Friday, October 31, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;40.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2014-10-31 05:51:04
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wilton-Lyndeborough walks off with Division IV softball crown

By NICK CANELAS

Correspondent

PLYMOUTH – The Wilton-Lyndeborough High School softball team had already exceeded the expectations of coach Dennis Claire just by reaching the Division IV final on Saturday.

So it seemed only fitting that the championship wouldn’t come easy. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

PLYMOUTH – The Wilton-Lyndeborough High School softball team had already exceeded the expectations of coach Dennis Claire just by reaching the Division IV final on Saturday.

So it seemed only fitting that the championship wouldn’t come easy.

After blowing a four-run lead in the top of the seventh inning, pitcher Sara Holka hit a walk-off single in the bottom half to score Lexi Balam and clinch the title for the Warriors with a dramatic 10-9 win over Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover at Plymouth State University.

“I just wanted it so bad that I was like, I’m going to do it any way I can,” an overjoyed Holka said. “Just get the ball in play. This is unbelievable.”

The win gave WLC redemption after falling to Woodsville in the final last year, sending its three seniors – Kim Edmunds, Sophie LeVert and Sami Bosquet – off with first-place medals.

“It was anybody’s ballgame,” Claire said. “I was really just happy to be here, and I told the girls, ‘We’re here to win, but if we don’t, we had a great season.’

“I’m just happy to win it for the kids, for the three seniors. They wanted to win real bad.”

The Warriors came back to the dugout dejected after a championship slipped out of their grasp in the top of the seventh, but Claire reminded his players, “We only need one run, girls.”

That wouldn’t come easily, either. Balam, a seventh-grader, Balam led off the inning with a single, and Lorrie Blais followed with a bunt single to put two on with no outs. But Tesa Simpson flew out to left and Edmunds grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with two outs for Holka.

“Sara Holka was the one I wanted up there in that situation,” Claire said.

Holka delivered.

The sophomore swung at the first pitch she saw and drilled it into right field. Balam crossed home amid a mob of teammates, Edmunds rounded third and into the arms of Claire and Holka sprinted off the field a hero.

“I felt like the world was on my shoulders,” said Holka, who finished 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs. “My knees were shaking. I’m not even kidding right now. I swung at the first pitch, and I didn’t know what to expect. It paid off.”

Holka also gave herself a win in the circle. The sophomore closed out her first year as starting pitcher with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

The Warriors took a 9-5 lead into the seventh after Sami Bosquet cleared the bases with a three-run single and Jenna Bragdon drove in another with a single. But that lead was erased by a furious rally by the Eagles to tie the game.

Holka walked the first two batters in the inning. After they advanced on a wild pitch, PCA’s Mikaela Harkovich drove them home with a single to cut the deficit to 9-7.

Amelia Sheedy followed with a single, and Hannah Daly tied the game with a single of her own to score Harkovich and Sheedy.

“It was a good game to watch,” Claire said. “It had to be. Exciting all the way until the end. I actually said when it was 9-5 that this team wasn’t going to quit because they had done it all year. Sure enough, they go ahead and tie it up.

“It was an exciting game, but I don’t really like them like that. I’d rather win by two or three runs.”

Bosquet finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs, including the game’s first two runs in the first inning to score Edmunds and Holka.

Bosquet came up limping in the top of the sixth after being hit on a slide into third base, but delivered with the clutch single to right in the bottom half despite a knee injury.

WLC returns a majority of its team next season, losing only three seniors. Clair expects his team to be competing for a bid to Plymouth State again next year.

“Hopefully we can regroup and (replace) those three players,” he said.