In clutch, White was there for Bridgewater State
Her 15-7 record, 20 complete games, eight shutouts, and 0.60 earned run average — the third-lowest mark in Division 3 — were spectacular. But go beyond those numbers, and you will uncover the true importance of Amber White to the women’s softball program at Bridgewater State University.
When the Bears need her the most, the junior pitcher from Middleborough delivered en route to earning Pitcher of the Year honors in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Bridgewater State, the regular season and tournament champion in the MASCAC, started 3-5 on its Florida trip and was 4-9 in its first 13 games. The Bears were also a game away from elimination in the MASCAC playoffs.
A former standout at Middleborough High, White stepped into the circle at each crucial juncture and won: a 7-2 victory against University of Massachusetts Boston in the ninth game of the season, and the first for interim head coach Allie LeBlanc; a 6-0 shutout over Westfield State for the Bears’ fifth win, and 6-2 vs. Fitchburg State in the MASCAC elimination game.
The next day, May 5, she went the distance in a 2-1, four-hit victory over Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for the conference championship, earning tournament MVP honors. MCLA had won its three previous games against Bridgewater.
“The UMass game was special because it was our first win for coach LeBlanc, the Westfield win was our first in the conference, and we had to beat Fitchburg to stay alive, so they were all important,” said White, who, after transferring from Plymouth State as a sophomore, was the MASCAC’s co-Pitcher of the Year in 2012.
White (137 strikeouts, 14 walks in 164.2 innings this season) said the final out of the MASCAC championship game — a popup to catcher Brianna Strecker — was unforgettable.
“Their batter had doubled off me earlier and I threw her an inside rise ball, not wanting to give her anything good to hit and as the ball went into the air, I was so excited I started walking towards Brianna to celebrate,’’ recalled White, “but then I had to remind myself to wait until she caught it.’’
Even in defeat in the NCAA Regional, White gave the Bears a chance to win, going seven innings in a 1-0 loss to Babson. White allowed just three hits. The run was unearned.
“It’s a tough way to lose, but considering where we were after 13 games, it was great the way we battled back. The personal honors are gratifying, but the greatest honor this year was winning the MASCAC as a team,’’ said White, a MASCAC first-team pick and an NCAA Capital One Academic All-District honoree with a 3.6 grade point average.
“Amber did a great job turning pressure situations into motivation. She thrived on that,’’ said LeBlanc. “She doesn’t try to blow every pitch by the batter, but she has a great tempo combined with hitting her spots and not many pitchers can do both.’’
Bridgewater third baseman Jennifer Shaw , a fellow cocaptain from Brockton High who hit .361, was also named to the ECAC second team and MASCAC first team.
At Middleborough High, White hurled the Sachems to an undefeated regular season and the Division 2 South final as a senior, finishing the season with a 0.62 ERA, 216 strikeouts, and just 10 walks, earning All-Scholastic honors from the Globe.
Her older sister, Kendra, was her softball teammate in high school and her father, Ken, who played baseball at Middleborough High, is coaching her this summer with the Mass Drifters U23 team.
Four of White’s Bridgewater teammates — Strecker, Corrie McHugh, Jill Welch, and Jessica Laudati, a graduate of Bristol-Plymouth Regional — are also suiting up for the Drifters.
BC High rowers win school’s first gold medal
Boston College High took home the team trophy for eights competition for the first time at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association’s Regatta, held May 25 at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester.
BC High’s second varsity eight was undefeated this season and won the school’s first gold medal at the NEIRA Regatta.The crew included senior Edward Twohig of Brockton, junior Vincente Chappuzeau and sophomores Michael Murphy and Connor Murphy of Braintree, sophomore John Evitts of Marshfield, and freshman Thomas McGowan of Scituate.
“Ed took the reins as leader of the second varsity,” said coach Steve McKiernan , a Quincy resident, “and Vincente was the boat’s workhorse.’’
BC High’s first varsity was fifth and third varsity was second.
Rockland’s Brendan McLaughlin, Brian Latu (Norton), and Danny Sullivan and Chris Tedeschi (both Scituate), rowed for the first varsity, whose coxswain is Randolph’s Liam Whalen. The third varsity crew included coxswain Sean Dooling of Quincy, Addison Cartwright (Braintree), Charles Frodigh (Pembroke), Christopher Poles (Quincy), Ryan Robinson (Marshfield), and Ben Turner and Kevin Tyrrell , both of Hingham.
BC High, in its fifth season as a varsity program, is also coached by assistant Jeff Toto , a Hanover native. The Eagles will send their first varsity eight and first varsity four to the Royal Henley Regatta, held July 3-8 at Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire, England.
Wheaton’s Bennett on track all-academic team
Wheaton College senior middle distance runner Samantha Bennett was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team for women’s track and field and cross-country for the first time.
The Weymouth High grad is the fourth student-athlete in the history of the Norton school’s women’s track-and-field program to be selected and the second named to the first team.
Bennett, who played four varsity seasons on the Wheaton women’s soccer team, compiled a 3.37 cumulative grade point average.
She earned three All-America honors in track, two in the relay, and the other with an eighth-place finish in the 800-meter run at the 2013 NCAA indoor championships with a time of 2:15.56.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.