winning run from scoring. With one out Sydney Strout struck out the next batter, then walked the next batter( only walk of the game) to load the bases, only to strikeout the next batter for the third out. After Belmont applied pressure on the Gilford defense the Gilford offense exploded for three runs on four hits and a sacrifice bunt in the top of the 8th inning. Mikalea Mattice, after making the game saving catch in the outfield, led off with a single to rightfield and advanced to 2nd on a Hannah Chase sacrifice bunt, Mollie Dignan singled to rightfield and drove in Mattice for Gilford's first run. Sydney Strout then delivered a double deep to center field to drive in Dignan. Sydney Strout's courtesy runner, Kristina Hayden, scored on a Lisa Osborne single to centerfield to make the score 3-0. Strout struck out 2 of the final 3 batters and Mikaela Mattice caught a fly ball to leftfield for the last out and the victory.
Sydney Strout had 14 strikeouts, gave up 4 hits and 1 walk.
The Gilford offense was led by Lisa Osborne 2/4 (1 RBI), Sydney Strout 1 double (1 RBI), singles by Mollie Dignan (1 RBI & 1 run scored), Paige Laliberte, Caitlin Houston and Miakela Mattice (1 run scored)