Londonderry Lancers Softball '09

Sat, Jun 06, 2009 04:00 PM @ Londonderry
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Final
Pinkerton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Londonderry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Londonderry outlasts Astros in 16

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Saturday, June, 06 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

LONDONDERRY  — Two pitchers proved slightly better than one yesterday afternoon and evening.

But only barely.

And it took 16 innings of dramatic, tension-filled softball to prove it as Londonderry outlasted Pinkerton and senior pitcher Cara Chooljian in a classic three-hour Class L quarterfinal game.

The third-seeded Lancers (18-3) advance to Tuesday’s 5 p.m. semifinals at Memorial Field in Concord against No. 2 Concord (19-2), which defeated Nashua North 5-0 yesterday.

Chooljian threw the game of her life, striking out 15 and allowing just five hits, including just a ground single and bloop single through nine innings. But she finally ran out of gas in the 16th, walking in the final run for her fourth walk of the inning and the game.

“That was just an amazing game she (Chooljian) pitched and she deserved better,” said Londonderry coach Wayne MacDougall. “The fact that we have two terrific pitchers helped us I’m sure.”

Senior Erica Boehm started for the Lancers, allowing just three hits through six innings. But, when the first two Astros hit safely in the top of the seventh, sophomore Theresa Zwart came in and retired the next three batters and then went the rest of the way for the win.

“I was so nervous I felt like I was going to die when I came in,” said Zwart. “But the more I pitched, I was getting too pumped up to get tired.”

Still, despite facing two pitchers, the Astros (15-6) had more opportunities to score. They finished with 11 hits and four times left two runners on base. The Lancers, by contrast, didn’t get a baserunner until the fifth, had only three baserunners through 10 innings and only stranded seven until the 15th.

“The difference in the game was that when we had runners in scoring position, we didn’t produce,” said Pinkerton coach Terry Bailey. “Cara deserved to win the game the way she pitched. No one knows what she went through, the amount of energy she used, not just pitching, but hitting, fielding and running the bases.

“I asked her in the 12th how much gas she had left and she said there was no way she was coming out of the game.”

But exhaustion finally arrived in the 16th. She walked the first two batters, Kelly Hunt and Boehm. Beth Rosenberg layed down a sacrifice bunt. Zwart hit a shot to right field for the second out, but Hunt failed to tag up, leaving runners on second and third.

But Daniele Crutcher walked on four straight pitches, all of which were high, to load the bases and Sam Nitso then walked in Hunt for the game’s only run.

“That was just an amazing game,” said MacDougall. “I think having the home field and being up last finally helped us.”

In addition to the superb pitching, both sides flashed some terrific defense.

Rightfielder Nicole Cuerdon saved at least one run with a pair of running catches and first baseman Allie Priest was sensational around the bag for the Astros, who made just one debatable error.

Nitso at third and Hunt in center field both made fine plays for the Lancers.

“Obviously, it was a tough game to lose, but our kids played their hearts out, so there’s nothing to complain about,” said Bailey. “And compared to where we were last year, when we were 5-14, to go this far and only give up one run in 23 innings of the tournament is quite an accomplishment.”

Game Statistics:

Pinkerton (0): Marraffa ss 7-0-2, Murphy dp 7-0-1, Gentile cf 7-0-1, Miller c/3b 7-0-2, Pelletier pr 0-0-0, Doherty 3b/c 7-0-1, Chooljian p 6-0-2, Deleo lf 6-0-2, Walters 2b 6-0-0, Cuerdon rf 6-0-0, Priest 0-0-0. Totals 59-0-11

Londonderry (1): Bermudez lf 3-0-0, Rosenberg lf 3-0-0, Zwart dp/p 7-0-0, Crutcher 1b 6-0-2, Nitso 3b 5-0-1, Williams rf 5-0-1, Kraytenberg ss 6-0-0, Pierce 2b 6-0-0, Hunt cf 5-1-0, Boehm p/dp 5-0-1, Lang c 0-0-0. Totals 51-1-5

RBI: Nitso

WP: Zwart; LP: Chooljian

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