Mor­ton, As­plen power Ea­gles

Se­nior hurls com­pletegame at county ri­val

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — An early deficit did not de­rail the North Dorch­ester High soft­ball team’s charge against Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester Mon­day.

The Ea­gles soared be­hind se­nior pitcher Brooke Mor­ton’s com­plete-game per­for­mance and sopho­more Leann As­plen’s first ca­reer home run to knock off the Vik­ings, 13-3.

CAM­BRIDGE — An early deficit did not de­rail the North Dorch­ester High soft­ball team’s charge against Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester Mon­day.

The Ea­gles soared be­hind se­nior pitcher Brooke Mor­ton’s com­pletegame per­for­mance and sopho­more Leann As­plen’s first ca­reer home run to knock off the Vik­ings, 13-3.

“This win means so much to us be­cause we have not beaten Cam­bridge in my four years,” said Mor­ton who also col­lected two hits and three RBIs. “Ev­ery­one played great to­day. I’m proud to be a part of it all.”

North Dorch­ester (5-10 over­all, 1-5 North Bay­side) got into an early hole in the first in­ning, when Cam­bridge-SD’s Mad­di­son Led­num launched a pitch to the right-field fence. Paige Phillips and Sab­rina McKelvey scored as Led­num raced home for a stand-up, in­side-the-park home run and a 3-0 lead.

Though the Vik­ings (3-12, 0-6) started the game with three con­sec­u­tive hits, Mor­ton would only al­low four the rest of the game. She also struck out seven, mix­ing in her po­tent change-up.

“Brooke was out­stand­ing again to­day,” North Dorch­ester head coach Clark Harrison said. “I’m proud of Brooke, the rest of the se­niors and the en­tire team. They re­ally wanted this win. We were fired up, and we want to carry this mo­men­tum on to our next games.

“Brooke did an ex­cel­lent job shut­ting down Cam­bridge,” Harrison added. “She works her pitches very well with Mered­ith (Bell) be­hind the plate. Her change-up has been great all year. Brooke kept Cam­bridge off bal­ance all game.”

The Ea­gles put to­gether a rally in the sec­ond in­ning against Vik­ing starter Paige Phillips. Brooke Hard­ing led off with a sin­gle and

Mor­ton walked. Mered­ith Coul­bourne then ripped a liner to the left-field gap, but Cam­bridge-SD cen­ter fielder Emily Keener raced over for the catch to save runs. Phillips in­duced a grounder to sec­ond to get the sec­ond out, but walked a bat­ter to load the bases.

Lead­off hit­ter Rachel Wind­sor ap­peared to put the Ea­gles on the board when her liner landed safely in cen­ter field, but Keener rushed in to scoop up the ball and fired to sec­ond for the force out to end the in­ning with­out giv­ing up a run.

As­plen sin­gled and reach third with one out in the third. Bell stroked a pitch to third base­man Led­num, who faked a throw to first, and fired home to put As­plen in a run­down. As­plen went back to­ward third, then raced home, div­ing for the plate, but Phillips tagged her out.

With two out, Mor­ton ripped a two-run sin­gle to pull North Dorch­ester within 3-2.

Mor­ton again held the Vik­ings score­less in bot­tom of the third.

Abbey DeCarlo started another Ea­gle rally with a one-out dou­ble in the fourth. Wind­sor walked. As­plen then blasted a pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run home run, her first of her ca­reer for a 5-3 Ea­gles lead. Hard­ing’s RBI sin­gle to cen­ter ex­tended the lead to 6-3.

“I knew the mo­ment Leann hit the ball it was gone,” Harrison said. “She has been one of our very best hit­ters all year. She had a strong at-bat, foul­ing off sev­eral pitches. She got the one she liked and sent it out of here.”

De­lanie Henry sin­gled to start the Vik­ings’ fourth. Mor­ton got a strike­out for the first out. Abby Robinson ripped a grounder up the mid­dle, by Hard­ing made a div­ing stab at short and tossed to Wind­sor at sec­ond for the force out. Mor­ton ended the in­ning with a strike­out on her change-up.

The Ea­gles bat­ted around in the fifth to opened an eightrun lead. Coul­bourne scored on a passed ball. Wind­sor dou­bled home two runs. Maddi Nos­sick tripled to plate Wind­sor. Bell fol­lowed with an RBI sin­gle for an 11-3 lead.

“We didn’t come to play, and North Dorch­ester wanted it more,” Cam­bridge-SD head coach Ka­reem Otey said. “Con­grat­u­la­tions on their win. They played very well.”

Mor­ton cruised on the fifth with two strike­outs and a fly­out.

In the sev­enth, Nos­sick scored on a passed ball, and Mor­ton’s sin­gle plated Bell for a 13-3 lead.

With two outs in the bot­tom of the sev­enth, Mor­ton peered in to her catcher Bell who have played soft­ball to­gether since be­fore high school. One pitch later, Led­num skied a ball to foul ground be­hind the plate. Bell raced to the cor­ner and made a slid­ing catch to end the game.

“It was very fit­ting Mered­ith could end the game with a great catch,” Mor­ton said. “She is a great catcher, great player.

“She knows what I’m think­ing out there when I’m pitch­ing,” Mor­ton added. “It is great hav­ing some­one like her as a catcher. Ev­ery­one did so well to­day. We are just very happy to have this mo­ment.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester’s Leann As­plen blasts her three-run homer in the fourth in­ning Mon­day against Cam­bridge-SD.

PHOTOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester’s Brooke Mor­ton got the com­plete-game vic­tory Mon­day, May 11, against Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Paige Phillips fires a pitch against North Dorch­ester Mon­day, May 1.

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