High schools

SOFTBALL | ABINGTON 18, NANTUCKET 0

Abington softball shuts out Nantucket to advance to Division 3 South semifinals

ABINGTON — Overlook the Abington softball team at your own peril.

Newly aligned to Division 3 South this season, the fourth-seeded Green Wave (21-2) have outscored their opponents, 30-0, through two rounds of the tournament.

Abington coach Kelsea Cheney ensured her team continued to maintain a loaded nonleague schedule even after the team’s demotion from Division 2, the move a result of enrollment at the school rather than performance based; the Green Wave fell to Norton in last year’s Division 2 South final.

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Abington’s only losses this year came against Division 1 power Bishop Feehan and in a rematch with Norton, though the Green Wave also earned wins over those teams in the regular season.

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“I think we definitely have to show we’re a powerhouse and we’re going to be playing like we have been playing,” Cheney said after her team advanced to the Division 3 South semifinals with an 18-0 win over visiting Nantucket on Sunday. “We definitely want to go further than we have in the past and we’re excited about it.”

The team has been immaculate in every phase of the game this tournament — pitching, defense and hitting. Pitcher Tori Young gave up just one hit in five innings of work against Nantucket, striking out four and walking none.

Young said she felt great on Sunday as she brilliantly mixed up her velocity, uncorking fastballs with movement when necessary and showcasing a devastating changeup at other points.

“I’m not normally a strikeout pitcher, but that’s okay when you have a defense behind you that will back you up,” Young said.

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Contributors can be found up and down Abington’s lineup. Lauren Keliher, Caitlin Murphy, Lily O’Neil and Corin Mahan combined to go 10 for 15 with 13 RBIs out of the first four spots in the lineup on Sunday, but No. 9 hitter Katie Nelligan had herself a day as well, going 4 for 4 with three bunt singles and three runs scored.

Abington will face top-seeded West Bridgewater (21-1) on Tuesday in Taunton. The Wildcats are the defending champions of the Division 3 South sectional.

“We’re just going to come with a tougher mentality,” Cheney said. “I think when you’re winning by this much, you can get a little ahead of yourself. We take it one day at a time instead of taking Tuesday lightly.”