Souhegan Valley Storm win award at World Series
The Souhegan Valley Storm spent a week playing in the World Series against the best 14U teams in the country. The Storm was awarded the Sportsmanship Award, two Gold Gloves, placed fifth and made history with a triple play.
From the opening ceremony to the final pitch the team embraced the qualities of a first-class team, showing their pride for representing New Hampshire and New England which was evident from their respectful treatment to the other teams and their ability to show grace under pressure and dignity whether in the loss or win column.
Bedford’s Kylie Dimond, first base, and pitcher Emily Moll were awarded Gold Glove Awards for strong defense.
The Storm came out of pool play with a 3-1 record as the third seed. During the World Series elimination round, they struggled against the home team, Gainesville, Fla., 14-0 but came back strong against Santa Fe, as both teams put up solid defense and hot bats as the lead swapped multiple times.
Moll provided solid pitching vs Santa Fe. The Storm went ahead by a run heading into the top of the seventh inning but Santa Fe had two line drives down the third baseline, putting three runs on the board. Ashley Humphreys led off the bottom of the seventh inning for SVS with a standup triple then stole home on a dropped third strike, cutting Santa Fe’s lead to one. With two outs, Alex Meader popped to second base, stranding the tying runner on third, Kylie Dimond, and the go-ahead run on first, Maddy Lucontoni, eliminating the Storm from their World Series quest, 7-6.
On opening day, the Storm made history with the first 14U World Series triple play against Winter Park. Meader was on the mound and outs went as followed: a line drive to second baseman Abby Sites, who threw to first baseman Dimond then to shortstop Abby LeBlanc to get the third out on second base. Two innings later SVS turned a double play on a short bunt fielded by catcher Humphreys who threw to Dimond for an out who got the ball to LeBlanc to tag out the runner at third base, ending the inning. The Storm beat Winter Park 4-1.
"I got a line shot to the glove about two inches from the ground and caught it and threw it to Kylie," said Abby Sites.
"It was a close play. She dove back but it didn’t work," said Abby LeBlanc.
"We had solid defense and some great triple and double plays," said head coach Steve Dimond.
World Series Notables
Megan McLaughlin (Brookline) led SVS in hits (nine), batting average (.563), on base percentage (.588), scored 5five runs and had six RBIs. Sites (Milford) tied for second with six hits and had a late-game triple vs Creek, Fla., in extra innings to win the game. Lucontoni (Bedford) had six hits, .375 batting average and a few incredible diving catches in right field. Kylie Dimond led the tournament in assists by throwing out numerous runners attempting to advance to extra bases.
Moll (Bedford) earned a win on opening day with a strong eight-inning performance, and come in late in two other games to shut the door and earn saves. Pitcher Meader (Mont Vernon) won both of her starts with strong efforts versus Winter Park and Fairdale, Ky., and contributed at the plate.
Outfielder Whitney Fitzgerald (Bedford) had a game saving catch deep to center field on opening day. Fitzgerald and Abi MacLatchy (Amherst) had strong battles at the plate, leading to high on base percentages. Abby LeBlanc (Lyndeborough) was second on team in runs scored.
Catchers Meredith Basta (Milford) and Lyndeborough’s Humphreys did solid work behind the plate, keeping base runners in-check by combining to throw out several would-be base stealers while Humphreys had a few running catches in center field.
Hannah Cronin (Bedford), Rheanna Wilson (Amherst) and Lauren Basta came off the bench for several key pinch hits late in games to keep rallies alive.
"They played to the best of their ability with a hundred percent effort and left everything they had on the field. They had a great time," said Dimond. "It was an experience of a lifetime. Once the games started and they won their first two games against great competition they knew they belonged here."
Gov. Maggie Hassan donated a New Hampshire state flag that was displayed by the dugout every time the Storm took the field.
The Fisher Cats will honor the Storm at their Aug. 13 game. SVS players will be introduced on the field and stand with their counterpart Fisher Cat players for the National Anthem.