OA's Alex Tepper (oafootball.com)
Nine seniors from various Hockomock schools participated in the annual Shriners Game on Friday night at Gillette Stadium. All nine of the players were on the South team that defeated the North, 15-12. Both touchdowns by the South were scored by Hockomock players. Below are the players who participated.
Brandon Alves, Stoughton
Nick Chiocco, Mansfield
Rhett Davis, Franklin (40 yard touchdown catch)
Jason Litchfield, King Philip
Paul Norris, North Attleboro (South Defensive MVP)
Charles Ruffin, King Philip (3 yard touchdown run)
Zack Schafer, Mansfield
Keith Sullivan, Oliver Ames
Alex Tepper, Oliver Ames
Scoring plays according to Brendan Hall of ESPNBoston.com
Here's a fun video of various Franklin High coaches that did their own version of Harvard baseball's take on Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Included in the video are boys' soccer coach Fran Bositis, girls' lacrosse coach Chris Schmidt, freshman baseball coach Josh MacCreery, girls' basketball coach John Leighton, volleyball coach Kate Horsmann, and athletic director/head football coach Brad Sidwell.
Former King Philip star Jake Layman has been selected to the USA Basketball Under-18 team for the upcoming 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championships.
Layman just graduated from King Phillip this month and will bring his talents to College Park to play at the University of Maryland in the fall.
The 6'8 forward was named the inaugural HockomockSports.com Basketball Player of the Year this past season. In the 2011-2012 season, Layman averaged 26.5 points, 15 rebounds, and 5.8 blocks. The Warriors reached the D2 South Finals in Layman's junior season, but were knocked out in the quarter finals this past season.
Layman is one of 12 players to make the cut. The team will play their first game June 16 against the U.S. Virgin Islands. They will play Mexico and host-country Brazil in the following two days. If successful, the squad will qualify for the 2013 FIBAs U19 World Championship.
By Monica Monteiro, HockomockSports.com Managing Editor
TAUNTON, Mass. – They say all good things must come to an end, and make no mistake about it, for the past three seasons the King Philip Warriors softball team has been great. Their performance in the Division I South Final today was no exception, despite a 1-0 loss to Bridgewater-Raynham in a 12-inning affair.
Just yesterday, KP put forth an impressive showcase of offense, defense, and unparalleled pitching en route to grabbing a 13-0 victory over Silver Lake in the South Semifinal. It was a win that seemed almost too easy to come by.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater-Raynham had to grind their way into the final pairing. It took them 12 innings to upend North Attleboro, 4-3, but they got it done. Most of the Warriors squad stuck around after their game to scout both of their potential opponents, so they knew full well when B-R pulled it out that they’d be in for an all out battle with the Trojans.
And "it came as advertised," said King Philip head coach Jim Leonard.
The two-time defending State Champions had struggled offensively in the first two rounds of the tournament, but KP seemed to have gotten through their slump against the Lakers on Saturday. Their bats fell silent again today, though, for which most of the credit belongs to a second stellar performance from B-R senior pitcher Audrey Dolloff, who went the distance for the Trojans in both of their 12-inning games at Jack Tripp Field at Taunton High School this weekend.
After 11 innings of scoreless ball today, something finally gave.
With two outs in the top of the 12th frame, B-R sophomore shortstop Madison Shaw got on base for the first time in the game. Then senior Rachel McCall drew a walk, which put runners on first and second for the Tojans. Both Shaw and McCall took off running when KP ace Meg Rico hurled one towards home. The Warriors’ stalwart catcher senior catcher Olivia Godin fired down to third base in hopes of catching her second runner of the day, but the ball scooted down the line into left field, allowing Shaw to become the first player of the game to cross the plate.
Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the inning, the top of KP’s lineup came up to bat. With two outs, junior Tori Constantin singled, giving the Warriors hope for a miracle. It wasn’t to be, though, as Godin popped one back towards the mound and for the first time in a long time a team other than King Philip celebrated a Division I South Title.
“We’re a team that typically doesn’t make mistakes and it was a very uncharacteristic mistake,” Leonard said of the circumstances that led to the game’s only run. “But that's why you play 'em. You’d like to see a win on something that’s a real good, clean play. But it is what it is. They played hard, they have nothing to hang their head on.”
For the second time in as many days, Rico recorded a 17-strikeout outing for KP. The difference between the two showings was that the Warriors were able to lend hefty run support against Silver Lake; today Dolloff simply wasn’t as yielding.
“They got runners [on] first and second, first and second, and when you keep doing that eventually it's going to come back and haunt you," said Leonard. "We didn’t get enough base runners today. You go from scoring 13 runs one day to none the next in 12 innings.”
Dolloff racked up 7 K’s over her 12 innings, relying on dizzying off-speed pitches that kept the Warriors off the bases for the better part of the day.
“We came up against an excellent pitcher today," said Leonard of the Trojans ace. "For a lot of third strike changeups, her location was real good. They mixed up locations enough to keep us off balance.”
The magnificent run strung together by KP over the past several seasons – which included back-to-back state titles – was largely made possible by their eight departing seniors, including Rico who’ll head to George Washington in the fall; Meg Carnase, bound for Colgate; Cayleigh McCarthy who’ll attend Stonehill; Hailey Mullen, shipping out to Holy Cross; Amy Nolan who’s off to Curry; Harvard-bound Alyssa Siegmann; Annie Shielber who’ll be at Dominican; and last but certainly not least, UMass-bound Godin.
“Your heart breaks for [Godin],” said Leonard. “She’s been a stalwart for four years. For the mistake to come from there is tough.”
By Monica Monteiro, HockomockSports.com Managing Editor
TAUNTON, Mass. – And, they’re back. King Philip’s top seeded softball team started their tournament march with an unusually quiet offensive attack, racking up just three runs through their first two rounds of play. But the Warriors found their groove again Saturday, posting 13 runs while blanking fifth seeded Silver Lake to advance yet again to the Division I South Finals.
As per usual, KP ace Meg Rico was in command from the start and never let up. The George Washington University bound senior hurled 17 strikeouts in the win over the Lakers at Jack Tripp Field at Taunton High School in the Division I South Semifinals.
Rico sent the first six batters she faced packing by way of the K. Meanwhile, her teammates matched their total offense from their previous two games by the end of the second inning – via an RBI triple from junior Tori Constantin that scored Rico from first base to get things going in the first, and a 2-RBI double from senior Cayleigh McCarthy that knocked in senior Meg Carnase and junior Anna O’Neill in the bottom of the second – to give their pitcher a 3-0 cushion. But she wouldn’t need it.
“We’ve had a couple of games now where we’ve just gotten one [or two],” said King Philip head coach Jim Leonard of his team’s recent offensive struggles. “[We] finally got the consistency in this game. We’re a good solid hitting team, it was just a matter of getting the repetitions necessary to kind of get it done in the game.”
They got it done indeed, as the KP bats erupted again in the bottom of the third inning. Senior catcher Olivia Godin drove a 2-RBI double to score Rico and Constantin to get the scoring going. Then, O’Neill hit an RBI double of her own, which brought Godin home. McCarthy picked up her second double just two spots later and recorded another RBI in the process.
Rico helped her own case in the bottom of the fourth, picking up an RBI single that scored senior Hailey Mullen. Then Constantin grabbed her second RBI of the day, knocking in Rico to give KP a 9-0 lead through four complete.
Rico added six more strikeouts to her total through the third and fourth innings, her only hiccups being a walk and twice hitting batters, and struck out the side in the top of the fifth.
KP added four more runs to their total through the final two frames, most notably in the form of a 2-run homer from McCarthy in the bottom of the fifth.
“Cayleigh loves this field,” said Leonard. “She had a homerun here last year in the tournament. [She had] another real solid homerun today and that’s what she’s capable of.”
McCarthy herself was hard-pressed to disagree.
“Coming to this field is always a good feeling,” said McCarthy of her consistent success at Jack Tripp Field. “As much as I love playing at PAL, which is our home field, coming here you know you’re kind of getting down to the wire and it’s time to get stuff done.”
A 2-run homer in a state tournament semifinals game is “getting it done” by most people’s definitions.
“It was an inside pitch actually, which I wasn’t used to because I have been seeing outside all day,” explained McCarthy of the look she took deep. “Low and inside is a pitch that I tend to shy away from in practice, which is weird, but always when I swing at it in games things like this happen, so I should learn to swing at it more often. I get up to the plate and I have a great mindset. You know that you want to contribute, not that you don’t want that all season, but coming here on such a big stage just drives me to do better.”
Rico was grateful for the sense of relief that McCarthy’s 5-RBI performance delivered.
“That was great; it’s always great to have that much run support, especially as a pitcher,” said Rico of the contribution from McCarthy. “We all worked really hard. It really built everyone’s confidence too so I’m glad [Cayleigh] had the RBIs and the homerun.”
Rico, as in control as ever, notched two more K’s to close the outing and the win for her team.
"She had 17 strikeouts the other day, so that kind of changes your definition of what the norm is with her,” said Leonard of Rico’s unwavering dominance. “She’s a very consistent pitcher, has great command of her pitches. We have all the confident in the world every time we put her out there in the circle.”
Actually, coach, make that 18 strikeouts against Somerset Berkley – 11 of which she strung together consecutively to start that game on Thursday en route to a 2-0 victory.
“She knows this is the time of the year when she needs to be on her game and she just never disappoints,” said Leonard of Rico. “She’s deserved more run support than we’ve given her over the last couple of games and I think she was able to kind of sit back and just pitch today. Two games in a row with [all those] strikeouts, that’s what she’s capable of.”
But Rico knows she never does it alone.
“Everything started really well,” she said. “As the innings went on it was a little tough. My catcher helped me a lot today; she calls all the pitches. She does a really good job with that – working them inside and outside to keep them off balance.”
It’s hard to find fault with a performance like the one the Warriors turned in today, but Leonard knows there’s always room for improvement.
“We had a couple of miscues but we’ll be able to clean that up,” said Leonard. “But I don’t think they put any balls in play in the infield other than a couple of bunts and we took care of most of those.”
And the Warriors impressive offensive rebound Saturday was no matter of luck, as that too took refining.
“People wouldn’t believe the amount of hitting we’ve practiced in the past day or whatever it was,” said Rico of the run support her teammates were able to lend at last. “I think we hit every hour basically. People knew we needed to get runs. I promised the team like, “I promise guys I will throw until I have to, we just need to get a run, but I’ll do anything in my power to not let them get runs. We all practiced a lot and it really showed today.”
Rico tossed 76 pitches on the day, 65 of which were strikes. Making such quick work of her opponents usually allows for fast recoveries between starts and she expects this layover to be no different.
“My arm never really gets sore,” Rico said of her availability for tomorrow’s Division I South Final against second seeded Bridgewater-Raynham who defeated North Attleboro, 4-3, in 12 innings in the other Semifinal game which followed King Philip’s. “I’ll be ready. The team needs everyone to be ready and my arm is fine.”
McCarthy has no doubt her teammate Rico will show up big again for her team in the South Final.
“She’s always been great and we’re so, so lucky to have her,” said McCarthy. “I play with her in the summer and she’s an awesome kid and a great player, and just a great package. It’s awesome to be in the field behind her.”
McCarthy conceded that it would have been nice to face off with another Hockomock team in tomorrow’s final, especially with North Attleboro who also hails from the league’s Kelly-Rex Division, but she and the Warriors are confident squaring off against any opponent.
“I think if this team comes together we’re going to come out and win a game any day, whoever we play.”
Photo: Dan Libon
By Ryan Lanigan, HockomockSports.com Editor
TAUNTON, Mass. – Sometimes when the game goes into extra innings, you have to take a chance and roll the dice. In the bottom of the twelfth, with two outs and a runner on second, Bridgewater-Raynham sophomore shortstop Madison Shaw stepped up to the plate. Shaw was already 4-for-5 and had a homerun.
North Attleboro head coach Bill Wallace met with his players and pitcher Megan Colleran at the mound, and with first base open, an intentional walk was an option. Instead, Colleran came out firing.
First pitch, a strike – looking.
“The first pitch to her was not the pitch we wanted,” Wallace said.
Second pitch, inside – but Shaw got a piece of it. It took a couple of hops towards first base as B-R’s Emily Kurkul took off from second. Then on the last bounce, it hopped right up into Jackie Delbonis’ midsection.
“She just hit it in a bad spot. It was too far for the first baseman to get to [the base],” Wallace added.
As Shaw scampered safely to first, Kurkul rounded third and headed for home, beating the throw to help the Trojans walk off in the 12th inning, 4-3 over North Attleboro, and into the D1 South Finals on Sunday.
“It was just one of those plays,” Wallace said.
The rest of the runs in the game had come over a games-worth of innings. Each team got off to a good start, with both getting a run in the first inning. After North Attleboro’s Lauren Johnson led off with a bunt single, Mikaela Caracciolo reached on a fielding error, putting two on and no out. Colleran’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners. Megan Wynn followed up with a single into left field, scoring Johnson.
Bridgewater-Raynham was able to respond immediately in the bottom half of the first. Shaw used her first at-bat to tie the game with a deep homerun to left center.
The Red Rocketeers came back in the top of the second, though. Marissa Gifford reached on an infield single and then advanced to second when Erin Mullaney drew the only walk thrown to North all day.
Photo: Dan Libon
Junior Rose Mooney reached on another infield single to load the bases. Johnson got her second hit of the day and her first RBI on North’s third infield single of the inning, scoring Gifford from third. After a strikeout, Mullaney scored on a passed ball that went out of play, automatically scoring the run.
The lead again didn’t last long, as the Trojans tied it up again in the bottom of the third. B-R’s Chelsea Correia blooped one into right, scoring Shaw. In the next at bat, Audrey Dolloff’s line drive triple into right scored Correira from first.
After the teams traded jabs the first three innings, neither team was able to score for eight innings.
“When you look back at this game, you’re going to see the first three innings and see we should have scored more runs,” Wallace said. “We had the bases loaded and we got one run. Both pitchers got better as the game went on.”
Colleran struck out nine throughout the game, and multiple times battled back from 3-0 counts to get the strikeout.
“One thing that Megan’s evolved this year is she’s not just throwing to throw to a strike zone,” Wallace added. “She’s trying to hit corners. She’s going to do deeper in the count sometimes. She’s a big strong girl and she can get through that.”
The Red Rocketeers lose Gretchen Deforest, Veronica Coyle, Kim Hallahan, Mullaney, Johnson, and Carracciolo to graduation.
Although North Attleboro comes up just short of the D1 South Finals, they are a young team that is bring back a strong core, including Colleran.
“This was awesome,” Wallace said of the season. “We were 11-9 last year. We thought we’d be a tournament team so we loaded our schedule. This is what we were playing for, to get to this spot here. We have a good nucleus coming back. When you get a pitcher and catcher coming back at that caliber, you’re pretty fortunate.”
OA junior captain David MacKinnon smashes a 2-run homer in the 1st inning.
By Monica Monteiro, HockomockSport.com Managing Editor
PLYMOUTH, Mass. – Nevermind that more than half the team had to swap their uniforms for tuxedos and dash off to the Junior Prom immediately following the game. And nevermind that a barrage of late spring rain pushed what would have been a Thursday night neutral site contest to a Friday matinee on their opponents’ turf; the Oliver Ames Tigers make no excuses and offer no apologies for the way their 2012 campaign came to an end.
Seventh seeded OA fell, 12-3, to the sixth seeded Blue Eagles of Plymouth North today in the MIAA Division II South Semifinal Round at Siever Field in Plymouth after an impressive season that saw the Tigers capture the Hockomock League’s Davenport Division Title and finish with a 14-9 record overall.
After a nearly flawless performance by his team on both sides of the ball in their previous game – a 6-0 dismantling of second seeded Hingham in the state tournament’s Quarterfinal Round on Tuesday – Oliver Ames head coach Leo Duggan chalked today’s loss up to simple misexecution.
“They just can’t [always] do it; that’s why they’re kids,” said Duggan. “They executed and we didn’t and that was really it. It wasn’t our day. We’ve got half of them going to the prom right now, but that’s no excuse. Give Plymouth North the credit; they’re the defending state champs.”
The Tigers came out hot to start. Senior captain Jim Sullivan battled his way aboard, drawing a walk to lead off for Oliver Ames, and then junior captain and shortstop David MacKinnon was quick to make it count – driving a 2-run shot to left centerfield to put OA head 2-0 by the time the Blue Eagles got their first turn at the plate.
“MacKinnon hit the ball well his first time up, and that started off the game well for us but then Plymouth North just came flying back,” said Duggan.
Senior captain David Holmes got the nod for the Tigers and gave up a double to the first batter he faced, but then recorded two quick outs. After walking Plymouth North’s cleanup man, an RBI single from the next hitter scored the Eagles’ first run, before Holmes notched his second of two strikeouts on the day to end the first inning.
The Tigers went down in order in the top of the second, but the Eagles went much less quietly in their second go on offense. Plymouth North strung together a relentless sequence of perfectly executed bunts and timely hits that helped them jump out to a 7-2 lead with just one out in the bottom of the second.
“We couldn’t cover a bunt,” said Duggan. “We did the little things wrong.”
Senior captain Ryan O'Shea making his return.
OA’s skipper opted then to pull his starter, Holmes, and bring in senior captain Ryan O’Shea from first base who’d been sidelined from the mound nearly all season by an injury that stunted what was built to be an impressive season for the perennial Hockomock All-Star who led the league in ERA when just a sophomore.
But O’Shea couldn’t stop the bleeding either and the same quality mechanics that produced the first 6 runs of the inning resulted in 5 more for the Blue Eagles before the third out of the second was at last recorded.
“David (Holmes) had a tough outing today, but he’s been good for us all year,” said Duggan in praise of his departing senior. “Not having Ryan (O’Shea) for the year made a big difference. He wanted to come in; we let him pitch. He did alright, we just wish we had him all year. But to win 14 games without him is still a really good accomplishment and then to get to the semifinals, we just couldn’t come through.”
From then on, Oliver Ames knew they had a tall task ahead of them. But a 10-run hole didn’t shake the Tigers’ resolve. Senior Matt Ingargiola drew a walk to lead off the third inning, which Sullivan followed up with a single. MacKinnon punched a double his second time through, and senior captain and catcher Matt Harding scored Ingargiola from third on an RBI single to bring his team one run closer.
The Blue Eagles didn’t score again all game, but neither did Oliver Ames, as the defending MIAA Division II State Champions were able to protect the sizeable lead they only needed two innings to build.
Senior Andrew Mancini contributed a single for OA in the top of the sixth, followed up by a single from senior Drew Egger who came in to replace junior Brad Fleming to start the inning.
“The six seniors did a great job for us,” said Duggan of the performances turned in by Sullivan, Holmes, Harding, O’Shea, Egger and Ingargiola – not just on the day but throughout their varsity careers. “Basically they played on teams that won 48 ballgames in three years. That’s pretty good, and three league championships, you really can’t fault that. It hurts right now, but they’ll get over it.”
OA sophomore Chris Servello.
Plymouth North’s hurler Alex Rozak went the distance for his team, notching 6 strikeouts and walking two. O’Shea remained in the game for the Tigers through the fifth inning and picked up 3 strikeouts on the day, before Duggan called in sophomore Chris Servello to handle the bottom of the sixth.
“Servello’s going to be good,” said Duggan of his young pitcher. “We’ve got a good nucleus coming back, but still those seniors winning 48 ballgames in three years is going to be awfully tough to replace.”
In addition to the loss of six seniors, the Tigers will also be without three of their four captains when they return to the diamond in 2013, as MacKinnon is the only junior of the quartet.
“It’s been a great year and we hate to end it like this,” said Duggan reflectively. “We were ready to go last night at the Rox’s stadium (Campanelli Stadium in Brockton), but then we got the call it was pushed back. We’ve had some great games with Plymouth North in the past, we just couldn’t compete with them today. But on another day? Yeah, maybe, I think we really could have.”
Despite their obvious disappointment, the Tigers remained lighthearted as they parted ways – most players bound for their friends’ and teammates’ houses to take pictures before hurriedly departing for their prom. Their ability to compartmentalize the loss alongside tonight’s impending excitement appeared to stem fittingly from their head coach, whose teasing threats to show up and crash the occasion seemingly would have been only too welcomed.
“They won’t be down for too long; we’ve got our prom tonight,” reiterated Duggan. “But like I said, that’s no excuse.”
Friday's postseason games and scores!BaseballDivision I
#1 Franklin, 3 vs. #8 Taunton, 9 - (Final) - Franklin eliminated from contention.Division II
#7 Oliver Ames, 3 @ #6 Plymouth North, 12 - (Final) - OA eliminated from contention.#12 Sharon, 2 @ #4 Hopkinton, 7 - (Final) - Sharon eliminated from contention.