Success at least on diamonds on Wednesday
ADDISON COUNTY — The news on Wednesday proved to be uniformly good for local high school softball and baseball teams, but not so much for the three boys’ lacrosse and one girls’ tennis team that saw first-round playoff action.
The most dramatic games on Wednesday were the Otter Valley softball win over Burr & Burton and the Middlebury boys’ lacrosse team’s loss at Woodstock.
OV, the No. 6 seed in Division II, hosted No. 11 Burr & Burton (6-11), a team the Otters brushed aside easily twice during the regular season. But on Wednesday the Bulldogs took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh. The Otters then rallied for three runs to win, 8-7. Kristyn Jerome’s second hit of the game drove in the winning run and pushed OV over .500 (9-8) for the first time all spring.
Marissa D’Avignon chipped in with two hits and two RBIs for OV; Chelsea Bruce contributed a run, a hit and an RBI; lead-off hitter Kristy Pinkham continued to make life miserable for OV opponents by reaching base three times; and winning pitcher Mallory Ketcham added a hit and scored a run.
On Saturday at 3 p.m., the Otters will face a tougher task: They will be visiting No. 3 Lyndon (10-5), the perennial D-II power. OV fans, of course, need no reminder that their team ended the Vikings’ multi-year winning streak and title run two years ago en route to the Otters’ D-II championship.
Meanwhile, the Tiger boys’ lacrosse team lost at Woodstock, 10-9, after trailing at the half, 7-2. The 1-14 Tigers lost their third straight game by one goal, second straight game by one goal at Woodstock (12-5) after losing by 8-7 in their regular season finale on Saturday, and fifth game overall by one goal. Yes, it was a tough loss, but the young Tigers are obviously getting better.
Dillon Robinson, an all-star defender recently spending more time on the attack, sparked the Tigers with three goals and two assists, and middie Sawyer McLaughlin also tallied a hat trick. Nick Bruch, Sam Smith and Andrew Myhre also scored, while goalie Garth Buck stopped 11 shots, one less than Wasp goalie Ben Orr. One more note re: the Tigers — of the players mentioned in this paragraph, only Bruch is a senior. CORRECTION: Bruch is a junior. Graduating will be seniors Patrick Fifield, Hunter Jakupco and Andrew Schumer.
Back to D-II softball, No. 7 Mount Abraham had little trouble with visiting No. 10 Lamoille, the defending champ, topping the Lancers, 10-4, on Wednesday. Amber Fay tossed a two-hitter, a total she matched herself with two hits at the plate; Fay scored twice and drove in a run.
Alyssa Charbonneau chipped in two hits and two RBIs, and Courtney Jipner scored three runs as the Eagles evened their record at 8-8-1. The Lancers dropped to 5-10 as they failed to duplicate their upset run to the title of a year ago. Next up for the Eagles is a Saturday quarterfinal at No. 2 Harwood (10-2-1), a D-II finalist in 2010. One of the Highlanders’ 10 wins was a tight 4-2 decision over the Eagles back on May 2 — should be a good game.
The Middlebury softball team also saw some drama on Wednesday. The No. 9 Tigers rallied for three key runs in the sixth in an 11-9 victory over No. 9 Milton. The Tigers improved to 6-10 with their second straight win, both coming in games after injured pitcher Jess Gipson returned to start on the mound; on Wednesday, Gipson went the distance and earned her second win. Milton finished at 6-11 with its second loss to MUHS.
Shanyn Leduc did the lion’s share of the offensive damage for the Tigers, driving in three runs. Mattea Bagley and Liz Dwire chipped in with two hits apiece. The Tigers next will tackle top-seeded Springfield (12-4) on the road; like the other quarterfinals, game time is 3 p.m. on Saturday. The teams have one common foe this spring: MUHS lost to Rutland, 6-3, and the Cosmos defeated Rutland, 4-1.
Also winning on the diamond on Wednesday was another No. 9 seed, the OV baseball team. The Otters thumped host No. 8 U-32, 13-2. Sophomore righty Brett Patterson continued his fine first varsity season on the mound by earning the pitching win, and Nate Fitzgerald led the attack with three hits.
Ryan Kelley, Thomas Roberts and Patterson chipped in with two hits each, and the Otters broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning. U-32 dropped to 5-10, and OV moved to 7-10 headed into a challenging Friday afternoon date with No. 1 Burr & Burton. The Bulldogs are 12-4 and defeated OV on Saturday, 11-2, in the teams’ only meeting this spring.
Two OV teams came up short on Wednesday. One carried tennis rackets, but there’s no shame in losing to a Woodstock girls’ team seeded No. 3 in D-II with a 13-1 record. The Otters finished at 4-7 with a 6-1 setback to the Wasps.
In individual matches:
• At No. 1 singles, OV’s Claire Quigley lost to Hanna Snyder, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
• At No. 2 singles, OV’s Kate LaRock lost to Mary Kanzler, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2.
• At No. 3 singles, OV’s Louisa Jerome lost to Camille Ertel, 6-0, 6-2.
• At No. 4 singles, OV’s Kelsey Scarborough defeated Clara Gray, 6-2, 6-4.
• At No. 5 singles, OV’s Belinda LaFountain lost to Sophie Leiter, 6-2, 6-1.
• At No. 1 doubles, OV’s Ashley Fowler and Alysen Smith lost to Marissa Farbman and Kathleen Shepard, 6-1, 6-0.
• At No. 2 doubles, OV’s Hannah Lones and Alyssa Adamsen lost to Lizzy Miller and Amelia Sheppard, 6-0, 6-0.
The OV boys’ lacrosse team faced an even tougher challenge, U-32, No. 2 in D-II, which improved to 14-1 with a 20-0 win over the 1-15 Otters. Likewise, the 0-14 Vergennes boys’ had little luck at No. 1 Rice (15-1) in a 29-2 setback, although Geoffrey Grant and Cody Hutchins found the back of the net for the Commodores. One wonders, though, how many votes the Green Knights will win for sportsmanship in the postseason coaches’ meeting; at some point — maybe the 20-goal mark — it’s time for your team to practice its ball movement.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.