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Profile girls help Nor'Easters in final tournament

by Corey McKean
Sports reporter - The Littleton Courier
August 14, 2017
CONCORD — For their first time ever, meeting one another and coming together as a softball team from all over New Hampshire and Vermont, the Laconia 16u Nor'Easters softball team had an impressive season, which many will remember.

On the weekend of July 28, the Laconia Nor'Easters closed out their season at the Caroline Farley softball tournament in Concord where they dropped their first three games of the tournament before heading into elimination play on Sunday where they fell in game one to the New England Shockwave, 9-4.

"This team has been a tremendous amount of fun and I have seen a lot of growth in the Profile girls," explained Laconia head coach Shawn Garrett. "Paige Cohen has a terrific attitude and is very coach-able, Madison Reeves has improved as a catcher, throwing several girls out this year and Hope (Drake-Duval) has been a consistent threat on offense since day one. She has a very high ceiling and should excel with good coaching at the next level."

In Laconia's first game on Friday evening, they would go up against the top ranked 14u Comets team who hasn't lost a game all year. The Comets went on to win handily, 16-0, but important to note said Garrett, "they have improved their record to 33-0 on the year, having faced almost exclusively, 16U teams this summer. They have also qualified at the 14u level to play in nationals next summer."

Continuing on Saturday, the Nor'Easters took on the Hurricanes where Laconia led 1-0 heading into the top of the third inning when the Hurricanes were able to tie the game up at 1-1 off a pair of singles and an error. The Nor'Easters regained the lead in the bottom half, 3-1, when Drake-Duval had a double and then scored on another double by Ariel Switser. In the top of the fourth, the Hurricanes would again tie the game and went ahead in the top of the fifth to win 4-3. Drake-Duval would lead the way with two doubles while scoring a run.

In the final game of pool play on Saturday, The Nor'Easters found themselves down 3-0 before scoring one in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI single by Madison Reeves. The team would score in each of the final four innings, but again found themselves down 8-3 in their final at bat. After a leadoff double by Switser, Cohen came in to replace her on the bases and began a rally that would fall just short. With runners on first and second, Drake-Duval drilled the first pitch she saw for a two-run double and would score on a fielder's choice later in the inning, however, the team would fall 8-7 to the Lady Mavericks of Maine, dropping their pool play record to 0-3.

Closing out the tournament on Sunday, the New England Shockwave would simply be too much for Laconia as the New England Shockwave went up 4-0 early, which had Laconia battling back throughout the entire game. The Nor'Easters would cut the score to 6-4 in the third inning but the Shockwave went on to put up three more runs in the fourth to earn a 9-4 victory. Drake-Duval once again led the Nor'Easters with three hits on the day, recording a solo home run and two singles, but it wouldn't be enough.

The Laconia 16u Nor'Easters finish out their season with an overall record of 10-15 and they will look to improve upon that record next summer. Drake-Duval has been asked to play for the Nor'Easters 18u team, which had a standout 2017 season and is hoping to have another terrific season in 2018.

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