Boston High School: Kayli Moniz

D2 South softball: Abington 3, Fairhaven 1

June, 10, 2012

TAUNTON, Mass. -- A year ago, the Abington softball team was in the midst of a comeback bid against Coyle-Cassidy in the Div. 1 South semifinals when third baseman Stephanie Cornish slid into second base and broke two bones in her leg.

After undergoing surgery and not being able to walk for two and a half months, Cornish missed the fall soccer season while rehabbing. She was able to get back in time for basketball in the winter, but when spring rolled around, Cornish and her Green Wave teammates felt they had some unfinished business to take care of.

With Cornish playing a pivotal role in what was a stellar defensive performance, No. 1 Abington finished what they tried to do last year by capturing the south sectional title with a 3-1 victory over No. 3 Fairhaven Sunday at Taunton High School.

"Last year I broke my ankle. We were in the middle of a comeback too," Cornish recalled. "We were playing Coyle-Cassidy and I slid into second base and I broke my ankle - but I was safe though so that was good. But I think that kind of slowed our comeback a little and we ended up losing. Making it all the way this year is a great feeling. I can't describe it."

Cornish recorded a putout and three big assists in the later stages of Sunday's contest, emblematic of the way the Green Wave (22-2) settled down defensively after committing a pair of first inning errors that led to Fairhaven's (20-3) only run.

The defense provided a big boost behind Abington ace Kelly Norton, who scattered four hits and struck out six while setting down 16 of the last 17 hitters she faced from the third inning on.

"Since I have been at Abington Kelly has won 43 games and only lost four," said Green Wave coach Ernie Ortega. "That will tell you what kind of competitor she is and she does not let things get her down. It was very easy for them to get down after being down 1-0.

"We weren't making contact but once we tied the game and then took the lead, there was no looking back" he continued. "It's only the second time we've been down since I think the beginning of May. That was a testament to these girls. They showed they can play with the best of them."

A bit of nervousness played a role in a choppy start for Abington as the Lady Blue Devils put together a run when Kayli Moniz led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on a throwing error.

The Green Wave were to cash on mistakes as well, as Liz Morgan tied the game in the second, scoring after a double and a throwing error. Abington took the lead for good in the third when both MacKenzie Gillis and Jill Marella came all the way around after a pair of errors on Marella's bunt attempt.

Norton slammed the door shut from that point on, shaking off the nerves and allowing just a sixth inning double over the final five innings.

"Everyone just needed to take a deep breath because we always get nervous," Norton admitted. "Everyone's on the bus freaking out and jittery and we all just need to remember its just a game. We've played what, 23 times before this game? Everyone just relaxed and got back at it and collectively we did our job."

Norton added, "After the first two innings, I could tell I wasn't fully warmed up. Yesterday I was on it, I could feel I was in the zone. But after those first couple of innings I got down to basics and it just worked I guess."

Preseason MIAA softball All-State team

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

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

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

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

D3 South Girls: Fairhaven 62, Archies 59

March, 10, 2012
BOSTON –- Entering the fourth quarter trailing Archbishop Williams by two, Fairhaven put the game in the hands of senior captain Kara Charette, whose seven free throws helped the Blue Devils escape, 62-59 in the Division 3 South Sectional Finals at UMass-Boston's Clark Athletic Center.

“Everyone was getting frantic, so they threw me the ball, and they happened to foul me, so I just went to the line, and did what I had to do at the end,” said Charette, who finished with 24 points.

Fairhaven (22-2) began the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run, but Archies (20-6) rallied, as junior Sara Ryan connected on back-to-back triples with 10 seconds remaining before sophomore teammate Olivia Conrad fouled Charette immediately on the ensuing possession.

“I thought it was any other free throws,” Charette said of her final two free throws. “If I think ahead, it will mess me up. I just [had] to think its one free throw [at a time].”

Charette then sank shots from the stripe before Archbishop Williams’ Conrad attempted a last-second heave from beyond the arc, which didn’t reach the iron.

“[Charette] did what we thought she would do, and we couldn’t stop her,” Archbishop Williams head coach Jim Bancroft said. “We tried to double-down on her, but they played a great game today, we just weren’t there mentally all the way through.”

“Kara Charette’s not a surprise to anybody this late in her career, and no matter who we play,” said Fairhaven head coach Jeff Perry.

Both teams swapped leads throughout a majority of the first two frames, but it wasn’t until the third quarter when Fairhaven gained a little momentum with a three-pointer by senior Kayli Moniz, as well as a pair from Charette at the stripe, which provided the Blue Devils with a 34-30 advantage.

Although, the Blue Devils' lead was quickly erased, as the Bishops tallied 11 points and ended the third frame with a 41-39 lead before Fairhaven earned the lead for good from senior Kelsey Perron-Sovik’s jump shot.

“No matter who we play, I think what happens is [our opponent] underestimates the supporting cast. We have a lot of people that can finish and we can actually enjoy the double team at times because we’re working off of that,” said Perry.

“They played a solid game, they didn’t do anything wrong,” said Bancroft. “They rebounded well, they scored, they defended, and they were just better today.”

No Momentum for Archies: Despite a rather back and fourth three quarters, along with numerous lead changes, Bancroft didn’t believe his team gained any sort of momentum.

“I didn’t feel any momentum at all this game,” he said.

The Bishops ended the first half with a one-point advantage, as well as a two-point lead once the third quarter concluded. But missed shots, rebounds and turnovers hampered Archbishop Williams’ pursuit to preserve a lead.

Charette Appreciated the Physical Play: Both teams began the game recording numerous fouls and exhibiting physical play, but that didn’t seem to bother Charette, who claimed it somewhat helped her get in a groove and become more comfortable on the court.

“It’s great to be pushed around because I haven’t had that all season,” she said. “Getting pushed around is what it’s about, it’s the playoffs, and this is what’s supposed to happen.”

Even Perry agreed that the physical play somewhat helped his team, as well as get rid of the pre-game jitters out of the Blue Devils system, too.

“I think both teams were feeling each other out, nerves at this point, but I thought we fought through it,” added the head coach.

Next Stop -- TD Garden: Fairhaven will return to the hardwood on Tuesday when the Blue Devils face Pentucket in the MIAA Div. 3 State Semifinals, which certainly is something Charette is looking forward to playing in.

“It’s like a little redemption for Kara. She gave a couple speeches the last few weeks what it meant to the town, and what it mean to [her sister’s team four years ago],” said Coach Perry.

Charette seemed focused after Saturday’s game concluded, and explained that she’d like to finish this particular season with a championship for her sister’s team, which lost in the Div. III South semi-finals in 2008 to Cardinal Spellman.

“This is all about revenge for me, so this is awesome,” said Charette.

Hastings' gift a three-pete from Medfield

November, 20, 2010

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

On the occasion of Medfield volleyball head coach Jack Hastings’ 60th birthday, his team got him precisely what he wanted.

Yeah, they decorated the bus with streamers for the ride up to Algonquin Regional before Saturday’s Division II state title match. The Warriors also serenaded him in song.

But it was what his team bought him on the court, that was what Hastings really wanted.

“This what I told them, I told them my birthday was on the twentieth and that this is what I wanted,” Hastings said. “I wanted a state championship. They gave it to me.”

Medfield delivered on its promise to deliver Hastings his sixth state championship overall and the Warriors’ third straight with a 3-0 victory over Fairhaven.

“The program just keeps going and, obviously, with success, it does just keep on going,” Hastings said. “But if you asked me last year if we were going to be back here, I would have said no. But it’s just that … in the last four or five years, they pick each other up and say, ‘I like being here again,’ and do it.”

Medfield (25-0) continued its dominance, winning in straight games, 25-14, 26-24 and 25-18 to secure its 61st consecutive win overall. The Warriors didn’t drop a single set in the entire tournament.

The young Fairhaven (20-3) squad seized momentum momentarily in the second game, pushing ahead of Medfield, 10-5. However, the Warriors showed their experience, pushing ahead 17-16 on Kathleen Krah’s monster kill. The Blue Devils persevered and later took a 23-22 lead on a kill by Kara Charette. Medfield came back once again to close out the game with an ace by Julia Basiliere.

Despite the spirited play of Charette, who led all players with 19 kills, Fairhaven would get no closer.

“We made too many mistakes, that’s really what it comes down to,” Blue Devils head coach Karen Arsenault said. “We didn’t play like we played in the South sectional final. We didn’t play like we played against Melrose. This team [Medfield] was obviously the better team.”

Charette was mired in a duel with Medfield middle hitter Natalie Dickinson (16 kills) for most of the match.

It was a matchup worth watching between the Fairhaven junior and Dickinson, an imposing figure at 6-foot-3, who clutched her lucky “Hello Kitty” water bottle after the match while trying to re-hydrate.

“Their middles are really strong and their libero [Kayli Moniz], if you want to call her that, so as a team we just practiced accordingly to make sure we could shut [Charette] down because she’s their key,” Dickinson said. “That was our main goal.”