The completed the first half of its Hockomock League schedule with a 6-1 victory at Canton, Friday afternoon.
The win puts the Black Knights back over the .500 mark, with a 6-5 overall record and keeps them undefeated in the Davenport Division (small schools) with a 4-0 mark (4-3 in the Hockomock League).
Canton now falls to 3-6 overall, 0-4 in the Davenport Division and 0-6 in the Hockomock League, but has clinched a Division 2 postseason berth with a 3-1 record against Division 2 teams. Stoughton is closing in on a Division 1 postseason bid.
Emily Cramer, Stoughton’s sophomore pitcher, continues to improve with a splendid outing. Cramer had great control not allowing a walk on a very windy and chilly day. Cramer gave up only two hits and struck out six, giving up only one unearned run.
Stoughton had a great effort defensively despite a sixth inning fielding error that led to the Bulldogs lone run. Offensively, Stoughton had a very balanced attack with five players recording RBIs.
“Our younger players are stepping it up and our veteran players are providing us with great leadership helping to form a very tight and cohesive team,” Stoughton coach Janet Sullivan said. “We’re getting a balanced offense, solid pitching and good defense and I’m very pleased.”
Stoughton got off to a fast start, scoring a run in the first inning. Junior captain Megan Flaherty had an RBI single scoring leadoff hitter junior Jordan Angelos who reached base with a walk and then stole second.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Stoughton increased its lead with a three-run fourth inning and two more runs in the fifth. Michelle Bisbee, a junior, had two RBI’s scoring freshman Samantha Mattie and Angelos, both who walked and advanced on a sacrifice by freshman Payton Pizzano.
In the fifth inning, the freshman duo of Mattie and Pizzano came through once again. Both started the frame with singles, Pizzano drove in Mattie, and she herself scored on a single by senior Kelsey Moriarty. The entire Stoughton lineup did a great job earning eight walks with very tough at bats against the Bulldogs’ talented junior pitcher Samantha Sullivan.
Canton got on the scoreboard in the sixth, scoring an unearned run. The Bulldogs got solid efforts from senior captain Cady Kelly, senior Olivia Murphy and some solid shortstop play from Julia Murphy.
“We work real hard and the girls are a great group, but if we want to compete in this tough Hockomock League, then we need to play a complete seven innings and not continue to suffer defensive lapses that we seem to have in an inning or two in most games,” Canton coach Ed Amico said.”
Stoughton will next be in action at King Philip, the defending State Champions, on Monday afternoon. After that the Black Knights will play six games against teams that they have already beaten or are behind them in the standings.
“We need to develop more consistency and to play better against the Kelly-Rex (large schools) Division teams, and also secure a (post-season) tournament berth, Sullivan said.
Canton will next play at Attleboro, on Monday afternoon, in the first of three consecutive games (at King Philip on Tuesday and home against Franklin on Wednesday).