MANCHESTER — Speed can be tough to defend in high school softball. Dover proved that in Friday afternoon’s 3-2 triumph over Manchester Central.
Dover broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh, when center fielder Jessie Mau reached on an infield single, moved up two bases on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Carly Boucher’s groundout to third.
“She’s definitely speedy,” Dover coach Tim Dudley said. “She takes some chances sometimes. Gives me a lot of gray hairs, but when it works out it’s a beautiful thing. We encourage them to be aggressive.”
Central led 2-0 after three innings, but Dover scored once in fourth and used its speed to tie the game in the fifth. Molly St. Germain tripled and continued home when the throw to third was off the mark.
“I was bringing her to third no matter what, but when I saw the ball rolling away from the cutoff I kept sending her,” Dudley said. “She’s really fast for a bigger kid. Long strides.”
Kim Leiter had two of the three hits Central collected off Dover starter Mikaela Leighton. Central also received a single from Kindred St. Germain that scored Colleen O’Hara in the first.
Sarah Lavallee pitched a complete game and struck out six, but took the loss. Lavallee allowed seven hits.
“Speed definitely helps,” Central coach Josh Borges said. “That was a good play running from first to third. We thought we had it covered.
“Dover made some good plays against us in the field. That always makes it tough.”
The loss dropped Central’s Division I record to 2-1. Central was coming off Thursday’s 2-1 11-inning victory over Concord. Lavallee collected three hits in that game.
Dover improved its record to 1-1.
St. Germain drove in Dover’s other run when she hit a sacrifice fly that scored Leiter in the third.
Mau, who had two hits in the game, also collected an RBI when her single scored Ashley Deyo from third in the fourth inning. Deyo also had two hits for Dover, which lost to Timberlane of Plaistow in the Division I semifinals last season.
“We had some miscues offensively and defensively, but we’ll work on them,” Borges said. “Some games are tougher than others, but you have to go in with the mentality that you’re going against a No. 1 team at all times. Dover looked good out there.”