Nonprofit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Photo 1

Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Brattleboro’s Lydia Hazzard-Leal returns a volley from Mount St. Joseph’s Sophia Hussak during their May 6 singles match at the BUHS courts. Hussak won the No. 1 singles match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.


With big win, Colonel softballers come of age

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column for more than a decade and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at

Coach Kelly Markol thinks last week was the week that the Brattleboro Colonels softball team grew up.

After starting the season with two shutout losses in their first three games, the Colonels had yet to find their groove. But against two tough teams — Springfield and St. Johnsbury — Markol said her players finally gained enough confidence to realize they were a good team themselves.

While the Colonels lost an epic 13-inning game at Springfield, 4-3, on May 6, spoiling a 28-strikeout effort by pitcher Leah Madore, Markol said her team repeatedly battled back before Springfield won the game on an RBI triple by Maddie Clark in the bottom of the 13th.

Brattleboro took a 1-0 lead in the first, but Springfield tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. The Colonels recaptured the lead, but Springfield again tied up the game at 2-2 in the ninth inning.

An RBI single by Brenna Beebe gave the Colonels a 3-2 lead in the top of the 12th, but a throwing error led to the tying run in the bottom half of the inning again tied the game and set up the Cosmos’ 13th inning heroics.

In setting the school record for strikeouts in a game, Madore walked only one batter and held the Cosmos to four hits over her 13 innings. Beebe, Taylin Bauer, and Brittney Wright each had two hits for the Colonels.

It was a disappointing loss, but one that Markol said her team learned from. Two days later on Sawyer Field, the lessons from the Springfield game were put to good use in a 5-4 win over St. Johnsbury.

Madore was again a force in the pitching circle, striking out 14 batters. And her teammates again showed patience and resilience in coming back multiple times.

The Hilltoppers got the first run of the game in the first inning, when Adriana Lemieux doubled and scored on a single by Alexis Duranleau. The Colonels tied the game in the bottom of the first when Wright reached on a fielders choice and scored on a double by Madore.

Brattleboro took a 2-1 lead in the second when Logan Austin singled and eventually scored when Wright drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk. The Colonels added another run in the fourth when Natalie Hendricks doubled and later scored on a bloop single by Beebe.

St. Johnsbury tied the game in the fifth on a two-run homer to left field smacked by Delany Rankin, and took a 4-3 lead in the sixth when pinch-hitter Morgan Keach drove in a run with a bunt single.

However, Brattleboro rallied back again in the bottom of the sixth. Hendricks hit a one-out double and Greta Neddenriep followed with a single. Hendricks scored the tying run on a ground out by Bauer and Beebe drove in Neddenriep with the go-ahead run on a single to left. St. Johnsbury got their leadoff hitter on base in the seventh, but the Colonels retired the next three batters for the win.

“We came together today,” said Markol after the game. “This was the kind of game that a Brattleboro softball team is supposed to play. I am so proud of these girls.”

The Colonels finished the week with a 2-3 record, and the hope that maybe this week is the start of something big.


• Bellows Falls had a busy week with four games played. They beat Fair Haven, 14-4, on May 4, lost to White River Valley, 6-4, on May 6, and swept a home-and-double doubleheader against Springfield, winning the first game at Hadley Field, 2-0, and the second game at Birsky-Wyman Field, 11-0. The Terriers finished the week at 5-4, and have played more games than any team in Division III so far.

• Leland & Gray pounded out 19 hits in a 22-3 rout of Mill River in Townshend on May 4. Winning pitcher Kristian Pierson (4 RBI), Ethan Cutts, Dylan Greenwood, and Riley Barton all had three hits, while Parker Richardson added two hits. Two days later, the Rebels lost to Fair Haven, 10-3, Trevor Plimpton, Jeremy Graves and Greenwood all had hits for the 3-3 Rebels.

• Brattleboro is still struggling. The Colonels lost to Mount Anthony in Bennington, 12-5, on May 4. Jack Pattison hit a two-run homer in the loss.


• Bellows Falls had a week that epitomized the kind of season it has been for Vermont teams. They lost 20-3 to West River Valley at home on May 4, beat Woodstock 29-7 on the road on May 6, and lost to West Rutland at home, 20-11, on May 8.

In the Woodstock win, Abby Joslyn went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Emma Graham finished with two hits and five RBIs, and winning pitcher Taryn Darrell held the Wasps to just three hits over five innings. BF finished the week at 4-3, with three wins where they have scored more than 20 runs, and two losses where they have given up 20 runs.

• Leland & Gray has had a similar story, except they have a 1-6 record. The Rebels’ only win came against Mill River on May 4, a 16-0 victory in five innings.

For a team has twice given up more than 20 runs and lost by double-digit margins three times, it was something to cheer about. Ansley Henderson went 3-for-4 to lead the Rebels. Makaila Morse and Catherine Shine added two hits each, while Mary Sanderson hit a two-run single. Winning pitcher Ruthie Wright struck out four and walked just one, allowing just three hits.

On May 6, Green Mountain routed the visiting Rebels, 15-3, in six innings.

• Poultney beat up Twin Valley, 27-4, on May 6 in Whitingham. It was the fourth time this season that Poultney scored more than 20 runs in a game.


• The Brattleboro boys went 2-1 last week. The Colonels lost to Woodstock, 4-3, at the BUHS courts on May 3. Mason Foard and Will Taggard won their No. 1 doubles match, while the No. 2 doubles pairing of Owen Gallagher and Jackson Heller came out on top. Ben Luna was the lone singles winner.

They then rolled to a 6-1 win over Mount Anthony on May 4. Foard, Luna, Max Naylor, and Taggard were the singles winners. Abe Moore Odell and Heller teamed up for a doubles win, and shorthanded MAU had to forfeit a doubles march.

The Colonels eked out a 4-3 win over Burr & Burton on May 6. Foard, Taggard, and the doubles tandem of Gallagher and Heller were winners, and a forfeit in the second doubles match provided the margin of victory.

• The Brattleboro girls beat Mount St. Joseph, 5-2, on May 6 at the BUHS courts. Clara Seymour, Lauren Stockwell, and Marley Hathaway were the singles winners and the doubles teams of Cearra O’Hern and Bridget Schneider and Caroline Naylor and Maxine Hlavaty were both victorious.

Senior bowling roundup

• The Brattleboro Senior Bowling League started its second week on May 6 at Brattleboro Bowl with two additional teams. Undefeated Team 7 (10-0) is in first, followed by Team 1 (8-2), Team 2 (6-4), Team 5 and Team 3 (both 5-5), Team 8 (4-6), and Team 4 and Team 6 (both 1-9).

In week 2 play, Nancy Dalzell had the women’s high handicap game (285), while Shirley Aiken had the high handicap series (649). Chuck Adams had the men’s high handicap game (285) and series (818). Team 7 had the high team handicap game (909), while Team 1 had the high handicap series (2,677).

In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 797 series that featured games of 278, 262, and 257. Robert Rigby had games of 211 and 204 to complete a 597 series. Marty Adams had games of 196 and 192 in his 550 series, while Warren Corriveau Sr. rolled a 197 in his 532 series.

Dalzell rolled a 190 as part of her high scratch series of 488 to lead the women in week 2. Aiken rolled a 180 as part of her 484 series.

West River Trail Run will be virtual this year

• The Collaborative, a nonprofit that serves 18 towns in Western Windham, Southern Windsor, and Bennington counties in promoting healthy activities for youth, will try something different for its annual West River Trail Run fundraising event.

This year, the event will be virtual to accommodate COVID-19 precautions. Racers will have two weeks to run their race to ensure everyone can run at their own convenience and practice safe distancing.

Virtual West River Trail Run participants have two ways to race — either the full “11 Miles of Trouble” between South Londonderry and Jamaica, or a 5K out-and-back route in Jamaica State Park. You can walk, jog, or run on the trail, or do it on a local road, or your treadmill at home.

All participants will receive a specialized race medal with an updated logo and a Collaborative water bottle. Participants will have a unique opportunity to celebrate the history of the West River Trail on June 5 as competitors come together at the Jamaica Historical Foundation ( to pick up race bags. Race participants will be treated to a specially curated exhibit about the West River Trail.

To register, visit The Collaborative’s website for the link and other information at The registration fee this year is $25. All registered participants will be sent a link to upload their results. Participants have until June 4 at 5 p.m. to register and/or submit their results. If you have any questions, contact

Lifeguards needed for area pools

• Local lifeguard instructor Beverly Wright wrote to us recently that recreation departments and pools “are in desperate need of lifeguards. Due to the lost year of training and recertification, we are all in need of staffing.”

Wright is about to hold recertification classes and also run a full lifeguard course locally. Since lifeguards need to be re-certified every two years, and no course was run last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that every lifeguard is due to re-certify.

She hopes to do re-certifications on Memorial Day weekend and on the weekend of June 5-6. The full lifeguard course will require at least 28 hours in person in both the classroom and the water.

In order to be a lifeguard, candidates must be at least 15-years-old by the end of the course, be able to swim breaststroke and freestyle and swim 500 yards with designated strokes, be able to swim 20 yards without goggles, and be able to tread water and swim underwater.

Candidates will do a timed swim for 20 yards, a feet-first surface dive to at least seven feet, retrieve a “diving brick” from the bottom of the pool, and swim back and exit the pool in 1 minute, 40 seconds or less. Anyone who is interested in becoming a lifeguard, should send an email to

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

Originally published in The Commons issue #612 (Wednesday, May 12, 2021). This story appeared on page B4.

Share this story


Related stories

More by Randolph T. Holhut