Bellows Falls pitcher Izzy Stoodley is a big reason why the Terriers are currently ranked No. 2 in Division III softball in Vermont.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Bellows Falls pitcher Izzy Stoodley is a big reason why the Terriers are currently ranked No. 2 in Division III softball in Vermont.

Terriers softball keeps rolling with wins over Jacks, Bears

-More than baseball, high school softball is a game where success is determined by pitching. A softball team with a reliable starting pitcher who can consistently throw strikes will win more games than they lose. Add steady defense and some power at the plate, and you have the makings of a team that can contend for a state title.

Bellows Falls pitcher Izzy Stoodley is the Terriers' hard-throwing intimidator on the mound, and she is equally good with the bat. She sets the tone for her teammates to follow, and when they hit and field at the same level that Stoodley is pitching, the result is a team that nobody wants to face come playoff time.

The Terriers showed that last week with a 23-5 road win in five innings over the Windsor Yellowjackets on May 7 and a 16-4 win in six innings over the Brattleboro Bears in Westminster on May 9.

BF pounded Windsor as the Terriers broke open a close game with 12 runs in the third inning, and picked up four more in the fourth and five runs in the fifth before the game was stopped due to the 12-run mercy rule. Stoodley allowed five runs on four hits with six strikeouts. Only three of the runs were earned.

Emma Thompson went 4-for-4 with a walk, six RBIs, and four runs scored, while Stoodley went 2-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs. Grace Hayes drove in three runs with a hit and walk and scored a run, and Riley Haskell went 2-for-3 with two walks and scored four runs. Emma Spaulding and Jaelyn Fletcher each walked twice and scored three runs.

Against Brattleboro, Stoodley struck out 10 batters as BF took a 5-2 lead in the first inning and had a 14-2 lead after four innings. Fletcher drove in three runs to lead the Terriers and Haskell scored five times.

Bellows Falls ended the week at 7-2 and the No. 2 ranking in Division III, while Brattleboro is now 0-7, as the Bears suffered an 11-4 loss to Burr & Burton on May 6 and a 14-2 loss at Rutland on May 11.

What is the difference between Bellows Falls and Brattleboro this season? BF has an experienced squad with six seniors who were part of the Terriers' run to the Division III semifinals last season, a run that ended with a loss to the eventual state champs, Oxbow. Brattleboro is young and in rebuilding mode. BF has the talent to play for a state title now, while the Bears will have to take their lumps as they gain the experience that may ultimately lead to a winning team.


• Brattleboro's Jayke Glidden turned in another great pitching performance, but it wasn't quite enough as the Bears lost to the Burr & Burton Bulldogs, 3-1, on May 6 at Tenney Field. The Bulldogs got all their runs in the second inning, the only hiccup in Glidden's outing. Brattleboro got its only run in the sixth on an RBI single by John Satterfield.

Against Rutland on May 11, the Bears were once again victimized by one bad inning as they lost, 8-3. The teams were tied 2-2 going into the fifth inning, but Rutland scored four runs with two outs in the fifth to take control of the game. Starting pitcher Jackson Emery took the loss as the Bears fell to 2-6 on the season.

• Spencer Claussen pitched four strong innings to lead Leland & Gray to a 17-4 win over Poultney on May 6 in Townshend. Claussen also helped his cause by going 4-for-4 from the leadoff spot with an inside-the-park home runs and a triple. He scored four runs and had two RBIs. Also joining the Rebels' hit parade were Cody Hescock, Ryder Butynski, and Lucas Stolpp, who all went 2-for-3. Hescock doubled, drove in two runs, and scored four runs, while Butynski had a double and three RBIs and Stolpp had four RBIs.

The Rebels lost to White River Valley, 6-4, in Royalton on May 10 but bounced back to beat to Green Mountain, 14-6, on May 11 in Townshend to improve to 5-6 on the season.

The Green Mountain game was the annual "Dingers for Dylan" fundraiser in memory of Dylan Landers, a Leland & Gray student-athlete who died in a truck accident in May 2021. The current Rebels honored Landers with an inspired effort against GM, as Claussen had two hits, two RBIs, and scored three runs to support a complete game victory by Hescock on the mound. Hescock scattered 11 hits as previously undefeated GM lost their second straight game to fall to 7-2.

• Bellows Falls rallied to beat Windsor, 7-4, at Hadley Field on May 7. Trailing 4-3 heading the BF fifth, Cole Moore singled, stole second and third base, and scored on an error to tie the game for BF and spark the Terriers' comeback. BF then lost to Mount Anthony, 9-2, on May 11 to end their week at 5-4.

• Winless Twin Valley had a rough week. The Wildcats lost to Mill River, 14-6, on May 6, were beaten by West Rutland, 23-11, in five innings on May 7, and were defeated by Mount St. Joseph, 15-4, in six innings on May 9 to fall to 0-7.


• Leland & Gray finished last week with a 5-4 record. The Rebels lost to Poultney, 16-9, lost on May 6 in Townshend and defeated White River Valley, 11-7, in Royalton on May 10.

• Twin Valley had to cancel its May 6 game against Green Mountain. The Wildcats then lost to Long Trail, 31-1, on May 8 in Dorset and suffered another road loss to Woodstock, 17-9, on May 10 to fall to 1-5 on the season.

Boys' tennis

• The Brattleboro boys rolled to a 7-0 win over Woodstock on May 6 at the BUHS courts. The Bears won one singles match by forfeit as Dorian Paquette, Malo Renault, Nate Kim, and Mark Richards were not seriously challenged in their respective matches. The doubles teams of Wyatt Cudworth and Jackson Pals and Eben Wagner and Eli Welsh were also winners.

The Bears followed up with a 7-0 victory over Burr & Burton on May 8 in Manchester. Kim, Renault, Richards, Paquette, and Thomas Hyde were the singles winners, while Pals and Cudworth and Ben Berg and Leo Bodett cruised through their doubles matches. The Bears then finished the week with a 5-0 win over Frontier Regional to improve to 8-0 and the No. 2 ranking in Division I.

Unified basketball

• Brattleboro finished the regular season with an undefeated 7-0 record with a 66-54 win over Mount Anthony in Bennington on May 8 and a 35-33 win over Rutland on Senior Day at the BUHS gym on May 10.

• Twin Valley picked up its first win of the season in its final regular season game, a 56-50 road victory over Mount Anthony on May 6. The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 1-4-1 record.

• Times have not yet been announced for the Southern Division playoffs, but the top-seeded Bears will host the winner of the first-round game between Springfield and Otter Valley in a quarterfinal game at the BUHS gym. Seventh-seeded Twin Valley will host 10th-seeded Mount Anthony in a first-round game. The winner of that game will face No. 2 Burr & Burton in the quarterfinals.


• The Brattleboro boys had a pair of home losses last week to fall to 1-6. On May 8, the Bears fell to Hartford, 8-4. On May 10, the Bears lost to Rutland, 9-3. Rutland led 4-2 at halftime and pulled away in the second half.

• The Brattleboro girls defeated Stratton Mountain School, 17-8, and lost to Amherst-Pelham (Mass.) Regional, 15-6, on May 11 to finish the week at 2-4.

Tyler Higley is Castleton's new football coach

• Last week, Vernon native and BUHS alum Tyler Higley was named the interim head football coach at Vermont State University-Castleton. Higley, who spent the past two years as Castleton's defensive coordinator under head coach Tony Volpone, was elevated to the top job after Volpone announced on May 9 that he will be stepping down following the conclusion of the current academic year after 10 years of leading the Spartans.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this program that means so much to me," Higley said in a news release. "I want to thank [Castleton athletic director] Tim Barrett and the administration for the chance to guide this program into its next chapter. The program had a strong non-traditional season this spring and I have great confidence in this group as we move forward into the 2024 season."

A member of the BUHS Class of 2013, Higley played quarterback for the Colonels and also played that position at Castleton in his freshman and sophomore seasons. He switched to defensive back in his junior season where he earned First Team All-Conference honors from the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).

Higley still ranks among Castleton's top five for career interceptions and pass deflections and holds the program's single-season records with seven interceptions and 18 passes defended. In 2015, he ranked among the nation's top five in interceptions per game and passes defended per game. He holds a bachelor's degree in sports administration with a minor in coaching and business, as well as a master's degree in athletic leadership from Castleton.

He spent the last two seasons as Castleton's defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and community service coordinator. Under Higley's tutelage, the Spartans allowed the fewest points per game in the ECFC in 2022 and the fewest yards per game in the ECFC in 2023. The Spartans had nine defensive players earn All-ECFC accolades over Higley's two seasons as defensive coordinator, with seven of those honorees landing First Team recognition.

In addition to the five seasons on staff with the Spartans, he had a stint as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Western New England University. Given his experience playing on both sides of the ball during his college career and his success as a defensive coordinator, there's a good chance that Higley could shed the "interim" from his current job title. Good luck, Tyler, with the new gig.

Madow, Lockerby honored at NFF banquet

• The Vermont chapter of the National Football Foundation (NFF) honored the best of the 2023 football season at its 29th annual Vermont Chapter Awards Dinner at Vermont State University-Castleton on May 5.

Sam Madow of Brattleboro was one of six high school seniors selected as the 2023 Vermont High School Football Scholar-Athlete Inductees, honored by the NFF for "outstanding football ability and performance, outstanding academic achievement, and outstanding school leadership and example." Madow will receive a $500 scholarship

A first team all-state selection on defense, Madow was consistently named to the honor roll throughout high school. He volunteered as a coach in the Brattleboro youth flag football program and the local Girls on the Run Program along with many other school projects as well as participating on the BUHS Unified basketball team.

A two-year starter on offense and defense, Madow was a South captain in the 2023 North-South Senior All-Star Game and has been selected for the 2024 Vermont Shrine Bowl team.

Running back Walker James of Bellows Falls was one of the 22 statewide finalists for the Scholar-Athlete honors.

The Vermont Football Officials Association also gave its season-long team sportsmanship awards at the dinner. For the second straight year, Bellows Falls head coach Bob Lockerby was presented with the James Howard Trophy as the Southern Vermont honoree.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 2 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on May 9 saw Half Normal (10-0) have its second 5-0 week to remain in first place. Spare Change (7-3) moved into sole possession of second place, followed by Slo Movers and High Rollers (both 6–4), Three Musketeers (5-5), Fab Four, Stayin' Alive, and Misguided (all 4-6), and Split Happens (3-7).

Debbie Kolpa had the women's high handicap game (247), while Carol Gloski had the high handicap series (670). Skip Shine had the men's high handicap game (271) and series (704). Spare Change had the high team handicap game (873) and Slo Movers had the high handicap series (2,481).

John Walker had the men's high scratch series (600) with games of 223 and 191, while Chuck Adams had a 588 series with a 215 game, and Milt Sherman had a 576 series with games of 216 and 200. Robert Rigby had a 575 series with games of 213 and 193, while Skip Shine had a 569 series with games of 226 and 215, and Marty Adams and Gary Montgomery both had a 545 series. Montgomery had a 199 game and Warren Corriveau Sr. rolled a 191 game.

Gloski had the women's high scratch series (523), with games of 184 and 170, while Kolpa had the high scratch game (185). Shirley Aiken had a 178 game.

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].

This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.

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