Roger Brown's Diamond Notes: Titles were extra sweet for Goffstown, Londonderry
If there was a lesson to be learned Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, it was this: Something good can come from even the toughest of losses.
The Londonderry High School and Goffstown High School baseball teams won championships in their respective divisions Saturday, one year after each was upset on Championship Saturday.
Top-seeded Goffstown knocked off third-seeded Plymouth, 8-1, to win the Division II title, and fifth-seeded Londonderry beat third-seeded Pinkerton Academy of Derry, 4-1, in the Division I championship.
Goffstown also entered the 2013 Division II tournament as the No. 1 seed but lost to Portsmouth in the title game.
“Redemption is awesome,” said Goffstown’s Tyler Perron, who tossed a complete game against Plymouth. “(Last year’s loss) definitely motivated us. Since Day 1, all we’ve been thinking about is getting back here and winning it.”
Goffstown completed its season with a 20-2 record and won 20 of its last 21 games.
“The goal all year was to win the last game,” Goffstown coach Adam Lawrence said. “We knew we were capable of getting here. Again, it’s one thing to get here, but you have to win that last game.”
Like Goffstown, Londonderry entered the 2013 postseason as a No. 1 seed. Londonderry was a heavy favorite against 11th-seeded Exeter in last year’s championship game, but the Blue Hawks posted a 3-2 victory.
From the outset of practice this year, Lancers coach Brent Demas stressed that second-best wasn’t acceptable.
“Coach made it pretty clear all season that this is what we were practicing for — to win a championship,” said Londonderry’s Tom Corey, Saturday’s winning pitcher. “All the seniors on this team and a couple juniors know what it felt like last year.
“We practiced hard to get to this point. We came in confident that we would get the ‘W.’”
The Lancers ended their season with a 17-7 record.
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SOME teams improve throughout the regular season. The Dover softball team showed significant improvement throughout the postseason.
After committing 13 errors during one-run victories over No. 14 Winnacunnet of Hampton and No. 11 Merrimack in the tournament’s first two rounds, third-seeded Dover cleaned things up defensively. Dover committed one error in a 5-1 semifinal victory over Salem and one during Saturday’s 8-4 triumph over top-seeded Spaulding of Rochester in the Division I championship game.
Saturday’s victory earned Dover the program’s first Division I state championship, and it was a case of good hitting getting the best of good pitching. Dover entered the game with four players hitting .400 or better and scored eight runs against Spaulding’s Sami West, who was 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA in three previous tournament games this spring. West had pitched two one-hitters in the postseason and recorded 25 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Dover’s Molly St. Germain and Emily Schlapak each collected three hits in the title game.
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TOP-SEEDED teams went 3-2 Saturday. In addition to Goffstown’s victory over Plymouth, the top-seeded Campbell of Litchfield baseball team beat second-seeded Somersworth, 3-2, in the Division III championship, and the top-seeded Coe-Brown Northwood Academy softball team defeated seventh-seeded John Stark Regional of Weare, 6-5, to claim the Division III title.
The Spaulding and White Mountains of Whitefield softball teams were the top seeds who lost on Saturday. White Mountains (19-1), the only baseball or softball team in the state that began Championship Saturday with a chance to finish the season unbeaten, dropped a 1-0 decision to Campbell.
Campbell also beat White Mountains in last year’s title game.
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THE Coe-Brown softball team was playing in a championship game for the fifth time in the last seven seasons. Coe-Brown’s only other title during that stretch came in 2010, when the Bears beat Kennett of Conway, 5-3, in what was then known as Class I. Coe-Brown’s Amanda Riley and Kianna Daudelin hit back-to-back home runs in the victory over John Stark. ..… The Somersworth baseball team has lost in the Division III championship game in four of the last five seasons. … Ben Byerly, Londonderry’s No. 9 hitter, entered Saturday’s game with a .224 batting average and three RBIs this season, but he collected two hits, an RBI and scored a run against rival Pinkerton.
Email staff reporter Roger Brown at email@example.com.