Kelsey White leads Taunton softball to D1 South final

Taunton’s Kelsey White may have been youngest softball player on the field, but the Tiger freshman turned in the performance of a seasoned veteran at the plate and in the circle in a 9-1 Divison 1 South semifinal win over Bishop Feehan at Taunton High.

White needed just 68 pitches to scatter six hits over seven strong innings, surrendering a run in the second on Hannah Ramer’s single before retiring the next seven batters she faced.

“I’ve run out of superlatives for her,” said Taunton coach Dave Lewry. “She’s just an incredible pitcher for a ninth grader. She’s got nice stuff, she throws hard, and she does not get rattled out there. She just pitches.”


At the plate, White went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and belted a bases-clearing double in the fifth to break the game open for the second-seeded Tigers (23-2), who will host fourth-seeded King Philip in the D1 South sectional final Friday night at 7 p.m.

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“I just had luck,” said White. “I just waited for my pitch.” and I swung at not my pitch, but then the next pitch I jumped on it and I knew I hit it good.”

Lewry added, “That was kind of fun. I’ve always had the approach that there’s only two outs and you’re not out of the inning until you get three so just go up there and hit the ball.” In the field,

Kelsey’s sister, Alexa, had a dazzling effort at second base with a double play to end the fifth and a leaping grab to end the sixth.

Division 1 South

King Philip 9, Braintree 3 — Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s Division 1 South softball semifinal against Braintree, King Philip junior catcher Brianna Lacy (2 for 3, 3 RBIS) triggered a six-run outburst with a 2-RBI single for the fifth-seeded Warriors (21-3) in their 9-3 triumph at Taunton High.


“It’s not how many hits you get, it’s when you get the hits,” said KP coach Norm Beauchemin. “For the most part, our girls played very intelligent today.”

The Wamps (19-4) scored first on a squeeze bunt from Kaitlyn Gozzo. Nicole Carter and Lacy had RBI singles in the fifth.

Division 2 North

North Reading 10, Whittier 2 — In Lowell, the Hornets plated nine runs in the first two innings to cruise into the Division 2 North final.

Senior catcher Tara Driver went 2 for 4 with two doubles and 3 RBIs, and freshman infielder Julia Howse finished with a double and 2 RBIs.

“We do a lot of hitting with the machine, and we’ve seen all of the different pitches, so I think we were just ready for it,” said North Reading coach Michelle Morales, whose undefeated team (22-0) will next face either Burlington or Gloucester in the D2 North sectional final.


North Reading starter Christina Simblaris allowed a run in the first inning, then tightened things up, allowing just three more hits for the remainder of the game.

“I think as a pitcher, it’s a lot when you first get out there,” Morales said of Simblaris who went the distance (four strikeouts, five hits). “She settled in and was fine after that first inning, and the defense had her back.”

Burlington 15, Gloucester 2 — Christina Clark carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, finishing with 13 strikeouts and allowing just two hits to help power the Red Devils (18-4) to the North final.

Clark also went 4 for 5 with a double and tw0 RBIs.

“She was hitting her spots probably better than she has all year long,” Burlington coach Kristen Mahoney. “She was moving in and out with her curveball and they just couldn’t touch her.”

Sophomore outfielder Chloe McGonagle (3 for 5, 2 RBIs) and senior second baseman Meghan Gaffney (3 for 5, 3 RBIs) led the attack.

“Our slapper, Gaffney, obviously the tape on her is that she puts the ball on the ground and they knew exactly how to play her, but instead she put the ball over their heads,” Mahoney said. “That just lit a fire under everybody and led the way for our offensive attack.”

Division 3 North

Austin Prep 11, Ipswich 1 — Senior Logan MacDonald carried a perfect game into the seventh inning at Martin Field in Lowell, finishing off her one-hitter with 16 strikeouts as the top-seeded Cougars (23-0) marched into the North final.

‘‘What works for her is our pitching coach mixes it up,’’ said Austin Prep coach Frank Sorrenti. ‘‘We don’t want to be predictable, and Logan has four or five pitches so we have a deep assortment to pick from.’’

Prep plated one run in each of the first two innings before exploding for four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings. Sophomore Lauren Sablone (3 for 4, 5 RBIs) belted a three-run homer.

‘‘I think we took a little while to get started today,’’ Sorrenti said. ‘‘When you have pitching like we have with great defense you can wait a few innings to get the offense going,’’ said Sorrenti.

Boys’ volleyball

Division 1 North

Chelmsford 3, Lawrence 0 — In his first season at the helm of the Lions, and coaching against former high school teammate Hector Sanchez, and his alma mater, Edgar Valdez directed eighth-seeded Chelmsford (19-5) to the North title at Tewksbury High.

Setter Chris McCarthy led the way with 24 assists, seven digs, and three kills for the Lions (19-5). Aaron Schaefer (14 digs), Levi Cass (7 kills, 3 blocks), and Luke Briand (5 kills, 5 blocks) were also instrumental in the win as the Lions played strong netfront defense against the Lancers (20-4).

Division 1 Central

Natick 3, Lincoln-Sudbury 0 — With senior captain Maxwell Waltzman delivering 18 kills, the top-seeded Redhawks (18-1) earned their second straight sectional title with a 25-15, 25-19, and 25-11 win in Milford.

L-S, the 10th seed in the bracket, picked up momentum in the second set after a strong finish in Game 1. But Natick pulled out the massive win.

‘‘We were always able to stay ahead,’’ said Natick coach Peter Suxho, citing his team’s composure as the key. “That’s what we wanted to do, and that is exactly what we did.’’

The Redhawks will play the Needham/Taunton winner in a state semifinal Monday at Concord-Carlisle.


The MIAA announced Wednesday it will introduce a postseason girls’ wrestling tournament for the 2018-19 season.

Female wrestlers are still expected to wrestle for their high school team, but will now have the option to compete either in the girls’ tournament — scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 — or the mixed gender All-State tournament set to begin one day earlier.

Globe correspondent Mia Berry contributed to this report. Brandon Blom reported from Lowell, Joe Rice from Milford.