HUDSON — One of the few things you see on a coach’s face after a season-ending loss is a smile. However, Groton-Dunstable Coach Derek Asadoorian couldn’t resist despite having watched his team’s year come to an end. The smile was indicative of how far the Lady Crusaders had come in a surprising 2009 season and showed how proud he was of his team regardless of the 11-1 loss they suffered to Hudson.
“This was a great season for us regardless of the outcome of this game,” said Asadorian. “I don’t know exactly how much was expected of this team and to finish 13-8 in a competitive league is really a great accomplishment.”
Groton-Dunstable got singles by Brianna Riposa and Jess O’Sullivan (two singles and a double) in the first and second innings respectively went by the boards as both runners were stranded. The Lady Hawks on the other hand got their offense rolling in the bottom of the second by going to small ball to produce six runs to grab control of the game.
Nicole Meuse led off with a single and went to second on a bunt single by Kayley Fannon. A great diving catch by O’Sullivan accounted for the first out, but Jasmin Volpe followed with a sacrifice bunt. On the play, the throw at first was dropped, allowing the first run to score. Jillian Cedrone picked up a bunt single of her own that pushed across another run.
After showing their efficiency with small ball, Hudson then pulled out the lumber and took charge. Samantha Sawyer and Meuse each added two-run doubles as Hudson held a 6-0 advantage after two innings.
Neither team scored in the third inning, and Groton-Dunstable was finally able to get on the board in the top of the fourth, but the Lady Crusaders missed a chance for a big inning which would have gotten them back into the game. Riposa singled, Kerry Alcott walked and O’Sullivan singled to load the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, the Lady Hawks came up with a timely defensive play, picking off the runner at first for the second out. On the play, Riposa scored and Alcott took second. Marissa Caswell followed with a walk to put two on with two outs, but Meuse recorded a groundout to end the threat.
The Lady Hawks maintained their offensive momentum and put the game away.
Hudson picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth as Sawyer reached on an error and scored on a two-out single by Cristy Jenkins to make it 7-1.
In the fifth, Hudson received RBI hits from Volpe (single) and Sawyer (triple) to build the advantage to 9-1.
Hudson capped the scoring in the game in the bottom of the sixth when Jenkins lauched a two-run homer to make it 11-1.
While the offense was adding runs, Meuse settled into a groove. Over the last three innings, O’Sullivan accounted for Groton-Dunstable’s only runner with a two-out double in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Meuse closed the door by recording a pair of strikeouts, including getting the last out of the night via the punch-out as the Lady Hawks moved onto the semifinals.
“We knew coming into this game that we would need to play a near perfect game and we didn’t do that,” said Asadorian. “Give them (Hudson) credit, they are a strong team and put pressure on us from the start. I am proud of the girls’ effort and know that they gave their all. We have a young team and my hope is that we can take this experience into next season and use as a building block.”