Boston High School: Kayla Sheldon

D2 North softball: Burlington 6, Tewksbury 5

June, 10, 2013
LOWELL, Mass. — It looked as though Burlington might lose its four-run lead in the seventh inning of Monday’s Division 2 North softball final, but with the tying run on third base, Red Devils starting pitcher Kelly McCarthy stepped up.

McCarthy was able to battle her way out of the inning, after giving up three runs in the inning, as the No. 3 seed Burlington defeated No. 8 Tewksbury, 6-5, in the Division 2 North softball final.

The Burlington hurler was called upon for the entire game as she threw a complete game, and had little trouble with the Redmen’s offensive attack until the final inning.

“[McCarthy] battled for us a lot, and she has been battling for us all year,” Burlington head coach Kristen Mahoney said. “She did her job.”

Michaela Mazure helped ignite the Burlington (21-3) offense in the third inning after the Red Devils had gone down, 1-0. Mazure crushed a double to left-center, which knocked home two-of-the-four runs the Red Devils scored in the inning.

“I was just trying to help my team out by doing my part,” Mazure said. “I knew we were down, I knew we needed runs, so I was just looking for a base hit. It was a great feeling to score both of those runs.”

McCarthy helped out her own cause knocking in a run, and Kaela Hersee also had an RBI single capping off the four-run third.

Burlington’s No. 9 hitter went a little under the radar, as she didn’t record a hit, but Danielle Coveno did all the little things to help lead the Red Devils to victory. Coveno scored a run, and she helped move base runners over by laying down three sacrifice bunts.

“She was able to get those bunts down with the corners right on top of her, which isn’t an easy thing to do,” Mahoney said. “It was huge because that moves base runners [over] for us. If we can’t move base runners into scoring position our bats aren’t going to be able to [hit runs] in.”

Kayla Sheldon and Coveno scored runs in the fourth inning extending the Burlington lead to 6-1. Sheldon was hot the entire day as she was 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

“Kayla had three hits, what [more] can you ask of from your No. 8 hitter,” Mahoney said.

Burlington appeared to have a comfy 6-2 lead heading into the seventh inning, but Tewksbury (17-7) shortstop Tiffanie Marsh had something to say about that. She already had an RBI in the third inning, but with her team down 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh, she rose to the occasion.

After a lead-off walk from Sam Laferriere, Marsh smacked her second double of the day off the center field wall, missing a home run by only a few feet.

“[Marsh] is a special player for us, and an all conference player,” Tewksbury head coach Leo DiRocco said. “She’ll do anything for a win, she’s a very quiet player, and she leads by example.”

Burlington will play Bishop Stang (17-8) on Wednesday at Martin Field for the Division 2 Eastern Mass. title.

Burlington takes rubber match for D2 North title

June, 14, 2011
LOWELL, Mass. -- The first two regular season meetings between Middlesex League powers Burlington and Reading ended with each team winning on their home turf.

It was only fitting that the rubber match between the two teams take place in the Division 2 North sectional final on a neutral Martin Field Monday night.

This time, Burlington, behind a complete game effort from senior Courtney Lanfranchi, defeated Reading 3-2 in another close battle between the two schools.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game,” Lanfranchi said. “It was our third time playing them this year and they are real good team. I knew we had to get that clutch hit or clutch run.”

The Red Devils (22-2) struck first in the bottom of the first inning as junior shortstop Christina Raso smashed a lead-off double over the head of Reading right fielder Victoria Marino. After a sacrifice bunt by senior captain Stacey Hezreh, Burlington third baseman Haley Currie would drive in Raso with a deep infield single in the hole.

The Rockets would tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the third as junior Morgan Fallon would reach on a fielder’s choice, steal second and score on a throwing error.

The Red Devils would answer right back in the bottom of the third as Raso led off the inning again with a single and later score on an error, giving the Red Devils a 2-1 lead after three innings.

Reading would tie the back-and-forth affair in the fourth inning as second baseman Meg Kelly ripped a double in the left-center field gap and would score on a single by catcher Nicole Nelson.

With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning and runners on second and third, freshman Kayla Sheldon hit a sacrifice fly to plate the eventual winning run.

The Red Devils played superb defense behind Lanfranchi, led by catcher Jillian Mazure, who gunned down a would-be base-stealer in the third inning and picked off another base runner with a rifle throw down to first in the sixth.

“Believe it or not she [Mazure] had never played catcher before this year,” Red Devils head coach Kristen Mahoney said. “This year we needed a catcher and she said, coach I will do it. She has been phenomenal and one of the best catchers we have seen so far.”

“She played every position for us and I could not be more proud of her,” echoed Lanfranchi. “I think we have had the best defense in the North this year. I know I am not a strikeout pitcher so I have to rely on my defense and they helped me out.”

The Division 2 North title is the first for the Red Devil program.

“The girls worked so hard for this,” said Mahoney. “They are the best group of girls and they deserve this.”

Burlington, who has not lost since April 27, will face Division 2 South sectional champion Hopkinton (22-2) Wednesday night at Martin field in Lowell. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.