Stage set for more NHIAA tournament thrills
With the conclusion of Sunday night’s NHIAA Division I boys’ lacrosse semifinals, championship match-ups were set in five of six divisions, with the Division III girls’ finalists to be determined today.
Meanwhile, of the eight divisions in NHIAA baseball and softball, Saturday games determined semifinalists in all but Division III softball. Those pairings also will be determined today.
In boys’ lacrosse, while the Division I final four were competing, neighboring rivals Bedford and Goffstown already were preparing to meet for the Division II final, and the Derryfield School of Manchester was looking forward to facing Hollis/Brookline for the Division III title.
Those championships will be determined Tuesday night, with the Division I boys’ final set for Wednesday.
In girls’ lacrosse, a late-night victory by Souhegan of Amherst over Exeter on Saturday set up a Division I final showdown with Pinkerton Academy of Derry. Earlier on Saturday, Bedford and Hanover earned their way into the Division II final.
Both of those finals are set for Tuesday night.
That leaves the Division III girls to complete the finals field tonight at Southern New Hampshire University, with second-seeded John Stark Regional of Weare set to face No. 3 Kearsarge Regional of Sutton at 5 p.m. and top seed Derryfield scheduled to face Laconia at 7.
Here’s a recap of Saturday’s lacrosse, baseball and softball action:
DIVISION II: In last spring’s Division II boys’ lacrosse semifinal, a pesky Bow team took Bedford down to the wire before eventually falling. This year, the Bulldogs brushed off the Falcons early. Top-seeded Bedford won its 60th game in a row, beating Bow 15-4 on Saturday night in a game that was pretty much over by halftime.
Dakota Clark and Patrick Simpson led the Bulldogs with four goals each and Tyler Sullivan had three. Matt Sanford had two goals to lead the Falcons, who finished their season 11-5.
“We’re one game away,” Bedford coach Matt Guerard said.
“We don’t care about the streak,” said captain Dan Colella. “We’re back to where we want to be. Now we have to get the job done.”
Bedford will now focus on Goffstown and Jack Carney, who scored six goals for the third-seeded Grizzlies in their 14-7 win over St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover.
DIVISION III: Ryan Papineau scored six goals and Sam Whitaker added five in Hollis/Brookline’s 16-6 victory over Plymouth. The Cavaliers advanced to play top seed Derryfield, which blasted ConVal of Peterborough, 16-3. The win was Derryfield’s 39th straight.
Jimmy O’Brien scored four of Derryfield’s first-half goals. Tyler Zorn, Griffin Phaneuf and Michael Chiasson scored three goals each.
The Cougars beat Hollis/Brookline, 14-5, on May 20.
“They’ll be ready for us,” said Derryfield coach Chris Hettler. “They’re going to give us everything they’ve got. I’m sure they’ve changed things and they’ll be game-planning for us. We’re excited for the fight, too.”
DIVISION I: Mickenzie Larivee scored five times and Madison Learned added four goals and four assists for top-seeded Souhegan of Amherst in its 17-3 romp over Exeter in Saturday’s late semifinal. The Sabers led 9-3 at halftime and outscored Exeter 8-0 in the second half.
Souhegan will meet second-seeded Pinkerton of Derry, which beat Salem 18-10. Kennedy Daziel led the way with five goals and an assist, and Maggie McCarthy notched three goals and an assist.
DIVISION II: As expected, both of Saturday’s semifinals went down to the wire, with Bedford surviving Hanover (14-13) and Windham tipping Winnacunnet (11-10). The final looms as a close one, too; when Bedford and Windham played on May 16, the Bulldogs won 16-14.
On Saturday, Courtny Sweeney and Melissa Cino scored four goals each for the Jaguars. Bulldogs star Drew Shapiro led the way with six goals.
DIVISION I: The stage is set for Wednesday’s semifinals. It will be Londonderry against Bedford in one, preceded by Alvirne against Pinkerton. Previous matchups would indicate close game. Bedford blanked Londonderry 3-0 in extra innings, and Pinkerton won the earlier meeting with Pinkerton, 7-6.
On Saturday, Londonderry rallied to beat Nashua North, 9-6; Derek Hudson hurled Alvirne past Timberlane, 7-1; Bedford upset top-seeded Dover, 6-5, and Pinkerton received its second straight tourney pitching gem, this time by Connor Donahue (one-hitter), to pin Exeter, 4-0.
DIVISION II: Great pitching performances were the name of the game on Saturday for Goffstown and Hollis/Brookline. Tanner Putnam went the distance for the Grizzlies in their 6-2 win over Lebanon and Cam LaFleur fanned 14 in the Cavaliers’ 8-2 win over Oyster River of Durham.
Goffstown will now face Portsmouth, which blanked ConVal of Peterborough, 9-0, behind righty Brian Hagan. Hollis/Brookline draws Plymouth, which eliminated Milford, 5-3.
DIVISION III: Bob Baril proved the hero for Campbell of Litchfield, cracking a walkoff single that allowed the hosts to edge Inter-Lakes, 10-9, in an exciting quarterfinal on Saturday. The top-ranked Cougars will now play Berlin, which beat Newfound of Bristol by the football score of 14-7. In that game, the Mountaineers scored 10 runs in the seventh inning.
In the other bracket, Somersworth and surprising Bow advanced. The Hilltoppers outscored Hopkinton, 16-6, while Bow, taking its cue from freshman pitcher Brendan Winch (two-hitter), blanked Pelham, 7-0. The Falcons are the tourney’s 14th seed.
DIVISION IV: No. 8 Gorham pulled off the upset of the day, beating top seed Lisbon, 5-3, to gain a semifinal date against No. 4 Colebrook. Meanwhile, second-seeded Sunapee had no such problems, blasted Profile of Bethlehem, 10-0. The Lakers will meet No. 3 Pittsfield, which beat Newmarket, 9-3.
DIVISION I: At Salem, sophomore third baseman Ashley Conway collected five hits, drove in four runs and scored twice to power the second-seeded Blue Devils, 12-4. Salem’s Rachel Towler struck out 10 and held Concord to three hits in five innings of relief. Seventh-seeded Concord led 3-1 until Salem scored six runs in the bottom of the third.
Salem will face No. 3 Dover, a 5-4 quarterfinals winner over Merrimack, in the semifinals.
The other semifinal will feature No. 1 Spaulding of Rochester, a 15-3 winner over Exeter, and No. 12 Alvirne of Hudson, a 9-4 winner over Bedford.
DIVISION II: At Goffstown, John Stark of Weare catcher Jill Kilar belted a grand slam with two outs and a full count in the top of the seventh inning, lifting the seventh-ranked Generals to a 6-2 upset of the tournament’s No. 2 seed.
Goffstown will face 14th-seeded Plymouth, a 2-0 winner over No. 6 ConVal Regional of Peterborough, in the semifinals.
The other semifinal also will featured one of the tournament’s lower-seeded teams, with No. 12 Pembroke Academy visiting No. 1 Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. Pembroke topped Windham, 10-6, while Coe-Brown edged Milford, 9-7.
For the second time in two weeks, Pembroke traveled to Windham and beat the Jaguars. The Spartans (8-9) took what looked to be an insurmountable 5-0 lead into the fifth inning, but the Jaguars (12-4) rallied to tie the score in the fifth inning, only to see the Spartans take advantage of five Windham errors to tack on five unearned runs.
Elizabeth Gagnon delivered the game’s biggest hit, a three-run homer for Pembroke. Cailyn Costa had a single and triple for Windham.
DIVISION IV: A surprise-free quarterfinals day left seeds 1,2,3 and 4 are the semifinalists. No. 1 Woodsville outscored Groveton, and will play No. 4 Portsmouth Christian. In the other semifinal, it will be No. 2 Wilton-Lyndeborough and No. 3 Sunapee.