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Photo 1

Doug MacPhee/Special to The Commons

The Leland & Gray softball team poses with its runner-up plaque after its 4-1 loss to Richford in the Division III state softball championship in Poultney last Saturday.


BF boys, Rebel girls both fall in state finals

There’s always heartbreak when you reach the state final and lose. For the No. 4 Bellows Falls Terriers, it was even more heartbreaking to know that they held their opponent to a single hit, and still lost the game.

On a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon at Centennial Field in Burlington, the Terriers lost to the second-seeded Lamoille Lancers, 2-1, in the Division II championship game.

The two teams were to play last Friday, but weather forced a postponement to Sunday, which allowed both teams to start their best pitchers. Chris Armstrong was on the mound for the Terriers, while Eric Hoadley started for Lamoille.

BF had plenty of chances early in this game. Hoadley walked two Terriers in the first inning but got out of the jam with a pair of grounders and a strikeout. In the third inning, Carson Fullam hit a two-out triple, but he was stranded there when catcher Ethan Illingworth flied out to right. BF got two more men on base in the fourth, but came away empty handed.

Armstrong was dominating, but Lamoille grabbed a pair of runs in bottom of the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. Lamoille’s Kody Jones hit a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by Illingworth. Riley Fitzgerald, who walked and stole second, ultimately scored on a sacrifice fly by Hoadley.

BF got a run back in the sixth inning. Zac Streeter led off with a single, and got to third when Fitzgerald, who relieved Hoadley, was off the mark with an errant pick-off throw to first. The next two Terriers struck out, but pinch hitter Colby Howe came through with an RBI single to right center to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Terriers had one last chance in the seventh. Austin Stack walked and then took two bases on a wild pitch to Carson Fullam. Fullam popped up to left field, but it wasn’t deep enough to score Stack. Ethan Illingworth struck out, but Brady Illingworth drew a two-out walk to keep BF’s hopes alive.

Fitzpatrick then struck out Zach Streeter to get the save and clinch Lamoille’s first state title since 1995.

Armstrong was the hard-luck loser. He struck out five and gave up just one hit, Jones’ double in the fourth, and walked four over six innings. However, Armstrong and the Terriers were ultimately undone by leaving 10 runners on base, seven of them in scoring position. Howe threw the final inning for BF.

Hoadley got the win with five scoreless innings, with four walks and six strikeouts. Fitzgerald struck out five in picking up the save.

Sunday’s gut-wrenching loss did not diminish the job that the Terriers did to get to the championship game.

In a Division II semifinal in North Clarendon that took two days to complete, an RBI double by Ethan Illingworth in the fifth inning scored Stack to give the Terriers a 3-2 victory over top-seeded Mill River.

The teams played to a 2-2 tie before the game was suspended by thunderstorms in the second inning on June 9. The game resumed the next day, and Stack walked and stole second in the fifth before going home on Illingworth’s game-winning hit.

Armstrong returned to pitch after starting on Tuesday and was relieved by Streeter with one out in the sixth inning.

Mill River had Pat Mumford on first with one out in the seventh when Lincoln Pritchard smacked a ball to deep left-center field. Armstrong, who moved to left when Streeter came on to pitch, ran it down and was able to double up Mumford to win the game.

BF ended its season with a 14-6 record. They will lose six seniors: Armstrong, Fullam, Howe, Ethan Illingworth, Stack, and Streeter.

Rebels lose to Richford in softball final

• Ninth-seeded Leland & Gray lost to the second-seeded Richford Rockets, 4-1, in the Division III softball championship game in Poultney last Saturday, but considering the road the Rebels took to get to the championship game, it was a huge accomplishment for them to win three straight road games against higher seeds to make it to the finals against the defending champions.

And the player who led the way was pitcher Keltsey Rushton, who shook off a so-so regular season to come up big in the playoffs.

Against No. 4 Thetford on June 10, she helped herself with a pair of RBI singles and earned the victory by scattering six hits for a complete game win, 8-5. She walked five and struck out seven.

The Rebels managed eight singles on the day, but they were enough to score four runs in the first inning and three more in the third for a 7-0 lead.

Gabby Donna’s two-run single was the highlight in the first, Skyler Nupp brought a run in with a bunt and Emily Stockwell delivered an RBI sacrifice fly in the third. Rushton ripped a run-scoring single in both frames. Rachel Borgesen was 2 for 2 but reached base in all four at-bats. Thetford picked up two runs in the third before adding another pair in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Leland & Gray was definitely on a roll going into the title game, but they ran into Richford pitcher Alex Benoit, who struck out 14 batters in pitching a complete-game five hitter.

The Rebels got a run in the first inning, when Emily Thibault walked, advanced on an infield error and scored on a two-out single by Jordan Gouger.

Thibault would be the only Rebel Benoit walked all day. She shut down Leland & Gray after that.

Rushton gave up RBI singles to Richford’s Allie O’Brien and Jalyn Collins for a pair of unearned runs in the second. The Rockets then got some insurance runs — one in the fourth courtesy of two errors and another in the fifth on Hannah Gleason’s run-scoring single. Rushton only gave up one earned run on eight hits, walking two and striking out two.

The Rebels finished with a 10-10 record. They will lose three players, Erica Cutts, Emily Stockwell, and Thibault, to graduation. This means another trip deep into the Division III playoffs is in the realm of possibility next season.

Rebel boys fall in semis

• The top-seeded BFA-Fairfax Bullets scored three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth as they shut out the fourth-ranked Leland & Gray Rebels in the Division III baseball semifinal on June 10 in Fairfax.

Bullets pitcher Alex Chapman went five innings for the victory. Leland & Gray’s Josh Donna struck out two and walked two in a losing effort.

John Peloso led the Rebels with two hits, while Corey Nystrom and Jeremy Bovat each went 1-for-3.

The Rebels finished up with a 15-4 record.

Red Sox win Brattleboro Little League championship

• The Red Sox got a pair of one-run wins over the Reds on June 13 to move their record to 12-2 and clinch the 2015 Brattleboro Little League Championship at the South Main Street Little League Field.

Ryan Bird’s clutch base hit tied the score in the bottom of the sixth before a bases-loaded walk to Sam Henry brought the Red Sox all the way back from a 6-1 deficit to give them a 7-6 victory and the League Championship in the second game of a continuation/full game double-header.

Henry Thurber did the heavy lifting for the Reds with base hits in the midst of a two-run outburst in the first and another in the third. Alex Lier turned a 6-2 lead over to the bullpen after 3 2/3 innings before Jack Pattison’s double cut the lead to 6-4.

Liam Styles and Sam Henry base hits made it 6-5 in the fifth, allowing the Sox to work their late-game magic in the bottom of the sixth. Aaron Petrie worked a terrific 3 2/3 innings to pick up the win, as he and Trinley Warren limited the Reds to four hits. Thurber led the Reds with two hits, while Huxley Holcombe and Lier each had one. Shea Buckley and Pattison each had two hits for the Red Sox.

In the first game, the continuation of a May 24 game called for rain and lightning, Styles and the Sox held off a late Reds rally to preserve a 5-4 win. Great defense by the Red Sox infield was the key to the victory. Pattison played spectacular shortstop, which included a big-time play to cut down the would-be game-tying run at the plate in the sixth while Alex Shriver also dazzled with the glove at third base.

Styles worked out of a second-and-third, one-out situation in the sixth to finish the season undefeated on the mound and give the Red Sox the win. Huxley Holcombe led the Reds with two hits, Lier scored twice and Willem Thurber had two sixth-inning RBIs. Petrie and Pattison each had two-run base hits for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox are, oldest to youngest: Liam Styles, Ernesto Antonucci, Seamus Buckley, Eric Lin, Alex Shriver, Trinley Warren, Aaron Petrie, Ryan Bird, Brody Bogert, Jack Pattison, Brock Longe, and Sam Henry. The coaches are Jeff Henry, Rob Pattison, and Jim Waters.

Guilford rower qualifies for World Cup

• The National Selection Regatta for rowing was held on Mercer Lake in New Jersey on May 14, and a Guilford man qualified for the U.S. national team.

Paul Marcy, who rowed with the California Rowing Club in the Quadruple Sculls event, won the opportunity to represent the United States at the World Cup event in Varese, Italy, that begins on June 19.

Marcy is a graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon and the United States Naval Academy. He is currently a major in the Marine Corps and the officer in charge of the 4th Reconnaissance Unit, based in Alameda, Calif.

BCC to host ‘Chipping Away at Poverty’ event

• On June 26, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) will hold its 14th annual “Chipping Away at Poverty” Benefit Golf Tournament at the Brattleboro Country Club. Individual golfers and foursomes are invited to participate.

Players will have the opportunity to win the Hole-in-One grand prize of a new Subaru, sponsored by Brattleboro Subaru. There is also a $5,000 cash prize for the winner of the Putting Contest, along with a variety of other prizes.

All proceeds will support SEVCA’s anti-poverty efforts in Southeastern Vermont. Last year, the tournament’s sponsors and golfers raised more than $8,000 to assist struggling families and individuals throughout Windham and Windsor counties during one of the organization’s busiest and most challenging years.

SEVCA served more than 13,150 individuals affected by emergencies, financial hardships, unemployment, and other crises over the past year.

The cost for participating in the tournament is $125 per golfer or $450 for a foursome. Anyone interested in registering or obtaining more information should visit SEVCA’s website (www.sevca.org) or contact Linda Brooks at lbrooks@sevca.org or 802 722-4575, ext. 105.

BF golf event to benefit Make-A-Wish

• The 16th Annual Lynch-Menard-Podgurski Make-A-Wish Golf Classic and Auction will be held on Saturday, July 18. Last year, this event raised more than $11,500 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont, which brings the total contribution over the past 15 years to $234,500.

Hole sponsors for the golf tournament portion of the event to be held at the Crown Point Country Club in Springfield are still being accepted. Donations for the auction will be accepted until Friday July 17.

Signups for golf foursomes will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis starting Saturday, June 20, at 1 p.m., at American Legion Post 37 in Bellows Falls, or by contacting Mike Shaughnessy at 802-380-0443.

The auction will be held at Post 37, with nearly 100 items available to bid on. Tickets for the auction can be purchased at the Legion on Friday, July 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., or on July 18, before the auction starts. All proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #310 (Wednesday, June 17, 2015). This story appeared on page D4.

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