Boston High School: Alyssa Siegmann

PLAINVILLE, Mass. -- If April 24 was a day of infamy for King Philip softball, May 15 was a day of opportunity, encircled on the calendar by a bright red marker.

No. 2 KP’s date with redemption arrived much the way its team members envisioned. A three-hit shutout by ace Meghan Rico and a two-run home run by battery mate Olivia Godin paced the Warriors to a 3-0 win, splitting the season series with No. 7 Coyle-Cassidy.

“They’ve been chomping at the bit,” KP head coach Jim Leonard said. “We’ve had this date circled for a while now.”

KP (13-2) fell to C-C (11-3) in the teams’ previous meeting in Taunton, with Coyle making a late comeback. Since that date, KP embarked on a scorched earth campaign, with a streak of 67 scoreless innings tossed between pitchers Rico and Meg Carnase.

The new found attitude was on display Tuesday. Even as C-C eyed a comeback in the sixth inning, loading the bases, there was something different this time around.

“I was over the plate a little too much,” Rico said of her last outing against Coyle. “This time, I felt my pitches were breaking.”

Rico quelled C-C’s one-out riot in the sixth with a pair of strikeouts, painting the outside corner, both swinging.

She received all the offense she’d require in the fourth when Godin went opposite field for a two-run home run over the right-center field fence.

KP added an insurance run in the sixth with a sacrifice fly from Cayleigh McCarthy, scoring Carnase (2-for-3, double, two runs scored).

“I feel like we’ve been on top of our game since the Frankin game, and there’s no going back,” Rico said. “We’re ready to go for the rest of the games, we’re ready for the tournament.”

CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGHOUT
It might not have shown up on the scoreboard, but KP’s lower third of the lineup showed why the Warriors possess one of the state’s top lineups.

KP’s No. 7 through No. 9 hitters were a combined 5-for-7, between Annie Shiebler, Shannon Jones, Amy Nolan and pinch hitter Alyssa Siegmann.

The bottom of the order was responsible for a pair of bases-loaded threats in the third and fifth, however C-C starter Kelsey Boarman was able to wiggle out of both situations with double plays.
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. – Consider it a declaration that the Hockomock League still runs through King Philip.

In the course of the last week, upstart North Attleborough softball knocked off rival Mansfield, before the Hornets then went on to scare the living daylights out of King Philip on their own diamond.

So were the Warriors ripe for an upset? Hardly.

No. 1King Philip’s resounding 9-1 victory over No. 12 North on Thursday was a return to the status quo.

“I think we’re finally feeling more comfortable at the plate, we’re having more quality at-bats,” Warriors head coach Jim Leonard said. “We were aggressive against a good pitcher [North’s Megan Colleran] and we put the ball in play. We’re starting to find our stride offensively.”

KP’s 11-hit barrage was balanced and saw five players drive in runs, including Meg Carnase, Tori Constantin and Renee Poirier who each had two RBI.

North (3-1) took their cuts against Warriors ace Meghan Rico and came away with seven hits. However, the Red Rocketeers left 10 runners stranded and had bases loaded situations in both the fifth and seventh, but were unable to score.

Kim Hallahan knocked in the Red Rocketeers’ lone run in the sixth with an RBI double.

VERSATILITY AND DEPTH SHOWCASED
The Warriors lost one of their top players for the afternoon and perhaps much longer on a pivotal play in the home half of the second.

KP shortstop Alyssa Siegmann charged a smash hit off the bat of North left fielder Erin Melaney. While making a stab at the ground, Siegmann collided with North’s runner, who was breaking for third. The potential base hit was wiped out by the umpire’s call of interference and Siegmann was shaken up (with what Leonard fears is a separated shoulder), not to mention it ended North's rally with the third out.

The Warriors could rest easy knowing that second baseman Tori Constantin could move over to short while Leonard inserted sophomore Rory Baraiolo at second.

Not only did Baraiolo provide some sharp leather work in the field, she also knocked in a run during the Warriors’ two-run fifth.

“It was great that we had two [first-year players] step in and contribute,” Leonard said. “[Baraiolo] had an RBI and Renee Poirier, a freshman, had a clutch RBI. I thought was a bit of a turning point.”

Preseason MIAA softball All-State team

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
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Today we kick off our high school coverage of the spring season with our preseason MIAA softball All-State team, as selected by ESPNBoston.com staff and state high school coaches.

STARTING ROTATION
Kiara Amos, Sr., Malden
Trish Hansen, Sr., Mansfield
Meghan Rico, Sr., King Philip
Sarah Ropiak, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
Shannon Smith, Jr., Milford

STARTING NINE
Taylor Archer, Sr. C/3B, Milford
Patty Borges, Sr. SS, Coyle-Cassidy
Alex Burgess, Sr. OF, Chelmsford
Bri Chiusano, Sr. OF, Mansfield
Lexi Gifford, Sr. IF/OF, Natick
Olivia Godin, Sr. C, King Philip
Nicole Lundstrom, Jr. C, Dighton-Rehoboth
Christina Raso, Sr. SS, Burlington
Reilly Weiners, Jr. C, Agawam

"BEST OF THE REST"
Meg Carnase, Sr. P, King Philip
Katie Casey, Jr. P, Braintree
Katherine Clark, Sr. P, Coyle-Cassidy
Allie Colleran, Jr. SS, Concord-Carlisle
Meghan Colleran, Soph. P, North Attleborough
Stephanie Cornish, Sr. SS, Abington
Abby Curran, Sr. IF, Bishop Fenwick
Alexis DeBrosse, Jr. 2B, New Bedford
Audrey Dolloff, Sr. P, Bridgewater-Raynham
Maggie Hoffman, Jr. P, Avon
Kaleigh Finigan, Jr. C, St. Mary's (Lynn)
Natalie Leone, Jr. 2B, Ashland
Rachel Levine, Jr. CF, Milford
Abby Johnson, Sr. SS, Chelmsford
Galen Kerr, Jr. P, Concord-Carlisle
Jackie Kielty, Jr. P, Middleborough
Kayli Moniz, Sr. SS, Fairhaven
Breanna Monroe, Sr. OF, Shrewsbury
Shannon Orton, Sr. P, Case
Kaci Panarelli, Jr. C, Shrewsbury
Meghan Rich, Sr. P, Chelmsford
Julie LeClair, Sr. 3B, Coyle-Cassidy
Cayleigh McCarthy, Sr. 1B, King Philip
Madi Shaw, Soph. SS, Bridgewater-Raynham
Alyssa Siegmann, Sr. SS, King Philip


TAUNTON, Mass. – The game plan for King Philip softball is usually simple: Hand the ball to ace Meghan Rico, scratch across a run or two and take the win.

While the Warriors are used to seeing their pitcher near perfection, Norwood put up a rare two runs against Rico in the Division 1 South final Friday night at Taunton High’s Jack Tripp Field.

However, the defending D1 state champions showed that they’re more than just pitching, exhibiting a fine offense while playing a little small ball with some shows of power mixed in. With a 4-2 win over the Mustangs, the Warriors continued their quest toward a second-straight state title.

“To many, they expect perfection time and time again,” KP head coach Jim Leonard said of Rico’s performance. “When you face another unbeaten team, they have quality hitters, good defense, they have good pitching. I thought Rico showed that she was equal to the task if not better.”

The Warriors (24-0) started fast, opening scoring with a run in the home half of the first. Leadoff hitter Jenn Robillard sent one to the left-center field fence off of Mustangs starter Ali Maloof. Alyssa Siegmann followed with a perfectly placed bunt single to score Robillard.

Anna Kelley plated KP’s second run in the third on an RBI single and Meg Carnase gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead in the fifth with run-scoring double.

KP first baseman Cayleigh McCarthy provided the exclamation point to the victory, belting Maloof’s 2-2 offering 225 feet over the left-center field fence for a home run.

Rico, while not perfect as usual, was still strong. Only one of the runs allowed were earned with Sarah Eckhardt driving a run on a fielder’s choice in the sixth. She surrendered two hits—one a bunt single by Eckhardt and the other a double to lead off the sixth from Norwood’s No. 9 hitter Kayla Garczynski.

“It’s bound to happen sometime,” Rico said. “They’re a good hitting team. All of the teams we’re going to play from here on out are going to be good hitting teams, so I expected them to score some runs.”

Still, it wasn’t as effortless as Rico typically makes it look. She went 13 pitches deep with Mustangs feared third baseman and UConn signee Lauren Duggan in a battle in the fourth inning. Rico finally got Duggan to succumb on a pop-up to catcher Olivia Godin with an inside screwball.

She was great when she needed to be.

“I think she showed what she’s made out of,” Leonard said of Rico. “She’s a composed young lady, but she battled.

“The combination of her and [Olivia] Godin behind the plate, I don’t call any pitches. I have the ultimate trust in Olivia to call and handle the pitching staff. It’s comforting to have that kind of competence behind the plate.”

After ending the Mustang’s perfect season (21-0 previously), the Warriors will play the North sectional champion in the Eastern Mass. final at Taunton on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

No. 1 KP prevails over Milford in extras

May, 25, 2011
5/25/11
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PLAINVILLE, Mass. – They could’ve gone all night and there likely wouldn’t have been a resolution.

No. 1 King Philip eventually pulled out a 1-0 win over No. 3 Milford Tuesday night in Plainville with two of the state’s best softball pitchers going head to head. The Warriors’ Meghan Rico and Scarlet Hawks ace Shannon Smith played dueling banjos, placing zero after zero on the board through seven innings.

Milford threatened to score in the top of the eighth, but it was King Philip (19-0) who earned the walk-off win with Tori Constantin laying down a perfect suicide squeeze scoring Hailey Mullen from third, dealing the Scarlet Hawks their first defeat of the season.

“It’s always rewarding to see when all the practice you put in leads to really good execution,” said Warriors head coach Jim Leonard, who led his team to a win over Milford in last year’s Division 1 state title game. “The girls have worked very hard, giving up Sundays and extra time in order to get things done. A team like that, we knew it was going to come down to one play and having them make the right play at the right time.”

Rico started the game on fire, retiring the first 10 Milford (15-1) batters in order via the strikeout. The George Washington commit finished the game with 16 strikeouts and allowing just two hits.

However, she had to rely on her defense to get out of a pickle in the eighth inning.

Softball tie-breaker rules place a runner on second base to start each extra-inning frame. After the first batter struck out, the runner advanced to third. With one out, Milford’s Sam Bonvino laid down a suicide squeeze attempt, only to see the ball pop straight up. Warriors catcher Olivia Godin snared the ball and fired to third to double up the retreating runner, ending the inning.

“They’re great hitters,” Rico said of Milford’s lineup. “I was really nervous coming into this game, but my defense was strong, our hitting was strong.”

KP scratched across the game-winning run thanks to some skillfully executed small ball.

With Mullen on second to start the inning, Godin put down a sacrifice bunt. Constantin followed that with another perfectly placed bunt between Smith and Scarlet Hawks first baseman Caroline Atkinson, who was shading in anticipation of the bunt.

“I knew getting up there that I was going to have to squeeze with Hailey [Mullen] on third,” Constantin said. “I just set in my head that I had to get it done no matter what.”

It appeared the Warriors might come up with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh. With one on and one out, Meg Carnase lined a single over the second base bag into center. KP center fielder Alyssa Siegmann looked as though she might have the legs to score from second base, but when rounding third, she was met by Leonard who was holding up the sign to stay just there.

“We had good hitters coming up and we have a lot of confidence in our hitters,” Leonard said, explaining his rationale for not waving Siegmann homeward bound. “You don’t want to take the bat out of their hands. You’ve got runners on second and third with [third baseman Anna] Kelly coming up.”

Kelly put a jolt into Smith’s 2-2 offering to the opposite field. However, she didn’t get quite enough as ball fell into the right fielder’s glove, several feet shy of fence.

“She put a few more feet on that ball and it’s all over,” Leonard added.

Smith took the hard-luck loss after striking out 11, while allowing seven hits and three walks.

KP stranded nine runners on base.

Rico nearly perfect for No. 1 King Philip

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
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PLAINVILLE, Mass. –- Meghan Rico was cruising right along during Monday’s matchup against Central Mass power Shrewsbury.

The King Philip softball pitcher had retired the first 12 Colonial hitters in order to start the game. Then, Rico struck out during her plate appearance in the bottom of the fourth inning and really got mad.

“I know that if I’m not hitting well, I need to pitch well,” the junior hurler said.

Not that wasn’t dominant through the first four innings, but something else kicked in. Painting the corners of the plate and mixing in a healthy dose of curveballs and screwballs, the top-ranked Warriors’ ace bore down and finished the gem she’d started with authority.

Only a hit batsmen to start the seventh inning kept Rico from finishing a perfect game, while spinning a no-hit complete game in a 1-0 win over the 20th-ranked Colonials.

“When you’re in these tight games and you need a little something extra, that’s when you hope that your pitcher comes through,” said King Philip head coach Jim Leonard, who celebrated his 50th birthday with the victory. “[Rico] knows when she needs to bear down a little bit and she’s able to that. She’s very consistent and she’s very composed.”

In a stretch from the second through fifth innings, Rico sat down 11 consecutive Shrewsbury (4-1) hitters via the strikeout while finishing with 15 for the outing.

Meanwhile, Colonials pitcher Erica Armenti was nearly as effective, striking out seven and surrendering four hits in a tough-luck decision.

King Philip (5-0) scratched across the lone run of the game in the third inning. Warriors shortstop Jenn Robillard crossed the plate on a double-steal attempt with what would prove to be the game-winning run.

“They did a good job of knocking down a run at the plate,” Leonard said. “Then we had a first and third in the third, and that’s just a chance that you have to take. That was some heads-up running on Jenn Robillard’s part. We work on that a lot and we were able to score the run there. That was the difference.

“You wish it weren’t always that way, but you have to take the runs when you can get them.”

It looked as though King Philip had broken the scoreless stalemate during the previous inning, when Tori Constantin rounded third toward home on Alyssa Siegmann’s single to right. However, Shrewsbury right fielder Jenna Pickett’s throw was right on the money and catcher Kaci Panarelli anchored her outstretched left heel in front of the plate, blocking Constantin short of the plate

Still, the single run provided by Robillard’s guile on the basepaths was all Rico needed on a special afternoon.

“She likes to paint the black,” Warriors catcher Olivia Godin said. “She likes to paint her pitches and work all of her pitches in there. Once we get ahead, we want them to chase. We don’t want to play around with any batter, we want to go right after them.”

Shrewsbury head coach Phil Chevalier knew what his team was getting into while making the trip to the Plainville Athletic League fields, however, and the path doesn’t get any easier this week with defending Division 2 state champion Hudson next on the slate.

“We asked for this game and we wanted to come down here,” Chevalier said. “You like to always win, but I’d rather play a tough game like this than fattening up against other teams.”

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