Profile grabs win in defensive duel
May 06, 2009
LISBON— As Profile found out last Friday, a little defense can go a long way.
Needing only two hits, the visiting Patriots used a complete-game gem from right-hander Clinton York and a strong defensive effort behind him to down the Lisbon Panthers 4-3.
It was Profile's second straight win after dropping four straight, and more importantly for the Patriots—who had yielded 58 runs in five games—it was the lowest run total allowed since opening the season with a 10-0 shutout win.
"We've been stressing pitching and defense and it all came together last Friday," said Profile coach Mark Butterfield, whose squad has been plagued in the early going by a slew of mental blunders, including errors, walks and careless base running.
York and the defense helped change that mentality last Friday. The senior scattered four hits, four walks and three runs to get the win.
"He showed a lot of guts and he's a real competitor," Butterfield said.
York tallied just one strikeout, but that was on par with the team's updated mind-set of throwing less pitches per inning by pounding the strike zone and forcing the opponent to put the ball in play.
The defense, meanwhile, backed York with a near flawless effort, one that Butterfield hopes is a good indicator for the remaining nine games on the docket.
"The defense is starting to come around," he said. "We're really starting to play well as a team and field the ball well as a result. It's come with continued practice and perfect practice makes perfect play in games."
The Patriots (3-4) scored twice in the third and twice in the fifth, the latter two coming on a sacrifice fly and bases-loaded walk. Cory Snyder tallied a hit and was responsible for a run-scoring sacrifice, while Ryan Compo added a hit and a run.
Brandon Chase took the loss for Lisbon (3-3), yielding nine walks, two hits and four runs.
Lin-Wood 5, Sunapee 1
At Sunapee, senior lefty Andrew Kelley worked five strong innings and the offense struck for three early runs as the Lin-Wood Lumberjacks (4-2) earned their third win in four contests—all played last week.
Kelley fanned seven and yielded one hit, while Ryan Sousa allowed one hit in two scoreless innings of relief.
Joe Desjardins went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Kelley and Zach York combined for five hits and two RBIs for Lin-Wood, which handed Lakers starter Eric Skarin the loss.
"I thought it was a very good week for us," said Lin-Wood coach Andre Desjardins. "Things went well for us. Now, we're just trying to improve on our pitching."
Gorham 16, Littleton 1
The unbeaten Gorham Huskies nabbed 10 runs in the third on their way to a five-inning victory over the host Crusaders (4-4) last Friday.
The Huskies, one of two unbeaten Class S squads (as of Monday), plated 10 runs on seven hits in the third and added four more in the fourth as they busted open a 1-all contest through two frames.
Skylar Bourque took the loss for LHS, which was limited to one hit—a Chris Weber single.
Lisbon 12, Profile 1
Jenn White and the Lisbon Panthers bounced back big-time last Friday.
Following a disastrous outing against Woodsville two days earlier, in which White was called for 15 illegal pitches (re-planting her back foot) before being pulled with no outs in the second inning in a 23-0 loss, the senior lefty allowed one hit and fanned 12 Patriot batters as the Panthers improved to 5-1.
"Her control and ability to pitch to locations enabled her to have seven quick innings," said Lisbon coach Tracy Locke.
White also went 2-for-3 with a double, three runs and two RBIs, while teammate Sarah Brooks had a run and two RBIs on two singles.
Alex Wessels grabbed the lone highlight for Profile, losers of six straight, with a solo home run in the third inning. The Patriots, however, will likely benefit this week as three of their starters are likely to return to the lineup after missing five games because of a school trip to Spain.
Littleton 6, Gorham 5 (9 inn.)
Katie Cullen's RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning handed the Crusaders (4-4) a dramatic walk-off home win. The surging squad has four wins in five games to reach .500 after an 0-3 start.
Twice in the late innings last Friday, Littleton had to rally just to keep pace. It got tying runs in the seventh and eighth innings before Cullen, who was 4-for-5 with four RBIs, delivered the no-outs, bases-loaded knock.
Littleton 7, Profile 2
Littleton knocked off the Patriots last Friday, by the same score and for the second time last week. In doing so, the Crusaders improved to 6-2 and leaped into a third-place tie with Inter-Lakes in a battle for four Class M-S playoff spots.
LHS won four of the six singles matches and swept the doubles play. Crusader Camille Perez's 8-2 triumph over Rebecca Palmer left her unbeaten in singles.
Littleton 7, Profile 2
The Crusaders also knocked off the much-improved, yet winless Patriots for the second time in a week, though the contest was much closer last Friday.
LHS won four singles matches, and then rolled to three doubles wins to seal its third win in eight games this season.
Profile's Ian Bolton downed Cody Pinard 9-8 in a tiebreaker, while Patriot Taylor Boucher also earned a 9-8 tiebreaker victory over Felipe Mendonca.
Littleton's Christian Willis, playing in his first singles match of the year, dropped Travis Greenlaw 8-2, while Ben Cronan played his best match of the year, Denis Daigle said, even scoring a few aces during his 8-3 triumph over Ben Woodward. Also, the tandem of Spencer Barrs and Sean MacKay won their second doubles match in as many tries.