Conant softball falls in opening round; ConVal season ends in second roun

Bishop Brady baserunner Payton Bryson slides safely into second base after Conant shortstop Sophia Spingola bobbles the ball on Wednesday at Rollins Park in Concord.

Bishop Brady baserunner Payton Bryson slides safely into second base after Conant shortstop Sophia Spingola bobbles the ball on Wednesday at Rollins Park in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 05-31-2024 12:03 PM

Modified: 06-03-2024 10:45 AM


With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh inning, Bishop Brady relief pitcher Payton Bryson had little margin for error. The No. 5 Giants (13-4) led their first-round playoff matchup with No. 12 Conant (7-10) on Wednesday, 6-4, but the Orioles threatened to turn the game on its head.

Like she’s done for much of the season, though, Bryson found a way to slam the door, striking out the next two hitters she faced and catapulting Bishop Brady into the Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. 

“They’ve just been grinding,” head coach Shane Baron said. “It’s been awesome to watch. Awesome to watch.”

After the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, the Orioles struck back in the third — a three-run double off the bat of Francesca Ketola put Conant ahead 3-1. Brady cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the inning after scoring a run on an error, and then took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth after a two-run single from Maia Dow.

“Big hit,” Baron said. “That’s a girl that’s a freshman and comes up and hits two girls in. Crazy good. Crazy good.”

Abby Tyrrell started in the circle for the Giants and battled through five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Most importantly, Baron said, she allowed the team to hang around.

“She just kept us in the game,” he said. “Gave us that chance. She’s been like that all year. She’s been that pitcher for us.”

ConVal falls in second round

Fourth-seeded ConVal won its Division II preliminary-round game 4-1 against No. 13 seed John Stark Wednesday before losing 3-2 to fifth-seeded Bow Saturday after some late-game defensive errors.

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Against Bow, Avery Moore lead off for the Cougars, roping a triple up the left field line. Sydney Borges then hit a single to plate Moore. Olivia Riley reached on a fielder's choice, got to second on a passed ball and scored on a Hannah Beisang single to right-center field. However, that was all ConVal would get, as the Cougars got singles from Moore in the third and fifth and a walk from Riley in the fourth, and Chloe Hamlin roped a single in the sixth, but all were left stranded.

Borges allowed three runs, none of which were earned, on two hits and one walk. The defense had made six errors. Borges struck out 10 and finished the season with 235 strikeouts. 

Against John Stark, the visitors scored first after a single and a double, but the Cougars tied the game after Borges reached on an error, Courtesy runner Makayla Durgin went to second on a passed ball, then advanced to third on a Hamlin bunt and took home when a pickoff attempt went into left field.

Both teams remained quiet until the fifth, when the Cougars led off with a Mea Platt walk. Mae Hagelberg came in as a pinch-runner took second on a passed ball. Moore then drove in Hagelberg.

In the sixth, Riley was hit by a pitch, but got thrown out at the plate on a Beisang double. Opale Barrick followed with a triple to plate Beisang, and Brynn Frosch lined a single to score Barrick.

Borges threw to Moore and got the win. She allowed four hits and one walk, and hit two batters. She struck out 13.

-- Monadnock Ledger-Transcript staff reports