It’s been a rainy June, and all that rain has wreaked havoc with the state high school softball playoffs.
Both the third-seeded Brattleboro Colonels and the top-seeded Leland & Gray Rebels won their respective semifinal games on June 12, clinching a trip to the championship game at Poultney Recreation Field. But both teams had to wait days to learn whom they’d face in the final.
Sixth-seeded Oxbow beat No. 7 Enosburg, 5-4, in eight innings on June 13 to reach the Division III final.
Leland & Gray and Oxbow were to play for the state title on June 16 but got rained out. The game was rescheduled for Monday, but it, too, got rained out. The game was rescheduled for Wednesday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Brattleboro had a longer wait to learn whom it would face. The Division I quarterfinal in Bennington between No. 4 Mount Anthony and No. 5 Missisquoi Valley was repeatedly postponed until a break in the weather, and the game was played, June 15.
Missisquoi won that game, 3-2, and advanced to semifinals to face top-seeded, undefeated Essex, which had been waiting since June 6 to learn whom it would face.
Those teams eventually played on June 17 in Essex, where Missisquoi snapped its opponents’ 37-game win streak with an 8-0 victory.
Missisquoi, which lost to Essex in last year’s semifinal, faces Brattleboro on Wednesday, June 19, at 5 p.m.
Both the Colonels and Rebels had nail-biting finishes to advance to the finals.
Brattleboro pitcher Kayla Wood’s no-hit string ended against second-seeded Colchester, though the more important numbers were 3-0, the final score in the Colonels’ win. Wood finished with a three-hitter with one walk and eight strikeouts in her third consecutive shutout this postseason.
As was the case against BFA-St. Albans in the quarterfinal game, the Colonels struggled to score runs until the very end.
Haley Struthers started the seventh inning by reaching on a two-base error. Alex Derosia pinch-ran for Struthers and hauled to third on a sacrifice by Wood. Lou Lou Terwilliger drew a walk, and Rissa Smith came through with a bloop hit to score Derosia. Alyssa Bezanson capped off the scoring with a two-run single.
Wood retired Colchester in order in the bottom of the seventh to nail down the win. She now has a 12-1 playoff record in her four years as the Colonels’ pitcher, with championships to show for 2010 and 2011.
To get to the Division III final, the Rebels had to beat the fifth-seeded Randolph Galloping Ghosts, which they did in a tight and tense 3-1 victory on June 12 in Townshend.
This was the third time in four years that Leland & Gray (14-3) squared off against Randolph in the semis, but this was the first time that the Rebels didn’t have to take a bus to the game.
And for coach Tammy Claussen, it was the first time the Rebels had beaten her alma mater.
The Ghosts scored first on a Brooke Jacques solo homer in the fourth inning; Kelsey Bruder answered with a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning that brought in Ashley Goddard and Kori Griffin for a 2-1 Rebel lead. Kate McAllister racked up an insurance run in the fifth inning.
Symanski pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and got two big strikeouts in the seventh to clinch it. She finished with eight strikeouts in all.
“[Symanski] was solid today,” said Claussen. “She just does her job, day in and day out. I couldn’t be more proud of the work she has done.”
Lax teams fall in semis
• The Brattleboro girls lost in the Division I semifinals to top-seeded and unbeaten South Burlington, 17-6, on June 11.
It was the first time in program history that the Colonel girls, the fourth seed in the tournament, advanced to the semifinal round.
Senior Maddie Rollins scored five goals in her high school swan song, clearing the season with 72 goals and 18 assists – a school record. Alex Fellows posted Brattleboro’s only other goal.
Marissa Semenovich and Gaia Uman each played a half in goal, and each had three saves. Brattleboro finished the season with a 10-8 record.
• The fourth-seeded Brattleboro boys also faced the top-seeded team on the road in the Division I semifinals, falling to Essex, 13-4.
The Colonels got a goal and an assist from both Sam Siegel and Connor Elliott-Knaggs; Nik Rancourt and Dylan Bettini each added a goal.
Goalie Romello Lindsey stopped nine shots for Brattleboro, which finished up with a 13-5 record.
Marble Valley League All-Stars announced
• The Marble Valley League recently honored several area high school players and coaches for their accomplishments in this spring season.
Chris Sawyer (Brattleboro boys lacrosse), Tammy Claussen (Leland & Gray softball), and Dave Chelsey (Bellows Falls girls tennis) were all named Marble Valley League coaches of the year in their respective sports.
Local players making the MVL first or second team, or honorable mention, in their respective sports:
Division B Baseball: First Team — Leland & Gray’s Drew Barnum and Zach Wilkins; Mike LaBeau of Bellows Falls. Honorable mention — Wade Beattie of Leland & Gray.
Division C Baseball: First Team — Sam Molner of Twin Valley. Honorable mention — Dylan Johnson of Twin Valley.
Division A Softball: First Team — Brattleboro’s Kayla Wood, McKinlie Carpenter, and Bailey Paige.
Division B Softball: First Team — Leland & Gray’s Ashley Goddard, Elizabeth Symanski, and Jordan Gouger; and Chelsea Wilder of Bellows Falls.
Division C Softball: First Team — Twin Valley’s Sammy Cunningham-Darrah. Honorable mention — Twin Valley’s Veronika Vernon, Lexi Reinertson, Hannah Swanson, Jordan Niles, Colton Butler, and Abbi Putnam.
Division A Boys Tennis: First Team — Brattleboro’s Isaiah Ungerleider, Asa Lane, and Benson May.
Division B Boys Tennis: Honorable mention — Cedar Williams of Bellows Falls.
Division A Girls Tennis: First Team — Brattleboro’s Halie Lange.
Boys Lacrosse: First Team — Brattleboro’s Sam Siegel, Nik Rancourt, Conner Elliott-Knaggs, Philip Perkins, and Romello Lindsey. Second Team — Brattleboro’s Colby McGinn, Rowan Payne-Meyer, and Lane Drummey. Honorable mention — Brattleboro’s Jake Castine, Tanner Freeman, Kyle Patno, and Brennen Zolnoski.
Girls Lacrosse: First Team — Brattleboro’s Maddie Rollins. Second Team — Brattleboro’s Katelyn Donovan and Alex Fellows.
Ladies’ Day at Sportsmen, Inc.
• Sportsmen, Inc. will hold its annual Ladies’ Day on Saturday, June 22. Open trap shooting, fly fishing, and target shooting take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A course in basic handgun safety and personal protection is offered from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Seats for this course are limited, and participants must be 18 or older. RSVP Lisa at 603-762-0344. Eligible participants are welcome to bring their own firearm, though the club and instructors will supply coaches, firearms, and ammunition if needed.
For more information, call Angela at Brattleboro Area Realty, 802-257-1335. Door prizes from Trader John’s Gun shop, Highlander Arms, Sam’s Army & Navy, and Walmart will be awarded.
BCC member-member results
• The Brattleboro Country Club member-member team competition kicked off the tournament season on May 27, in a two-best-ball format, gross and net.
Gross score winner, with 151, was the team of Greg Montgomery, Bob Houle, Sherryl Libardoni, and Tom Green. Runners-up, with 155, were Ryan Kohler, Doug Emery, Larry Farkas, and Janis Kiehle.
Net winners, with a score of 128, were Dick Virkstis, Larry Cassidy, Sherry Bengtson, and Dwight Decker, followed by Jeff Houle, Dan Zumbruski, Jimmy Coulombe, Kate Clark (129); then Rick Wisell, Les Eustace, Barb Henry, and Michael Hertz (130).
Closest-to-the-pin winners were Sherryl Libardoni (fourth hole, 10 feet, 1 inch), Becky Day (on the eighth, 5 feet, 7 inches), Larry Farkas (at the 14th, 30.5 inches) and Doug Wisse (on the 16th at 5 feet, 5 inches).
BOC hosts July 4 mixer
• The Brattleboro Outing Club’s tennis program invites the public to a free event on July 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at their courts at 202 Cedar St. Instructors will arrange doubles play for all ages and skill levels. Visit the grill for free hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and soft drinks. Families are welcome.
Volunteer-run BOC Tennis boasts low fees, no waiting lists, and says players of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to join. Their six soft red clay courts are among New England’s finest.