HOOKSETT — There was Coe-Brown, with its stout record, its proud recent history, its top seed in Division II, its 2-0 mark against its semifinal foe this year.
And across the Penmen Field softball diamond at Southern New Hampshire University, there was Pembroke, its No. 12 ranking and barely-over-.500 record, its humble 12th seed and no wins in two tries this regular season against Coe-Brown.
A tale of two teams, yet there they were in the seventh dead even, either one looking for that elusive second run.
Coe-Brown got it, and another win, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh, but it certainly wasn’t easy and didn’t come until Lauren Jones drove a sharp single up the middle to score Caitlin Foley.
As a result, Coe-Brown (17-2) will appear in its fifth Division II championship game in the past seven years and will be seeking its second title in that time (it won in 2010) when it meets seventh-seeded John Stark (14-5) in Saturday’s championship game, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at SNHU.
Pembroke’s season ended at 10-10, but not without a serious fight.The underdog Spartans got on the board quickly, scoring the game’s first run on three hits in the first inning. Hannah Seidner got the rally moving with a sharp single to center field, moved to second on a slap single to third by Madison Pellerin, then scored on Hannah Mitchell’s single to center.
In the Coe-Brown fifth, the Bears finally broke through. After a Foley single to left, an infield error put runners on first and second with none out. A ground out advanced both runners, and Foley scored from third when Jones hit a sacrifice fly to right field, tying the game at 1-1.
It all set up the seventh-inning heroics, as Foley reached on an error, moved to third on a single by Emily Therrien, then scored on Jones’ drive to center field.
Jones led Coe-Brown with two hits, while Madison Pellerin had two hits for Pembroke. Hannah Seidner’s pitching line included two runs (neither one earned) with seven strikeouts and just one walk.