Right now, it doesn’t appear that it’s any smarter to get in the way of the Londonderry Lightning 12-U softball team than it would be to jump in front of a speeding train.
After winning the district tournament several weekends ago, the talented, young Lightning crew made it all the way to the title game of the state tourney in Londonderry this past weekend before falling to the tough Litchfield entry.
The local squad had defeated that Litchfield bunch in the championship game of the district tourney a week earlier.
Coach Mark Mayo’s young ladies still qualified for the regional tourney – slated for Rochester this coming weekend – by virtue of their runner-up finish at the state event.
Mayo’s mob began its involvement in the 2014 state tournament – on the LAFA fields – by hammering the visiting Bedford contingent by a 23-1 score last Friday night, July 18.
“Every girl scored at least once, and we had 14 hits by 10 girls along with 12 walks,” said a proud coach.
The next day the young Lightning ladies went a perfect 3-0 in pool play to end up being the top seed in their pool on the way to quarterfinal-round action on Sunday morning.
In that Saturday pool action, the locals beat Merrimack by a 9-3 tally, with the offense collecting several timely hits and aggressive base-running helping the Lightning take advantage of just about every opportunity.
Mayo’s mob also beat Nashua by a 15-2 score that day as the bats remained lively and multiple walks aided Londonderry in a lopsided win that only required four innings of play.
“For the day, the offense was led by Jocelyn Mayo, Hunter Langley, and Alivia Proulx. The defense was strong, with exciting plays from Miranda Galan and Alivia Proulx,” said the coach.
The locals’ opponent in the quarters on Sunday morning was the Souhegan Valley squad from the Amherst area. And the Lightning crew had no trouble getting that opponent out of its way with a 15-0 throttling.
Then in the state semifinals that afternoon, the local crew bagged another win but lost a nail-biter to Litchfield in the title contest.
The team had qualified for the state tourney by winning the district tournament in Manchester the weekend before. And Mayo’s mob had amassed a glittering, 5-1 record in performing that feat.
“Our loss was to Litchfield (3-1), and we beat them in the final, 9-3,” said Mayo. The locals defeated Merrimack in the semifinals by a 6-2 tally behind plenty of strong pitching and defense.
In the championship game against that Litchfield crew, the locals’ fine performance was paced by excellent pitching and timely hitting.
“The pitching was a group effort led by Catherine Beaton, Jocelyn Mayo, and Courtney Shay. They were all pitching two innings in each game, keeping the opponents off balance at the plate,” said coach Mayo.
In the title contest, the Londonderry offense was led by game Most Valuable Player Kayla Miles with her two hits and four runs batted in, along with several superb plays in the field.
As if all of that weren’t enough to assure the Londonderry girls of success, coach Mayo had even more to praise.
“The base-running was awesome to watch. The girls took advantage of every opportunity to get to the next base. They kept putting pressure on the pitchers, catcher, and defense all day,” he said.