The white-hot Londonderry High softball squad got within two victories of its program’s very first championship last Saturday, June 2, when it simply demolished the visiting Exeter High Lady Blue Hawks by a 10-1 tally in Division I quarterfinal-round tournament action at LHS.
Coach Wayne MacDougall’s top-seeded Lancers bagged their 18th straight victory by ending the eighth-ranked Exeter crew’s campaign with some impressive early offense.
New England College-bound senior catcher Emily Nelson hammered her second homer in as many games in the bottom half of the first inning – a two-run blast over the left field fence – to provide the LHS contingent with all of the runs it would wind up needing with star senior pitcher Ila Brown holding the Lady Blue Hawks’ offense firmly in check.
All in all the Lady Lancers put some five runs across home plate by virtue of five hits and two costly Exeter errors in the first inning in bagging a lead which they’d never relinquish.
That huge success placed the Londonderry crew in a semifinal-round contest with the fourth-seeded Spaulding High Lady Red Raiders of Rochester at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester this Tuesday night the fifth, after Londonderry Times press time.
Coach MacDougall’s mob began its 2018 season by beating that Spaulding squad, after which it lost its home-opener to the Winnacunnet High Lady Warriors from Hampton. But the Lady Lancers have won a stunning 18 consecutive decisions since that downer.
In the crowning of Exeter, Londonderry built upon its 5-0 lead in the latter part of the second frame by scoring twice more on one hit – a leadoff single by Nelson no less – and two more costly Lady Hawks’ errors in going up 7-0.
Oddly enough, Exeter’s offense had begun well to start the contest with leadoff batter and pitcher Sam Wiberg lacing a solid double to left-center. Ila Brown then walked the next batter, but nothing came of the threat.
The hosts shoved their lead up to 10-0 by scoring three more times on four hits – with Nelson leading off with another ringing single – in the bottom of the fourth and it looked likely that the Lady Lancers would invoke the 12-run rule and make it a short day.
However, Exeter clipped any shutout hopes the Lady Lancers had by scoring twice on two hits in the latter half of the sixth frame, but 10-1 was where the score wound up.
The victors finished with a full dozen hits, including the three from stalwart Nelson, three more and three runs batted in from sophomore standout Gia Komst, and two singles from Miranda Galan. Hurler Brown allowed five hits while striking out 11 and walking only two.