Claussen, Monroe excited for postseason
BRATTLEBORO >> The Leland & Gray varsity softball team and Twin Valley varsity baseball team are among eight area squads that will compete in a first-round playoff game on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Coaches Tammy Claussen and Brian Monroe can't wait.
"The thing I like most about my team is its chemistry. They all get along well with each other, and I don't find them to be 'clicky.' They play well together, offer support for each other, and try to pick each other up when things are not going well. They never give up. They always fight. They have team goals, and they work hard to achieve them together," said Claussen, whose No. 4 Rebels (13-3) will host 13th-seeded Twin Valley (1-15) in their D-3 opener.
Leland & Gray's dangerous attack has racked up 215 hits this season, including 53 doubles, 10 triples and nine home runs. Jordan Gouger leads the way with a .569 batting average and is followed by Gabby Donna (.512), Mackenzie Boyle (.414), Caroline Tietz (.408) and Jessie Stockwell (.377).
"Our offense has been pretty solid throughout the season," noted Claussen.
Hard-throwing southpaw Keltsey Rushton has fanned 111, walked 30, and has a 2.00 Earned Run Average. Catcher Jessie Stockwell keeps the ball in front of her and also has a big arm.
"Not too many steal bases on her. She has thrown out quite a few this season," Claussen said of Stockwell. "She is a solid leader on the field and really understands the game."
Monroe and the 10th-seeded Twin Valley baseball team (7-9) will play at No. 7 Williamstown (11-5) in a Division 3 playdown game on Tuesday.
"I'm excited for our seniors to have a great opportunity in the tournament. We have been moving in the right direction all season and putting pieces together all along the way. We have had a lot of close games to help us see just where we need to be. I'm excited to see if we can put all the pieces together," stated the first-year coach.
The Wildcats will ride the arms of Joey Rafus (38 strikeouts) and Kyle Murdock (36 strikeouts). Chris Robinson has been solid behind the plate and Brett Swanson is a talented outfielder.
"He has had an outstanding season and is one of the best defensive outfielders in our league," said Monroe of Swanson. "He has a top 10 highlight reel by himself this year."
Offensively, Baylee Crawford is leading the Wildcats with a .410 average. Senior Justin Hicks has scored a team-best 27 runs.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.