NHIAA D-I Softball Semis: Spaulding, Dover use great pitching to gain final
HOOKSETT — Two softball programs looking for their first state title will meet in Saturday night’s Division I championship game at Southern New Hampshire University.
Top-seeded Spaulding of Rochester (19-2) will face third-seeded Dover (16-5) for the championship in a game scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Spaulding stretched its winning streak to 17 games by beating 12th-seeded Alvirne of Hudson, 5-0, in Tuesday night’s second semifinal. Dover eliminated second-seeded Salem, 5-1, in the first semifinal.
Sami West, the only senior on Spaulding’s roster, pitched a complete game and held Alvirne to one hit: Nicole Teague’s double in the fourth inning. West struck out eight and walked three, “This is crazy exciting,” West said. “The fact that it’s our first championship game and we’ll be going up against our rival will make this the coolest game ever.”
Alvirne beat Spaulding 5-3 during the regular season, but the Red Raiders haven’t lost since then.
Spaulding scored a run in the second and added four more runs in the fourth, when the Red Raiders sent nine players to the plate. Shannon Colson, Abigail Henderson and Haley White each had two hits for Spaulding. The victory gave Spaulding its first berth in the Division I title game.
Alvirne, which has six freshmen on its roster, finished its season with a 10-11 record. The Broncos had won six in a row entering Tuesday’s contest.
“They outhit us tonight,” Alvirne coach Sarah Brisk said. “They came with the bats today and that was the difference.
“I’m proud of my girls. Proud of how they came together.”
Dover took advantage of six walks in its victory over Salem. Dover drew four walks in the fourth inning and all four players came around to score.
Molly St. Germain pitched a complete game and hit a three-run triple for Dover, which lost to Concord in its only appearance in the Division I title game (2009). St. Germain allowed nine hits and struck out three.
Salem starting pitcher Rachel Towler issued all six walks and left the circle with two outs in the fourth. Dover had a 2-0 lead at the time.
“Walks haven’t been a problem just for her,” Salem coach Harold Sachs said. “They’ve been a problem for us. They weren’t really making contact, so we were going to give her as many opportunities as we could to work herself out of it. No one really hits her, but after the second walk with the bases loaded that had to be it.”
“It couldn’t have been nerves because she got us started good. She pitched three innings and things seemed to be fine.”
Kathleen Dawson replaced Towler, but Molly St. Germain greeted Dawson with a three-run triple that increased Dover’s lead to 5-0.
St. Germain and Mikeala Leighton each had two hits for Dover. Salem received three hits from Amanda Bickford and two from Ashley Conway.
Spaulding beat Dover 6-2 when the teams met during the regular season.