Bobcats ready to take "the next step"



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TAKING THE NEXT STEP is the Berlin Bobcat softball team, which will compete in the 2009 Babe Ruth 16U Softball World Series this weekend at Concord's Memorial Field. (Photo by Ray Losier) (click for larger version)
August 05, 2009
BERLIN — Donnie Hood's Berlin Bobcats will continue their magical summer of softball this weekend at Memorial Field in Concord, where they will be one of ten teams competing in the 2009 Babe Ruth 16U Softball World Series.

The New Hampshire State Champions will open their World Series visit with a Saturday night encounter against Pitt County, North Carolina at 8:00 p.m. The following night, also at 8:00, the Bobcats are paired up against defending World Series champion Lodi-Extreme, out of Woodbridge, California.

On Monday at 8:00, the opponent will be Washington, Missouri, and the Bobcats will then wrap up the opening round on Tuesday at 8:00 against Lucerne County, Pennsylvania.

The other bracket includes host Concord, Pittsfield (Massachusetts), Hoquiam, Washington, Fern Creek, Kentucky, and Pacstatic, New Orleans (Louisiana).

The top six teams will then advance to the double elimination round starting next Wednesday.

Hood, who is assisted by Mark Bouchard and Mike Holt, said, "I never expected to be going to the World Series. But we really played well in the state tournament. I hope everybody is going to enjoy this experience, but I also want to compete. Our goal is to get to the final six. And we also want to represent the city of Berlin very well."

The 15-3-1 Bobcats will be up against some experienced teams that have played extended seasons, and Hood added, "To be successful, we can't give up extra outs. We have to make the routine plays."

Southpaw Megan Hood — "She's throwing the ball well," the Berlin mentor added — will start the first game, but beyond that, he has yet to decide on a starting line-up.

He continued, "Offensively we need to be aggressive at the plate, but we also need to stay off the high pitches. We can play some small ball if we have to, and we also have some speed that we won't be afraid to use."

Scrimmage Win

The Bobcats had a tune-up last Thursday in Littleton, where they beat the Littleton 16U team, 3-0.

Hood pitched a one-hitter, allowing a lone Serena Quillen single in the fifth inning. The Bobcat hurler fanned ten and walked three.

Offensively, the locals got hits from Marisa Lemoine, Cassie Martin (2B), Trisha Falardeau (2B, RBI), Sarah Landers (2B), Sam Hallee (2B, RBI), Molly Thagouras, Kyanna Lefebvre, and Megan Morin (RBI).

The Bobcats will have a final tune-up against 2009 Class M Player of the Year Kara Poirier and a BHS Alumnae team tonight at 8:00 under the lights at Libby Pool Field in Gorham.

World Series festivities open Friday night at the Christa MacAuliffe/Alan Shepard Discovery Center with team introductions, a buffet dinner, and a guest speaker.

Opening Day ceremonies are set for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the first game slated for 12:00 (High Noon).

The Berlin roster includes Marisa Lemoine, Sarah Dumoulin, Cassie Martin, Megan Hood, Sam Hallee, Trisha Falardeau, Molly Thagouras, Sarah Landers, Kyanna Lefebvre, Megan Morin, Natalie Bouchard, and Erin Holt.

And they are ready to take "the next step."

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