NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. – Consider it a declaration that the Hockomock League still runs through King Philip.
In the course of the last week, upstart North Attleborough softball knocked off rival Mansfield, before the Hornets then went on to scare the living daylights out of King Philip on their own diamond.
So were the Warriors ripe for an upset? Hardly.
No. 1King Philip’s resounding 9-1 victory over No. 12 North on Thursday was a return to the status quo.
“I think we’re finally feeling more comfortable at the plate, we’re having more quality at-bats,” Warriors head coach Jim Leonard said. “We were aggressive against a good pitcher [North’s Megan Colleran] and we put the ball in play. We’re starting to find our stride offensively.”
KP’s 11-hit barrage was balanced and saw five players drive in runs, including Meg Carnase, Tori Constantin and Renee Poirier who each had two RBI.
North (3-1) took their cuts against Warriors ace Meghan Rico and came away with seven hits. However, the Red Rocketeers left 10 runners stranded and had bases loaded situations in both the fifth and seventh, but were unable to score.
Kim Hallahan knocked in the Red Rocketeers’ lone run in the sixth with an RBI double.
VERSATILITY AND DEPTH SHOWCASED
The Warriors lost one of their top players for the afternoon and perhaps much longer on a pivotal play in the home half of the second.
KP shortstop Alyssa Siegmann charged a smash hit off the bat of North left fielder Erin Melaney. While making a stab at the ground, Siegmann collided with North’s runner, who was breaking for third. The potential base hit was wiped out by the umpire’s call of interference and Siegmann was shaken up (with what Leonard fears is a separated shoulder), not to mention it ended North's rally with the third out.
The Warriors could rest easy knowing that second baseman Tori Constantin could move over to short while Leonard inserted sophomore Rory Baraiolo at second.
Not only did Baraiolo provide some sharp leather work in the field, she also knocked in a run during the Warriors’ two-run fifth.
“It was great that we had two [first-year players] step in and contribute,” Leonard said. “[Baraiolo] had an RBI and Renee Poirier, a freshman, had a clutch RBI. I thought was a bit of a turning point.”