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Spartan softball does it again

White Mountains girls bring home Division III championship

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

WMRHS softball seniors (l to r), Tonia Smith, Katlyn Coulter and Hannah Kirk take a moment with the championship plaque after a win over Mascenic on June 10. Tara Giles. (click for larger version)
June 12, 2017
PLYMOUTH — It almost looked too easy for the White Mountains Regional High School softball girls team they beat second seeded Mascenic in the final game 4-2. The team has been to the finals for the past six years, and won the title last year. The hardest battle during the playoffs was against 16th-seeded Berlin in game one, where the game went into extra innings.

The Spartans netted three easy outs to start the first inning in the championship game on June 10. Second baseman Amaya Dodier caught a pop, then Katlyn Coulter struck out batter two, followed by a speedy throw from Kaitlyn Nelson on third over to Kylee Bailey on first for out number three. In the bottom half, Kaitlyn Nelson reached first on a walk, then Dodier singled. A double by Coulter and a sacrifice pop to left field by Hailie Hicks drove in two runs for the Spartans. The score was 2-0 heading into the second inning.

It was another quick top half in the second for the Spartans. A Mascenic pop to left field was caught by senior Hannah Kirk. Coulter stopped a ball in the circle then tossed it over to Bailey for out number two, then Dodier got dirty to dive for the catch that would be out number three. Megan Nelson singled to start things off in the bottom half but was left stranded after a Kirk pop and a Bean fly down the first base line made for two outs. Kaitlyn Nelson popped the ball to second base and was called out to end the inning.

Dodier made the throw to first for the first out in the top of the third inning, followed by two plays by Coulter over to first to end the half. Mascenic defense held the Spartans 2-0.

Mascenic put a runner on first base in the top of the fourth but it was no dice up against the number one seeded team. In the bottom half the Spartans banked four singles but could not reach home plate.

Mascenic added one run in the top of the fifth inning off of a single and a passed ball. The score remained 2-1 at the end of the fifth.

The game was tied at the end of the top half of the sixth when Mascenic scored one run on two singles and a double. At the start of the bottom half, coach Forest Hicks turned to the Spartan fans and said, "Now they're in trouble this inning." 'They' referring to the opposing team. Hicks was right. The Spartans scored two more runs to take the 4-2 lead. Coulter started things off the right way when she smacked a double into center field. Hicks reached first on a walk then a Megan Nelson triple drove in two runs to end the half.

The Spartans were three outs away from the championship title to start the top of the seventh inning. The first out came when Coulter scooped the ball up and threw it to Bailey on first. Maddy Bean in centerfield made a crucial catch for out number two. The last Mascenic batter sent the ball towards Kaitlyn Nelson at third, who quickly zapped the ball over to Bailey for out number three.

The Spartans rushed Coulter in the circle and celebrated the win.

Firetrucks escorted the bus carrying the team through Twin Mountain, Whitefield and all the way into Lancaster.

Coulter was ecstatic along with the rest of the team, "I couldn't ask for a better team. We always battled back and they picked me up when I was down and I did the same for them. I will miss playing on this team and with these players dearly."

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