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Triton recovers from time off to defeat Saugus 4-1 in D2 North First Round

CF Emma Howard makes a terrific running catch to end the Triton 3rd inning

Shortstop Bridget Sheehan starred in the field and at the bat

(Byfield MA) It had been a long time.

Seventeen days away from actual-game activity slowed down Triton for a while, but the Vikings rallied to take out Saugus 4-1 in the D2 North First Round.

New territory for Triton.  The Vikings last won a game in the MIAA softball tournament in 2006.

“It was weird not to play for so long,” said senior Zoe Cesati afterwards.  “When we scrimmaged yesterday I almost felt like I had never played softball before.”

The home team erased a 1-0 deficit with two runs after two were out in the third inning, driven in by Zoe Cesati and Bridget Sheehan.

Triton (17-2) would add two more (again with two out) in the fifth inning.  This time Zoe and Bridget scored the runs after a 3-base error by RF Nystasia Rowe.

It was a frustrating loss for the Sachems (11-10).  “The difference today was our inability to get timely hits,” said Coach Steve Almquist.  And who could argue?  Saugus had two runners in scoring position in four different innings (twice with no outs) and scored just one run.

Bridget Sheehan gets an assist from her knees

The defense of Triton shortstop Bridget Sheehan had plenty to do with the multitude of stranded runners.  The Vikings junior had four putouts and four assists.  Two special assists were one from her knees, and another from deep in the hole to her right that required a tough stop and a long/strong throw.

None of the Bridget’s defensive highlights were news to Coach Dupere.  “That’s Bridget all year.  She is in my opinion the best player in the Cape Ann League.  Nothing surprises me with her.”

At the plate, Bridget was 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Sachems (Northeast Conference) scored first.  In the second inning, a single, a walk, and a wild pitch set up two of the visitors in scoring position with no outs.  Sophomore Taylor Bogdanski drove across pinchrunner Cat Schema with a single to center.  Taylor stole second to again put two runners in scoring position, but Triton pitcher Katherine Quigley retired the next three Sachems.

1B Sadie DiCenso made a nice catch for Saugus

“We started off a little shaky,” explained Katherine.  “I needed a couple of innings to settle in.”

The Vikings took the lead in the third inning with two runs, but anyone at the game will tell you that they would have had more but not for a terrific 2-out running catch by CF Emma Howard.

The Sachems had two on (Taylor Bogdanski and Madison Niles) with one out in the 4th but 3B Colleen McCarthy handled two straight chances to end the threat.

The Vikings gained a 3-run advantage in the 5th on the 3-base error in the SHS outfield.  I wanted to credit the batter (Emily Karvielis) with a triple but Coach Almquist said it was an error.  “The sun was tough, but it had been that way the whole game.  She should have adjusted to the sun by the fifth inning.”  Emily’s fly appeared to hit Nystasia glove and then roll away allowing two Triton runs to cross.

The happenings in the Triton 5th impacted what Saugus did in the top of the 6th inning.  After Sadie DiCenso reached on 3B Colleen McCarthy’s throwing error, freshman Kyleigh Dalton was sent in to pinch run.  When Taylor Bogdanski walked, the Sachems had the makings of a productive inning.  Not on this day.  “We would normally have bunted,” said Coach Almquist, “but down three runs we had DJ Munafo hit away.”  DJ hit the ball on the ground toward short and Kyleigh couldn’t get out of the way and was hit by the grounder for the first out.  A fielder’s choice moved both runners up with two outs.  This was where Bridget Sheehan flagged down Ashley Shaw’s grounder and threw an inning-ending strike to first.

Saugus baserunner Kyleigh Dalton (1) ruled out after a grounder hit her.

Triton continues their season on Sunday against Burlington at 1PM at Triton.

Good crowd.  I arrived in the rain but before long we had a “typical” June afternoon.

Coach Dupere: “Saugus was scrappy.  We knew it would be tough.  We had hits when we needed them, and our pitcher did her job.  During out days off, we hit fourteen days but only saw live pitching once.”

Coach Almquist: “Caitlin Wood (6 K’s) pitched every game for us.  We didn’t give her enough run support today.  We lost five 0ne-run games during the season.  This is the third straight year we’ve made the tournament.  We only graduate one player.”

Zoe Cesati gets 2B as Taylor Bogdanski applies a late tag

Triton catcher Liv Doanes: “I was a little worried at first because we weren’t hitting. We usually start hitting once we get through the batting order.  Bridget (Sheehan) has saved us quite a few times.”

Liv told me that she will be attending UMass Boston and hopes to play softball there.

Caitlin Wood and Taylor Bogdanski paced Saugus with two hits apiece.

Senior Zoe Cesati had a hit, and RBI, and scored two runs.

(All of the pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Pitcher Caitlin Wood

Shortstop Taylor Bogdanski

Eve Paicos

Triton pitcher Katherine Quigley

Cat Schena scored the Saugus run

2B Alexa Ferraro dives for a grounder

Carissa Boyle slides under the tag of 3B Brittney Sudanowicz

LF Grace McGonagle takes in the final out

Emma Howard slides into 3B

Pitcher Caitlin Woods looks for the handle

Bridget Sheehan makes contact

Coach Dave Dupere holds Zoe Cesati at 3B

Fly ball gets away from RF Nystasia Rowe

Bridget Sheehan (3) handles a 2-out grounder with two runners in scoring position.

Shortstop Taylor Bogdanski chases a popup into centerfield

 

 

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Saugus reaches tourney after 46-32 win over Triton

Taylor Bogdanski (16 points) hit two 3’s in the first quarter.

Kiley Ronan (15) looks for the hoop as Caitlin White defends

(Byfield MA) A lot of happy Sachems after this one ended.

“We have a lot to work on, but it feels great to get the win and make the tournament,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender afterwards.

The Sachems (10-7) avenged an earlier non-league loss to the Vikings by capturing the Monday night makeup game.

Both coaches agreed that it was Saugus’ change to a 2-3 zone defense in the second half that was the difference maker.

“We don’t usually use a zone defense, but Triton played so well against our pressure that we didn’t use it at all in the second half,” said Coach Schruender.

Triton coach Dan Boyle agreed. “Their 2-3 zone really gave us fits in the second half.  We have struggled scoring points all year.  They packed the zone in tightly and we couldn’t shoot them out of it.”

The full effects of the defensive switch kicked in with 5 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.  The Vikings (6-12) were one possession away (28-26) at the time after Izzy Cambece landed a three assisted by Bridget Sheehan.

Collision course

The rest of the third quarter?  Totally, and I mean all, Saugus.  The team from the Northeastern Conference put a run of thirteen unanswered points together and left Triton with a 41-26 mountain to climb in the final quarter.

Taylor Bogdanski, Allie Kotkowski, Jillian Ricupero, Marissa Stockwell, and Alessia Salzillo all contributed to the Saugus breakaway stretch.

The Vikings’ shooting woes continued in the final quarter.  The Sachems weren’t a whole lot better in that frame, but they had the fifteen-point advantage and finished with a 46-32 win.

Sophomore Taylor Bogdanski led all scorers with sixteen points.  Twelve of those points came in the first half and included two 3-pointers.

Taylor shot Saugus into a 12-4 lead in the first quarter.  The home team came nearly all the way back in the second period as Bridget Sheehan and Alex Kennedy put eight points together to narrow things to 20-18 with two minutes left in that period.

Alex Kennedy blocks the shot of Molly Granara

The Vikings would hang in there for the next 4+ minutes of playing time before the final 5 ½ minutes of the 3rd quarter did them in.

No question the Vikings missed graduated high scorer Tessa Lafrance.  Tessa, now a freshman at Endicott, had over 1000 points at Triton.

On this night the Vikings had plenty of open looks from a variety of places.  “If the shots fall, it’s a different game,” said Coach Boyle.  “We scored fifty points in our first meeting with them.”

“We’re close to being a much better team than our record shows,” added Coach Boyle.  “It doesn’t help us this year, however.”

This is the 3rd straight year that Saugus has made the tournament.  They were 16-7 last season.

Most impressive player?  I choose junior Alessia Salzillo.  The speedy point guard could handle the Triton pressure and could find open teammates for good looks.  “She’s been a great player for us all year,” said Coach Schruender.  “As she goes, we go.”

Coach Schruender also praised the play of senior Alllie Kotkowski: “She probably had her best game of the season (9 points).  She made a lot of good little plays.”

Saugus box

Triton box

(Pictures enlarge when you click on them.)

Colleen McCarthy defends Molly Granara

Allie Kotkowski and Izzy Cambece

Bridget Sheehan tries to get by Taylor Bogdanski

Alex Kennedy (32) tries to stop Taylor Bogdanski

Alessia Salzillo looks to pass

Jamie Bell tries the lane against Taylor Bogdanski

Jillian Ricupero and Alex Kennedy

Caitlin White drives the baseline

Meredith Kennedy (30) applies pressure to Kiley Ronan

Taylor Bogdanski (12) puts up a floater

Chasing an inbounds pass

 

 

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