By John Anderson
Last weekend, the Auburn girls made history by claiming their first Central MA Softball Championship, and that is a major accomplishment. On Tuesday evening, they lost to Hampshire Regional 8-0 in the Central/Western game, the state semi-final, but this is about more than a season ending loss.
The Rockets end their year with a 20-4 record, and they beat their nemesis Grafton in the division final 2-1. Sophomore pitcher Julia Handfield has had 11 shutouts, and the Auburn bats have been hot. While none of this mattered on Tuesday, these are the lingering facts about a great season.
First year coach Kim Danish has changed this team for the better, and while five seniors will not be there next season, 11 players will return to play, improve and win. Early in the spring, one parent commented, “The girls love going to practice now.” That is the sign of a respected and talented coach.
Hampshire Regional’s Alexis Ferris threw a no-hitter on Tuesday, and that certainly affects her opponent’s ability to put points on the board. In the second inning, Auburn also had multiple defensive disasters, including 3 errors that allowed the Red Raiders to put up 7 runs. They added their eighth run in the 5th. Today’s slide show does show some Auburn failures, but the girls do learn in the process.
This was a great season that many will remember. Although Shannon Hynes, Sarah Fahey, Jess Clifford, Hanna Harris and Abby Lucas won’t be there in 2017, their spirit and dedication will play forward. Thank you Ladies!