By the time you read this column, the Gorham High softball team will either be heading to the NHIAA Division 4 finals or their season will be done based on what happened last night in Concord against Woodsville in the semi-finals. You can check the NHIAA website for results. Regardless, the Huskies had an average regular season and then caught fire in the playoffs beating Littleton and Colebrook to advance to play Woodsville.
Skipping around the North Country with some sporting news. Some of you in the teaching, sports' fields may remember Gina Squatrito, who was a college student interning with me when I was teaching Physical Education and directing the athletics programs at Berlin Junior High School. She was a fast learner and was very organized & instrumental in assisting me in offering the students we served great sports' related experiences and for that I am forever grateful. I recently learned that her son Nick, was recently named the Contoocook Valley Regional High School defensive MVP for the spring of 2021, in the sport of lacrosse.
The NHIAA All-state softball awards were recently announced with Berlin's Makenna Balderrama, first team, Jillian Hallee, second team and Grace Bradley, honorable mention being recognized.
The Gorham men's softball league got off to a good start this past Monday, with Rollie Poirier, of the Land, pitching his team to a 5-0 win over Kevin Allain and Remax, while chuckers Donnie Hood of Nucar and Matt Cameron of Berlin City hooked up in an exciting 8-7 win for Nucar. Kevin Trask and Todd Frechette led BCF, but Cam Cochran and company prevailed in the end. Two games are played each Monday night, 6 and 7:30 p.m. at Libby Field. Check their web-page for results and schedules.
Groveton Motor Speedway races are in full swing with last weekend’s results as follows: Nick Gilcris won the RN Craft Street Stock race, while Brad Sanborn was first in the MH Humphrey & Sons Lil Rascals. In the Ekeys 4-car formula 4's race, Mekaylah Bowen was the top racer, Evan Gilbert was two for two in as many weeks in the Claudette and Dean's Place Dare Devils and finally in the Bone Stock 6 & 8 Cylinder race Mike Sherburne took the top slot.
Now that both BHS and GHS' baseball seasons are complete, baseball remains, but in the form of Junior Legion and Babe Ruth. Berlin will have teams in both of those leagues, the first one being Ryan Scammon Post 36 Legion team and the Roadwarriors Babe Ruth team. The Legion team, coached by DJ Johnson, and Rick Mercier, with help from Griffin Melanson, Dylan Bisson and Colin Shaw, will start this weekend with Keene Saturday. Meanwhile the Roadwarriors, under the direction of Craig Langlois and Matt Saladino, will travel to Plymouth on Saturday for opening season tournament action. Sunday, the Post 36 team will have their home-opener at Memorial Field with a chance to honor the 1965 Legion team and play some ball. Stop by for some exciting summer baseball action.
GORHAM HIGH BASEBALL
Unfortunately for the Gorham High baseball team, they got to face Littleton's ace, Josh Finkle for the second time this season, this time in the NHIAA Division IV Tournament and managed only two hits as they were eliminated from further action with a 3-0 loss.
Finkle got the Huskies out in order in four different innings, the first, third, fourth and fifth. He also struck out 13, although he did record four strikeouts in the second inning when the catcher dropped a third strike that saw Chase Carder make it to first.
The Crusaders scored the game-winning run in the first inning off starting pitcher Ean Steady with two walks and a single. Landyn Croteau came in during the third inning and pitched well until Littleton scored in the fifth inning with one out, on a single, double, intentional walk and a passed ball, before Croteau struck out the next two batters to end the threat. The very next inning, a single, stolen base, error and passed ball led to Littleton scoring their final run, to go up 3-0.
Finkle was cruising along with a no-hitter until Kody Lemieux broke it up in the sixth inning with a sharp single down the third baseline. He was eventually was stranded on second after a stolen base. In the final frame, Anthony Pizzuto got Gorham's second hit and following a walk, runners were at first and second with no outs. Finkle then settled down and got the next three batters to squelch the potential rally. Steady, in his two innings of work, struck out four, with a hit and two walks. This game was a game of Ks as Croteau had eight of them, to go along with five hits and three walks. Between all three chuckers, there was a total of 25 strikeouts.
Gorham's head coach Pete Girouard said, "The Gorham program has had some down years recently and I was unsure how this year would go not knowing many of the players or how strong the division was. I was pleasantly surprised with how hard the guys worked and how receptive they were to what we are trying to do to build the program. Although we lose a couple of key pieces in Ean Steady and Wyatt Deblois, we have a good core of younger players who are hungry to re-establish Gorham as a team to watch out for in Division IV."