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16 - June 18, 2010

Patriot Community Sports Patriot Community Sports

Softball Takes Class L Championship over Londonderry

Salem coach Harold Sachs paid her a lightly humored visit at the mound. The meeting concluded after a few smiles were cracked, and Galvin got right back on track by striking out the next Londonderry batter to retire the side.

Nora Galvin winds up and fires

versus Londonderry in the championship game last Saturday

by Chris White When you stay positive, you’ll get positive—as was the case in the Salem Blue Devils’ 2-1 victory over Londonderry in last Saturday’s Class L softball championship game at Concord Memorial Field.

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Returning to the Class L baseball finals for the first time since 2008, the Salem Blue Devils were looking for their first win in the championship game since earning their first title in program history back in 2003. Last Saturday night, however, the fourth-seeded Devils met third- ranked Londonderry to play for the Class L crown at Stadium in Manchester, and fell to the Lancers by the score of 5-2. After rainy weather conditions delayed the start of the game, visiting Salem jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning when Joe Morin (2-3, one RBI, one run scored) doubled to left field to score Josh Treff (2-4, one run scored) all the way from first base. The Lancers then responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning and held a 3-1 lead until the fifth, where they added two more runs to make it 5-1.

Salem got one more run in the top of the sixth, thanks to a single to left field by Joe Dipalma (2-3, one RBI) to bring in Morin from third. Morin led off the inning with a double and then moved to third base when Darren Brown reached on a fielder’s choice. Overall, the game may have been a different Great Service at “YOUR” Convenience, Not Ours! SURCHARGES NO FUEL

story, had Salem’s pitching ace Nick Poore been able to throw for more than two innings. Poore was allowed to work only the second and third frames because he had reached the limit for the number of innings he could pitch for the week. The loss for the Blue Devils marked the end of a season in which they finished 15-8 overall, and came from behind to grab wins in all three playoff games before reaching the finals. The Devils certainly earned their right to face Londonderry, as they scrapped and clawed their way through the playoffs, and even knocked off number-one seed Nashua North in the semifinals at Holman Stadium. “That just describes our

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team,” said Brown, Salem’s senior center fielder who plans to play football at Endicott College next fall. “We’re a scrappy team. We just always got the job done when we needed to. We got clutch at the

Catcher Jade Morrison and first baseman

Sarah Frahm embrace after Morrison catches the final out of a 2-1 Salem victory

The Blue Devils were leading 2-1 in

the top of the sixth when Londonderry’s Nicole Williams tripled to left-center field off of Salem pitcher Nora Galvin (seven innings, three hits allowed, 11 strikeouts). With two outs and the tying run on third, Galvin’s infield and

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“We just try to relax and say ‘let’s go after this batter, we’ll get this batter’ and that’s how you have to think of it,” Galvin said. “You have to forget that the runner’s there and just focus on the batter, or you’ll probably walk the girl if you’re too worried about the girl on third.” The deep drive by Williams would later turn out to be Londonderry’s best chance to tie up the game again. The scurrying Williams looked like she had a shot at making it all the way around the bases, but Salem center fielder Steph Long tracked down the ball and threw a dart to short stop Steph Cabral, who then relayed the throw to catcher Jade Morrison to keep the tying run at third.

Cabral (2-3, one RBI, one run scored) and Morrison (1-3, one RBI) also came through for Salem offensively as each of them drove in a run. In the bottom of the second, Cabral, who is Salem’s top cross country runner in the fall, hit a line drive to left field and showed off her speed by swiftly rounding the bases to score. She was credited with a triple and an error for the play, as Londonderry’s left fielder misplayed the ball in the slippery, wet outfield. Thanks to an RBI-single by Londonderry’s Williams earlier in the fourth inning, the score was tied 1-1 when Morrison stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fifth with Geena Terino (pinch running for Nicole Gubellini) on first and Sarah Frahm on second.

Te 2010 Class L State Champion Salem Softball Team

With two outs, Morrison smacked a line-drive double to center field, which drove in Frahm and allowed Salem to pull ahead for good.

“I just got up there with a positive attitude thinking that hopefully, I could hit at least one person in,” said Morrison, a junior, who saw an increased role in the Blue Devils’ line- up this season. “I was also hoping that they weren’t going to catch another ball like the last ball that I hit [a hard- hit line drive that found the glove of Londonderry’s second baseman to end the third inning].”

Morrison caught the game’s final out as well – a pop-up behind home plate – to start the Salem celebration. It was the first time the Blue Devils won the Class L title since beating Londonderry in 2007, which was the second of back-to-back championships after winning it all in 2006. In addition to being crowned champions, Salem ended the 2010 season with an overall

record of 21-2. Playing as a senior in her last tournament for Salem, Galvin dominated the competition. In four playoff games, she and the Salem defense gave up only the one run to Londonderry. In a total of 24 innings, Galvin struck out 44, walked seven, and allowed only six hits, while tossing two no-hitters.

Her latest no-no came in the semifinal against Pinkerton the previous Wednesday, where the Devils trounced the Astros 13-0 in five innings. Other highlights of the game were provided by seniors Julia Gray and Amanda Vaudreuil. Gray went 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Vaudreuil also went 2-3 with a two- run inside-the-park homer, three RBI, and a run scored. Long additionally contributed a double and a triple in three at bats, knocking in one run and coming across the plate to score two.

Blue Devils’ Post-Season Run Ends in Finals

Second baseman Matt Gioia makes the throw to first in the Class L championship game

Darren Brown fires to home plate in the late innings versus Londonderry

end of every game. That’s what the playoffs are about.” Brown is joined by teammates Jordan Estevez, Matt Gioia, C.J. Demarco, Justin O’Brien, Sam Fazioli, Steve Day, Shaun Yelle, Nick Frederico, and Rob Liberatore in Salem’s graduating class this year. As for next season, the Blue Devils return a number of major contributors, led by Poore, Morin, Treff, and Dipalma. “Watch out for this team next year,” Brown said.

“All of the kids who contributed to this team the most this season will be coming back.”

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Photos by Chris White

Photos by Chris White

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