Londonderry Lightning 8-U Softball Crew Collects State Crown

All in all, it’s safe to say that the Londonderry Lightning 8-U all-star softball team began its summer campaign in satisfactory fashion.

Coach Mike Saucier’s talented crew started out on Memorial Day weekend by qualifying for the Babe Ruth World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida, later this summer. The locals did so by putting forth some strong work at the tourney qualifier at their own Londonderry Athletic Field Association complex.

Then, Saucier’s squad continued its success during the final weekend of June by winning a state title at the nine-team New Hampshire championship tournament held in Barrington.

“We went 6-0 and scored a combined 79 runs,” said the proud coach. “On championship Sunday (June 25) we beat the Lakes Region team 15-3, the Riptide team based out of Exeter 10-5, and then our rival, Barrington, in the championship game, 9-5. Barrington was the number one seed on Sunday, and we were the second seed, and both teams went into the finals without a loss.”

The Lightning’s leader was able to derive great pride from the fact that every member of his 11-player squad contributed to the big success.

“The rules for the state tournament allowed us to hit 11 players, with 10 fielders, four outfielders, and an optional extra hitter. We had all 11 in the lineup for every game,” said coach Saucier. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that all 11 hit well throughout the weekend and helped drive our offense. We were able to have many big innings because of the strength of the entire group.”

The state title-winning Lightning team, which includes players Caileigh Aguiar, Vivien Belanger, Adison Browning, Regan Burns, Riley Campo, Shannon Crowley, Lilly Dunne, Makenzie Daneau, Emily Flynn, Elisabeth Kearney, and Emma Saucier, also more than got the job done in the field.

“Defensively, we were very strong, making plays in both the infield and the outfield,” said the coach. “At a level where many teams play conservatively on defense, our girls were recording defensive outs at every base.  The hard work they put in during the winter and the spring really paid off for them. They are so much fun to watch. I’m really excited for the girls as they will have these memories for the rest of their lives.”

The state title win also got the locals an invitation to this month’s regional tournament, which is slated to be right back there in Barrington where the Lightning has already struck for major success.

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