FALMOUTH — Having pitched in only a scant few innings last season as a sophomore behind the Gatorade Player of the Year and four-year veteran Kelly Nelson, Lancer junior Sofia Knopf has seized the opportunity to shine inside of the circle for Norton High.
Knopf no-hit the No. 4-seeded Clippers of Falmouth High through six innings Monday as the Lancers claimed their 17th victory of the season in the MIAA Division 2 South Tournament quarterfinal-round game 6-0.
“She was in control the entire way, she wasn’t nervous at all,” Wade Lizotte, the Norton High coach said of Knopf hurling a gem for the second time in three days, taking 13 strikeouts against the Clippers.
Knopf yielded only a seventh-inning single and a two-out walk in the second inning as the No. 5-seeded Lancers (17-4) advanced into the Final Four of postseason competition against top-seeded Greater New Bedford Voke Wednesday at Taunton High, with the time yet to be determined.
The Lancers were no-hit through four innings, and finally rewarded Knopf by scoring three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Knopf was so in tune with four-year veteran catcher Nicole Grainger that not one Clipper ever advanced to second base. “She’s healthy and strong and focused,” Lizotte added. “And with Nicole back there, she calls such a great game.”
Knopf retired the Falmouth side in order in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings. “You have to give Falmouth credit too, they made all the plays in the field too,” Lizotte said.
Finally in the sixth and seventh innings the Lancers broke through, each time with Knopf executing a bunt to lead off the frame.
In the sixth, Destiny McGrath also reached base on a bunt single, and when Falmouth then misplayed the throw, Knopf scored the go-ahead run. Liv Menyo followed with an RBI single and Madison Correia stroked a run-producing sacrifice fly.
In the seventh, after another Knopf bunt, both McGrath and Menyo (RBI) singled, and Grainger followed with a two-run triple. “That was a quality win for us on the road against a very good team,” Lizotte added.
Bishop Feehan 1, Franklin 0
ATTLEBORO — That’s what happens with seniors on the field for the Bishop Feehan High Shamrocks.
Senior Brooke Sroczinski pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
Senior Caroline Deem scored the game-winning run.
Senior Gabby Comeau delivered the game-winning run across the plate as the No. 3-seeded Shamrocks (19-2) survived an upset bid by Franklin in the quarterfinal round of the MIAA Division 1 South Tournament.
Deem uncorked a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning, and then scooted all the way around on Comeau’s drive into right field.
“We knew that it would be close, that it would be a tough test; we played them last week (a 3-2 Shamrock win),” Bill Milot, the Bishop Feehan coach said of meeting No. 11-seeded Franklin (15-7), which has been involved in six one-run games (3-3) this season.
The Shamrocks will now take an eight-game win streak (allowing only seven runs over that span) into the semifinal round of competition at Taunton High against either host Taunton or Marshfield, with a date and time yet to be determined.
“Brooke (Sroczinski) hit her spots, and we didn’t have it at the plate,” Kate Fallon, the Franklin coach said. “Our defense and pitching (Jackie Cherry) definitely kept us in it.”
Sroczinski took the bats out of the hands of the Panthers, retiring the Franklin side in order in the first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Not only did Franklin not advance a runner to third base, but the Panthers never had a runner in scoring position.
“She was on fire,” Milot said of the RPI-bound Sroczinski, who allowed only a second-inning single and not one free pass working with Comeau, the Bishop Feehan catcher.
Unfortunately, the Shamrocks were unable to support Sroczinski despite having runners on base in every inning. The Shamrocks mustered seven hits overall, with Hannah Ramer and Deem each having two hits.
The Shamrocks left runners stranded at first and second base in the second, third and fourth innings. Bishop Feehan’s best scoring chance came in the very first frame, as Jess Levesque drilled a double and advanced to third base.
The Shamrocks then, seemingly, were set to take the lead in the sixth inning by jamming the bags — Haley Coupal was hit by a pitch, Sierra Basara placed down a bunt and Levesque drew a walk.
“We knew that eventually we would support her; we had enough runners on base,” Milot added.
Taunton 4, King Philip 0
TAUNTON — The Warriors have yet to solve Kelsey White, the Tigers’ sophomore pitcher who allotted King Philip merely three hits in the MIAA Division 1 South Tournament first-round game.
Pitting Hockomock League rivals for the third time this season, No. 15-seeded King Philip (13-9) has yet to score a run against White, who garnered 12-0 and 7-0 decisions during the Kelley-Rex Division schedule.
No. 2 seeded, Kelley-Rex Division champion Taunton (21-2) plated the game-winning run against KP starting pitcher Faith Turinese in the first inning, added two more runs in the third and another tally in the fourth inning. Allie Norton came on in a relief pitching role for KP over the final two innings, allowing Franklin just one hit.
The Warriors nearly took the lead in the very first inning. Raegan Simeone reached base on a bunt and Lily Rolfe drew a walk, but White ended the KP chance by fielding a ground ball for the final out.
KP threatened again in the seventh inning as Rolfe was hit by a pitch, but White extinguished the bid by inducing a pair of ground balls.