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Methuen softball surges into North final

 LOWELL — Methuen softball coach Jason Smith couldn’t have drawn up a better game plan than the one his Rangers delivered in Thursday night’s Division 1 North semifinals.
 
With starter Jillian McCoy quieting the bats of top-seeded Concord-Carlisle and a defense that threw out three base runners, including two at the plate, fourth-seeded Methuen advanced to its first North final since 2015 with a 5-1 victory on Thursday at Martin Field.
 
“Yes it was,” Smith said when asked if it was as sweet as he imagined. “(Concord-Carlisle) is a fantastic opponent, and we knew we were going to get a battle. But my hat is off to my (Rangers).
 
“They are a really close-knit group that has each other’s back. They were ultra focused tonight. Between Jill and our defense, we were ready, and I was very pleased with the results.
 
The Rangers (20-3) will return to Martin Field to face seventh-seeded Newton North (18-4) in the Division 1 North final at 7 p.m. Newton North was a 2-1 winner over Medford in the earlier semi, at 7 p.m. Saturday. 
Methuen catcher Courtney Belanger twice magnificently blocked the plate while taking a pair of great throws from third baseman Emma McAlpine that nailed the game’s first would-be run in the fourth, and another potential run in the sixth. Belanger was also the middle assist on a play at third that began with a fly out to right fielder Kerri Horan.
“Courtney does a fantastic job of positioning herself in the right place,” Smith said. “We had some really good throws. We needed to make the good throws because they needed to be almost perfect in those situations, and we made the plays. Credit to our defense tonight for helping out their pitcher.”
Methuen opened the scoring in the third when Nyah Mazzone blasted a double and scored on an error. The Rangers added two in the fifth on an RBI ground out by Mazzone and a single by McAlpine. Mazzone also drove in a seventh-inning run with a single before scoring on Concord’s third error of the game.
Mazzone, a junior who bats third, junior clean-up hitter McAlpine and freshman lead-off Steph Tardugno have combined to go 15-for-26 in three postseason games with nine RBIs while scoring half  of Methuen’s 16 runs.
“We talked about moving up a little bit in the box,” Smith said. “But I think we were a little anxious early, too. We have some young players in the lineup ... so we had to calm the nerves a little bit. Once we got a few (hits), I think everyone saw we could do this.”
Sophomore hurler McCoy won her second playoff start, allowing five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

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Softball, 06/14/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover falls short in North final

For a time, it seemed as if Andover was on the verge of stealing momentum with the Division 1 North title on the line.

With the Golden Warriors trailing 1-0, the team of Elia Petros and Anna Higgins stormed to a dominant victory at No. 2 doubles, handing their teammates a spark and sending fans into massive cheers.

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Girls Tennis, 06/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Seniors power Methuen softball to semis

METHUEN - Jason Smith only has two seniors on his softball squad, but it turns out the Methuen coach has quality in his pair.

While Kelsie McGonagle was throttling the Peabody offense, Taylor Cassidy provided her classmate all the support she would need with a pair of run-scoring singles as the Rangers advanced to the Division 1 North semifinals with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night over the fifth-seeded Tanners.

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Softball, 06/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Mitchell, Andover cruise to North Final in convincing fashion

CHELMSFORD - It's all finally coming together for Andover boys lacrosse. It had to at some point, right?

You don't load your non-conference schedule with the likes of perennial powers Pinkerton, Lincoln-Sudbury, Concord-Carlisle, Reading and Dover-Sherborn and expect your team not to eventually rise up to the competition level.

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Boys Lacrosse, 06/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover volleyball's Eduardo Machado

Eduardo Machado is a standout for the Andover volleyball team — he leads the team in assists and kills — and is also a star in the classroom. He is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class, scored a 2,170 on his SATs and will be attending RPI.

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05/17/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni

Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni talks about his new love of hurdles, and his hopes to break the school record in the 400.

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VIDEO: Haverhill runner Mike McNaughton

Haverhill's Mike McNaughton talks about his career as a runner.
 
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05/04/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover lax star Jaymi Cohen

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VIDEO: Andover softball talks "New Start"

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04/06/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Highlights of 2012 high school hockey season

Take a look back at some of the best highlights from the 2012 high school hockey season.

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03/22/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Highlights of 2012 high school hockey season

Take a look back at some of the best highlights from the 2012 high school hockey season.

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03/22/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Pregame for Andover basketball

Andover captains Nicole Boudreau and Ally Fazio talk about their state title game an hour before game time.

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03/17/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Pentucket wins Division 3 state title

Video highlights and interviews from Worcester after Pentucket won the Division 3 North title at the DCU Center in Worcester.

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03/17/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Meet the Andover girls basketball team

Meet the Golden Warriors in this video featuring the members of the Golden Warriors.

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03/16/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Meet the Pentucket Sachems

Check out the video featuring every member of the state title-bound Pentucket Sachems.

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