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A Rogue's Gallery

Kara Poirier (click for larger version)
June 17, 2009
Good day to you!

When the New Hampshire Softball Coaches Association released its All-State Teams, Berlin High School senior Kara Poirier was named the Class M Softball Player of the Year.

Kara finished with a 15-2 record and a 1.01 ERA this spring. She worked 111 innings, striking out 141 batters and allowing but 29 walks, 45 hits, and 16 earned runs.

The BHS hurler also hit .318 with 21 hits — ten of them for extra bases — and 16 RBI.

Joining Kara on the Class M All-State First Team was senior shortstop Hilary Lemelin, with soph catcher Trisha Falardeau being named to the Second Team.

In Class S, Gorham High School senior second baseman Breally Bunch was named to the Class S All-State First Team, with senior outfielder Brittany Raymond and junior catcher Hillary Oleson chosen for the Second Team.

Congratulations, ladies!

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A touch of trivia: (1) Who is the only Major Leaguer to hit 40+ home runs for both the NY Yankees and NY Mets? (2) Who was the first African/American to play in the American League? (3) Who was the first player to have his signature branded into a Louisville Slugger bat (1905); (4) What Baseball Hall of Famer did Ronald Reagan play in the 1952 movie "The Winning Team?" (5) What Major League ballplayer, who also played in the NBA, went on to become a star of a popular Western series on TV?

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A big inning. Nine errors. Bloopers and ground balls. Being within a strike of an upset.

All formulas for defeat for four local diamond nines.

After going 4-0 in the NHIAA quarterfinals, both Berlin and Gorham combines lost in the semi-finals, painfully so.

Todd Lamarque's GHS baseball team saw its 18-game winning streak snapped, as the top-seeded Huskies were eliminated by #4 Newmarket, 3-0.

Soph Doug Willey tossed a glittering four-hitter, but the Mules used "Texas Leaguers" and "seeing eye" grounders — four singles in a row — to score all three of their runs in the third inning.

And that was the margin of victory.

Dan Brigham's BHS Mountaineers were within a strike of advancing to the Class M finals, before Franklin's Brian Morrill — behind 1-2 on the count —belted a two-run double to tie the game at 3-3 in the last of the 7th. The eventual-champion Golden Tornadoes then used Class M Player of the Year Derrick Sylvester's two-out, RBI double in the last of the ninth inning to record a 4-3 win.

The loss negated a tremendous mound effort by Mountie freshman Curtis Arsenault, who allowed only one hit over the first six-innings, finished with a six-hitter, struck out ten batters, and twirled a 137-pitch complete game . . . only to lose.

It was the sixth trip to the NHIAA semi-finals for a Dan Brigham Mountie team; the BHS nine has lost all six of those games, with the team that beat them going on to win six NHIAA Baseball Championships.

One bad inning cost Bob Burrill's aspiring GHS softball team, as eventual-champion Colebrook used a five-run inning to nudge the Huskies, 5-1.

The 12-10 Huskies, seeded 11th, had beaten #6 Lisbon and third-slotted Woodsville, before the #2 Mohawks used their "little ball" game and were able to beat junior ace Alex Horne in the semi-finals. Brittany Raymond had a solo homer, but that was it for the Huskie offense.

And Gerry Poulin's top-seeded BHS softball team (18-2) self-destructed in a 5-0 loss to eventual-champion Franklin.

The Mountaineers committed nine errors, making all five Franklin runs unearned. Senior hurler Kara Poirier tossed a tough four-hitter, but could have sued for lack of support on this evening.

A potent offense was held to four hits, two by Trisha Falardeau, and the defense was a no-show.

But as painful as the losses were, they still shouldn't detract from what were four, very successful seasons.

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The New Hampshire Senior Granite State Softball Games — a pair of doubleheaders between l/I/M/S teams — will be played this evening at Plymouth State University, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Gorham High School varsity mentor Bob Burrill will coach a Class S team, which will include Huskies Breally Bunch, Brittany Raymond, and Julianne King.

The Class M squad will include BHS hurler Kara Poirier, the Class M Player of the Year.

From these four games between the four classes, a New Hampshire All-State Team will be selected, and we understand that this squad will play Maine in a doubleheader next Wednesday at Southern New Hampshire University.

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BHS netters Joey Arsenault and Matt Record — 37-1 in doubles the past three years — bowed out of the NHIAA Doubles Tournament in the first round recently.

The third-seeded BHS duo was upset by a pair of Exeter lads — Plimpton and Tisdale — by a 5-8 margin, but we congratulate the pair of Mounties on a nice run on the tennis courts of New Hampshire the past three seasons.

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There is something amiss with the NBA officials who were working the play-off finals.

It's one thing to "miss" a call, but in Game Four, two referees were watching when Kobe Bryant nastily elbowed an Orlando player in the face and put him on his back; the result of the non-call was a crucial bucket that helped to turn the game into a LA win.

Both officials, as shown several times on replay, saw the flagrant foul and just never blew the whistle.

Something's wrong with that scenario.

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Sara Nadeau led the BHS softball team in hitting with a .455 mark this spring, and she was followed by Trisha Falardeau (.437), Hilary Lemelin (.429), and Cassie Martin (.403).

Falardeau (31) and Lemelin (30) had the most hits, and Martin and Lemelin were the top RBI producers with 27 and 20 respectively. As a team, the 18-2 locals hit .378 and outscored their opponents, 151-32.

Senior Class M Player of the Year Kara Poirier was 15-2 with a 1.01 ERA, with freshman Megan Hood (2-0, 1.19 ERA) and Sarah Landers (1-0, 0.00) set to return to next year's squad.

It was a special campaign for the Mounties!

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GHS senior Class S Player of the Year Eric Jensen will be a member of the New Hampshire Granite State All-Star Team that will play a team of Maine High School All-Stars at Southern Maine University in Portland at 12:00 noon next Monday.

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When Hack Wilson was a renowned Major League slugger, plenty of players drank to excess, Hack included. His manager on the Brooklyn Dodgers, Max Carey, tried to sober Hack up by showing him what happened when he dropped a worm into a glass of gin. The worm died.

Hack laughed off the lesson and had another drink, saying, "Skipper, it just proves if you drink gin you'll never have worms."

Next . . . . .

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Myles Chouinard, who had a 15 game hitting streak this spring, led the BHS team in hitting with a .456 average, in on-base safely percentage at .627, and in walks with 18.

Jesse Arsenault hit .408 and led the Mountaineers in hits (29) and runs scored (26). Jeff Gagnon was the RBI leader with 24, as the 14-6 Mounties hit .315 as a team. They outscored their opponents, 142-92, and held them to a .237 batting average.

On the mound, Gagnon finished at 7-3 with a 2.51 ERA, while frosh Curtis Arsenault was 6-3 with a 2.21 ERA. Curtis also registered 72 punchouts in 63 innings of work, while Jeff issued only ten walks in his 57+ innings.

The locals also committed 57 errors, one more than their opponents.

Great season, Mounties!

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If you've watched some Major League baseball recently, then you know the importance of using two hands to catch the ball.

Johnny Damon and the NY Mets' Luis Castillo found out the hard way.

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Berlin's Curtis Arsenault, Bryar King, and Zack Donaldson and Gorham's Cody LeBlanc are playing Senior Babe Ruth Baseball in Lisbon this summer, and we wish them much success.

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We were in Boston last week and caught the Red Sox's first two wins over the Yankees, the first in a laugher, 7-0, and the second in a nailbiter, 6-5,

And if NY starters A.J. Burnett and Chien-Ming Wang don't throw the ball any better than they did at Fenway — both were gone by the third inning — the Bronx Bombers are going to find themselves in real trouble.

As usual, an "electrical charge" ran through the partisan crowd all night — not always hospitable.

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And what a great story Pittsburg High School — with only 37 students — winning the Class S baseball title with a 3-1 win over Newmarket was.

Most of the pitching was done by 8th-grader Travis Chase, with sophomore Logan Chase winning the game with a 400', two-run homer, and junior Hunter Judd stealing home, scoring two runs, and picking up a mound win and save.

What a thrill for coach Richard Judd — a true baseball man and great teacher of the game — and his 7th-seeded Panthers.

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The Gorham High School 18-1 baseball team outscored its opponents, 199-48, with 22 of the runs allowed coming in the post-season.

Senior Eric Jensen led the mound staff with an 8-0 record and a 1.25 ERA. And complementing him very well were Doug Willey (5-1, 1.10) and Jeremy Dupont (4-0, 1.31).

Jensen was also the top hitter with 30 hits, 17 RBI, and a .545 average, and behind him came Dupont (.452), Ryan Fauteux (.436, 24 hits), and Steven Flynn (.417).

Mark Blunden hit .380 and led the Huskies in RBI (21), and Willey hit .392 with six home runs.

The Huskies hit .391 as a team, walked 94 times compared to 50 strikeouts, and committed 22 errors.

Great spring, Huskies!

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The trivia answers are: (1) Darryl Strawberry; (2) Larry Doby; (3) Honus Wagner; (4) Grover Clevelander Alexander; and (5) "The Rifleman" Chuck Connors.

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Finally, have a good day, Mark Santos!

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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