Three local high school softball teams, two baseball teams and two lacrosse teams will host playoff games this week; two of those squads, Otter Valley baseball and Middlebury girls’ lacrosse, earned No. 2 seeds; and one first-round match-up pits Addison County rival baseball teams, defending Division II baseball champion Vergennes vs. perennial contender Mount Abraham.
That game comes at VUHS on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., when the 10-6 Commodore baseball team, the No. 4 seed in D-II this spring, will host No. 13 Mount Abe (6-10). It’s a rematch of May 30 game at VUHS won by the Commodores, 4-0, and it features many athletes who are summer teammates on the Addison County American Legion team. It is also a rematch of a dramatic 2012 playoff contest won by VUHS. The winner of Tuesday’s game gets either No. 5 Missisquoi (10-6) or No. 12 Mill River. The T-Birds defeated both teams this spring, VUHS by 5-0 and the Eagles by 12-10. VUHS, of course, rallied to defeat MVU in the 2012 title game, 4-3.
This spring, OV has the highest seed in D-II, and the No. 2 Otters are coming off an 8-1 win on May 30 over No. 1 seed Burr & Burton. OV will open on Tuesday against No. 15 Montpelier (2-14), and then host either No. 7 Lake Region (11-5) or No. 10 Harwood (8-7). The Otters played none of those teams this spring. Lamoille (14-1) is the No. 3 seed and a possible OV semifinal foe. In D-I, MUHS (3-12) is the No. 14. The Tigers will visit No. 3 Champlain Valley (12-4) on Tuesday. A Tiger upset would reverse an earlier 10-2 setback.
The other team with a No. 2 seed is the D-I power Tiger girls’ lacrosse team, which finished at 10-4, losing only in its division to undefeated South Burlington. MUHS will host a quarterfinal on Friday at 4 p.m., when the Tigers will play the winner of a Wednesday first-round game between No. 7 Mount Mansfield (6-8-1) and No. 10 Rutland (5-10). The Tigers tamed both those teams this spring by identical 12-7 scores. No. 3 Mount Anthony (10-6) would almost certainly be next up for MUHS, on June 11 at 4 p.m. MUHS won at MAU, 15-13, this season.
In D-I boys’ lacrosse, the rebuilding of the Tiger boys’ lacrosse program continued with a 10-5 season and a No. 5 seed. First-year coach Dennis Smith’s Tigers will host winless No. 12 Spaulding on Tuesday at 4 p.m., with No. 4 Brattleboro (12-4) waiting for the winner at 7 p.m. on Friday. MUHS did not play either team this spring.
In D-II boys’ lacrosse, No. 12 VUHS (4-12) drew an unfamiliar foe, No. 5 U-32 on Wednesday at 4 p.m., while No. 14 Mount Abraham will visit No. 3 Green Mountain Valley (10-2), a team that won the title in 2012 and defeated the Eagles in April, 10-6, and in May, 13-7.
Finally, in softball VUHS softball team equaled its 2012 regular season record by going 12-4 this spring, but was rewarded with a seed one slot higher, No. 3. The Commodores will open on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. against No. 14 Bellows Falls (4-12), and in all likelihood will then host a Saturday quarterfinal at 4:30 p.m. against either No. 6 U-32 or No. 11 Milton (6-10). Of those teams, VUHS has faced only Milton this spring, defeating the Yellowjackets, 12-1.
Two other local softball teams earned top-eight seeds in D-II behind No. 1 defending champion BFA-Fairfax (16-0) and No. 2 Lyndon (14-1). OV won twice late last week in dramatic fashion (including Coach Pattie Candon’s 300th victory, see our article) to finish at 9-7 and earn the No. 7 seed. OV will host unfamiliar foe No. 10 Lake Region (8-8) on Wednesday, and then probably trek up to Lyndon on Friday for a 4:30 p.m. contest. Mount Abe (7-9) got the No. 8 nod and will host Mill River (8-8) on Tuesday; the teams did not meet this spring. If the Eagles prevail, Fairfax will be waiting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. In D-I, No. 15 MUHS (3-12) will be looking to spring the upset at No. 2 Colchester (14-2) on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., but will have to reverse an 8-0 regular-season setback to do so.
As always, good luck to all.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected]