Softball eliminated by Middleboro in D2 playoffsBy Jay Turner
After struggling throughout the regular season against larger Hockomock schools, the Canton High softball team traveled to Middleboro last week hoping to catch lightning in a bottle in the opening round of the Division 2 playoffs.
Unfortunately for the 21st seeded Bulldogs, the same pattern prevailed as the girls kept it close for the first few innings before surrendering several quick runs in an eventual 16-3 defeat.
The disappointing loss ended Canton’s season at 3-16, although head coach Ed Amico remains confident that the girls are closer to a turnaround than their final record might suggest.
Even last Wednesday’s loss to the 12th seeded Sachems, who were heavily favored going into the game, could have been much closer had the Bulldogs avoided that “one inning where everything that could go wrong did,” according to Amico.
After falling behind 3-0 early in the game, Canton was able to cut the deficit to one run before a series of walks, errors, and timely hitting by Middleboro turned the game into a blowout.
Despite the end result, Amico was proud of how his squad handled adversity this season, and he was especially encouraged with the improvements he saw at the plate, which he said was a “testament to the players buying into the system and working hard.”
“There were several games where Canton actually had more hits than the other team,” he said, “and they will need to keep improving on that and other areas to be competitive in the Hock.”
Overall, there were five Bulldogs who finished the season with a batting average above .300, led by seniors Olivia Murphy (.333) and Becky Lazaro (.326). The team’s third senior, captain Cady Kelly, also had a strong season offensively, and Amico said all three will be sorely missed for both their play and their leadership.
At the same time, Amico is excited about the improvement of several younger players, and he fully expects to see a more productive, disciplined, and hungrier squad take the field in the spring of 2013.
Added the coach, “If we keep the hitting going, cut down on the walks, and play defensively for seven innings and not have that one or two innings where we commit errors, we should be very competitive.”
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