Titans shortstop Rebekah Jackson waits on deck to bat during a softball game Monday, April 19, 2010, against Salem, held at Nashua High School North.
Nashua’s Jackson emerges as PSU star
Softball players with the overall ability of Bekah Jackson don’t usually land on the campus of a northern New England Division III school, so Plymouth State coach Bruce Addison was thrilled when the Nashua North graduate chose his program two years ago.
What’s not to like about Jackson? She’s five-tool all the way, a shortstop with great range, a strong arm, the ability to hit for average and hit for power.
The dilemma is do your put her at the top of the lineup to take full advantage of her speed or in the middle of the lineup and allow her to drive in runs.
Addison was considering his options three games into the 2011 season when Jackson, during a game in Florida, dove back to the first base bag. Her left hand hit hard, breaking two knuckles. A promising freshman year was over almost before it started.
“What impressed me most about Bekah is what happened next,’’ Addison said. “She couldn’t play, but she never missed a game or a practice. She was learning as much as she could about the college game without actually taking the field.’’
Jackson was frustrated, but when she was ready to return late in the season, the coach and player had a decision to make. Still not 100 percent, should she return or take a red shirt season, giving her four more years of eligibility.
Jackson and her coach decided she’d sit it out. She returned to action last summer with the her club team, the Diamond Gems Under 23 team. She sharpened up during the fall season and was ready to go this spring.
In 10 games so far she’s hitting a team-best .519, with 19 hits in 37 at bats. She leads the team in runs scored with seven and has knocked in five runs for the leadoff spot.
“So far, so good,’’ Jackson said. “I feel like I’m almost back to where I was.’’
Jackson admits last year was frustrating, but the business administration major had a solid year in the classroom and got comfortable with college life.
“She’s an extraordinarily talented player,’’ Addison said. “There really isn’t a weakness in her game. I’d love to have her for three more seasons.’’
Catholic University senior shortstop Megan Rizzi of Mont Vernon is off to another great start.
Rizzi, who led her team in hitting last year (.395) when she was an All Conference pick, is batting .387 through 20 games so far this spring. She’s third on the team in hits with 24 and third in runs scored with 12.
Ivy Muchuma of Nashua, a sophomore at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was named Liberty League Field Performer of the Year for indoor track.
Muchuma was the league champion in the shot put and finished second in both the weight throw and triple jump.
She won the state title in the weight and was second in the shot at the NYSCTC Meet
The Nashua North graduate went on to place sixth and eighth, respectively, in the shot and weight at the ECAC Championships in New York City.
Bentley University sophomore lacrosse player Chelsea Larivee of Amherst is second on the team in goals with 15 and tied for second in points with 19 so far in seven games.
Larivee was named to the Northeast-10 Conference All Rookie Team last year when she was third on the team in five categories, goals (27), assists (11), points (38), ground balls (40) and caused turnovers (16).
Junior outfielder Brendan Cosgrove of Merrimack is off to a strong start this spring for the Plymouth State baseball team.
In nine starts so far, Cosgrove is hitting .423 and has knocked in six runs.
Sophomore Alek Morency of Nashua, a pitcher at Merrimack College, is off to a great start so far this spring.
In five relief appearances so far Morency has yet to give up a run in 131⁄3 innings. He’s struck out 18, walked just five and allowed seven hits so far.
Opponents are batting just .175 against the Nashua North graduate.
In five starts so far this spring for the Merrimack College baseball team, sophomore pitcher Travis Terrill of Hudson is 2-3 with a 3.23 ERA.
Terrill, an Alvirne graduate, has allowed 27 hits in 302⁄3 innings so far. Opponents are hitting .239 against him.
In his second start of the season Sunday for the Franklin Pierce baseball team, sophomore pitcher Kevin McGowan of Nashua struck out 10 and allowed just four hits, two runs and one walk in 62⁄3 innings against American International.
In six appearances so far this spring, the Nashua North graduate has struck out 14 batters and has a 3.86 ERA in 182⁄3 innings of work thus far.