On May 13, Gilford saw its fifth shutout of the season and beat neighboring Belmont 9-0. Sydney Strout was the winning pitcher striking out 14 , giving up one hit and walking none. Gilford was two players away from a perfect game. In the top of the first inning Belmont had a runner get on base with an infield error, but she was immediately picked off first base by catcher Paige Laliberte. Belmont's only other player to reach base came in the top of the second inning when Makayla Donovan hit a ball up the middle. Strout and the Gilford defense retired the next 16 batters for the victory. The Gilford offense jumped out quickly in the first inning, scoring four runs on two hits, two walks and two errors. Strout got the offense started with a bunt single, courtesy runner Kristina Hayden stole second and scored on an error. Lisa Osborne walked and scored on a Laliberte fielder's choice. Abby Harris got on with a fielder's choice and Caitlin Houston blasted a two-run double to the fence scoring Harris and Laliberte to make the score 4-0 in the first. Gilford added three more runs in the second, highlighted with singles by Mollie Dignan, Strout and Laliberte. Gilford scored two more runs in the fourth when Kelsey Buckley drew a walk and score on a Hannah Chase RBI single and Alyssa Wilson got on with a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch.
Gilford earned another 9-0 victory the next day, against opponents from Prospect Mountain. Strout and the Gilford defense were only one out away from a no-hitter. Prospect Mountain's second baseman (Meyer) hit a ball up the middle in the bottom of the seventh with two outs to break up Strout's no hitter. It was a gutsy performance by Strout who in the top of the secenth inning rolled her ankle after running safely through first base. Said coach Joan Forge, "Sydney is a very determined athlete and wanted to finish pitching the game despite having to be taped". Sarah Lachapelle, Gilford's back up pitcher was ready for relief, but Strout insisted on finishing the game. The Gilford defense was especially strong in the seventh inning behind their pitcher. The leadoff batter for Prospect Mountain laid down a bunt which is normally played by Strout, but Laliberte came flying out of the catcher's box to take the ball and gun it to first for the out. The second batter ripped a shot that looked like it was heading for the hole between third and shortstop, but third baseman Lisa Osborne knocked it down and threw for the second out. The third out came with a ball hit to shallow left field and left fielder Mikaela Mattice made a running dive to secure Gilford's sixth shutout. Strout finished with 11 strikeouts, gave up 1 hit and 2 walks.
Gilford scored one run in the first when Laliberte led off with a walk, advanced to second on a Buckley sacrifice bunt, Laliberte had a delayed steal to third and scored on a Caitlin Houston fielder's choice. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the fifth when Gilford scored three more. Dignan led off with a walk and scored on a Lisa Osborne single. Strout singled and scored on a Harris fielder's choice. Osborne scored on a Laliberte single. Gilford exploded for five runs in the sixth which started with Dignan leading off with a single and scoring on an error. The other four runs were highlighted by Laliberte's two run double and Wilson's two run single.
Gilford played three games in the same number of days and outscored opponents 21-0. May 15 saw Gilford battle Farmington for the second place spot in Division III. Both Gilford and Farmington had only one loss on their record and were tied behind undefeated White Mountain. Farmington's only loss came to Gilford early in the season which was a 2-1 victory in 9 innings. Gilford won the rematch with a 3-0 victory. Gilford scored one run in the second inning when Laliberte led off and reached on an error. She advanced to second on a Lachapelle sacrifice bunt and scored on a Houston single to make the score 1-0. Gilford manufactured another run in the third when Strout singled and courtesy runner for Strout, Kristina Hayden, scored on a Osborne fielder's choice to make the score 2-0. Gilford scored one more insurance run in the fourth inning when freshman Lachapelle hit her first homerun of the season. That was all the scoring Gilford needed to secure the win and second place in the standings.
Sydney Strout (2/3 at bat) was the winning pitcher striking out the first eight batters she faced and finishing with 14 strikeouts in total. Strout allowed just two hits and one walk. The Gilford defense is playing the best ball of the season right now and only committed one error in the game. This is Gilford's 5th shutout in a row.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:55
Gilford took a 6-3 victory at home against Laconia on May 13. Scoring for Gilford in singles matches, Cheralynn Corsack beat Susan Ross 8-2, Charleyene Panner beat Rebecca Mitchell 8-0, Lindsey Corsack beat Rebecca Dragon 8-0 and Emily Hanf earned an 8-6 win over Katherine Mitchell. Earning points for Laconia, Mikayla Bordeau beat Abby Lines and Kailey Nute beat Kayla Vieten, both by the score of 8 to 4.
In doubles play, Gilford's Cheralynn Corsack/Panner took an 8-1 win over Rebecca Mitchell/Dragon, and Lindsey Corsack/Hanf won a tiebreaker against Bordeau/Nute. Laconia won the third doubles match, with the Katherine Mitchell/Taylor Sullivan team beating Sisi Remick/Emily Curtis by the score of 8 to 4.
The Golden Eagles didn't fare as well against the defending champions from Profile on May 14. The only point Gilford scored was due to the top doubles team of Cheralynn Corsack/Panner, which beat Profile's Cher Christnacht/Rachel Johnson 8-4.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:49
Using a stalwart defense and strong offensive attack, Belmont defeated John Stark 9-1 in Weare on May 13.
Just 5 minutes and 16 seconds into the game Belmont scored to take the lead. Thirty five seconds later the team scored again providing all the offense the girls would need for the victory. Belmont's offense controlled the pace of the game throughout the half and the defense was able to hold the home team to a single goal. Belmont had a commanding 5-1 lead heading into halftime. In the second half the Lady Red Raiders continued their dominance. The girls scored just over three minutes into the second half. The Belmont defense remained strong and the offense rolled along. At the final whistle, Belmont had a convincing 9-1 victory.
Clorissa Roode, Emily Ennis and Allivia Burbank each had two goals in the game. Jen Hamilton, Kaitlyn Berry and Anna Scott each recorded single goals. Goaltender Alexa Robbins played well in net, turning aside nine of the 10 shots she faced in the contest. Caitlyn Keville had a strong offensive game, ringing a shot off the post.
Belmont earned another win the next day over the Laconia junior varsity squad at Robbie Mills Field. Belmont scored three and a half minutes into the contest and added two more before Laconia found the back of the net about midway through the half.
Belmont's defense played another strong game holding the Lady Sachems to only two shots on goal in the half. Belmont held a 7-2 lead at the break. Laconia struck first in the second half but before they could put together a comeback the Lady Red Raiders scored to go up by five again. The teams traded a few more goals and at the end of the game Belmont had a 10-4 win.
Burbank had three goals and an assist in the game. Kate Witschonke and Berry each had two goals while Katherine Jeas, Hamilton and Scott had single tallies. Sarah Thayer played well in the offensive end of the field with a nice assist on Hamilton's goal and had a strong showing in the transititon game. Cori Heimlich played well defensively helping hold Laconia to minimal shots on net. Goaltender Robbins had six saves in the contest.
In their third game in three days, Belmont built on its momentum by earning a 13-0 win over Sant Bani on Wednesday, May 15.
Clorissa, Thayer, Hamilton, Hailey Clough and Keville each had two goals. Heimlich, Maddi Blajda and Jeas added single goals. Zoe Zeller and Hamilton recorded assists. Robbins turned aside 8 shots in net.
The girls travel to New Hampton for a 4 p.m. game on Saturday.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:47
Coach Jon Myers, now in his third year with the team, said his players have the potential to make the 2013 season a highlight of his young coaching career. Laconia hasn't been to a baseball championship game since 1999, when the school competed in NHIAA's Division II. What's even more encouraging to Myers is a trio of freshmen who earned a spot on the varsity roster and have shown promise of being leaders of the team for seasons to come.
The varsity freshmen include brothers Andrew and James Salta, who have demonstrated the ability to produce for their team despite their young ages. James, a shortstop, has been hitting .393 this year, while right field-playing Andrew has a seasonal batting average of .409.
The third ninth grader on the team is Riley Stone, who, said Myers, "has been phenomenal this year." Stone has impressed his coach as both a pitcher and an infielder, and his .628 batting average leads the team.
Myers is excited to see how his young players progress, especially considering the unusual amount of varsity experience they're seeing for their age. "That's a nice foundation to have going forward the next three years."
More impressive than their stats, said Myers, are the unmeasurable qualities of Stone and the Salta twins. "They're just good players all around," he said. Hard-working on and off the field, eager to learn from their coaches, Myers expect his three freshmen to be the leaders of the team in the not-too-distant future. Sharing the dugout with juniors and seniors, he said Stone and the Saltas are pretty quiet for now, but, "They're already modeling what a good ballplayer's all about. They're almost role models already."
Looking at the rest of the games on his schedule, Myers said their division-best record is anything but safe. For the final game of the season, on May 22, Laconia will travel to Berlin, a 6-7 team the Sachems haven't seen yet this season. Laconia travels to Winnisquam, which has won nine games so far, for the penultimate game of the regular season.
If those games weren't worrying enough for Myers, his team will host Prospect Mountain tonight for his team's Senior Night. Laconia beat Prospect Mountain on April 19, but just barely. The game concluded with a 7-6 decision that took ten innings to reach. He expects the Timberwolves will remember that loss when they come to Robbie Mills Field tonight. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
Laconia's most recent game was Wednesday at Belmont, where Myers and his team came away with a 13-6 win. Despite the outcome, he was less than thrilled with his team's performance. "It was a weird game," he said. Afternoon rain caused for sloppy conditions and similar play. Laconia jumped out to a 13 run lead after two innings, but fundamental errors in the field allowed Belmont to make the game competitive. If his team is to reach the same height Laconia saw in 1999, Myers said his team will have to stay sharp in every condition and situation.
"I think if we play the way we've been playing, things look pretty good," he said. "We have to play well, stay focused on every pitch."
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:38