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20 - April 13, 2012 by Marc Ayotte

Under absolutely beautiful opening day skies, the Cougar boys’ baseball and girls’ softball teams each had an auspicious season opener in their respective quests to repeat as Division III state champions. Travis Manning fired a masterful, five strikeout, two hit- complete game shutout in leading the Cougars to a 5-0 win over visiting Pelham. Meanwhile, just a few hundred yards away, the Lady Cougars completed the daily double when they exploded for a 6 run fourth inning on their way to a 10-0 trouncing of the Lady Pythons. With one out in the bottom of the second inning, Manning helped his own cause when his sacrifice fly to center field plated the first run of the season, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead. As it turned out, that would be all that the starting hurler needed to support his effort on the hill. Campbell added another run in the second to lead 2-0 after two. After scoreless third and fourth frames, the Cougars struck for another pair in the home half of the fifth, to take a 4-0 lead. But that was not before Manning mowed down the Pythons in the top of the fifth with an impressive and ultra-efficient four-pitch inning. The Cougars added another insurance run in the home half of the sixth, leading to the 5-0 home opener final. In addition to starring on the mound, Manning went 1 for 1 at the plate,

Hudson~Litchfield Sports Hudson~Litchfield Sports

Cougars Sweep Pythons on Opening Day; Manning Fires Complete Game 2 Hitter; Lady Cougars’ Bats Erupt

First baseman Nick Freson stretches to record the putout on Pelham’s Devin DeCarteret

including his run producing sac fly. Catcher Cody Caron, in addition to calling a great game, singled and doubled as well as scored a run. Cade Lacroix, in the fifth inning, used his one hit on the day to drive in two of the Cougar five runs on the day.

Jackson Musco also registered one hit while scoring a run.

Although the Cougars picked up only seven hits on the day, it was a solid, team-errorless defensive effort that allowed the defending champs to knock off the D-II Pythons. According to head coach Jim Gorham, the Cougars had two defensive gems. The first was what the Cougar skipper called “an unbelievable catch” off the bat of Python second baseman Alex Newton. In the top of the sixth, first baseman Nick Freson made a diving stab of a line drive to his right. Freson, in turn, stood up and alertly threw to second for an inning-ending double play; “that was huge to end the sixth” recalled Gorham.

Although the Python bats were effectively silenced by Manning throughout the afternoon, Justin Moran and Ryan Frank did pick up singles for Pelham. In the top of the third, Pelham squandered its first scoring opportunity. After Frank singled, he then stole second base before the inning ended with him stranded at third. Again in the fourth, the Pythons threatened to score when catcher Evan Sage had a strong at bat, earning a base on balls. Sage proceeded to steal second (2 steals on the day) and then was advanced to third on a rope single to left by Moran. But once again, the Python rally fizzled, as their one-out threat led to runners being left at the corners without producing a run. In defeat for the Pythons, Nick Roussel was

Cougar third baseman Chuck Neild fields a ground ball during Campbell’s 5-0 opening day win against Pelham

what head coach Billy Beauchesne called “the hard luck loser.” Roussel pitched admirably,

allowing only three hits over five and a third innings on the hill. For Cougar pitcher Travis Manning, he said getting the opening day nod was an honor. In addition to having tremendous control (only two walks), Manning attributed much of his pitching rhythm and success to the game called by his battery mate Cody Carron; “Cody is a good catcher” sited Manning “I never shook him off.” Softball Action

On the 60-foot base paths, the Lady Cougars broke open a scoreless deadlock by erupting for six fourth inning runs, giving the win to starter Emily Paquin. Campbell closed the door on the Pythons by adding three more in the fifth, along with another in the sixth leading to the double digit win. The Cougar attack was spearheaded by catcher Brittany McNulla, who went 2 for 3 on the afternoon, including a crucial double that was instrumental in jumpstarting the Campbell pivotal fourth. McNulla, who finished her day with three RBIs, was followed by King with two runs batted in, as well as Carrie Fernandez who was perfect on the day, going 3 for 3 at the plate. Shannon Lavigne contributed with a pinch-hit RBI single. For Pelham, the offense never did get on track.

The bats that were red hot during pre-season cooled off in Cougar Country as the Pythons managed only four hits. Elissa Mogauro and Julia Barsalou picked up two of Pelham’s safeties. As part of the silver lining in an otherwise opening day dark cloud, Python Coach Todd Lozeau pointed out that half of the team’s hit production came from rookies. Kelsey Grimard (1 for 2) and Jill Spatola (1-1) each picked up hits in their first varsity at bats. With his top five batters going a frigid and combined 1 for 17 at the plate, a disappointed Lozeau admitted that weighed

AHS Sports Round Up

by Sue LaRoche Girls’ Tennis The young Bronco squad lost their first match of the season 6-3 to Winnacunnet as Lahari Venuthurupalli and Yashaswani Moparthi provided the only points for the Broncos. Venuthurupalli won 9-7 in a marathon first singles match while Moparthi took care of business 8-1 in second

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singles. The pair teamed up to take an 8-6 victory in first doubles as well. Alvirne falls to 0-1 on the season and will host Spaulding High School on Monday, April 16. Boys’ Tennis The Broncos lost 6-3 to Winnacunnet in their first match of the season. Alvirne got singles victories from PJ Martineau 9-8 (8-6

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5th Annual Jay O'Halloran Memorial Scholarship Road Race

Please join us for the 6th Annual Jay O'Halloran Memorial Scholarship Road Race on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The 3k/5k run/walk will begin at the Hills House at 11:00 am. This scholarship fund will benefit two Alvirne High School graduates continuing on to college. Tshirts, race day raffles, and post race refreshments will be available. Cash awards for 1st place female and male runners! Medals for 2nd and 3rd place finishers!

in the tiebreaker) and K.V. Venuthurupalli. Venuthurupalli and Sid Moparthi teamed up for an 8-5 victory at second doubles. Alvirne will host Londonderry on Friday, April 13. Girls’ Softball U Mass Amherst bound Taylor Carbone got off to a great start in 2012 as she tossed a one hit 6-0 shutout giving the Broncos their first victory of the season. Carbone struck out 11 and gave up 3 bases on balls, along with going 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs to help her cause.

Chelsey Drew had

two hits and two RBIs while freshman Kaycee Carbone had one hit and played great defense at shortstop. The Broncos are 1-0 on the young season and will host Londonderry on Friday, April 13.

Starting pitcher Emily Paquin led the Lady Cougars to a 10-0 opening day victory over the visiting Pelham Pythons

heavily on the outcome of the game. Defensively, both teams were a little rusty with

Pelham’s 3 and Campbell’s five combining for eight errors in the game. Pelham starter Jordan Parece went four and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs while fanning four. Megan Scalia threw the final inning and a third, striking out one.

Pitcher Travis Manning went the distance in recording a two hit, 5-0 shutout in the season opener against Pelham

Travis Terrio returns a serve

Please visit the website for more information and to register online.

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Staff photos by Marc Ayotte

Staff photos by Len Lathrop

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