BRATTLEBORO -- Brattleboro softball coach Kelly Markol enjoys being overlooked or "flying under the radar" as they say.
And somehow, despite her team’s back-to-back state titles in 2010-2011 and a senior pitcher in Kayla Wood who has an unbelievable 10-1 postseason record, nobody’s really talking about the Colonels when it comes to the Division 1 Tournament. Undefeated Essex, second-seeded Colchester and the MAU turn-around seem to be getting all of the attention.
"That’s just the way we like it," said Markol after Brattleboro’s 15-0 rout of North Country in Tuesday’s playdown game.
The Colonels are one of four area teams hosting a quarterfinal matchup on Friday. There will be a lacrosse doubleheader on Natowich Field, with the No. 4 BUHS girls girls hosting No. 5 Essex at 4:30 p.m. followed by the No. 4 BUHS boys taking on No. 5 Middlebury at 7 p.m. And the fourth-seeded Leland & Gray baseball team will welcome No. 12 Windsor at 4:30 p.m. in Townshend in the Division 3 bracket.
Friday’s softball game on Sawyer Field at 4:30 p.m. should be televised -- pay-per-view even.
BUHS fan Bob Page was looking forward to it midway through Tuesday’s playdown. A Burlington Free Press sportswriter is wishing it was being played up north so that she could check it out.
After all, No. 6 BFA-St. Albans (12-5) versus No. 3 Brattleboro (14-2-1) is a rematch of the 2011 state title game that the Colonels won 2-1 and of last year’s semifinal that the Comets won 2-1 -- Wood’s only loss ever in the playoffs.
The purple and white racked up 18 hits on Tuesday, including four by Haley Struthers. BFA-St. Albans, which beat Burr and Burton 13-3 on Wednesday, has some dangerous hitters in Bre Dupuis, Caitlyn Abbott, Abi Fugere and Caroline Bonin. But with standout hurler Chelsea Abbott no longer on the team, will the Comets be a serious threat?
The Leland & Gray baseball team just defeated Windsor 8-2 in the final game of the regular season. Zach Wilkins went the distance in that one, and Drew Barnum had a team-high three hits.
In the lacrosse doubleheader, the home fans will get to enjoy watching Brattleboro’s Maddie Rollins before she heads off to play at Division 1 Longwood University and then they can root on the three-time defending Marble Valley League boys champions. Brennen Zolnoski and Sam Siegel each had a hat trick in Brattleboro’s regular-season finale.
The visiting Essex girls feature Charlotte Stuart and Jackie Quackenbush -- a tandem that combined for 21 goals in a recent one-week stretch. And Middlebury’s Sam Usilton split the posts six times versus Burlington in late May.
On Saturday, the top-seeded Leland & Gray softball team (13-3) will host No. 9 Thetford (8-8) in a Division 3 quarterfinal and the seventh-ranked Twin Valley baseball team (7-10) will try to knock out No. 2 MSJ (12-4). Both of those contests are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Thetford pitcher Michaela Pomeroy will want to be very careful, especially with Leland & Gray leadoff hitter Jordan Gouger (4 home runs) and clean-up hitter Ashley Goddard (she broke her coach’s arm with a line drive last season). But the Panthers are no joke -- Jackie Jamieson and Shania Covey each had three hits in their playdown win, with Covey homering and driving in five runs.
MSJ, which made it all the way to the Division 4 baseball final last season, will have to deal with Twin Valley’s Jason Moore on Saturday. He is coming off of a 4-for-4 day, including two homers and a double.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.