By RUSSELL JONES
After slugging it out with Springfield in their last game on Saturday, May 25, Otter Valley picked up an 18-11 win and the MVL title. The Otter softball team will head into the playoffs this week with a 12-4 record and with a two-seed in the Division II bracket.
The season started a little rocky for them, after a rainy early spring with two new coaches. Two early challenges with D-I opponents in Rutland and Brattleboro led to a 0-2 start, including a 0-15 clobbering by Brattleboro.
The Otter girls battled back, however, reeling off five straight wins before being defeated by D-I Mt. Anthony, again by a 0-15 score. They had won six of the next seven before their final game on Saturday, a make-up game that was postponed from May 7.
Morgan LaPorte took the mound, and although not the fastest thrower in the division, the Otters have relied on her arm all season. She has a ton a movement on her pitches and confuses opposing batters.
The Otters came out ready to play, and a 10-run second inning put them ahead and LaPorte never looked back.
The win didn’t just give the Otters a two-seed in the upcoming playoffs, but it also gave them the Marble Valley League title.
Springfield, 11-4 before the game, was also vying for the title.
“The girls knew what was at stake coming into the game,” OV Athletic Director Steven Keith said, “and they came out and battled.”
Junior Renee O’Connell and sophomore Josie Cone both collected three hits in the game and freshman Reilly Keith picked up four, including two doubles. Maddie French, a junior, had two hits, including one triple.
Otter Valley opens up playoff competition by hosting Vergennes on Wednesday, May 29, at 4:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but postponed due to rain.
No matter what day the game is played on, the Otter squad is on a hot streak, winning seven of the last eight games, including a 4-1 thriller against number one seed Mt. Abe.