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The Power of Positivity: Marauders Win First Game in Two Years

  • The Hanover girls softball team celebrates a win at Lebanon at Hanover softball on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. Hanover won, 12-5. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover pitcher Samantha Gibbs (6) at Lebanon at Hanover softball on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. Hanover won, 12-5. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover fans cheer as their team scores multiple runs at Lebanon at Hanover softball on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. Hanover won, 12-5. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Bella Bardales (2) runs home during Lebanon at Hanover softball on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. Hanover won, 12-5. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hanover — The Hanover High softball team on Thursday showed how strong positivity can be during a difficult season.

Their spirits unbroken despite an 0-13 record entering a tussle with rival Lebanon at Dartmouth Softball Park, the Marauders rallied for a 12-5 win and their first victory since 2015.

Hanover went 0-18 during coach Jessica Belley’s first season a year ago and hadn’t lost by fewer than eight runs this season.

“This is a huge relief,” said Belley, a former Lebanon Junior High softball coach. “All season long, I’ve known these girls were capable of a game like this. Now we’ve gotten there.”

Sophomore Daria Gundermann belted a three-run, inside-the-park home run as part of six-run Hanover rally in the fourth inning. Gundermann also had a two-run triple in the seventh.

Hanover freshman pitcher Samantha Gibbs tossed a complete game with 13 strikeouts and shared smiles and laughs with her catchers, even during tense times when the Raiders (3-9-1) threatened.

It was symbolic of Hanover’s sprightly attitude all season despite suffering seven shutouts and 12 losses by double digits.

“We play because we love softball and we want to do well for each other,” said Gundermann, one of five Marauders with multiple hits. “We’re friends and we like playing together, so even when the losses are piling up and it gets hard, we always pick each other up.”

It was the best outing of the season for Gibbs, who rotates in the circle with sophomore Becca Wilson. Gibbs gave up just four hits while walking eight as the Marauders allowed fewer than 10 runs for just the second time this year. Gibbs struck out the side twice, including a three-pitch strikeout to Lebanon cleanup hitter Madison Tilton with two runners on in the sixth.

“I just feel so much support from my teammates, I’d have to say that’s what fuels me,” Gibbs said. “Both catchers (Mollie Broder and Bella Bardales) are my good friends and we just communicate really well.”

Raiders senior Kristen Anderson (complete game, 12 hits, two walks, four strikeouts) allowed just four earned runs as the Lebanon defense had a shaky day with eight errors.

Lebanon brought exactly nine players — creating a scare when second baseman Madison Hunt stayed on the ground after striking out in the first inning. She got up from what appeared to be calf cramps after being tended to by Lebanon coach Ray Petterson.

Raider infielders Julia Tibbits and Brooke Silver are injured.

Lebanon, which plays in NHIAA Division II, earned its third win of the year with an 8-2 decision at Bow on Tuesday, but fell 15-3 at Coe-Brown on Wednesday. Thursday’s matchup with D-III Hanover on Dartmouth’s turf surface was Lebanon’s fourth game since last Friday.

“It seems like we’ve had a game every day here lately, and I think we’re just a little tired and beat up,” Petterson said. “That’s when you start seeing some of the fundamentals being an issue like we saw today. Plus, I think there was a little bit of a confidence issue carrying over (from the Coe-Brown loss), so we’ll be looking to get back on track.”

Lebanon, the designated home team, led 2-0 after a wild pitch scored leadoff hitter Sydney Broughton in the bottom of the first, and Broughton drew a bases-loaded walk in the second.

Hanover drew even in the third, beginning when No. 9 hitter Emily LeBlanc singled down the left-field line and later scored on an error at third base. Shortstop Brianna Elder followed with a two-out, infield hit and came home on Arabella Meachum-Snyder’s single to shallow left.

After Gibbs retired three straight with a runner on second to end the third, Hanover blew it open in the top of the fourth while batting around for the first time this year.

Katrina Randall had an RBI fielder’s choice on a play that plated a second run due to a Lebanon mishap, and Randall scored on an error in right field to set up Gundermann’s blast.

Gundermann drove Anderson’s first offering deep into the gap in left center, easily scoring Hee Eun Kim (walk) and Elder (single) from third and second, respectively. Gundermann hustled while rounding second and was mildly surprised to find herself being waved home approaching third.

The throw home was on target, but Gundermann beat it by several secondsa for her first career home run to make it 8-2.

“I mean, you’re really just thinking (about) getting as many bases as you can get,” Gundermann said. “I had a pretty good idea I could get at least (a double) off the bat, but then all of a sudden I’m being waved home. I’m just glad I could come through for the team.”

Lebanon got a pair back in the bottom of the fourth on a two-RBI single from catcher Kayla Boisvert, and two Hanover errors with two outs in the sixth plated another.

The Marauders put it out of reach with four in the seventh.

Randall (single) and Elder (groundout) made it 10-5 before Gundermann’s two-run triple put an exclamation point on Hanover’s productive day at the plate.

Lebanon had a runner on with one out in the seventh before Hanover’s Meachum-Snyder turned the game’s lone double play, catching a fly ball and doubling off Anderson to end it.

“It was by far our best game defensively,” said Belley, whose team committed a season-low three errors. “It was our best game in every area.”

Extra Bases: Gundermann, Randall (2-for-3, two runs, RBI), Elder (2-for-5, two runs), Gibbs (2-for-4, run) and LeBlanc (2-for-4, two runs) all hit safely twice for the Marauders, whose 12 hits were a season high. … Hunt (2-for-3), Meghan Olney and Boisvert had the hits for the Raiders. ... Lebanon was 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts, including three by Broughton. … A scoreboard error sent some fans heading for the exits even though only the sixth inning had ended. Hanover Athletic Director Mike Jackson announced the correction . … It was officially a home game for Lebanon, but Hanover’s fans occupied more seats and were more vocal.

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3225.