Tags Posts tagged with "Softball"


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Fans of Island softball pay it forward and spring for three days of training and a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

Juliet Morse fields a ground ball during a fielding and throwing exercise. – Photo by Michael Cummo

In the peak summer months on Martha’s Vineyard, few things are free. Learning the finer points of softball is. Islanders Tim Goodman from Vineyard Haven and Laurie Turney from West Tisbury have provided a no-strings-attached softball clinic free of charge for girls ages 6-16. The two Islanders helped launch the Vineyard Dynamite Softball Clinic, a three-day clinic held at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. More than two dozen girls participated this week, and the number has risen each year.

Elena Conchetti works on her throwing form. — Photo by Michael Cummo
Elena Conchetti works on her throwing form. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The clinic is run by volunteers who include Samantha Burns, commissioner of the Martha’s Vineyard women’s slow-pitch league. Ms. Burns has volunteered for three straight years, and looks forward to next year.

“I coach softball at the high school, and we need a feeder program,” she said. “This year was pretty tough. I love volunteering with the little guys because we love them to be interested in softball and to play in the future. We are trying to reignite interest.”

The clinic focuses on the basic fundamentals of the game, including fielding, pitching, throwing, and catching. Many Islanders have no experience with softball, and some walk on to the high school team having to learn the game from scratch. Dynamite Softball aims to build from the ground up, giving ladies a solid foundation in which they get to learn the game before playing competitively. One of the more popular drills uses wooden boards shaped as gloves to reinforce the idea to use both hands while fielding; the wooden gloves cannot be bent or squeezed, and need two hands to use.

The Dynamite softball participants, both kids and adults, shown at Fenway Park last Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Tim Goodman
The Dynamite softball participants, both kids and adults, shown at Fenway Park last Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Tim Goodman

Following the three-day clinic, Mr. Goodman treated volunteers and participants to a Saturday-afternoon Red Sox game. He rented a bus that drove them directly from the ferry to Fenway Park, and catered the entire day. Plus, the Sox beat the Rays 11-7.

“This clinic is really beneficial for the high school kids down the road,” Samantha Burns said. “These girls deserve every chance to get an athletic college scholarship like the boys.”

For more information, email VineyardDynamiteSoftballClinic@comcast.net.

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Snaps hand defending champs first loss, 4-3.

Ryann Gold strokes an RBI triple in the Snaps sixth. – Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Snaps scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held on for a 4-3 win over the previously unbeaten defending champion Mama’s Girls in Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Softball League play Tuesday night at Veterans Park.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Snaps led off with a Kaylea Moore single and two walks to load the bases. Crystal Roy drew another walk to score Ms. Moore. Becky Catron followed with a pop-up to second, but Dylan Spencer Kenney, pinch-running for Snaps pitcher Sue Stephenson, bolted for home and slid under Hayley Panek’s tag to make the score 3-1. Ryann Gold then ripped the ball into left field, scoring Mary Beth Meehan. Crystal Roy tried to add another run, but Panek applied the sure tag at the plate before firing the ball to third, but too late to stop Ms. Gold from recording a triple.

Mama's Girls catcher Hayley Panek tags Crystal Roy for the second out in the sixth inning, but the Snaps scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead into the seventh. – Photo by Ralph Stewart
Mama’s Girls catcher Hayley Panek tags Crystal Roy for the second out in the sixth inning, but the Snaps scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead into the seventh. – Photo by Ralph Stewart

In the top half of the seventh, Jenna Zechner blasted a two-run homer to left, slicing the deficit to one, but the Snaps held on for the win.

Despite the loss, the Mama’s (9-1) clinched the top seed and a bye in the double-elimination playoff tournament, which begins Tuesday night at Veterans Park.

While the Snaps were defeating the Mama’s on Field A, the Honeys downed the Shady Ladies 14-4 on Field B. The Shadies got off to a hot start, posting a 3-0 lead after one, but the Honeys roared back with five runs in the third, and dominated the rest of the way.

Birthday girl Darcie Lee Hanaway reached base all five times for the Honeys, recording two singles, three walks, and an RBI. Amy Maciel was 2 for 2 with an RBI, while Sarah Wennes and Martha Scheffer reached base three times, scoring two runs apiece.

For the Shadies, Sue Sanford knocked in two runs in the first and scored on a Harriet Broun double in the fourth.

Ryann Gold of the Snaps slides under Jamie Forend's tag, while Mama's shortstop Danielle Pappas provides backup. – Photo by Ralph Stewart
Ryann Gold of the Snaps slides under Jamie Forend’s tag, while Mama’s shortstop Danielle Pappas provides backup. – Photo by Ralph Stewart

In the final game of the evening, the Creamers overturned a 7-5 fourth-inning deficit and downed the Rug Sox 21-8 in five innings. Zoe Nugent went 3 for 3 for the Creamers, hitting a home run to go with two singles. Veronika Buckely and Lindsay Russo each were 4 for 4. Ivry Russillo, Emily Anderson, and Melanie Dickson all hit three singles. Kris Henriksen homered for the Sox, while all three Clark sisters excelled at the plate. Kathryn was 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles, Virginia chalked up a hat trick of singles, and Elizabeth singled twice.

The regular season ends July 23 with a pair of makeup games as the Snaps meet the Honeys at the West Tisbury School and the Creamers take on the Shady Ladies at Veterans Park. Both games start at 6:35 pm.

Standings through July 21: Mama’s Girls 9-1; Snaps 6-3; Honeys 5-4; Creamers 5-4; Rug Sox 3-7; Shady Ladies 0-9.

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It was opening day Tuesday night at Veterans Park.

Emily Turney gets a high-five from Carol Bailey and a smile from Julie Pringle after hitting a three-run home run. –Photos by Ralph Stewart

Women’s Softball League opened its 11th season Tuesday night at Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven. All six teams were in action on a cool, misty, overcast night.

The evening began with the Rug Sox playing the Shady Ladies on the main field, while the Snaps met the Creamers on Field B, near Causeway Road.

Jenna Zechner of the Mama's Girls follows through on a big swing.
Jenna Zechner of the Mama’s Girls follows through on a big swing.

The Sox and Shadies played two innings of scoreless ball, but the Rug Sox blew the game open with seven runs in the third to win 13-0 in five innings. Nine Sox batters singled in the decisive third. Kathryn Clark, Kris Henricksen, Carol Bailey, Julie Pringle, Emily Turney, Jen Ingraham, and Jess Sonia all earned RBIs. Elizabeth Clark added another RBI in the fourth, scoring Wink Cron. Emily Turney keyed the Sox fifth with a three-run blast that landed well into the outfield of the ongoing Snaps-Creamers game. Sam Cron completed the scoring with a two-run single.

The Shadies highlights both came on defense, as center fielder Harriet Broun made two leaping grabs to rob Kris Henricksen.

With the Rug Sox victorious, the Creamers and Snaps played out a tight contest in the rapidly fading light. In the end, Emily Cooney knocked in a pair of runs, while Amanda Parker, Alleyne Hughes, and Julie Rodenbaugh all went 2 for 2 on the night to lift the Creamers to a 4-2 win over the 2014 runners-up.

Sue Stephenson and Alleyne Hughes.
Sue Stephenson and Alleyne Hughes.

The defending league champion Mama’s Girls and four-time champion Honeys closed out the night under the lights. The Mamas look to be strong contenders again after downing the Honeys 13-3 in five innings. The Mamas scored four runs in the first inning. Emily and Sara Williston both singled, setting the table for Jenna Zechner, who blasted a three-run homer to right. Jamie Forend singled to score Danielle Pappas for the fourth run.

Jillian “Chief” Sedlier knocked in two more Mamas runs in the second inning before Darcie Lee Hanaway and Martha Scheffer crossed the plate for the Honeys to make the score 6-2 entering the third. The champs put the game away with six runs in the fifth. Jillian Sedlier, Emily Williston, Jenna Zechner, and Caroline Davey all got hits before Danielle Pappas provided the coup de grace with a two-run homer.

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Nicole Cancellare hits a rocket up the middle for the Snaps. — Photo by Michael Cummo

In two games of intense softball, the Mama’s Girls came out victorious, defeating the reigning champion Snaps 8-5 to claim the 2014 women’s softball title.

Snaps pitcher Susan Stephenson pitched in relief in both games.
Snaps pitcher Susan Stephenson pitched in relief in both games.

The Mama’s, previously undefeated in the playoffs, hosted the Snaps who had one loss. Because the tournament structure is double elimination, the Snaps had to win two games in a row to claim the title.

With a four  presidential helicopter flyovers kicking off game one, the Snaps started out hot and stayed that way. Snaps infielder Lauren Merry knocked in Crystal Roy with an RBI single for the first run of the game, and the Snaps poured it on from there. The Snaps led 3-1 going into the fifth inning but exploded for six runs, making the score 9-1. Back to back RBIs for Ryan Gold and Crystal Roy kickstarted the rally, and pitcher Chrissy McCarthy contributed to her own cause with a 2 RBI double.

With a patient approach at the plate, the Snaps continued to dominate, going into the bottom of the seventh inning with a 14-1 advantage. The Mama’s fought back, though, and strung together a four-run rally culminating in pitcher Jillian Sedlier’s two-run home run. But it was not enough as the Mama’s fell in game one, 14-5.

Mamas infielder Jamie Forend attempts to tag a Snaps baserunner but is moments too late.
Mamas infielder Jamie Forend attempts to tag a Snaps baserunner but is moments too late.

The second and decisive game was played under the lights, mere minutes after the first ended. The pitchers remained the same, Chrissy McCarthy for the Snaps and Jillian Sedlier for the Mama’s, but this time the Mama’s came out swinging. Down 1-0 after a first inning RBI single for Ryan Gold, the Mama’s took their first lead of the night after a Jillian Sedlier RBI sac fly and a bases loaded RBI for Caroline Davey, making it 2-1 Mama’s. They would not look back after that.

An RBI single from Lauren Williston extended the lead in the second inning to 3-1. The top half of the third showed tremendous defense by the Mama’s, particularly shortstop Danielle Pappas, who made an inning-ending diving catch to keep the lead intact. Snaps pitcher Chrissy McCarthy ran into trouble in the bottom of the third, when she initially struck out the first two batters, but then walked the next five, which scored two runs and put the lead at 5-1, Mama’s. Susan Stephenson came on in relief for the second game in a row and immediately ended the inning with a strikeout.

Danielle Pappas kept another run off the board in the top of the fourth, diving and snagging a hard ground ball to keep it in the infield. In the bottom of the inning, Caroline Davey extended the Mama’s lead with a booming bases-loaded double, clearing the bases and extending the lead to 8-1.

The Mama's celebrate winning the league championship.
The Mamas celebrate winning the league championship.

The Snaps had opportunities to fight back but could not bring baserunners home. In the fifth they left two baserunners on and in the sixth they stranded three, missing the most of good opportunities to fight back. The Snaps did show some punch, but it was too little too late. In the bottom of the seventh, pitcher Chrissy McCarthy hit a monster double, scoring two. Moments later, a Mama’s throwing error led to another run. Two more were tacked on with a double, but ultimately Mama’s pitcher Jillian Sedlier was able to pitch through it and end the game, 8-5, breaking the Snaps championship streak and giving the title to the Mama’s Girls.

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Jeff Charles of the Wildcats uncoils for a hit. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Summer sports at Veterans Park officially got underway Monday night with a Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Softball League doubleheader.

Wally "Gator" Tomkins of the Wildcats swings through the ball with his eyes sharply focused.
Wally “Gator” Tomkins of the Wildcats swings through the ball with his eyes sharply focused.

For the first time in three decades, the league opened play without the familiar forest green shirted Treds who disbanded over the winter. In their place, with some familiar faces, are the Whitecaps.

Due to scheduling with travel soccer, during the first two weeks of the season, men’s league games will start at 7 pm, with two seven-inning games per night in a one-pitch per batter format to speed up play.

The ‘Caps started off opening night with a 27-14 win over the Wildcats. Billy Johnson wasted little time putting the league newbies on top by crushing the game’s third pitch for a two-run homer. The Whitecaps led 4-1 after one and 6-3 after four but put the game out of reach by exploding for five, nine, and seven runs over the final three innings.

The Whitecaps' Mike Luongo rounds third after hitting his second homer of the game.
The Whitecaps’ Mike Luongo rounds third after hitting his second homer of the game.

Mike Luongo drilled two grand slams, one in the fifth and another in the sixth. Also in the sixth, Asa Vought hit a two-run single and Luke Bettencourt followed with a two-run double. Alex Bettencourt keyed the ‘Caps seventh with a grand slam of his own.

Not to be outdone, Anthony Piland blasted a grand slam in the bottom half of the seventh as the ‘Cats finished up strong by scoring eight runs.

In the nightcap, the Hurricanes scored early and often in a 27-3 win over Gustav.

James Holenko led off the game with a home run and slugged a second round-tripper in the second inning. Bobby Sprague homered in the first and launched a three-run triple deep to left in the second. Harrison Holmes also tripled in the second, scoring three, as the camouflaged ‘Canes built a 13-0 lead. Joel Rebello hit a two RBI double to key a six-run third.

Alec Tattersall and Ryan Welty had RBI singles in the bottom half of the second for Gustav.

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Vineyard pitcher Jessica Sonia winds up for a pitch in the second inning Thursday against O' Bryant. — Ralph Stewart

The Vineyard varsity softball team is off to a 3-0 start after the first week of play. The Purple swept a doubleheader, 14-2 and 13-6, Saturday at Randolph. In the opener, Sarah Strem pitched a complete game with 7 K’s to earn her first varsity win. Jessica Sonia went the distance in game two, striking out 10. Julia Sauter hit three doubles on the day and has five in the first three games. Alistair Rizza had the other big bat for M.V. and is 10 for 12 at the plate this season.

On April 3 in Oak Bluffs, Mariah Duarte crushed a grand slam to key an 11-run first inning as the Vineyarders romped to a 23-11 five-inning win over John O’Bryant of Boston in the season opener. Mariah singled in the third and finished 4 for 4 on the day. Alistair Rizza earned two walks to go 3 for 3, while Miranda Tokarz went 2 for 3 with a double.

Sophomore pitcher Jessica Sonia recorded her first varsity win.

Vineyard coach Donald Herman is pleased with his team’s solid start atthe  plate but hopes for continued growth with his young pitching staff. “I’m encouraged by the way we’re swinging the bat,” he said. “Coming up, we’ll be seeing some much tougher pitching. The quicker our pitching improves, the more competitive we’ll become as a team because this game is so pitcher-dominated. Also, lowering the number of walks will also increase our chance of being competitive.”

The Vineyarders played at Bishop Stang Wednesday, host Bishop Feehan Friday, travel to Cambridge Rindge and Latin Saturday, and play Falmouth Monday in Oak Bluffs.