Jamie Brodeur at the plate
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
Grafton - The Oxford Pirates season came to abrupt halt on Sunday when they were knocked out of the District playoffs in the quarterfinals by the Grafton Indians 8-0.
It was the third time this season that they were beaten by the Central Mass powerhouse, which is 21-1this year and looks like the team to beat.
The Pirates previously lost to the Indians 5-0 and 6-0 and just like the previous two times, could only muster three hits off Indians’ ace Kendal Roy, who outdueled Nicole “The Franchise” Mangaudis on all three occasions.
The Pirates were victimized by a couple of fielding mistakes that led to four runs in the bottom of the first for the Indians. It was hard to come back after that with Roy in total command, striking out ten in route to a three hitter.
Pirates 8-3 over Blackstone Millville Thursday, May 31
By no means did the loss to Grafton overshadow a tremendous opening round 8-3 victory over Blackstone-Millville on Thursday.
“The Franchise” struck out nine Blackstone-Millville hitters and except for a two-run homer in the bottom on the seventh inning, was virtually unhittable. Mangaudis also contributed at the plate, banging out three hits with a run batted in.
Freshman Evelyn Marquis, who has been crushing the ball all season, also had three hits in the lead off spot for the Pirates.
Senior co-captain Kayde McCarthy made two great catches and also contributed a couple of key sacrifices at the plate, one of which drove home Marquis with the Pirates fourth run in the fourth inning.
Sara Smith also had a pair of hits and two RBI’s while doing a masterful job of catching Mangaudis.
Jamie Brodeur also had a pair of hits, including a key two-run double in the sixth inning that blew the game open.
Mangaudis struck out the side in the second and fourth innings and at one point retired 15 straight batters.
“You know the old saying you have to be strong up the middle, with Nicole in the circle, Sara (Smith) behind the plate and Mac (Kayde McCarthy) in center along with Evelyn (Marquis) at short we are very strong up the middle and it showed today,” said Pirates Head Coach Jamie Hetherman, on his team’s performance against Blackstone-Millville.
Hetherman went on to praise his pitcher, “She did outstanding again. I think the experience of being in the Districts last year was a big help. In the second inning with one out and the bases loaded she struck out two in the row. She had full command of her pitches and retired 15 consecutive batters. That is unbelievable, that is how we are going to win.”
Mangaudis was also happy with her effort. “I think this was one of my hardest throwing performances. I like when I have a break,” referring to a few extra days off.
“It felt good. I had to be careful with their first two batters; they each had four hits off of me last time we played them. Our team defense was outstanding today. Molly Kirk did excellent filling in left. Our infield was unstoppable, Sara did an outstanding job catching and I felt good pitching today.”
McCarthy added, “Our defense was really good today, Nicole pitched excellent as always. We did pretty good overall.”
The Pirates had a good season finishing 13-9 and will now look to rebuild with a good young nucleus coming back next season.
They will have to overcome the loss of their seniors, including their pitcher Mangaudis, who has truly been “The Franchise” the last four seasons, pitching in every inning of every game.
Solid centerfielder and leader McCarthy also played her final game in the orange and black along with three-sport star Lauren Puishys and left fielder Cassie Coleman.
- Wednesday, 06 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports