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Randolph T. Holhut/Commons file photo

Brattleboro’s Zinabu McNeice, seen here on the mound against Green Mountain in the season opener on April 26, is one of the mainstays of the Colonels’ pitching staff.

Sports

Colonels look strong as baseball playoffs begin

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 news@commonsnews.org.

When the high school baseball season began, Brattleboro varsity coach Chris Groeger was bemoaning the youth and inexperience of this team and thought this might be a rebuilding year for the Colonels.

Instead, they went 10-1 and picked up the No. 3 seed in the Division I tournament. They got a bye into the quarterfinal round, where they will host the winner of the first round game between No. 6 Colchester and No. 11 Mount Mansfield on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Natowich Field.

The Colonels have found all different kinds of ways to win this season. On May 25 in Manchester, they scored seven runs in the last two innings to rally to a 10-5 win over the Burr & Burton Bulldogs.

Bulldogs starting pitcher Trevor Green kept a lid on the Colonels’ offense, but hit his pitch limit after five innings and had to leave the game. That opened the door for the Brattleboro comeback in the sixth and seventh innings.

Trailing 5-3, Aaron Petrie was hit by a pitch and Zinabu McNeice singled to lead off the sixth inning. Turner Clews singled to load the bases and Greg Fitzgerald followed with a bases-loaded walk to force in a run to make it 5-4. Alex Kurucz later drove home two more runs with a two-out single to put the Colonels in front to stay.

Brandon Weeks started the seventh with a solo home run. Jack Pattison then doubled and scored on a ground-run double by Clews. Fitzgerald followed with an RBI single and also scored. Weeks, pitching in relief of starter Jolie Glidden, retired the Bulldogs in order in the seventh to earn the win.

With Weeks and McNeice leading the pitching staff, and Pattison and Fitzgerald leading the Colonels’ offense, Brattleboro has a chance to make some noise in the playoffs.

Softball

• Brattleboro ended the regular season with five straight wins to finish with a 9-4 record and the No. 7 seed in the Division I playoffs. They were scheduled to host No. 10 North Country in a first-round playoff game on June 1.

The Colonels clobbered Burr & Burton, 15-1, in five innings on May 25 in Manchester. Taylin Bauer and Aliza Speno had two hits apiece for the Colonels, and Brenna Beebe, Leah Madore, Greta Neddenriep, and Logan Austin each had a hit. Madore was the winning pitcher, with 10 strikeouts and one walk as she held the Bulldogs to just two hits.

Brattleboro kept up the momentum with a 5-4 win at Windsor on May 27 and an 8-0 win over Fair Haven on May 29.

• Leland & Gray started the final week of the season with a 22-14 loss to Green Mountain in Townshend on May 25. Hannah Landers had three hits, including a double, to lead the Rebels, while Catherine Shine had two hits and three RBIs and Mary Sanderson added two hits.

The Rebels bounced back with a 26-7 drubbing of Mill River on May 27 in North Clarendon. Ansley Henderson was the winning pitcher as the Rebels took advantage of numerous walks and errors by the Minutewomen.

In the regular season finale on May 28, the Rebels blanked Woodstock, 7-0, to finish with a 6-9 record.

• Bellows Falls lost a pair of road games to end the regular season to finish 7-9. On May 25, the Terriers lost to White River Valley, 16-3, and on May 26, they lost to Hartford, 34-33.

The eighth-seeded Terriers were scheduled to host the ninth-seeded Rebels in a first-round Division III playoff game on June 1.

• Twin Valley got crushed by Proctor, 26-9, on May 25. That loss came after a 26-20 home win over Thetford on May 24, and a win by forfeit over Mount St. Joseph. The Wildcats finished with a 2-8 record.

Baseball

• Bellows Falls finished its regular season strong with a pair of road wins. On May 24, the Terriers beat Windsor, 13-3, in six innings. In the season finale on May 29, BF nipped White River Valley, 3-1.

The Terriers, at 10-6, earned the No. 4 seed in the Division III playoffs. They will host No. 12 Northfield (2-7) in a first-round game on June 2 at Hadley Field.

• Leland & Gray completed a season sweep of Mill River with a 12-0 win on May 25 in North Clarendon. The Rebels followed that up with a 19-9 win over Poultney in six innings on May 28 in Townshend to end the regular season at 5-8.

As the No. 9 seed in the Division III playoffs, they were scheduled to travel to Windsor on June 1 to face the No. 8 Yellowjackets (4-8).

Ultimate Disc

• Leland & Gray finished the regular season at 5-1 after a 15-6 win over Brattleboro on May 25 at Natowich Field. Liam Towle led the Rebels with a goal and eight assists in 6-on-6 play.

The Rebels took an early 6-0 lead as Landon Beach scored twice and Towle, Trevor Hazelton, Alex Parker-Jennings, and Christian Cannella also scored. Jasper Everingham’s score set up by Linus Talbot was the Colonels’ only goal in the first half as Leland & Gray took an 8-1 lead into intermission.

Brattleboro’s Rio Coursen and Ada Melton-Houghton both scored to open the second half, but then Andrew Tolbert, Emma O’Brien, and Peter Broussand scored for the Rebels to end any hope of comeback.

The Colonels finished the season at 1-5, while the Rebels finished with a 6-1 record and earned the No. 4 in the state Ultimate playoffs and were scheduled to host No. 13 Bellows Falls in a first-round match on June 1.

• Bellows Falls put up a good fight, but lost to Burr & Burton, 15-14, in their regular season finale on May 25 in Manchester. The Bulldogs rallied from a 13-11 deficit late in the second half for the victory.

Lacrosse

• While the Brattleboro girls failed to win a game this season, they finished with two of their best efforts of the season.

On May 25, they lost to Mount Anthony in overtime, 12-11. The visiting Colonels lost to MAU, 14-5, in their previous meeting. This time, Brattleboro went toe-to-toe against the Patriots as the teams traded the lead throughout regulation time.

The game was tied 5-5 at halftime and the Colonels almost pulled off the upset before MAU’s Ava Elmer scored her third goal of the game with 26 seconds left in the second half to force overtime. Elyse Altland then scored the winning goal at 1:03 of the extra period.

Brianna Paul and Wilson Romo each had four goals in the loss. Juliana Miskovich added two goals and Sophia Mikijaniec also scored.

In the rain on May 29, the Colonel girls were edged by Woodstock, 7-6. Romo led Brattleboro with two goals and two assists. Paul had two goals and an assist, and Miskovich and Mikijaniec each added a goal and an assist. The Brattleboro girls finished with a 0-12 record.

• The Brattleboro boys also ended the season without a win and, like the girls, saved their best game for last with a 7-6 loss to Mount Anthony at Natowich Field on May 28.

It was the closest result of their season for the Colonels, who finished at 0-11. After being beaten by the Patriots 14-0 and 18-3 in their previous meetings, the Colonels showed their mettle on a rainy night. Adam McMahon scored five goals, Trevor Thibault added another tally, and Alex Baker had four assists. Thad Sawyer made 23 saves in goal.

The Colonel boys got the No. 11 seed in the Division II tournament and will head north to faced sixth-seeded Colchester on June 2.

Tennis

• The state tennis playoffs begin on June 2. The Bellows Falls girls finished the regular season at 6-8 and got the No. 7 seed in Division II and will travel to Manchester to face second-seeded Burr & Burton in a first-round match.

Both Brattleboro teams are also on the road for their respective Division I first-round playoffs. The Colonel boys finished 8-4 and head north to take on eighth-seeded St. Johnsbury, while the 1-9 Colonel girls got the 10th seed and head to Barre to face No. 7 Spaulding.

Rec. Dept., BHA offer summer ball hockey

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department and the Brattleboro Hockey Association will be offering summer ball hockey on five Saturday mornings — July 10, 17, 24, and 31, and Aug. 7 — from 9 to 10 a.m., at the Nelson Withington Skating Facility located at Living Memorial Park.

This program is for those 4 to 13 years old. The fee for this program is $10 for Brattleboro residents and $25 for non-residents. Gloves are recommended but not mandatory. There will be a very limited number of gloves and sticks for use. Participants are encouraged to bring their own if they have them, and extras if they are willing.

This will be an opportunity for kids interested in hockey to try the sport without needing to know how to skate. In addition, this will allow current players to practice some skills in the offseason. The program will be informal and offer pickup games with mixed teams with a focus on having fun and getting some exercise.

To register, mail in your registration and payment to the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department, P.O. Box 513, Brattleboro, VT 05031, or call the Recreation & Parks Department Office at 802-254-5808 for more details.

Living Memorial Park pool opens June 19; swim lessons offered

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department says the Living Memorial Park Pool and Rotary Water Playground will be opening for the season on Saturday, June 19, at 1 p.m.

This year, in place of season pool passes, they will be offering 10- or 20-visit pool punch cards. For Brattleboro residents, a 10-visit card costs $20 and a 20-visit card is $40. For non-residents, cards are $25 for 10 visits and $50 for 20 visits. The passes will have no redemption value, and will only be valid for the 2021 pool season.

The Rec. Dept. will be offering swim lessons for children who are three years old by June 19. Brattleboro residents may register on Saturday, June 19 or Thursday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. Non-residents may register on Friday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to noon. Swim lessons are primarily for Brattleboro residents, and non-residents will be accepted if space is available.

There will be three sessions offered and each session is two weeks long. Session 1 is from June 28 to July 9, session 2 is from July 12 to July 23, and session 3 is from July 26 to Aug. 6. The cost of the lessons is $40 for Brattleboro residents and $55 for non-residents.

The Red Cross has developed a system for lessons, which is considerably different than lesson criteria in past years. Therefore, each child must be tested before being placed in a class and should be prepared to go in the pool at registration.

If your child has a Red Cross Card from last summer, bring it to registration, which takes place rain or shine at the Living Memorial Park Pool. The program will follow any updated COVID-19 guidelines and policies released by the state. Call 802-254-5808 for more information.

Free rowing introduction

• Row-BOC, a program of The Brattleboro Outing Club, will offer a free introduction to rowing on Saturday, June 5 (rain date June 6), from 10 a.m. to noon.

The event takes place at Row-BOC’s boathouse on the West River in Brattleboro near the Marina Restaurant off Putney Road near the trailhead for the West River Trail.

RowBOC Master Rowers say they will “teach, assist, and cheer you on” as you learn “how to get in and out of a boat, take strokes while tethered to the dock, and maybe launch on the West River.” For more information, contact RowBOC at rowboc@gmail.com.

Senior bowling roundup

• In Week 5 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on May 27 at Brattleboro Bowl, Team 2 went 5-0 to move into first place at 16-9, a game ahead of second place Team 3 (15-10). Team 7 is in third (14-11), followed by Team 1 (12-13), and Team 1, Team 6, and Team 4 (all 11-14).

Carol Frizzell had the women’s high handicap game (236), while Debbie Kolpa had the high handicap series (637). Pete Cross had the men’s high handicap game (247), while Doug Switzer had the high handicap series (641). Team 1 had the high team handicap game (864), while Team 7 had the high handicap series (2,481).

In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 632 series that featured games of 198, 231, and 203. Warren Corriveau, Sr. had games of 210 and 198 in his 593 series. Wayne Randall rolled a 500 series, and Cross had a 190 game.

Carol Gloski rolled a 186 as part of her high scratch series of 499 to lead the women. Nancy Dalzell rolled a 180 as part of her 495 series.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #615 (Wednesday, June 2, 2021). This story appeared on page C4.

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