Ten-run first leads Hudson softball past Shrewsbury in Sheryl Jones final

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Ten-run first leads Hudson softball past Shrewsbury in Sheryl Jones final
Hudson softball team beat Shrewsbury in the finals. (Photo/Bill Gilman)

HUDSON – Unbeaten Hudson High School softball team erupted for 10 runs in the first inning and cruised to a 15-3 win over Shrewsbury in the final of the Sheryl Jones Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

Just two days after lighting up the Dracut High pitching staff for 23 runs in their semifinal win, the Hawks stayed red hot, pounding out 14 hits vs. the Colonials. Tournament MVP Lauren O’Malley, a sophomore, led the attack, going 4 for 4, including a home run and five RBI. Junior Audrey Lenox (4 for 4) homered twice and drove in three runs.

Lenox’s teammate Alyssa Davis and Shrewsbury’s Zofia Sargent joined O’Malley on the all-tournament team.

With Head Coach Laura Bowen and assistant Ray Girard both unavailable for the title game, Hudson played under the guidance of junior varsity coach Mike Notaro. The Hawks (5-0) made his job considerably easier when their first six batters reached base safely. A two-run double by Maddie Kiley and a two-run homer from O’Malley gave Hudson a 4-0 lead while most fans were still settling into their seats.

But the Hawks were far from finished. Lenox drove in junior Sam Collette to make it 5-0 before Shrewsbury recorded an out. 

“The girls stepped right up today. They said they wanted to win it for their coaches who wanted to be here but couldn’t be here. They played a great game. They came out hitting a ton,” said Notaro.

In addition to smashing the ball, Hudson was aided by multiple Shrewsbury defensive errors. By the time the top of the first inning came to a close, Hudson had sent 15 batters to the plate and built a 10-0 lead. That was more than enough support for Hawks’ freshman pitcher Taylor Attaway, who scattered seven hits and struck out three in the win.

Attaway was also backed by some outstanding defense. In the third inning, Sargent was gunned down trying to score on Sylvia Dempsey’s single on a perfect relay from Hudson left fielder Gracie Giorgio to Attaway to O’Malley. In the bottom of fourth, Shrewsbury’s Sophia Gomes attempted to score on a single by Bea Millar, only to be called out at the plate on a relay from right fielder Lenox to Kiley to O’Malley.

The blowout loss was a step backward for Shrewsbury (1-6), which had been playing its best softball of the season over the past week. After having been outscored 33-4 in their first three games, the Colonials gave powerhouse Wachusett Regional (2-1) and Hudson (7-5 in 8 innings) all they could handle before riding a great pitching performance by Sargent to a 3-2 upset of previously unbeaten Nashoba Regional in the Jones Tournament semifinal.

“We’d played [Hudson] tight last week, lost in extras on Friday. You’ve got to give them credit, they came out hitting, getting in the box and swinging the bats hard,” said Shrewsbury Head Coach Jamie Millett. “We have a lot of young kids. We’ve got a lot of learning to do. But I’m definitely confident we’re going to turn it around.”

Despite finding itself in a huge early deficit, Shrewsbury did what it could to fight back. Freshman Aaesha Mahurkar pitched well after coming on to relieve Sargent in the first inning. 

The Colonials got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Marin Agbay drove in Sam Azzarone with a double down the left field line. Sargent followed with a double to right center to cut the deficit to 11-2. 

But any thoughts Shrewsbury may have had for a miraculous comeback were snuffed out in the top of the fourth. A two-out rally by Hudson pushed across three runs, highlighted by a two-run double by Kiley, upping the lead to 14-2.

Shrewsbury got a run back in the home half of the fourth on an RBI double by freshman Emma Ellis. Lenox tacked on her second solo home run of the game for Hudson in top of the fifth.

Shrewsbury baseball wins Ahearn Tournament

The Shrewsbury baseball team rallied from a 4-2 deficit to knock off previously unbeaten Tantasqua Regional in the final of the John Ahearn Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Hudson High.

Joe Guidotti pitched three shutout innings in relief of starter David Escobar to earn the win. 

Tantasqua (6-1) scored all four of its runs in the third inning to erase an early 2-0 Colonials’ lead. Shrewsbury (6-1) tied the game with single runs in the fourth and fifth before taking the lead for good in the sixth.

Shrewsbury’s offense was a three-pronged attack, made up of Colby Coghlin, Owen Mongeon and Ryan Kinsky. Each of them had two hits and drove in two runs for the Colonials.

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