Wind: 0 mph
The Harwood Union softball team had their home opener on Saturday, April 25. They hosted the Galloping Ghosts of Randolph on a completely new surface. The home field, which is located at the Dac Rowe complex in Waterbury, was skinned late last summer and now sports the traditional dirt infield.
The Highlanders were able to initiate the new field with a victory, as they defeated Randolph, 6-3.
Harwood came out of the gates quickly, scoring all six of their runs in the first frame. With two outs, Ashley Sweet started things off with an infield single. After a pair of wild pitches she was standing on third base. Hannah Lovely reached first on a dropped third strike. Brittany Hoare laced a single down the line into right field, scoring Sweet, sending Lovely to third. Hoare then stole second base. Mariah Liberty coaxed a walk to load the bases. Megan Audet also drew a walk and picked up an RBI, when Lovely was forced to the plate. Hoare then scampered home on a wild pitch. Sarah Danaher came to the plate next and drilled a shot into right field. The defender misplayed the ball and it skipped past her for a triple, plating both Liberty and Audet. Danaher scored moments later on a passed ball.
Sweet pitched a quality outing and picked up a win, as she held Randolph to four hits and two walks over six innings. Morgan Lamson came in the top of the seventh to close the door on the Ghosts, picking up her first save of the young season.
The victory leaves Harwood with a 2-0 record. The Highlanders will be in action again on Thursday, April 30, at Peoples Academy in Morrisville and then again on Friday, May 1, at home versus Oxbow.
The Harwood girls' softball team took their show on the road Tuesday, April 28, visiting the Lady Lakers of Colchester.
With the threat of rain and a temperature that dropped throughout the entire game, Harwood jumped out to an early lead on their way to an 11-10 victory. The Highlanders scored three times in the first inning. Harwood then blew the game wide open in the third frame notching seven more runs.
Things were looking so good that the Highlanders were able to go deep onto their bench and play 18 players during the course of the game. As the rain began to subside, so did the momentum of the game. Colchester was not about to go down without a fight. In the fifth inning, the home team was able to post three runs of their own due to a pair of walks and doubles.
In the sixth inning the flood gates opened and the Lakers were able to add six more runs due to walks, hits and very untimely errors. With the game in the balance, Harwood Coach Fred LaRock opted to re-enter his starting pitching battery of Ashley Sweet and Mariah Liberty. The senior duo had basically shut Colchester down for the first three innings before being sent to the bench with a 10-1 lead. After a brief scare, the duo was able to completely close the door on the Lady Lakers.
It was the second straight year Harwood was able to defeat Colchester, 11-10, in a game that could only be described as sloppy on the defensive end, although Harwood really only had one bad inning.
On a positive note the Highlanders were able to smash out a dozen hits en route to the win. Top sluggers on the day were Hannah Lovely with two hits and two RBI and Liberty with two hits (double) and an RBI. Brittany Hoare had a ground rule double and two RBI. In all, Harwood had 10 players collect at least 1 hit for a very balanced offensive attack.
The victory puts Harwood at 3-0. Harwood plays again this afternoon (April 30) at People's Academy in Morrisville. Harwood will host the Oxbow Olympians in a double header tomorrow, Friday, May 1, beginning at 3 p.m. at Dac Rowe field in Waterbury.
They will also host the Lyndon Vikings (current four-time defending Division 2 State Champions and winners of 78 straight games) in a rematch of the 2008 Championship game on Monday, May 4.