Hartford softball ‘in a really great place’ as playoffs approach

Staff Reports

Published: 05-24-2023 6:17 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Hartford High softball team looked more than ready for the upcoming VPA Division II playoffs on Tuesday during a 16-0 wipeout of Woodstock at the Maxfield Sports Complex.

Logan Evans knocked a two-run home run over the left-field fence, Paige Vielleux contributed two doubles and a triple and Miranda Rogers hit a single and a triple as the Hurricanes improved to 11-3. Hartford closes the regular season with visits to Otter Valley (9-5) on Thursday and Burr & Burton (7-6) on Saturday.

“I think we’re in a really great place at this point in the season,” said fourth-year coach Danielle Tenney. “Our hitting confidence and team dynamic have gotten better. When they make an error, they finish that inning and that game strong.”

Hartford led, 3-0, after an inning, 8-0 after three frames and 15-0 following four at-bats. Marina Grassi allowed five hits, all singles, while striking out five Wasps and walking two.

Woodstock hurler Jordan Allard didn’t receive much defensive help while allowing 13 hits. The senior struck out two Hurricanes, walked six and hit one. Dillon Moss had two of the visitors’ hits.

Hartford, with Grassi as its lone senior, appears primed for a playoff run. The question mark is that it’s only played a handful of D-II opponents. The Hurricanes have played Division I members Rutland, Burr & Burton, St. Johnsbury, Brattleboro and Mount Mansfield and D-III foes Fair Haven, Windsor and Woodstock.

Other top D-II teams include Mount Abraham (13-2), Lyndon Institute (10-3) and Enosburg Falls (11-3).

“I hope we’re going to be in the (championship) mix, but we don’t know what other teams are going to look like,” said Tenney, whose team lost to Middlebury in last year’s quarterfinals. “I like to think if we hit like we did tonight, we’ll be fine. But anything can happen.”

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Grassi is poised to break the 100-strikeout mark for a second consecutive season despite having thrown fewer innings. The right-hander has occupied the circle in all but two of her team’s games. More of the Hurricanes’ contests have been ended early by the 12-run rule.

“She pitches a lot during the offseason, so her arm has a lot of endurance,” Tenney said. “She used to get sore and tired, but her arm recovers quickly now because she’s conditioned better.”

— Tris Wykes

Rutland 13, Windsor 3

RUTLAND — The VPA D-III Yellowjackets (5-10) received a double from Piper Vivian and two singles from Gianna Felice against a Division I foe. Windsor closes the regular season Thursday at Fair Haven (3-9).

Green Mountain 11, White River Valley 6

CHESTER, Vt. — The Wildcats fell to 3-12 and finish the regular season Wednesday at home against Leland & Gray.

BASEBALL Hazen 1, Thetford 0

HARDWICK, Vt. — The Wildcats (13-1) scored during the fourth inning, using a single, a sacrifice bunt that moved the runner to third and a wild pitch to drop the Panthers to 9-5.

Thetford’s Xander Oshoniyi allowed five hits while striking out six batters and walking none. Nolan Pepe and Liam Brooks had hits for the Panthers, who host U-32 on Wednesday.

Green Mountain 8, White River Valley 2

CHESTER, Vt. — Robby McShinsky and Ty Couture each had two hits but the Wildcats dropped to 10-5. The Chieftains are 14-1.

Couture started on the mound, giving up four hits and six runs while walking four batters during four innings. Wyatt Cadwell relieved and allowed one hit and two runs the rest of the way.

WRV hosts Springfield (4-9) on Thursday to end the regular season.

Bellows Falls 3, Hartford 2 (8)

WESTMINSTER, Vt. — The Hurricanes (9-3) committed three errors and fell to the Terriers (8-7), who displayed flawless fielding.

Zach Johnson had a hit and an RBI for Hartford, which closes the regular season by hosting Otter Valley (8-7) on Thursday and Burr & Burton (10-4) on Saturday.

Rivendell 22, Twin Valley 1

ORFORD —The Raptors rolled over the winless Wildcats, improving to 6-7.

Rivendell is at Proctor on Thursday.

Fair Haven 6, Woodstock 4

WOODSTOCK — The Wasps fell to 4-8 and are right back in action Wednesday at Mill River, a team Woodstock defeated, 14-1, on May 11.

North Country 10, Oxbow 7

BRADFORD — The Olympians (2-12) are next in action Thursday at Spaulding.

BOYS LACROSSE Woodstock 13, Burr & Burton 12

WOODSTOCK — Reid Allegretti scored off a Griffin Piconi pass in overtime to lift the Wasps to 8-6. The tally was Allegretti’s third of the VPA D-I contest. Burr & Burton is 9-6.

Piconi had four goals, including one with 9 seconds remaining in the second half to force overtime. Mark Van der Schoot scored his third goal of the day a minute before to pull the Wasps with one.

Rowan Larmie made 12 saves for Woodstock, which led, 6-4, at halftime. The Wasps visit Rice (8-6) on Friday.

GIRLS LACROSSE Hartford 19, Harwood 1

MORETOWN, Vt. — The Hurricanes (14-0) pushed their winning streak to 30 games behind four goals and five assists from Addie Cadwell and four goals and an assist from Audrey Rupp.

Madison Barwood had three goals and two assists, and Alice Piper and Shannon Hadlock had three goals each. The hosts led, 12-0, at halftime.

Hartford, which scored its season-low nine goals during its first game, closes the regular season by visiting Milton (1-12) on Thursday and hosting Spaulding (9-5) on Saturday.

TRACK Hurricanes set record at SVL meet

FAIR HAVEN, Vt. — The Hartford High 4x100 relay team set a school record in 45.90 seconds on Tuesday. Team members were Payton Bessette, Ozzy DeFelice, Gabe Guillette and Ayodele Lowe.

Other Hurricanes boys first-place finishers were Jordan Davis in the discus (134 feet, 2 inches) and Lowe in the high jump (6 feet) and long jump (21 feet, 1 inch).

Hartford seized the top three spots in the discus. Violet Goodwin was first with a personal record of 85 feet, 1 inch, followed by Gigi Goodwin (84-1) and Rowan Damon (77-2).

Boys team results: Burr & Burton 148, Hartford 129, Fair Haven 122, Brattleboro 89, Mount Anthony 36, Rutland 27, Otter Valley 1.

Girls team results: Burr & Burton 223, Mount Anthony 93, Fair Haven 80, Hartford 48, Brattleboro 47, Rutland 33.