Carbone leads Alvirne into Division I softball semis

HUDSON – Concord High School softball coach Duke Sawyer respects the pitching ability of Alvirne senior Taylor Carbone.

How could he not, after Carbone shut out his Crimson Tide 6-0 in last year’s Division I final and shut them out again Sunday afternoon in the Broncos 4-0 quarterfinal win?

And Sawyer respects her as a hitter. He proved that by walking her to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

“But I’ll be happy to see her graduate,” Sawyer said of the Alvirne pitcher. “Taylor has been tough on us the last two or three years. We just haven’t had a whole lot of luck against her.”

The Broncos made their own luck in the bottom of the first inning Sunday, jumping on Concord starter Katie Kennard for three quick runs.

Freshman leadoff hitter Kaycee Carbone sliced a triple down the left field line to get things started, then raced home on a single by Mikayla Powlowsky.

Powlowsky stole second and went to third when Jenna Giannelli lined a single to right. When the throw slipped out of the hand of the Concord right fielder , Powlowsky motored home with the second run.

Giannelli advanced on the throw to the plate, took third on an error and scored on a wild pitch, staking Carbone to a quick 3-0 lead.

It was more than enough. Concord managed just three hits. Carbone struck out seven and walked just one. The Broncos made just one error, but in the same inning got a spectacular play at second base from Giannelli.

On a ground ball that appeared to be headed by second base for a single, Giannelli made a diving stop, then was able to flip to second for a force out.

“She’s been making plays like that all season,” Alvirne coach Sarah Brisk said. “I really think we’re peaking at the right time, but I was concerned today, because Concord seemed to be peaking over the last few weeks, too.”

Besides pitching and defense, the Broncos had nine hits. Kaycee Carbone had two hits and reached base three times. Senior catcher Nicole Abreu, the No. 8 hitter, also had a pair of hits. Giannelli produced the fourth Alvirne run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

“I really don’t think there’s a weakness in our lineup,” Brisk said. “We have good speed at the top of the lineup and solid hitting from 1 to 9.”

And they have a semifinal date with Sunday’s winner between Londonderry and Winnacunnet of Hampton on Tuesday night (5 p.m.) at Southern New Hampshire University.