Suc­cess­ful sea­son ends in states for Tri-City

Dorchester Star - - Sports - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­

CAM­BRIDGE — The Tri-City Se­nior League soft­ball al­ls­tars im­pres­sive 2016 sea­son con­cluded with the Dis­trict 6 cham­pi­onship and a berth in the Mary­land state tour­na­ment.

Though the team fell in con­sec­u­tive games at states — 7-3 at Del­mar and 5-2 to Hugh­esville — Tri-City fin­ished the sea­son 15-3.

Head coach Clark Har­ri­son credits ace pitcher Brooke Mor­ton for the team’s suc­cess­ful sea­son.

“Brooke is a big rea­son we won the Dis­trict 6 cham­pi­onship and ad­vanced to states,” he said. “She has been out­stand­ing for us.”

Mor­ton pitched much of the sea­son and won all three starts in the Dis­trict 6 tour­na­ment.

On June 2, Mor­ton and Paige Phillips com­bined to twirl a no-hit­ter, Mor­ton strik­ing out 11 in four in­nings, Phillips fan­ning two in the fifth to close out the 12-0 vic­tory over Whit­ten In­surance of Cam­bridge.

On June 6 and 7, Tri-City im­proved to 9-0 with wins against Eas­ton. In both games, Brooke Mor­ton got the win, go­ing five in­nings and strik­ing out eight each time. Phillips closed the sec­ond win, fan­ning two in two frames.

Brooke Hard­ing’s sin­gle and triple paced Tri-City on June 6. Maggie Mell­ham­mer and Mered­ith Bell each had two sin­gles. Mor­ton, Anna Hub­bard, and Phillips added base-knocks.

Hard­ing had two dou­bles and a triple in the June 7 vic­tory. Mell­ham­mer chipped in a dou­ble and sin­gle. Mor­ton dou­bled, while Phillips, Bell, Hub­bard, and Jenna Usil­ton col­lected base hits.

On June 29, Tri-City used a big fourth in­ning to earned a trip to the Dis­trict 6 cham­pi­onship game with a 11-1 vic­tory over Cam­bridge.

Brooke Mor­ton, who lost her shutout bid with two outs in the fifth in­ning, threw a five-hit­ter with six strike­outs and one walk.

“I had my fast­ball work­ing the best tonight,” said Mor­ton, who recorded at least one strike­out in ev­ery in­ning. “I could throw that pretty good and they weren’t hit­ting it very well.”

Tri-City blew it open in the fourth.

Bell and Hard­ing each walked. Mor­ton’s base hit plated Bell to make it 3-0, mov­ing Hard­ing to third. Mor­ton swiped sec­ond with­out draw­ing a throw and Meil­ham­mer walked to load the bases. Hard­ing scored, and the two trail run­ners ad­vanced one base on a wild pitch.

Anna Hub­bard’s base hit scored Mor­ton and Meil­ham­mer. Hub­bard made third on the throw home. Hits by Phillips and Jenna Usil­ton kept the rally go­ing. Phillips, Katie Smith, and Usil­ton, along with Hub­bard, would score, as Tri-City pushed its lead to 10-0.

In the cham­pi­onship game on July 2, Tri-City pounded out 16 hits on their way to a 22-10 vic­tory.

Af­ter its first two bat­ters were re­tired in the top of the first, Tri-City got the next 10 hit­ters on base, scor­ing nine of them. Mor­ton drove in two with a triple to right field, and Phillips hit an in­side-thep­ark grand slam her sec­ond time up in the open­ing frame.

Tri-City added four runs in the top of the sec­ond for a 13-0 lead, with Marissa Mills, Phillips, and Usil­ton each notch­ing an RBI.

Tri-City added nine more runs for a 22-2 lead in the top of the third. Mor­ton (four runs) sin­gled home a run and Hard­ing plated two with a dou­ble off the fence. Mills, Hub­bard, and Meil­ham­mer (triple) each had RBI hits as well.

In Satur­day’s state tour­na­ment open­ing round game in Cam­bridge, the Tri-City al­ls­tars mounted sev­eral chal­lenges against Del­mar, but timely field­ing by Del­mar halted a come­back, as TriCity fell, 7-3.

“We are a hit­ting ball club,” Har­ri­son said. “We just didn’t get the hits we needed with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion. A cou­ple hits here and there and it is a dif­fer­ent ball game. But this team has a lot of heart and doesn’t give up.”

Trail­ing 6-3 in the bot­tom of the sixth, Mills and Hub­bard each sin­gled to put run­ners at first and sec­ond, but Del­mar pitcher Lau­ren Smith got a strike­out to end the in­ning.

Del­mar in­creased the lead to 7-3 in the sev­enth af­ter an out­field er­ror, but with the top of the lineup com­ing up, Har­ri­son knew the team still had a good shot.

Lead­off hit­ter Phillips sin­gled to start a rally, but the come­back all but ended on the next pitch. Lau­ren Smith de­liv­ered to Usil­ton, who ripped a grounder up the mid­dle, but Lau­ren Smith snatched the hard shot and fired to sec­ond to start a 1-63 dou­ble play. Af­ter a walk, Lau­ren Smith in­duced a fly­out to end the game.

“We scored 10 runs with two outs and no one on the other day,” Har­ri­son said. “With this team, we al­ways have a shot. We put good swings on the ball but Del­mar, give them credit, made the big plays on de­fense, and we came up short.”

Del­mar opened the scor­ing in the top of the first when Cather­ine Smith (4 for 4) belted an RBI triple; she later scored on a throw­ing er­ror to make it 2-0. Mor­ton in­duced two grounders, and got help from catcher Bell, who picked off a run­ner at third to end the in­ning.

Bell (2 for 2) helped her pitcher at the plate in the bot­tom of the first when she smoked a two-run sin­gle to left to tie the game, 2-2.

“Mered­ith has been out­stand­ing for us all year,” Har­ri­son said. “She works great with Brooke behind the plate. Mered­ith also has been big hit­ting, and she showed it to­day by get­ting on base four times.”

In the third, Cather­ine Smith led off with a dou­ble, and scored on a sin­gle by Olivia Welch for a 3-2 Del­mar lead. A dou­ble by Grace White put run­ners at sec­ond and third. Lau­ren Smith plated Welch with a sac­ri­fice fly to right for a 4-2 lead. Mor­ton ended the re­main­ing threat with two strike­outs.

Mor­ton helped her cause in the bot­tom of the third.

A sin­gle by Usil­ton, a walk by Bell fol­lowed by a wild pitch put run­ners on sec­ond and third with one out. Mor­ton’s grounder scored Usil­ton on the fielder’s choice to make it 4-3.

Del­mar in­creased its lead in the fourth to 6-3. Mor­ton also kept Del­mar off the score­board in the fifth and sixth in­nings. She went the dis­tance, giv­ing up 10 hits, seven runs (four earned) and struck out five.

“Del­mar is a re­ally good hit­ting ball club, but Brooke kept them from hav­ing huge in­nings,” Har­ri­son added. “We didn’t help her in the field with a cou­ple balls hit to­day. Brooke kept dig­ging and gave us a chance to win.

“I’m proud to coach this team,” he said. “They never, ever give up. They put to­gether an out­stand­ing sea­son. They are cham­pi­ons.”


Tri-City’s Mered­ith Bell rips a two-run sin­gle to left to tie the score at 2-2 against Del­mar Satur­day in the state tour­na­ment.


Tri-City ace Brooke Mor­ton picked up an­other win Fri­day, lead­ing her team to the Dis­trict 6 Cham­pi­onship.

Tri-City short­stop Paige Phillips fires to first for an out against Del­mar Satur­day in the state tour­na­ment.

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