In high school softball, a team is only as good as its starting pitcher. For a young team like Bellows Falls, they are depending on their ace, senior Murphy Hicks, to again lead the Terriers to the playoffs.
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on her,” said BF coach Pete Fry. “She knows we’re leaning on her, and she’s strong enough to carry us a long way.”
Hicks did her part by pitching a complete game two-hitter as the Terriers defeated the Twin Valley Wildcats, 15-5, on April 13 in Westminster.
It was the first win of the season for the Terriers, and the game was closer than the final score would indicate. BF struggled to get runs off Twin Valley’s freshman pitcher Jarrett Niles.
“Our hitters are used to seeing fireballers, so when we see a slower pitcher, it throws them off,” said Fry. “[Niles] kept us off balance, but we were confident we could stay in the game until we started to hit.”
Twin Valley led, 4-3, heading into the BF fourth. That’s when the Terriers broke the game open with a seven-run inning that featured a two-run single by Paxton Santorelli. In the fifth, freshman Abbe Cravinho hit a three-run double as BF added four more runs.
Also contributing to the BF offense was freshman Shanice Fisher, who drove in a pair of runs, and senior Emily Stoddard, who scored four runs. Santorelli went 3-for-5, drove in four runs, and turned a 6-3 double play to thwart a Wildcat rally in the sixth inning.
Leah Putnam had an RBI double for the Wildcats in the second inning, while Callie Dix and Niles each drove in runs on ground outs to give Twin Valley a 3-1 lead. An error on an infield hit by Jordyn Bolognani led to another run in the fourth inning, and Karlee Walkoviak drove in the Wildcats’ final run in the fifth on a ground out.
Fry said he was happy with his team’s effort, especially since he was missing a couple of his players. “We haven’t got a lot of players, so everyone has to step up and contribute,” he said.
• Brattleboro opened its season with a couple of losses.
Abby Baldwin and Megan McCarthy scored five goals each as Northampton, Mass., cruised to a 19-5 home win over Brattleboro on April 11. Grace Goodwin-Boyd added three goals and five assists for the Blue Devils, while goalie Bridget Harrington made seven saves.
Things didn’t go much better in the Colonels’ home opener at Natowich Field last Friday night against Mount Anthony. The Patriots scored their first goal just 11 seconds into the first half, took an 11-2 lead at the break, and cruised to an 18-3 win.
The Colonels were playing shorthanded, with several of their starters missing. Brattleboro was outshot, 15-6, in the first half. Axis Balsey-Petraska and Morgan Derosia scored Brattleboro’s first half goals.
In the second half, the Colonels had more time of possession, but had trouble turning that into scoring chances.
Avery Gaile, Emily Atland, and Bridget Ahern each scored four goals for MAU, while their goalie, Carly Plaisance, finished with five saves.
• Brattleboro’s Jack Gagnon scored his 100th varsity goal as the Colonels suffered a 10-8 road loss to Northampton, Mass., on April 11.
Northampton had a 5-4 lead at halftime, and outscored the Colonels, 4-1, in the third quarter. Brattleboro rallied in the fourth, but the Blue Devils hung on to win.
Gagnon and Evan Perkins had three goals each to lead the Colonels. Alex Fitch, Jasper Reed, and Nate Tyler all tallied their first career varsity goals, with Perkins, Fitch and Tyler also adding assists.
The Colonels made another trip to Western Massachusetts on April 13, this time to face the Belchertown Orioles. Belchertown was a Western Mass Division 3 quarterfinalist last season, and many of those players retuned this year. However, Brattleboro came out on top, 8-4, for their first win of the young season.
• Twin Valley was leading West Rutland 13-9 on April 11 when the game was suspended due to darkness in the seventh inning.
Joey Rafus came in in relief of starter Kyle Murdock, to throw 4 1/3 innings of one-run baseball for the Wildcats. Justin Hicks went 1 for 3 with three runs scored. No date has been set for the completion of the game.
The Wildcats’ bats stayed hot on April 13, as they clobbered Arlington, 20-10, at Baker Field in Wilmington. Kyle Lazelle went 3 for 4 and scored four runs while Hicks went 3 for 3 and scored four runs to lead Twin Valley. Ethan Fox pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the victory. He threw just 41 pitches and held the Eagles to just two runs.
• Brattleboro opened its season with a 17-3 road win at Mill River on April 13.
• Leland & Gray started its season with a pair of wins. On April 13, the Rebels traveled to West Rutland and won 11-5. Two days later, they rallied to beat Green Mountain, 10-3, in their home opener.
•After getting shut out by Rutland in their season opener, Brattleboro swept Mount Anthony, 7-0, at the BUHS courts on April 12.
At No. 1 singles, Oliver Goodman won in straight sets over MAU’s P.J. Seward, 6-2, 6-2. No. 2 Gideon May beat Jacob Dameur, 6-0, 6-2, while Alex Shuey also prevailed by an 6-0, 6-2 score over MAU’s Brendan Hay at No. 3. Martin Sipowicz defeated Griffin Mattison 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4.
No. 5 singles saw the closest match of the day, as Brattleboro’s Tom Szpila pulled out a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win over Luke Williams.
In doubles play, the No. 1 team of Cole Merkle and Josh Nordheim topped MAU’s Aaron Hewitt and Peter Drew 6-0, 6-2, while No. 2 Jacob Bailey and Zeb Hathaway skunked MAU’s Jeson Li and Kai Bing 6-0, 6-0.
Rutland faced the Colonels at the BUHS courts last Friday, and the Raiders prevailed again, this time by a 6-1 score.
• Simon Bupp-Chickering got the Terriers off to a good start with a win at No. 1 singles, but BF couldn’t match Brattleboro the rest of the way in a 6-1 loss at the BUHS courts on April 13.
At No. 2 singles, BF’s Franco Marengo lost 6-2, 6-4 to the Colonels’ Martin Sipowicz. Brattleboro’s Alex Shuey won 6-0, 6-0 over Aaron Hart at No. 3 singles, while No. 4 Josh Nordheim topped Quinn Lambert 6-2, 6-0, and No. 5 Tom Szpila beat Cooper Stafford 6-0, 6-0.
BF got skunked in doubles, as Brattleboro’s No. 1 doubles team of Cole Merkle and Ari Essunden beat BF’s Ira Ricardson and Poe Terena 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Forest Zabriskie and Ronan Kiddal defeated BF’s Alden Parmelee and Phin Tillman 6-0, 6-0.
• Mount Anthony defeated Brattleboro, 6-1, in an April 12 match in Bennington. Brattleboro’s only win came at No. 4 singles, as Jazmin Smith defeated Pheobe Hall 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
The next day, at the BUHS courts, the Colonels swept Springfield, 7-0. Jaida Henry, Claudia Craviotto Roca, Smith, Kimberly Bau, and Camille Gunzburg all won their singles matches, while the doubles teams of No. 1 Annie Takacs and Colette Anton and No. 2 Rose Dumaine and Hannah Blake were also winners.
The Colonels had another road match, this time in Rutland, last Friday and won, 4-3.
• Bellows Falls lost to Otter Valley, 5-2, on April 12 in Brandon. Sarah Scarlett and Nora Bright each picked up a victory for the Terriers at No. 2 and No. 5 singles, respectively.
Mount Anthony came to Bellows Falls last Friday, and swept the matches, 7-0.
Track & Field
• Thirteen Brattleboro athletes qualified for the state meet as the Colonels girls’ and boys’ track teams each won a three-school meet against Hartford and host team Windsor on April 12.
Punching their tickets for the state meet were Evy Williams (100), Danielle Wood (200, 100 hurdles), Honnee McManus (400), Catey Yost (800), Ellery Loggia (3,000), Emma Allen (pole vault), Kharisma Boyd (long jump, triple jump), and Kai Boyd (javelin), all of whom came in first for the BUHS girls.
The Brattleboro boys who won and qualified included Tyler Clement (200), Jonah Koch (800), Isaac Freitas-Eagan (1,500, 3,000), Orion Stone (110 hurdles, pole vault), Evan Koch (300 hurdles), Liam Reynolds (high jump), Jasper Reed (long jump, triple jump), Isaiah Gilbeau (shot put), John Lonardo (discus), and Josh Hanson (javelin).
The Brattleboro girls swept the relay events, with the foursome of Evy Williams, Dory Abdallah, Kharisma Boyd, and Danielle Wood winning the 4 x 100 and the team of Isabella Thurber, Emma Allen, Ellery Loggia, and Honnee McManus taking the 4 x 400.
The BUHS boys also swept the relays. Tyler Clement, Orion Stone, Liam Reynolds and Jasper Reed took the 4 x 100 while Spencer Loggia, Isiah Gilbeau, Orion Stone, and Dan Burdo won the 4 x 400.
• DJ Snide won three events to lead the Bellows Falls boys to victory in a seven-team meet at Hadley Field on April 14. BF won with 230 points, followed by Stevens (89), Newport (44), Springfield (36), Fall Mountain (32), Twin Valley (18), and Sharon (4).
Snide won the 100 and 200 with times of 11.5 and 23.94 seconds, respectively, and took the 110 hurdles in 18.01. Sawyer Reis won the 400 in 56.89, while Shane Clark threw 124 feet, 6 inches to win the javelin. Chris McKeen cleared nine feet to win the pole vault and Reno Tuttle won the discus with a toss of 100 feet, 4 inches.
Elm City Derby Damez season opener April 23
• The Elm City Derby Damez, a flat-track roller derby team based out of the Monadnock Region, will open their seventh season on Saturday, April 23. The game, held at the Nelson Withington Skating Facility in Brattleboro, will be against United Front, an all-and-no gender inclusive team from Pioneer Valley Roller Derby.
Admission is by donation. The match will start at 6 p.m.
The Derby Damez, a skater-owned and operated team, have eight games on the 2016 schedule — six at its Withington home rink at Living Memorial Park. The season also includes bouts with Seacoast Pixies, Central Vermont, Boyz of Summer, and Brawlin’ Broads.
Visit www.elmcityderby.com for more information.