Boston High School: Turners Falls

D3 softball: Greater New Bedford 8, Turners Falls 3

June, 14, 2014
6/14/14
7:27
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WORCESTER, Mass. -- This time it was the newbie giving the prodigy a lesson in Softball 101.

Greater New Bedford Regional Voke reached its first Division 3 state final the hard way and the characteristics it gained from those experiences propelled the Bears to a 8-3 triumph over Turners Falls Saturday at Rockwood Field and a state championship to boot.

The Bears (22-9), a 15th seed in the South region, ran roughshod through the sectional tournament and state semifinal to get here. Although GNB was going up against a legendary coach and a team with a exclusive legacy, none of it seemed to matter.

Intimidated? Hardly.

The Bears got off the bus loose and relax and played that way throughout. Scoring three times in the opening frame, GNB set the tone early, never looking back. In that inning, the Bears placed two runners aboard against Indians pitcher Mackenzie Phillips before Krystin Sylvia (3 hits) brought both in with a line single. Sylvia's time on the base paths was brief after Marissa Pires stroked a single to center to make it 3-0. A pair of Turners Falls errors in the frame certainly didn't assist the cause.

"Our team really came together," said Sylvia, a junior. "Everyone pushed each other to do better all season. Winning our first playoff game over Bourne really set the tone for us and we all believed we could take it all the way to the state finals. We came into this like it is just another regular game for us."

Turners Falls (23-3) didn't know what hit them. The Indians plain and simple had no clue in how to solve GNB freshman pitcher Neely Eddleston. The righty curtailed Turners Falls' offense for most of the afternoon, holding them to nine hits and kept them off the scoreboard over the first six innings. She also fanned 11.

Phillips was not sharp, surrendering 16 hits. She left pitches over the plate and her curve wasn't biting. In the Bears' fifth, they put this game out of reach, scoring a pair on RBI from Pires and Brooke Tetreault to go up 5-0.

The frustration level increased for Turners Falls in the bottom of the frame. The Indians put two runners on but failed to score. In a nutshell, that was the way the afternoon went for them.

"I thought (GNB) really handled themselves well at the plate today," said Indians hall-of-fame head coach Gary Mullins. "I think they have seen many kids like Mackenzie over the season. Mackenzie didn't surprise any of them. We got some breaks to get to this game but today we didn't get any. That was a very good team we faced."

In the top of the sixth, the Bears offense continued to flex their muscle with Phillps continuing to find the terrain rough going. A single by Mollie Mayer and a double from Rileigh Avila (3 hits) set up Katelynn Couto's bloop single that plated both. Jen Pires followed by lashing a double to bring in GNB's eighth run.

"We knew [Phillips] likes to throw the fastball so we came out and attacked it and we saw a flaw with her curve in which she was showing it before the pitch," Bears head coach Mark Collins said. "We play in a very tough division [South Coast Conference] which seasons us up pretty good for games like this. I've got to thank my conference for getting us ready for this. It's never an easy day at the office in that conference."

After enduring six innings of silence at the plate, the Indians offense finally got to Eddleston some in the seventh. Morgan Ozdarski, Jenna Putala and Gabrielle Arzuaga took some of the sting out of the day driving in Turners Falls runs, but it wasn’t enough as Eddleston got out of further trouble to earn the victory.

"At the beginning of the game I was a little nervous but getting those three runs in the first inning was certainly a relief," Eddleston said. "After we got those runs I calmed down a lot. We felt once the postseason started that we could get here and now winning it is very exciting. I'm very happy for our seniors who now leave with a championship."

Turners Falls was looking to claim its seventh state title. They are now 6-6 in championship contests and remain tied with Apponequet Regional for the second most state championship wins all time. Bishop Fenwick leads with eight.

D3 Central/West: Turners Falls 5, Assabet Valley 1

June, 12, 2014
6/12/14
12:30
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WORCESTER, Mass. -- What would a state championship be without Turners Falls involved?

After a year's absence, the Indians are heading back to the Division 3 state finals. With six titles already to its credit, Turners Falls (23-2) will be seeking No. 7 when they match up against Greater New Bedford Voke (19-9) in the final Saturday here beginning at 1 p.m. The Indians are currently tied with Apponequet Regional for second most state softball titles. Only Bishop Fenwick, with eight, have more.

"This key to our success has been that all us get along and we all support each other," said junior Amber Caouette, who, along with teammate Jenna Putala, belted consecutive home runs in the fifth inning. "That was something we really didn't have last year and we lost (in the WMass final). There was really no connection within the team. But we have grown from it and moved on to this year. Now we are winning again so it's all good."

The Indians, who carry just two seniors, got to this point after rocking Assabet Valley, 5-1, on Wednesday. Turners Falls did what they do best – jump on the opposition early and not let them up for air. Against the Aztecs (21-5), the Indians claimed a 2-0 lead after the first inning on a two-run single by sophomore Mackenzie Phillips.

"Getting those runs early was huge," said legendary Indians coach Gary Mullins, now in his 35th season here. "It takes a little pressure off and calm most of us down. Assabet is a nice club. They hit the ball hard. I thought the top of their order is very tough. Going back to the state finals never gets old for us. For the most part it's a new group of girls who will get that experience."

Mullin's club knocked off Assabet in the 2012 state semifinal en route to the second of back-to-back state championships. Last year, the Aztecs defeated Mt. Everett in the semi round before winning it all.

Phillips, also the Indians' pitcher, didn't have her best stuff inside the circle but had enough to keep Assabet off-track. Phillips, who hurled a perfect game in her team's WMass final against Pathfinder on Saturday, scattered eight hits and picked up six strikeouts.

"If you said we would get eight hits before we played I would have told you that we won the game," Aztec head coach Mike O'Brien said.

Turners Falls picked up a solo run in the third. After loading the bases, Aztec pitcher Maddy Parmeter was called for an illegal pitch with two out, thus allowing Putala, who reached on an error, to trot in from third base.

While Phillips continued to frustrate the defending state champion Aztecs, her offense continued to provide her added run support. Any chance for Assabet to get back into this one proved futile after Putala and Caouette went yard to push the Indians' advantage to five runs.

"They hit two bombs over the fence which is something I have not seen since I've been coaching," O'Brien lamented. "That team has a lot of talent and their pitcher throws strikes and I wish them well in the final. Unfortunately we didn't come up with those clutch hits to keep us in the game. I wish we had the money swing today but all we had was loose change."

Shriners Football: West 13, Central 0

June, 22, 2013
6/22/13
12:28
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LEOMINSTER, Mass. -- Throughout the week leading up to the 13th Annual Shrine Chowder Bowl Classic, the Western Mass. all-stars were provided a daily history lesson by their coaches on the inadequacies of past teams who have come up short in this event.

It had been nine years since Western Mass. had last won this game. For many of these current players, they were just in elementary school at the time. With a collective promise to revamp history, Western Mass. succeeded in carrying out its promise
Friday night after shutting out the Central Mass. all-stars 13-0 at Doyle Field.

The Western Mass. defense was solid through all four quarters, keeping Central Mass. in check and forcing them into committing six turnovers, including five interceptions.

"This was a total team effort," said Springfield Central defensive back Tejano Smith, who finished with two picks. "We pushed each other and got through this. All week long we were saying when the ball is in the air it's ours."

In all, the defense held Central Mass. to just 149 yards. Anytime they tried to sustain a drive, it would end with a turnover. Western Mass piled up 237 yards of offense with East Longmeadow receiver Sam Blake hauling in four passes for 84 yards and Greenfield quarterback Zak Bartak completing 5-of-9 passes for 83 yards.

After a scoreless first quarter, Western Mass. got the break it was looking for early in the second. Smith stepped in front of a pass by Shrewsbury's Mike Coggeshall, putting the ball on the Central Mass. 28. A Blake 29 yard reception set the stage for Turners Falls running back Ryan Wilder to blast over the goal line from a yard out with 4:52 left before halftime to give Western Mass. a 6-0 lead after kicker Liam Murphy's PAT was blocked. Wilder also had a solid game as he rushed for 65 yards on 17 attempts.

"The offensive line did a great job tonight," said Wilder, who will play at Westfield State next fall. "They did a great job creating holes and getting the seams for me. It's been a pleasure coming out here and getting a win for Western Mass. It's been an awesome time doing this and getting to meet new people and making new friends."

Just prior to the half, Western Mass. had a chance to pad its lead. After Minnechaug's Demetri Strange partially blocked Shepherd Hill kicker Chris Dutting's punt, Western Mass. had the ball on its own 31. A 15-yard catch by West Springfield's Chris Lipscomb combined with a couple of runs from Springfield Central's Aaron Owens moved the ball to the Central Mass. 9 yard line. But Chicopee Comp quarterback Tom Duffy lost the handle off a snap that was recovered by Nashoba's Cam Rothfuss to deny the threat.

"We had a couple of turnovers which stung us a bit," Central Mass. and Auburn coach Jeff Cormier said. "I felt our kids played with a lot of heart. Western Mass. made some plays and key times and we needed a few more opportunities that we didn't get. We were in this game and I can't say enough about the quality of kids we have on this team.

"They battled to the end. The nature of these kids, on both teams, is they are all competitive. They didn't get here because they take plays off and I'm very proud of the way our kids especially competed tonight."

Leading by six at the break, Western Mass. knew the score was still to close for comfort. With the offense sporadic at best, it was no secret that the defense needed to continue its high-level of play for them to hold on. Early in the third, they did just that after Springfield Central defensive back Bryan Rivas picked off Leominster quarterback Garrett DelleChiaie. It was one of two interceptions made by Rivas on the night.

However the offense failed to get any points off the turnover. Another DelleChiaie pick by Smith went for naught early in the fourth after Murphy missed a 37 yard field goal attempt thus keeping the hopes of Central Mass. alive. But moments later, Coggeshall had his pass interception by St. Joesph's of Pittsfield defensive back Jon Bianchi.

Bianchi's interception had Western Mass. setting up camp on the Central Mass. 32. Not about to let this latest opportunity fall by the way side, Wilder ran off tackle for 16 yards, and moments later, Duffy connected with Blake for a 13 yard scoring strike with 3:54 remaining. Following Murphy's PAT, Western Mass. was now in control leading by 13.

"Sam Blake was open all night," Duffy said. "He's an incredible athlete. I knew all I had to do was throw it up there and he would catch it. Our coaches preached to us every day that we were 1-10-1 against Central Mass. overall and we knew we had so much talent coming out of the west this year. We had a two hour ride to get here and we didn't want to come here for nothing. It's a very humbling experience to be here and I feel honored to have played in this game."

On the final Central Mass. possession of the evening, they managed to drive to the Western Mass. 30 in hopes of avoiding the shut out. However, the defense continued to prosper, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs and allowing Western Mass. to run out the clock and celebrate after nine grueling years. Central Mass. still holds a 10-2-1 lead in the series.

West softball: Agawam, Mt. Everett claim titles

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
12:51
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AMHERST, Mass. -- For those who live outside the greater Springfield area, you probably have never heard of Allison Wheeler -- yet.

Wheeler is a freshman pitcher for the Agawam Brownies but certainly does not play like one. At Sunday's Division 1 Western Mass. final, Wheeler, showcasing outstanding movement with all of her pitches, silenced the Longmeadow offense in the form of a 1-0 victory at UMass.

With the win, the fourth-seeded Brownies (17-6) claim their second consecutive district title. They now move on to Wednesday's state semifinal versus Marlborough here beginning at 5 p.m. Last year, Agawam fell to Milford in the semifinal round.

"Allison has really come into her own this season," Brownies coach Kathy Georgina said. "Today she put the ball where she needed to. We had played Longmeadow twice before (earning a split) and we had studied their hitters. We had them all mapped out and Allison put the ball where she needed to so they couldn't hit it. For a freshman, her maturity and composure is truly amazing."

Entering this tilt, all talk focused around two young upstart pitchers who offer little to opposing offenses. Wheeler's counterpart, sophomore Jillian Stockley, also performed well in this one. But Wheeler was a tad better. The right-hander issued a first-inning single and then proceeded to keep the second-seeded Lancers quiet for the remainder of this tilt. She also picked up seven strikeouts. Stockley gave up five hits and fanned eight giving her 225 for the year.

"We just fought the whole way and wanted this so bad," Wheeler said. "My defense made some big plays for me and I owe a lot to my catcher Rielly Wieners. She keeps me calm. I love her and I'm so excited that we get to keep going."

Stockley's lone mistake came in the Brownies first inning. Danielle Stratton led off with a bunt single. Faith Rheault then reached on an error. After a sacrifice bunt from Paige Circosta advanced both runners, Wieners hit a fly to left that was deep enough for Stratton to tag up and score on.

"I think our experience played out in getting that first run," said Georgina. "We came here and weren't nervous. I think they were a little nervous maybe in that first inning and we took advantage of that to get that run across."

From that point forward that would be the only offense put forth by both clubs as Wheeler and Stockley took over and made life difficult in the batter's box. Agawam managed to get two base runners to second in the later innings but Stockley left them stranded there.

"We knew going in we had to get some timely, clutch hits," said Longmeadow coach Steve Marcil, after his team finished at 17-5. "Wheeler pitched very well. We just didn't get a lot of good swings on her. Agawam played a great game. Danielle [Stratton] is probably the mentally-toughest kids I've ever coached. She has a plan for every pitch and every at bat. She's all business. She's just a phenomenal competitor and a great kid."

Mount Everett 3, Turners Falls 0
History says to beat a reigning state power like Turners Falls you need to be as close to perfect as one possibly can. be. The Indians have earned that reputation having won six state championships.

On Sunday, Mount Everett played near-flawless and certainly did enough to thwart the defending two-time Division 3 state champions 3-0 in the Western Mass. final played at UMass.

Much of the credit goes to Eagles hurler Alicia Bazonski. The hard-throwing righty curtailed the Indians' powerful bats throughout. After surrendering two first inning singles, the junior righty issued no more the rest of the way. At one point she set down 13 Indians in a row. Bazonski also registered six strike outs.

"This feels really good," said Bazonski, clutching her team's first district title trophy. "We knew Turners is a really good hitting team so I was just trying to keep them off-balance as much as I could. Fortunately, I was able to."

Mount Everett (22-1), the top seed, advances to Tuesday's state semifinal to be played here against Central Mass. champ Assabet Valley beginning at 5 p.m.
Having lost to the Indians in this game two years ago, Mount Everett, located in Sheffield, finally gained a little payback.

"We've been close a few times at winning this but always fell short," Eagles head coach Kurt DeGrenier said. "We live in a very tiny community so our whole community truly deserves this. Alicia [Bazonski] is the total package. I'm glad we've got her and nobody else does. She never gets rattled and never gives in. Turners has the best team in Western Mass for the last 20 years so beating them today is very special."

Mount Everett jumped ahead 1-0 in their half of the second against Indians ace Dakota Smith-Porter (CG, 4 hits, 2 Ks). Samantha Hoover walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on Emily Coon's bloop single that landed on the foul line beyond third base. On the play, Indians left fielder Amber Caouette bobbled the ball allowing Hoover to sprint home.

While No. 2 Turners Falls (20-3) bats continued to grow listless against Bazonski, the Eagles threatened to add to its lead in the fourth.

Bazonski opened with a walk. With Kayla Krom pinch-running, Hoover laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Krom to second. Alex Hoover then sent a flare to left. Caouette charged the ball, played it on a hop, and fired a laser to Indians catcher Morgan Ozdarski who tagged out Krom. On the play, Hoover took off for second but Ozdarski alertly fired a strike to second baseman Jenna Putala, who placed the tag on a sliding Hoover to end the inning.

In the sixth, the Eagles made amends after scoring a pair. Haley Finn singled. Morgan DeGrenier laid down a bunt. Ozdarski picked it up and threw it into right field. Brittany York, the right fielder, let the ball go past her with Finn crossing the plate. DeGrenier, taking third on the double error, scored moments later on Natasha MacLeay's ground out.

"I felt one run wasn't going to be enough," Bazonski said. "We knew we needed to get some more and we did."

Bazonski retired the Indians in order in the top of the seventh to deny them a chance for a third straight state crown.

"We hit a few balls hard and they made the catches," Turners Falls coach Gary Mullins said. "Their pitcher was tough and we couldn't handle it. We made three errors today and I don't think we've made three errors in over a month."

Recap: Hampshire Regional 12, Turners Falls 0

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
1:26
AM ET
WESTHAMPTON, Mass. _ Nine days ago, Hampshire Regional was throughly embarrassed. The Red Raiders were beaten handily by Turners Fall High School 15-2 in Montague. For seven-year head coach Brian McGan, it marked the first time he had encountered a mercy-ruled defeat.

On Wednesday, the two softball powers met again. Only this time, it was Hampshire who had the last laugh. The old adage ‘what goes around comes around’ proved never more effective as the Red Raiders throttled the Indians 12-0 in a five-inning, mercy-ruled victory.

Still stinging from that defeat, the Red Raiders entered this contest with a purpose. They wasted little time exorcizing the demons of a week ago after scoring four runs in the first, and putting this one well out of reach with a six run third.

“We were ready to play and we brought it today,” said Hampshire pitcher Ashlee McGan, who scattered three hits, struck out five and also went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI. “That loss was in our heads so we definitely wanted to come back stronger against them today. We wanted this one really bad. I don’t think we were mentally set for that earlier game and that kind of put us in our place in preparation for this game.”

With the win, the Red Raiders improve to 13-1 and will no doubt use this latest triumph as a spring board towards another deep run into the postseason. Since 2010, Hampshire has reached the Division 2 Western Mass. finals four times and has moved on to the state semifinals twice.

For defending two-time Division 3 state champion Turners Falls (13-2), this loss is merely a hic-up. Despite the blowout, the Indians still have enough talent reach the state finals once again.

“They came to our place and we did the same to them,” 34-year Turners Falls coach Gary Mullins said. “Revenge can be a very powerful tool as it showed today. We have no excuses. That team just came out and flat out beat us. They have some very good hitters on that team who swing the bats well. I still think we are much-better than what we showed today. We’ll just have to see what happens from here.”

As Hampshire showed from the outset, what transpired in that first meeting would not be repeated. The Red Raiders showed tremendous patients at the plate against Indians’ hard-throwing righty Dakota Smith-Porter. The senior was having difficulty locating her spots, falling behind in the count frequently. When she was in a position having to groove a pitch, the Red Raiders sat back and jumped all over it.

Smith-Porter ran into trouble immediately. In the first inning, Hampshire loaded the bases before Marissa Sarna-McCarthy roped an opposite field two-run double to right field. After a wild pitch plated the Red Raiders’ third run, McGan followed with an RBI single to put Hampshire on top 4-0.

In the third, the Red Raiders blew the doors open. Junior Anna Dziok opened the frame by ripping an 0-2 fastball deep over the left field fence for a home run. Bri Weltlich followed with a doubled and took third on a wild pitch. Smith-Porter next walked McCarthy spelling the end of day inside the circle. Senior Tanisha Sanders was brought on in the hopes of getting the Indians out of the jam.

But Lilly West had other ideas. The freshman belted a two-run double to right. Hampshire would go ahead 8-0 moments later after eighth-grader Paige Sullivan grounded a single to left, plating West. The Red Raiders sent two more across the plate the frame on a passed ball and a Savannah Waters sacrifice fly. Hampshire went up by a dozen in the fourth following McGan’s two-run single. McGan, who will pitch for Keene State College next year, finished off Turners Falls in the top of the fifth to cap off this statement-making victory.

“I couldn’t be more prouder of the way our girls hit the ball today,” Brian McGan said. “They kept their heads down, swung the bats and didn’t swing at bad pitches. We knew Dakota [Smith-Porter] has a good rise ball and we try to emulate that during practice. We focus in trying to lay off of it and concentrate on the balls that are coming at our waists. I felt our girls had a little something to prove this time around against them. Today we managed to swing bats well and Ashlee pitched a great game and moved the ball well all-around the strike zone.”

Preseason MIAA softball All-State Team

April, 9, 2013
4/09/13
11:19
PM ET
MilfordBrendan Hall/ESPNBoston.comReigning ESPN Boston Miss Softball Award winner Shannon Smith hopes to lead Milford to back-to-back Division 1 state titles.
STARTING ROTATION
Megan Colleran, Jr., North Attleborough
Anna O'Neill, Sr., King Philip
Lauren Ramirez, Sr., Dracut
Kendal Roy, Jr., Grafton
Shannon Smith, Sr., Milford

STARTING NINE
Tori Constantin, Sr. 2B, King Philip
Stephanie Cornish, Sr. 3B, Abington
Alexis DeBrosse, Sr. SS, New Bedford
Caroline Fairbanks, Sr. 3B, Milford
Nicole Lundstrom, Sr. C, Dighton-Rehoboth
Bella Picard, Sr. SS, Blackstone Valley Tech
Madi Shaw, Jr. SS, Bridgewater-Raynham
Dakota Smith-Porter, Sr., P/SS, Turners Falls
Reilly Weiners, Sr. C, Agawam

WATCH LIST
Olivia Antczak, Soph. P, Central Catholic
Allie Colleran, Jr. SS/OF, Concord-Carlisle
Megan Cook, Jr. P, Bellingham
Haley Currie, Sr. 3B, Burlington
Sara Dawson, Soph. P, Bridgewater-Raynham
Kaleigh Finigan, Sr. 3B, St. Mary's (Lynn)
Bridget Furlong, Sr. 2B, Malden
Courtney Girouard, Jr. P, Fairhaven
Galen Kerr, Sr. P, Concord-Carlisle
Taylor LeBrun, Soph. C, Milford
Rachel Levine, Sr. CF, Milford
Michaela Mazure, Soph. INF, Burlington
Shannon McLaughlin, Jr. P, Tewksbury
Paige Mulry, Jr. C, Boston Latin
MacKenzie Navarro, Jr. 1B, Taunton
Alicia Reid, Sr. CF, Abington
Kelsey Saucier, Jr. P, Holy Name
Rachael Smith, Jr. P, Winchester
Lauren Tuiskula, Sr. P, Leicester
Jurnee Ware, Sr. P, Hudson

D3 softball: Turners Falls claims 6th state title

June, 16, 2012
6/16/12
5:58
PM ET


WORCESTER, Mass. -- If this was indeed Gary Mullins’ final game as head coach, then the long-time mentor of the Turners Falls softball program leaves on his terms as champion.

Today, in the Division 3 state final held at Worcester State University’s Rockwood Field, the Indians captured their sixth state title with a 4-0 triumph over Case.

The sixth crown ties Apponoquet Regional with second most all-time in the state. Only Bishop Fenwick has attained more with eight.

Following the victory, Mullins did not want to dicuss his uncertain future, but instead focus the attention on his team.

“I thought the kids played some real-nice softball today,” said Mullins, who wrapped up his 33rd season with an incredible overall record of 553-131. “The kids really stepped up today. It was pretty impressive.”

Case (18-8) entered this tilt looking for some redemption following last year’s 1-0 loss to Indians in the finals. Senior pitcher Shannon Orton (4 H, 11 K) came out poised and strong striking out seven of the first eight batters she faced. Likewise, Turners Falls hurler Dakota Smith-Porter (1 hit allowed) was equally stout in the pitcher’s circle. Although not registering as many strikeouts (3) as Orton, nonetheless, the junior was pitching to contact and allowing her defense to make the plays behind her.

“The way [Turners Falls] was playing defense, they weren’t outstanding but they were solid," said Cardinals coach Norm Beauchemin, whose club began the year 0-4. “You put the ball in the air they’re going to catch it. For us, Shannon has been great for us all year and started out very strong today. But after a while good hitters are going to catch up to her. Last year I wasn’t too happy walking off this field but this year I have nothing to be sad about. Our girls gave me what they had and today the better team won."

In the second inning, Case looked as thought it would get on the board first. Orton led off the frame with a double to right-center. With Samantha Gouveia inserted as a pinch-runner, she would advance to third on Mary Vanlingen’s sacrifice bunt. Kadie Sullivan was then hit by a pitch and proceeded to steal second, putting two in scoring position with only one out.

Jenna Reposa next hit a medium-deep fly ball to left. With Couveia tagging on the play, Indians’ left fielder Amber Caouette threw a strike to catcher Morgan Ozdarski, who applied the tag on Couveia and the threat had vanished.

“That was a big play," Mullins said. “We made the plays today and did the right things the entire game so I was extremely pleased."

Turners Falls would finally get to Orton in the its half of the fourth. The right hander lost a bit of control by walking Jenna Putala and Jenna Costa to open the inning. Smith-Porter then stepped to the plate and promptly drove a double off of the centerfield fence giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

While Smith-Porter appeared to get stronger inside the circle as the game progressed, the Cardinals had no answers in how to attack her. While at the time a two-run lead appeared safe the way Smith-Porter was dealing, the Indians had no intentions of letting up.

“Dakota played like an absolute champion today," added Mullins. “She came through big time for us. She had that big hit in the fourth and gave us seven full innings in the pitcher’s circle. She should be extremely proud in what she has done. She’s a terrific athlete and a great kid."

Turners Falls added to its total in the sixth. Costa walked and swiped second. Orton then retired the next two batters leaving it up to Tanisha Sanders. The junior (11-for-17 in the postseason) didn’t disappoint as she belted an 0-2 fastball over the left field fence for some added insurance.

“I was thinking anything close you have to swing,” Sanders said. “I don’t always do well in an 0-2 hole but I came through today and am proud of myself.”

Smith-Porter proceeded to set down Case in order in the top of the seventh, sparking a jovial celebration on the diamond.

“I was thinking anything close you have to swing,” said Sanders. “I don’t always do well in an 0-2 hole but I came through today and am proud of myself.”

LAST HURRAH?
Concerning Mullins’ immediate future. All of this came about recently when he announced that he would retire as a physical education teacher at Turners Falls. Mullins still wanted to remain on as part-time AD, however, but because the teaching and AD positions are considered part-time and are linked together and viewed as full-time, he was told that he could no longer serve as AD. With that notion decided, Mullins was later told he most-likely would not be retained as boys' basketball coach where he has already claimed 300 victories, and could also lose out on softball too, should someone in the school system apply for the position. Mullins was informed that he could re-apply for both coaching positions but with no guarantee he will be retained.

According to local residents, blame has been cast towards school administrators and committee members. For whatever reason, whether it be jealousy or dislike, they are trying to push Mullins out. Forgetting the fact that it is Mullins who is responsible for putting this small high school and the town of Montague on the map with his coaching success, particularly in softball. Over the last couple of weeks, Mullins has received a tremendous amount of support from local townspeople and former and present players alike in an effort to keep him on as coach. School administrators and committee members have gone silent regarding the situation despite the outcries which have come their way.

Hope is that something will be done relatively soon. Without a doubt, the right thing to do is allow Mullins to continue to coach both sports for as long as he wants to.

How can you argue with his success?

D3 EMass softball: Case 4, Matignon 3

June, 13, 2012
6/13/12
12:53
AM ET
LOWELL, Mass. –- After tearing her ACL in December, Case senior pitcher Shannon Orton had an important decision to make. If she chose to undergo surgery she would not be able to compete with her teammates in her final high school season and attempt to win that elusive state championship. Orton decided to rehabilitate the injury and pitch through the pain with the support of a brace on her knee.

Her decision continued to pay off as Orton and her teammates will have another shot at the MIAA Division 3 championship on Friday as Case defeated Matignon 4-3 in the Eastern Mass. D3 championship game on Tuesday night.

“I postponed the surgery so that I could hopefully get back to another state championship,” Orton said. “We all fell short last year and I knew that this team had the potential to do it. After talking to my doctor and getting his okay I worked hard in the gym, with my pitching coach and with these girls. We all worked hard and we will have another shot at it.”

Orton and Matignon senior starting pitcher Lauren Doneski both pitched strong games as they both battled out of multiple middle-inning, bases-loaded jams to keep the game close and both of their teams alive.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning, Orton appeared to tweak her injured knee between innings as she took the mound. Orton battled through the injury and remained in the game. Despite giving up a run in the inning the senior buckled down and got out of any future trouble with a strikeout and a big defensive play from third baseman Kelsey Pacheco.

“She is tough,” Case head coach Norm Beauchemin said of Orton. “She tweaks a knee and she still comes back. She is as tough as nails and she is determined this year.”

Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Case (18-7) overcame a two-run deficit to plate three runs and take a 4-3 lead. Orton led off the inning with a walk followed by singles from Mary VanLingen and Kadie Sullivan. With the bases loaded, junior shortstop Jenna Reposa ripped a base hit to left field that that eluded the leftfielder scoring all three runs.

“Even though we made some minor mistakes throughout the game we found the strength to get together and get it done,” Orton said. “We found a way to put those hits together at the end and Jenna had a great hit.”

With their first lead since the third inning Orton would rear back to strike out two batters and seal the win for Case.

“This journey has been a long journey,” Beauchemin said. “We survived today and the kids never quit. Even the games we lost during the course of the season we always had a chance to win. These girls never ever give up. They are as tough as nails, they are determined and they have a lot of confidence in each other.”

Doneski Shines: Despite Matignon’s loss Doneski had an amazing run on the mound and at the plate for the Warriors. She provided the game’s two best hits with a pair of 200 foot doubles over the head of Case’s outfielders. The first of her two doubles drove in a run and the senior also scored twice for Matignon (17-9) .

Doneski also mixed up her pitches to keep Case on their toes all night. Doneski was also involved in four putouts on the evening as she did a great job fielding her position.

Rematch: Case returns to Saturday’s state title game to face a familiar foe in Central/ Western Mass. champion Turners Falls.

Turners Falls defeated Assabet Valley 6-5 in the D3 Central/Western Mass. championship game on Tuesday night.

Turners Falls also defeated Case last season 1-0 in Worcester to claim the MIAA D3 crown. Orton threw a gem for Case but fell short to the shutout performance of Turners Falls’ hurler Emily Mailloux.

“It is really exciting,” Orton said. “We have worked real hard and stayed together as one unit the entire season. We are ready.”

Roundtable: Predicting the MIAA tournaments

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
11:45
AM ET
Today, with the MIAA Baseball and Softball tournaments set to begin, the lacrosse tournament in its first action, we roll out predictions from ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents.

BOYS LACROSSE

Scott Barboza
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor


DIVISION 1 EASTERN MASS.

Final - Duxbury over Acton-Boxborough
Why this pick: Really?

DIVISION 2

Eastern Mass.
Final - Concord-Carlisle over Hingham

Central
Final - Algonquin over Grafton

West
*Brackets to be released

State Final
Concord-Carlisle over Algonquin
Why this pick: The Patriots defend better than just about anybody in the state, save for No. 1 Duxbury. While C-C might not overwhelm with offense, they're still talented up top with Will Blumenberg and Jackson Finigan.

Division 3 EMass
Final - Dover-Sherborn over Norwell
Why this pick: Because it has to be the Raiders' year eventually, right?

SOFTBALL

Scott Barboza
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor


Division 1

North
Final - Malden over Boston Latin

South
Final - King Philip over Bridgewater-Raynham

Central
Final - Milford over Shrewsbury

West
Final - Agawam over Minnechaug

State final - Milford over King Philip
Why this pick: The Scarlet Hawks have been the most consistent team box to wire. And there's Shannon Smith, who's been unreal this season.

Division 2

North
Final - Dracut over Burlington

South
Final - Coyle-Cassidy over Fairhaven

Central
Final - Grafton over Notre Dame Academy

West
Final - Hampshire over Wahconah

State Final - Dracut over Grafton
Why this pick: The Middies beat up on a deep Merrimack Valley Conference schedule this season. That'll make the postseason seem a little easier.

Division 3

North
Final - St. Mary's (Lynn) over Greater Lowell

South
Final - Greater New Bedford over Avon

Central
Final - Blackstone Valley Tech over Assabet

West
Final - Turners Falls over Franklin County Tech

State final - Greater New Bedford over Blackstone Valley Tech
Why this pick: As mentioned in my bold prediction, I think the Bears will enter well adapted to playoff softball.

BASEBALL

Brendan Hall
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor


DIVISION 1

North: Lowell
The No. 1 seed Red Raiders have one of the state’s toughest draws to start, in a pairing I like to call the “Group of Death” in the upper left quadrant of the bracket. To get to the semifinals, the Raiders have to face the winner of tonight’s Westford-Salem matchup, followed by the winner of Chelmsford and Malden Catholic. Should they make it to the semifinals, the presumptive opponent would likely be Peabody -– and you have to think the Tanners will roll out ace Pat Ruotolo in that matchup.

If the Raiders can survive all of that -– which they can, with a deep stable of hitters and one of the state’s best rotations in Matt Tulley, Chad Gens and R.J. Noel –- why shouldn’t they win this bracket?

South: BC High
“Group of Death 1-A” might be the lower left quadrant in this bracket –- Barnstable, Catholic Memorial, Framingham and the Eagles. A win over Framingham would pit the Eagles against either CM or Barnstable –- neither of which is an easy out by any stretch – and after that, you have to think there is vengeance on their minds at the possibility of facing Franklin again in the semifinals (the Panthers crushed BC High last year, plating 17 runs). A BC High-Xaverian final isn’t out of the question here.

Central: St. John’s of Shrewsbury
No team in the state has been as consistent as the Pioneers, who swept St. John’s Prep, didn’t allow a run in two games against Burncoat, and came back around to clobber their lone losses (BC High, New Bedford) the second time through. Look for Ben White, Mike Badjo and company to beat Milford in a much-anticipated final.

West: East Longmeadow
This is the last chance for the Spartans, who have been placed with lofty expectations since the town won the state American Legion title two summers ago. If Steve Moyers, Matt O’Neil and company can’t get it done this year, then when?

State Champion: Lowell
One of the state’s great baseball cities gets a state title to call its own, while Tulley and Gens go down as two of the Mill City’s best ever.

DIVISION 2

North: Danvers
North Andover is the No. 1 seed for the second straight year, but Danvers has the big-game experience to overcome everybody else in this bracket. Potential semifinal matchups with either Lynn Classical or Reading will be must-see.

South: Plymouth North
This is my bold prediction of the playoffs. Few teams across the state have a track record like Eagles skipper Dwayne Follette when it comes tournament time, and if they can get by Dennis-Yarmouth in the quarterfinals –- a team they lost to twice this season –- I can see them overcoming Hingham or Oliver Ames. Top seed Dighton-Rehoboth lost to the Eagles in last year’s final, by the way –- could we see this again in 2012?

The Eagles are aggressive on the basepaths and at the plate, in a unique brand of baseball my loyal legion of Twitter followers have dubbed “DwayneBall”. How this hasn’t become a hashtag until 2012 is anyone’s guess, but let’s get this trending, fellas.

Central: Auburn
Rockets have the clearest path to the final, whereas No. 1 seed Northbridge might have to avoid an upset from feisty Hudson in the quarterfinals. The Rockets also hold the advantage over Northrbridge in the regular season.

West: Monument Mountain
More than Pittsfield or Taconic, everyone out west says this is the best team in the Berkshires. And the fact the Spartans have been doing it all without Columbia-bound shortstop John Kinne, who has been out all season, is even more impressive.

State Champion: Plymouth North
A seven-loss state champion? Better believe it. I like the Eagles’ chances in any given year, to be honest.

DIVISION 3

North: Lynnfield
Or to put it more bluntly, I like any team from the Cape Ann League taking this field.

South: Coyle-Cassidy
Mac Curran gets most of the attention, but this is a squad that dominated the Eastern Athletic Conference, has won 10 of its last 11, and is among the state’s stingiest defenses (2 runs allowed per game). A potential semifinal matchup with Wareham is very intriguing.

Central: Maynard
Bryant University commit Mike Marshall has been as good as advertised for the Tigers, but he’s not alone. The Tigers have five starters batting over .375, led by Marshall, and will dole out ace righty Ben Chiasson, a Franklin Pierce commit who has been one of Central Mass.’s best (7-1, 51 IP, 83 K, 12 BB, 0.96 ERA).

West: Frontier
Frontier and Pioneer Valley (the top two seeds in this field) split the regular-season series, but I’m going to go with Frontier unseating the defending Division 3 runners-up. Quality bats in the Frontier lineup, let by Keith Spencer, Rylan Baronas and Niko Ames -– those three have a combined 64 RBI between them.

State Champion: Coyle-Cassidy
We could end up with a heck of a pitchers’ duel at Fitton Field if it’s Coyle’s Curran against Maynard’s Chiasson, but for now that’s just wishful thinking of course.

Andy Smith
Correspondent


Division 1 North: St. John’s Prep
Coach Pat Yanchus said Saturday his team isn’t hitting the way he’d like them to be going into the tournament, but they have enough strong pitching and defense to carry the bats if needed. Plus, given the way the bracket is laid out, it’s hard not to see Prep cruising to at least the semi-finals. I think they can win the final two games and take the North.

Division 1 South: Norwood
8-0 over its last 8 games. Call it a crazy pick, but I never bet against the Big Mo...mentum.

Division 1 Central: St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Hard to find a team that has played as well as SJS has against against a schedule as tough as SJS had this season. I can’t see any team taking SJS down in this bracket. I think this is a state finals team.

Division 1 West: Springfield Cathedral
Cathedral went 18-2 and won four games all year by more than 3 runs. That type of experience with small deficits can only help in the playoffs, where most games are the tightly-contested, grind-it-out type.

Division 1 State Champion: St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
If I think long enough, I could talk myself into Prep winning D1, but SJS has been playing too well for too long for me to think someone will take them down in these playoffs.

Division 2 North: Danvers
The Falcons have outscored opponents 33-14 in the past five games. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say Saturday night’s 8-2 loss to St. John’s Prep was a reminder of the difficulties that lie ahead in the playoffs. I look for them to go all the way.

Division 2 South: Dennis-Yarmouth
Same rationale as D1 South: D-Y is 10-0 in its last 10 games. I’ll take the team with the most momentum going into the playoffs and feel good about it.

Division 2 Central: Northbridge
Important rule to follow: If you want to keep getting assignments, don’t bet against ESPNBoston.com Editor David Lefort's alma mater. Northbridge it is.

Division 2 State Champion: Northbridge over D-Y
I can’t see a team from the West making it to the state title game. Ultimately, I don’t think Danvers has enough pitching to make it to the finals. I’m taking Northbridge here because of nothing more than a gut feeling. I could very well be wrong here. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Division 3 North: Newburyport
They won Division 3 last season. Their longtime coach retired at the end of last year, but here they are again. This veteran team was two wins away from the No. 1 seed in this bracket. Give me the team that’s been there before. I trust them to do it again.

Division 3 South: Coyle-Cassidy
This bracket is Coyle's to lose. Two of its three losses this season came against Dartmouth, and that team isn’t in this bracket. C&C is an easy pick here.

Division 3 Central: Oxford
This team is capable of putting up a lot of runs when it needs to (scored double-digit runs eight times this season). I like teams with firepower, so I’m picking Oxford here.

Division 3 State Champion: Newburyport
For all the reasons mentioned in the bold prediction.

John Botelho
Staff Writer, Brockton Enterprise


South Section Champions:

Division 1: BC High
The offense has been top notch all season, and probably features more future NCAA D1 hitters than any lineup affiliated with the MIAA. Put metal bats in their hands after using wood all year, and the Eagles will bash their to a South crown.

Division 2: Oliver Ames
Hall of Fame coach Leo Duggan seems to have a knack for developing pitching. Ryan O'Shea, a Central Michigan commit who was supposed to be the staff ace, has thrown four innings this year because of a shoulder injury. The Tigers didn't miss a beat early and raced out to a commanding lead they never relinquished in the Hockomock League Davenport Division. Their path won't be an easy one, but David Holmes (4-0, 1.35 ERA) is as good as any pitcher in this sectional. If he beats Pembroke, one of the Tigers' younger pitchers will have to find a way to pitch OA past a very good Hingham team but this team is capable of playing with anyone, and comes into the tourney battle tested from Hockomock League play.

Division 3: East Bridgewater
The Vikings and Coyle & Cassidy will get a lot of play here, but E-B just seems to have the clearest bracket. Coyle will have to go through Apponequet or Rockland in the quarterfinals before squaring off with the likes of a string Wareham or Middleboro team just to reach the finals. The Warriors are loaded with pitching, led by Mac Curran and Donny May, who both sports sub-1.00 ERAs this year, but they have less room for error than East Bridgewater does. A match-up featuring these two teams in the final would be ideal, as they're probably the two most complete teams in this sectional.

State Champs

Div. 1: BC High beats Lowell in EMass final, then takes out Steve Moyers and East Longmeadow in the state title game.
Div. 2: Danvers beats Monument Mountain in state title game.
Div. 3: Lynnfield beats Pioneer Valley in state title game.

Secret to Turners Falls' softball success

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
12:45
PM ET


MONTAGUE, Mass. -- With an enrollment of less than 400, Turners Falls High School is one of the smallest public schools in Massachusetts.

Yet, for its size, Turners Falls, based just a few short miles from the start of the Mohawk Trail in the Berkshires, has forged an incredible legacy. This school continues to add to its already extensive softball resume. The Indians have made 10 state championship appearances, winning five, including last year's triumph over Joseph Case High School in the Division 3 final.

[+] EnlargeTurners Falls softball
Scott Barboza for ESPNBoston.comTurners Falls softball head coach Gary Mullins has guided the Indians to more than 500 victories and five state titles in his 33 seasons.
Only Bishop Fenwick (eight) and Apponequet Regional (six) have laid claim to more titles. Incidentally, both of those schools house larger student enrollments. At Turners Falls, the numbers don't change all that much from year to year in a community of about 8,000.

Despite the low number of students, Turners Falls remains a driving force statewide, year after year. This season, things are no different. The Indians currently sit at 10-1, having clinched another postseason berth and now look to build upon their lasting reputation by trying to add another state crown to their growing trophy case.

“It’s the best feeling in the world to win a state championship", said senior outfielder Jenna Costa, who will attend AIC next year. “After you do it once you want to do it every year.”

The architect behind this juggernaut is Gary Mullins. A quiet, humble man, Mullins is in the midst of his 33rd season with the Indians. He is regarded by his peers and players, both past and present, as one of the best at his trade. Since taking the reins here, Mullins has never had a losing season. Along with the five state titles, Mullins' clubs have also collected 14 district titles. His overall record here is an unprecedented 541-130.

"Gary has brought this program to another level,” said assistant coach Mark Sullivan, who has worked alongside Mullins for the last 19 years. “Winning Western Mass. championships is great, but more importantly, the talk now is what do we need to do to get back to Worcester and win another state championship.”

When you have put up the kind of results Turners Falls has, winning district championships is no longer the standard. This program has earned the right to raise the bar higher.

"At the start of the season the girls are asked to write down their personal goals and their team goals," said Mullins, who is 60. "I also write them a letter at the start of the season and tell them of the program's success and their chance to continue it. I do think that some of the girls aspire to be a state champion but honestly lady luck often determines the last team standing. We do believe we have a chance every year, that it is not just a dream. Right now we are doing OK but we know that in no way are we ready to compete with the top teams in the state. However, that being said, we are working towards that goal."

(Read full post)

Preseason MIAA softball Top 25 poll

April, 1, 2012
4/01/12
12:21
PM ET
The preseason MIAA softball Top 25 poll is posted here.

Defending Division 1 state champion King Philip picked up where the Warriors left off, coming into the season as our No. 1 squad. Returning Central D1 title winner Milford checks in at the No. 2 spot with Acton-Boxborough, Bridgewater-Raynham and Chelmsford rounding out the Top Five.

Western Mass is also well-represented with D1 favorite Agawam starting the season at No. 6 and perennial D3 power Turners Falls at No. 22.

As always, let us know how we're doing in the comments section below, or by emailing Scott Barboza at sbarboza@espnboston.com

Bay State Games: Day 4 Recap

July, 9, 2011
7/09/11
1:34
AM ET
Courtesy Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

ICE HOCKEY
New England Sports Center – Marlboro, MA

Boys Scholastic

Northeast 3, Metro 2
Northeast mounted a comeback to defeat Metro in a thriller, 3-2. Metro scored both goals with less than a minute to go in the first period. The first goal was scored on a perfectly executed two-on-one as Conal Lynch (Charlestown, Boston Latin) threw a centering pass to Kevin Cotrone (West Roxbury, Boston Latin) who finished it off for the first goal of the game. Just 40 seconds later, Northeast got an unfortunate bounce as Metro’s Brendan Kerrigan (South Boston, BB&N) fired a centering pass that deflected off a defenseman’s skate and into the net. Leading 2-1 going into the third period, Metro maintained its relentless fore check and kept Metro from sustained offensive pressure. With less than five minutes remaining, Northeast found momentum when Tyler McKelvie (Acton, Acton Boxboro HS) corralled the puck off the boards and drove the net, splitting both defenders and sliding the puck past the goaltender. Northeast continued the charge, scoring the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winning goal with two and half minutes remaining. Northeast was able to hold strong in the final minutes despite Metro getting numerous scoring chances, as Alex Buckley (Newburyport, Newburyport HS) stood tall in net.

Central 13, West 0
Central pulled away in the second period to defeat West, 13-0. West struggled to get an attack going after taking four first period penalties, but did play solid defense and only gave up one goal in the opening frame. The Central attack was led by the line of Tyler Kirby (Hudson, Hudson HS), Blake Seymour (Hudson, Hudson HS), and Kyle Griffin (Marlborough, Marlborough HS). Kirby tallied four goals in all. Seymour recorded three assists, and Griffin had a goal and four assists in the win. Nick Stasack (West Springfield, Loomis-Chaffee Prep) and Tommy McCarthy (Longmeadow, Longmeadow HS) combined for the shutout in net.

Coastal 5, Southeast 3
Junior forward Ryan Gouveia (Dartmouth, Dartmouth HS) scored twice including the game-winner and added an assist to lead Coastal over Southeast, 5-3. Joe Kingsbury (Plymouth, Plymouth North), Jonathan Hart (Bridgewater, Bridgewater-Raynham HS) and Daniel Magalhaes (Fairhaven, Bishop Stang) rounded out the scoring for the winners. For Southeast, Jason Riley (Dedham, Dedham HS) tallied two points with a goal and an assist.

Metro 6, West 2
Sophomore Brendan Kerrigan (South Boston, BB&N) scored twice to help Metro beat West, 6-2. Connor Demore (Watertown, Watertown HS) and Colin Defrancisco (Lincoln, Lincoln-Sudbury Reg HS) added two points apiece in the winning effort. For West, Trevor Berman (Turners Falls, Turners Falls HS) and Corey Deres (Leverett, Amherst Reg HS) each collected two points with a goal and an assist.

Girls Scholastic

Southeast/Coastal 4, Metro/Northeast 0
Southeast/Coastal got two goals from Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Dexter) and Christina Frasca (Norwood, Norwood HS) pitched a shutout in net to guide their team to a 4-0 victory over Metro/Northeast. Haley Gaughan (Canton, Canton HS) and Emily Kelly (Norwood, Norwood HS) added tallies for the winners.


SOCCER
Waltham High School – Waltham, MA

Boys Scholastic

West 6, Central 0
West topped Central, 6-0, on Friday morning. Six different West team members scored in the outing. Goal scorers included: junior Kyle Cupka (Wilbraham, Minnechaug Reg. HS), junior Michael Pope (Springfield, Minnechaug Reg. HS), junior Jon Bzdel (West Springfield, Williston-Northampton), sophomore Ryan Dickinson (South Hadley, South Hadley HS), sophomore Edward Mercer (South Hadley, South Hadley HS), and sophomore Nate Fornier (Belchertown, Belchertown HS). In net for the West, goalkeepers junior Austin Lefebvre (Wilbraham, Minnechaug Reg. HS) and junior Tyler Stratton (Monson, Monson HS) combined for the shutout victory.

Metro 3, Northeast 2
Down 2-0, Metro made a strong second-half comeback to defeat Northeast, 3-2, on Friday. Junior John
Dumbuya (Medford, Medford HS) led the charge for Metro, scoring all three of the team’s goals, including the winning goal in the 58th minute. Sophomore Jack Heintzeman (Middleton, Masconomet HS) and junior Valerio Silva (Woburn, Woburn HS) each netted a goal for Northeast.

Southeast 0, Coastal 0
In what turned out to be a defensive deadlock, Southeast and Coastal played to a 0-0 draw. Both teams struggled to create scoring opportunities, as the defense on both sides was impenetrable. The goalkeepers on both sides turned in strong performances to help keep the contest scoreless. Sophomore keeper Alex Sarkis (Walpole, Walpole HS) anchored Southeast, while junior Mike Delgado (New Bedford, Greater New Bedford Voc. HS) and junior James Withers (Coyle Cassidy) split time in net for Coastal to secure the shutout.

Southeast 2, Metro 1
With all of the game’s goals coming in the first half, Southeast held on to take a 2-1 victory against Metro on Friday. Southeast scored two quick goals, as junior Jonathan Keys (Norfolk, King Philip HS) netted one in the 24th minute of play and sophomore Roy Butlin (Milton, Milton HS) made good on a penalty kick in the 28th minute. Metro struck in the 33rd, when junior Brent Lo (Arlington, Arlington HS) found the back of the net, but the squad was unsuccessful in its comeback attempt. Junior Colby Gavigan (Canton, Canton HS) recorded the win in goal for Southeast.

Northeast 5, West 3

Coastal 2, Central 0


Girls Scholastic

Metro 1, Southeast 0
With both teams deadlocked through 68 minutes of play, Metro scored with two minutes left to edge past Southeast, 1-0. A defensive battle for most of the game, the lone goal of the game was scored by sophomore Victoria Clancy (Dorchester, Boston Latin School) on a penalty kick in the 69th minute of play to lift Metro to victory. Sophomore Autumn Scanlon (Waltham, Waltham HS) recorded the shutout in net for Metro.

West 3, Central 0
West earned a decisive, 3-0, shutout victory against Central on Friday afternoon. Freshman Mary
Edwards (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS) broke the game open for West in the 25th minute, when she found the back of the net on a penalty kick. The squad never looked back as sophomore Jordan Bates (Chicopee, Chicopee HS) added a goal of her own and Edwards struck again for the third and final goal of the game to seal the victory for West. Freshman Shelby Hall (West Springfield, West Springfield HS) and junior Briana Kubik (Blandford, Westfield HS) combined for the complete game shutout in net for the West.

Northeast 3, Central 2
Northeast edged past Central to secure a 3-2 victory on Friday afternoon. Central struck first, as junior Hannah Millea (Sutton, Sutton HS) found the back of the net in the eighth minute of play. Northeast retaliated, scoring three goals in a row. Sophomore Megan Cullen (Amesbury, Amesbury HS) scored in the 33rd and 65th minute, while junior Lanie Jowett (Atkinson, NH, Central Catholic HS) netted one to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Northeast. Miller struck again in the 68th minute for Central, but the squad was not able to tie it up before time expired. Junior Melissa Toomey (Saugus, Saugus HS) secured the win in goal for Northeast.

West 3, Southeast 0

ESPN Boston's MIAA Softball All-State Team

July, 1, 2011
7/01/11
10:31
AM ET
STARTING ROTATION – FIRST TEAM
All-StateAli Maloof, Sr. P, Norwood

The senior captain led the Mustangs to the D1 South finals with a 12-1 record and 0.59 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 82 innings. The Southern New Hampshire commit also hit .493 out of the leadoff spot for Norwood.
All-StateEmma Mendoker, Sr. P, Amherst
The Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year finished her high school career with 1,002 strikeouts, including 300 this season. The East Carolina commit went 23-2 leading the Hurricanes the D1 state final while posting a 0.17 ERA. She also batted .461 with three home runs and 23 RBI as Amherst’s clean-up hitter.

All-StateMeghan Rico, Jr. P, King Philip
Rico went 21-0 with a miniscule ERA of 0.15 and allowed just 29 hits over 144 innings thrown with 313 strikeouts and 24 walks. The George Washington University commit allowed only seven runs all season, three of which were earned, and threw two perfect games. Rico also threw four shutouts in the postseason on the Warriors’ drive to their repeat D1 title performance.

All-StateSarah Ropiak, Jr. P, Acton-Boxborough
The two-time Dual County League All-Star team went 13-2, including 10 shutouts, with a 0.60 ERA. Ropiak is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and American Leadership Council.
All-StateShannon Smith, Soph. P, Milford
The 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year returned with a fine second season, going 21-2 for the D1 Central champion Scarlet Hawks. Smith posted a 0.94 ERA while striking out 296 in 164 innings. Smith also contributed to her own cause, hitting at a .357 clip with three home runs and 25 RBI.

STARTING NINE – FIRST TEAM
Katie Bumila, Sr. C, Coyle-Cassidy
The senior captain led a vaunted Warriors offense, hitting .536 with a home run and 22 RBI. The four-year starter was also entrusted by Coach Russell Hunt to call all the pitches behind the plate and was a three-year EAC All-Star. A star in the classroom as well, Bumila will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute next year.

Megan Congro, Sr. Sr. 1B, Sandwich
The URI commit led the Atlantic Coast League with a robust .661 batting average with two home runs and 30 RBI.

All-StateLauren Duggan, Sr. 3B/P, Norwood
At third base, the UConn commit delivered the ball from third to first just about as quickly as you'll ever see. Duggan's cannon arm also helped her boast 1.13 ERA in the circle, splitting time with Ali Maloof. She also led the Bay State League in home runs with eight, while batting .415 with 33 RBI.

All-StateQuianna Diaz-Patterson, Sr.
The UMass-Amherst commit was perhaps the most feared lead-off hitter in the state with a tremendous first step out of the box. The captain and three-year starter hit .559 with eight home runs and 40 runs scored. Diaz-Patterson also stole 31 bases this year and held the distinction of never having been thrown out once on an attempted steal during her high school career.

Olivia Godin, Jr. C, King Philip
As much as Meghan Rico garnered the attention of the softball world this year, it was the Warriors' junior backstop who helped call the games for the hurler. The defensive stalwart also managed to put up a .400 on base percentage along with three home runs and 18 RBI. The Plainville resident has a verbal commitment to UMass-Amherst.

Meg Kelly, Sr. 2B, Reading
Kelly was a triple crown winner in the Middlesex League this season, batting .628 with five home runs and 35 RBI. She also struck out just three times all season. The URI commit was also a standout out on the Rockets' soccer and indoor track teams.

Anna Kelley, Sr. 3B, King Philip
Kelley's defense at the hot corner and her bat were main contributions to the Warriors' second straight D1 title. The UMass-Amherst commit batted .375 with a slugging percentage of .697. She also led KP in RBI with 33.

Brianna Martin, Sr. CF, Central Catholic
The three-year Merrimack Valley League All-Star was as strong in the field as she was at the plate. Martin didn't commit an error in her senior year while adding three outfield assists. Martin hit at a .549 clip while setting a Raiders program record for slugging percentage at .985.

Jenn Robillard, Sr. SS, King Philip
The Sacred Heart commit set the table for the Warriors from the lead-off spot with a .467 average and .533 on base percentage. The senior captain also stole 15 bases while contributing strong defensive play in the field.

BULLPEN – SECOND TEAM
Kiara Amos, Sr., Malden
Emily Berardi, Sr., Boston Latin
Noelle Christmas, Sr., Plymouth South
Audrey Dolloff, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
Meg Donegan, Sr., Central Catholic
Trish Hansen, Jr., Mansfield
Courtney Lanfranchi, Sr., Burlington
Bridget Lemire, Sr., St. Peter-Marian
Emily Mailloux, Sr., Turners Falls
Kelly Norton, Sr., Abington
Shannon Orton, Jr., Case
Megan Rich, Sr., Chelmsford

OFF THE BENCH – SECOND TEAM
Hannah Byrne, Sr. SS, Lynn Classical
Michelle Cooprider, Sr. P/OF, Hopkinton
Ellen Czuba, Sr. CF, Franklin
Alexis DeBrosse, So. 2B, New Bedford
Zoe Dillon-Davidson, Sr. C, Amherst
Amy Entel, Sr. P/OF, Somerset
Simone Frank, Sr. 3B, Amherst
Laura Kaminski, Sr. C, Amesbury
Nicole Lundstrom, So. C, Dighton-Rehoboth
Breanna Monroe, Jr. CF, Shrewsbury
Christina Raso, Jr. SS, Burlington
Reilly Weiners, So. C, Agawam

HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR
Dustin Belcher, Wahconah

Turners Falls captures fifth state softball crown

June, 18, 2011
6/18/11
5:41
PM ET
WORCESTER, Mass. -- With one swing of the bat, Samantha Caouette turned a day of misery into something she'll never forget the rest of her life.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, Turners Falls had a runner on first and nobody out. Caouette, who struck out and popped out in her first two plate appearances, desperately wanted to do something positive to lift her spirits. That she did, ripping a low fastball into the gap between right and center field for an RBI triple to give the Indians the Division 3 state softball crown yesterday at Rockwood Field on the campus of Worcester State University.

"In my first two at bats I was upset," said Caouette, a junior. "Coach (Gary Mullins) gave me the bunt sign in that last at bat but I fouled it off. He gave the bunt sign again but I didn't hear it and just swung the bat and it worked out well though so I'm happy."

Caoutte's heroics spoiled a superb performance from Case pitcher Shannon Orton. The junior handcuffed the Indians over the first six frames, allowing just four hits along with eight K's. But in the seventh, she wasn't so fortunate. Elysia Ollari opened the inning by reaching on an infield single thus setting the stage for Caouette's dramatics.

The Cardinals (19-7) will come away from this contest knowing they had their chances. In all, they stranded nine runners on base, including five in scoring position. But thanks to Turners Falls pitcher Emily Mailloux, Case could never strike for the big hit when it needed it most. Mailloux, a senior, allowed five hits and struckout five.

"We've been executing all year but today we had a little trouble executing," Cardinals coach Norm Beauchemin said. "I never expected (Caouette) to swing the bat the way she did there in the end. She placed that ball nicely. It went right through the gap and they just kept running. As for us, we had a great season and they're a classy bunch of girls on this team. We'll be back. I'm sure we will."

Twice did the Cardinals strand a runner at third but failed to get the run in. In turn, the Indians used that as inspiration knowing they dodged several bullets and came away unscathed.

For Turners Falls, it completed a perfect 25-0 season, the third unbeaten season in Mullins' 32 year career at the helm. The Indians will add their fifth state trophy into the showcase. As a Division 2 team, Turners Falls won titles in 2004 and 2005. Including yesterday's triumph, the Indians have claimed three Division 3 titles also achieving the feat in 2006 and 2008. For Case, it was looking to capture its first state championship since 2001.

The Cardinals' best chance to score came in the fifth after Danielle Robillard reached first on a throwing error. The sophomore was sacrificed to second and took third on a Shawna Marchand infield single. But Mailloux, who mixed her pitches well throughout, got Danielle Medeiros swinging at a third-strike change up to get out of the inning.

Turners Falls had an opportunity to take the lead in the sixth after Dakota Smith-Porter opened the frame with a single and would advance to second on a Mailloux ground out. Jenna Putala would pinch-run for Smith-Porter and moved to third on a pass ball.

However, the seventh-grader caught got in no man's land after Orton stabbed a Brittany York grounder and got Putala out following a rundown.

But in the seventh, the Indians were poised not to make any mistakes and get out of this thing without giving the Cardinals any life in extra innings. Thanks to Caouette, mission accomplished.

"Case's outfield was playing shallow all game long so I was just waiting for somebody to pop one," said Mullins. "We weren't getting it done but in the seventh we finally did. But honestly it was there for us all game long. We've been fortunate at times this season and now we're just happy that we got the championship."

ESPN Boston MIAA softball picks

June, 2, 2011
6/02/11
12:52
PM ET
Before the MIAA state softball tournaments get underway this afternoon, we're breaking down the brackets and picking some winners.

NORTH
Division 1
Favorites: Chelmsford (19-1), Lynn Classical (20-2), Malden (17-3)
Sleepers: Concord-Carlisle (17-3), Central Catholic (15-3), Acton-Boxborough (15-5)
Barboza's take: Chelmsford claimed the top seed after turning a nearly flawless (minus one hiccup against Methuen) regular season as MVC Large champions and enter the tournament as favorite. Lynn Classical looks to continue its storybook season while Malden will go as far as ace Kiara Amos can take them. Central Catholic could be the one to watch here as it may have the strongest pitcher in the bracket with Meg Donegan.
Prediction: Chelmsford over Central Catholic and Acton-Boxborough over Bishop Fenwick in the semifinals; Chelmsford over A-B in final.

Division 2
Favorites: Amesbury (18-2), Burlington (18-2), Reading (17-3)
Sleepers: Dracut (14-5), Tewksbury (14-6), Stoneham (11-9)
Barboza's take: Amesbury enters as the top seed, but you could say that Burlington, who finished atop the Middlesex League, is the favorite to come out of this sectional. Fellow Middlesex entrants Reading and Stoneham should also prove to be tough outs. Burlington's potential quarter-final matchup against Dracut could determine the winner.
Prediction: Reading over Tewksbury and Burlington over Saugus in semifinals; Burlington over Reading in final.

Division 3
Favorites: Whittier (18-2), St. Mary's of Lynn (18-2)
Sleepers: Marian (15-5), Latin Academy (14-6)
Barboza's take: Akin to their girls' hockey team, until someone unseats St. Mary's, it's their tournament.
Prediction: Whittier over Marian and St. Mary's over Shawsheen; St. Mary's over Whittier.

SOUTH
Division 1

Favorites: King Philip (20-0), Norwood (18-0)
Sleepers: Mansfield (18-2), Bridgewater-Raynham (17-3), New Bedford (13-7)
Barboza's take: King Philip and Norwood have been the two most dominant teams in Eastern Mass and went wire-to-wire ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively in our ESPN Boston Top 25 poll. We're looking for the matchup of KP ace Meghan Rico going head-to-head with the Mustangs' Ali Maloof and Lauren Duggan.
Prediction: King Philip over B-R and Norwood over New Bedford in the semifinals; KP over Norwood in the final.

Division 2
Favorites: Abington (19-1), Hopkinton (18-2)
Sleepers: Coyle-Cassidy (16-4), Bellingham (16-4), Dedham (14-6), Plymouth South (13-7)
Barboza's take: This section is stacked from seed No. 1 to No. 21 and might be the most intriguing in the state. South Shore champion Abington and TVL crown-winners Hopkinton take the top two seeds, but we see this one as wide open with the potent Coyle-Cassidy and Bellingham lineups able to tear through top-flight pitching. We also wouldn't be surprised to see Plymouth South emerge from the back the pack.
Prediction: Abington over Coyle-Cassidy and Plymouth South over Bellingham in semifinals; Abington over Plymouth South in the final.

Division 3
Favorites: Nantucket (17-3), Avon (16-4), Case (14-6)
Sleepers: Bishop Connolly (17-3), Bristol-Plymouth (13-4)
Barboza's take: It's always hard to pick against the alma mater, and Connolly's had a fine season, but we can't help but think this one comes down to Avon and Case. Nantucket will look to hold serve as the top seed.
Prediction: Avon over Nantucket and Case over Connolly in semifinals; Case over Avon in the final.

CENTRAL
Division 1

Favorite: Milford (19-1)
Sleepers: St. Peter-Marian (17-3), Holy Name (14-4), Shrewsbury (15-5)
Barboza's take: We've pegged the Scarlet Hawks as the favorite from Day 1 and they've maintained the No. 3 position in our statewide Top 25 poll all season long. The question is whether St. Peter-Marian, Holy Name or Shrewsbury have enough to pull off an upset.
Prediction: Milford over Shrewsbury and St. Peter-Marian over Holy Name in semifinals; Milford over SP-M in the final.

Division 2
Favorite: Hudson (18-2)
Sleepers: Narragansett (18-2), Grafton (17-3)
Barboza's take: Much like D3 North is to St. Mary's, D2 Central is to Hudson. It's simply the Hawks' world and everybody else lives in it. We wouldn't be at all surprised if Hudson repeats at state champions behind Jurnee Ware.
Prediciton: Naragansett over Groton-Dunstable and Hudson over Grafton in semifinals; Hudson over Naragansett in the final.

Division 3
Favorites: Assabet (16-2), Uxbridge (16-4)
Sleepers: Hopedale (15-5), Worcester Tech (15-5)
Barboza's take: We're looking for the top seeds to bear out in this one, until the semifinals.
Prediction: Assabet over Hopedale and Uxbridge over Murdock; Uxbrudge over Assabet.

WESTERN
Division 1

Favorite: Amherst (19-1)
Sleeper: Agawam (16-4)
Barboza's take: Most, including us who had Amherst ranked No. 4 in the state to begin the season, thought the Hurricans would run away and hide this season. That is until Agawam dealt them a shocking defeat midway through the spring. Amherst later returned the favor, beating the Brownies in the teams' second meeting. Now, we're looking forward to a third.
Prediction: Amherst over West Springifled and Agawam over East Longmeadow in semifinals; Amherst over Agawam in the final.

Division 2
Favorite:
Wahconah (19-1)
Sleeper: Palmer (16-4)
Barboza's take: When in doubt, take the seedings.
Prediction: Wahconah over Palmer in the final.

Division 3
Favorite:
Turners Falls (20-0)
Sleeper: Ware (15-3)
Barboza's take: Turners Falls has been perhaps the most dominant team in the state, not named King Philip, throughout the season. And we don't see the defending D3 West champs taking a fall in this tourney.
Prediction: Turners Falls over Gateway and Ware over Mt. Everett in semifinals; Turners Falls over Ware in the final.

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