Roger Brown's Diamond Notes: Unpredictable endings spice up NHIAA baseball, softball tournaments
Seven top-seeded teams played for the title — four in softball, three in baseball — and all seven fell short of winning a championship.
Goffstown and Littleton were the two other top-seeded baseball teams that were beaten Saturday. Second-seeded Portsmouth beat Goffstown 5-2 in the Division II championship game, and third-seeded Pittsfield won the Division IV title by beating Littleton, 5-1.
SPEEDY RECOVERY: ConVal of Peterborough shortstop Lauren Mackey hurt her ankle sliding into second base late in Tuesday night’s Division II semifinal softball win over Hollis/Brookline.
“We carried her off the field,” said coach Jim Coppo. “She couldn’t walk on Wednesday or Thursday.”
“I was going to give her a courtesy runner when she got on base in the seventh inning, but she said no,” Coppo said. “She wasn’t going to come out.”
Mackey, who plans to play field hockey and softball at Division III Clark University in Worcester, Mass., starting in the fall, was one of five Cougar seniors who graduated on Saturday morning.
Catcher Marena Brock, first baseman Anastasia Hautanen, right fielder Maxine Dunn and left fielder Kaitlyn Walker were the other Con-Val seniors.
MOUND OF TROUBLE: Left-handed pitcher Kris Perkins was the star of Pittsfield’s 5-1 triumph over Littleton. Perkins tossed a complete game, struck out 14 and didn’t walk a batter. He lost his bid for a no-hitter with one out in the sixth inning.
“I don’t care what level we’re talking about, that’s something for a pitcher to do that,” Pittsfield coach Robert Stockman said. “He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he pitches. He has a great curveball and he pounds the strike zone. That’s what you need at this level, someone who pounds the strike zone.”
LOOKING AHEAD: Campbell will likely enter the 2014 softball season as the team to beat in Division III since senior first baseman Chelsea Caynon is the only player on this year’s team who isn’t eligible to return.
White Mountains, last year’s Division III champion, was the only baseball or softball team that entered the weekend unbeaten. The Spartans completed their season with a 19-1 record.
NOTEWORTHY: Portsmouth won its fifth title in the last six years, but its first during that span as the lower-seeded team. The Clippers had 10 first-year varsity players on their roster. … Pittsfield second baseman Tyler Stockman (coach’s son) led off Saturday’s game with an inside-the-park home run. … Timberlane also won the Division I softball title in 2008, but entered this season with a 17-60 record in the four years since that championship. Timberlane’s Madison Bishop, a sophomore first baseman, hit a home run in the victory over Concord. The Owls received eight strikeouts from freshman Kate Hoadley. … Woodsville also beat Wilton-Lyndeborough for the Division IV softball championship in 2010.