BARRE — A little adversity brought out a lot of fire inside the Spaulding baseball team Thursday.
Coach Dan Kiniry’s squad was staring at a two-run deficit midway through the contest before peaking late to lock up a 16-6 victory over the previously undefeated Wildcats. The Crimson Tide beat Hazen by double digits for the second straight year.
Tide starting pitcher Trevor Arsenault was cruising early after allowing no runs and one hit over the first two innings. Hazen pounced in the third and was poised to upset the reigning Division II champs, but the Tide’s offense came alive during a handful of key situations down the stretch.
“The middle and bottom of our lineup was really good,” coach Kiniry said. “Zack Wilson, Cam Burke, Damian Giffin and Mason Keel all had major contributions for us today.”
Spaulding led 4-0 lead after the first inning, but Hazen tied the game in the third frame. A hit batter followed by consecutive singles by Jadon Baker, Tyler Rivard and Jordan Montgomery pushed the runs across for the Wildcats. Hazen pulled ahead 6-4 in the top of the fourth, thanks to a single by Owen Skorstad, a double by Rivard and a single from Montgomery.
“We lost our focus after the first inning,” coach Kiniry said. “It was great to see the guys come out hot in the first, then we just sat back. Hazen is too strong, too talented and too competitive. As soon as we relaxed, they took advantage.”
The Tide knotted things up at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth on a walk to Danny Kiniry, a sacrifice fly by Averill Parker, a double by Wilson and a single by Burke. The Crimson Tide raced ahead for good in the fifth inning and never relinquished the lead for the rest of the game.
Cole McAllister singled at the start of the fifth inning, Arsenault doubled and Danny Kiniry followed with another double. After Parker reached base on a walk and then Wilson belted a grand slam that have his team a 12-6 advantage. Burke, Damian Giffin and Mason Keel added hits after Wilson’s homer to extend the lead 14-6. McAllister ended the game with a two-run double.
Wilson wound up going 3-for-4 and drove in six runs. Cam Burke also went 3-for-4 and finished with two RBIs and one run scored. McAllister was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Keel was 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored, while Giffin was 1-for-2 with two runs scored. Last year the Tide handed the Wildcats one of their two regular-season losses.
Spaulding (8-1) will travel to play Montpelier at 11 a.m. Saturday. Hazen (7-1) will visit U-32 for a contest the same day.
Montpelier 7, Harwood 3
DUXBURY — A 16-strikeout masterpiece by starting pitcher Andrew Tringe kept the Solons heading in the right direction with Thursday’s midseason win over the Highlanders.
Tringe earned the complete-game victory after issuing zero walks and limiting Harwood to five hits. He threw 116 pitches, 87 of which were strikes. Tringe also stood out offensively, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
“Andrew did a great job on the mound today,” Montpelier coach Logan Cooke said. “We got a lead early but Harwood did a great job rebounding. They were putting up some great at-bats and making plays on defense. It would have been easy for him to get frustrated and lose focus but he didn’t. We had some defensive miscues and didn’t let them snowball.”
Leadoff hitter Colden Hollingsworth was 2-for-2 with two runs scored. He reached base three times on walks. Teammate Nate Groff went 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI. Keegan Smith was 1-for-2 in the winning effort, while fellow Solons Becket Buckley and Clayton Foster (one run scored) were each 1-for-3. Will Talbert and Nick Rubin contributed one RBI apiece for MHS. Hollingsworth and Foster each recorded two stolen bases
“Offensively we worked the count well and stayed within our approach,” Cooke said. “Credit to Harwood because they were making plays all game. They were turning double plays, robbing home runs — the works. It’s easy to start over-swinging and getting frustrated when that happens. But we were able to persevere.”
Montpelier (5-3) will host Spaulding at 11 a.m. Saturday. Harwood (1-6) will travel to play Lyndon the same day.
Spaulding 19, Harwood 7
DUXBURY — The Crimson Tide came roaring back form an early three-run deficit to finish things off with a five-inning victory over the Highlanders on Thursday.
Soccer and ice hockey standout Rebecca McKelvey had a day to remember at the plate by driving in eight runs. She wound up,going 3-for-4 with a double and also scored a run for Spaulding, which trailed 5-2 after the first inning before scoring six runs in the second frame and five more in the third.
Rory Glassford went 2-for-3 with one RBI and four runs scored in the victory. Teammates Natalie Allen (2-for-3, one RBI, one run scored) and Ella Lewis (2-for-2, two runs scored) also registered multiple hits.
“We hit solid, ran the bases aggressively and played good defense,” Tide coach Tara Simpson said. “We are working on the little things and understanding how small details in the game can make a big impact on the outcome.”
Sage Johnson (1-for-5, triple, two runs scored) and Taylor Keel (1-for-3, double, one RBI, four runs scored) also had timely hits for the Tide. Rounding out Spaulding’s offensive contributors were Deanna Wild (1-for-4, one RBI, tow runs scored), Alexis Otis-Leclerc (1-for-2, one RBI) and Celine Eckhardt (1-for-1, one run scored). Camille Marineau earned the victory on the mound.
Spaulding (3-6) will host U-32 at 11 a.m. Saturday. Harwood (0-6) will travel to play Lyndon the same day.
Harwood 12, Milton 4
MILTON — Goalie Evan Andrews made 17 saves Thursday and face-off specialist Tim Russo won 10 of 11 attempts to power the Highlanders.
Brian Betchel led Harwood with five goals and one assist, while teammate Indy Metcalf added two goals. “Heading up to Milton, we had yet to play a complete game,” Highlanders coach Russ Beilke said. “This was a real good test and the first time that we actually played a complete game from face-offs to saves to defense. Emmett Lasai was an all-around workhorse while he got a goal. It was his defensive ability out there that really helped secure a good all-around win for the team.”
Harwood (4-3) will travel to play St. Johnsbury at 11 a.m. Saturday. Milton (4-4) will host Montpelier the same day at 6 p.m.
U-32 15, Burlington 7
BURLINGTON — Megan Ognibene won nine draw controls, dished out one assist and scored three times Thursday, propelling the Division II Raiders past the D-I Seahorses.
Standout defender Annika Turcotte also recorded a hat trick for U-32, which established a 9-4 halftime lead.
“We’ve given Annika a pretty big role,” U-32 coach Emilie Clark said. “She’s probably the fastest girls lacrosse player in the state, so we’ve tried to utilize her speed more and we have a few big jobs for her. We have her marking the other team’s best player, which she also does in soccer. So she’s face-guarding, but we also have her as our point person on offense because she can run down the field and score. It’s tough on a hot day like today, but she handled it well.”
Ella Neff scored her first two goals of the year for the Raiders. Teammates Amelia Woodard and Natalie Beauregard also scored twice, while Caitlyn Fielder (one goal, three assists) excelled as a playmaker. U-32’s Zoe Hillferty (one assist) and Ruby Eaton also fired home shots and Lydia Trombley notched one assist for the Raiders.
“We have a really well-balanced team and we’ve had different top scorers in a lot of games,” Connor said. “It depends on the defense we’re playing against and their style. Different players get hot on different days for us, which is great.”
Goalie Emily Fuller made six saves for the Raiders, who held a 15-9 advantage on draws. Both teams fought through hot, humid conditions during the clash on a turf field.
“It felt like 95 degrees and we struggled with the heat a little,” Connor said. “We were trying really hard to conserve energy because we have two games in two days. Our plan was to get up by a few goals and then slow the game down and rotate in extra players. It was sort of a weird game of spurts and it was a game of momentum. Burlington went on a run and scored three goals in the last four minutes. But by that point we were in control.”
U-32 earned its fourth straight victory and improves to 7-4, while Burlington falls to 3-5. The Raiders maintain their spot near the top of the D-II rankings behind undefeated Hartford.
“Today was huge for points,” Connor said. “And we also play Rice away at the end of the season. We knew we had these games coming up, so we were pretty confident where we would be in the standings. Now we just have to stay consistent throughout the end of the year.”
Montpelier 5, U-32 2
MONTPELIER — Allegra Muller put a lopsided first-set loss in the rear-view mirror and stormed back to earn a key victory at No. 3 singles to help the Solons beat their cross-town rivals on Thursday.
Muller bumped up a position due to the absence of teammate Sophie Sevi and rose the occasion by rallying to a 1-6, 6-3, 10-4 victory over Maya Elliott. The gritty effort allowed Montpelier to sweep the singles action, negating a pair of doubles victories by U-32.
“Allegra really turned things around in the second set,” Montpelier coach JP Lassner said. “When she puts the ball to the outside thirds of the court — left or right, and not in the middle — she’s so much more successful. She puts spin on the ball and gets it down and plays really well. In the first set she was hitting too many balls to the middle. But after that she did a good job adjusting and keeping it to the side. And she had some nice volleys.”
Ruby McElwain, Emily Tringe and Juliet Allen also moved up a spot in the order and delivered much-needed victories for MHS. Allen won her first singles match at the varsity level by defeating Evelyn Rocha, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 5 position. McElwain was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Jin Clayton at No. 2 singles. Tringe kept her hot streak intact with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Annora Sylvester at the No. 5 spot.
“Emily Tringe is on a streak for us,” coach Lassner said. “She’s hitting topspin and going after shots — and then the volleys become so much easier.”
Rachana Cherian returned to the top of the singles order and faced a difficult challenge from U-32’s Salome Tchantouridze. The pair waged an intense battle that ended in a 6-3, 7-6(5) victory for Cherian, who was the No. 5 singles player last year.
“Salome is a very consistent player,” coach Lassner said. “I was on the court with Rachana at about 1 (p.m.) before the match and I hit with her for an hour and a half. We were working on hitting angles and having the ball pass the sideline before it passes the baseline. And we worked on her slice and I hit topspin to her backhand. She can hit slice anywhere on the court. But I was hitting only to her backhand and it was a fun drill. Salome hits a very flat ball. So hitting a slice ball against someone who hits flat is effective. The slice stays low and the other player isn’t capable of hitting it hard and having it dip down with topspin. It was a great match and Rachana was actually down a break in the second second. But she broke back and she won in that tiebreak by playing some really solid tennis.”
Montpelier (6-2) will host North Country at 3:30 p.m. Monday. U-32 (2-6) will travel to play South Burlington the same day at 4 p.m.
Rachana Cherian (M) def. Salome Tchantouridze 6-3, 7-6(5) Ruby McElwain (M( def. Jin Clayton 6-4, 6-1 Allegra Muller (M) def. Maya Elliott 1-6, 6-3, 10-4 Emily Tringe (M) def. Annora Sylvester 6-0, 6-1 Juliet Allen (M) def. Evelyn Rocha 6-3, 6-1
Yvette Petrella and Meredith Wilcox (U) def. Elizabeth Lassner and Finn Lofgren 6-2, 7-5 Slyvia Emmons and Sawyer John (U) def. Somerset Pierce and Karina Jafoozinksa 6-2, 1-6, 10-4
North Country 4, Harwood 3
WATERBURY — Singles victories by Sofia Salcedo, Grace Elwell, Maya Auger and Cheska Adonis gave the Falcons all the points they needed to hold off the Highlanders.
Harwood’s Quinn Nelson was in control from start to finish during a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Jade Francis at No. 3 singles. Cierra McKay and Maeven Cattanach breezed to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Heidi Cole and Lily Beauvais to give HU another point at No. 1 doubles. Cassidy Berry and Spen LInskey joined forces for HU at No. 2 doubles and survived a late scare to close out a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Winter Toulon and Natasha Godfrey.
“In theory we should have won this one without much trouble, but we had a forfeit (No. 2 singles) due to illness and we had to move the lineup due to a few absences,” Harwood coach Kristin Kassis said. “All in all, though, it gave some of the doubles girls a chance to play singles. …Tennis can be a game of small margins, as it was today. And we ended up on the wrong side of the margin.”
Harwood falls to 2-4, while North Country improves to 2-3.
Sofia Salcedo (NC) def. Ella Dice 6-3, 6-1 Grace Elwell (NC) def. Liv Sprague 5-1 (forfeit) Quinn Nelson (H) def. Jade Francis 6-2, 6-1 Maya Auger (NC) def. Hadley Anderson 7-5, 6-2 Cheska Adonis (NC) def. Mae Murphy 6-3, 6-0
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