CHELMSFORD — Emilee Sousa was down in the count, with two strikes against her. Focused on attacking a ball in the zone, the Chelmsford senior first baseman launched a shot deep over the center-field fence for a three-run blast, her second home run of the season.
Sousa clapped rounding the bases as the Lions’ dugout roared with elation.
Sousa’s towering home run highlighted an eight-run third inning that propelled 15th-seeded Chelmsford to a 12-0, five-inning victory over No. 18 Hingham in the first round of the Division 1 softball tournament.
“It felt really soft on my bat,” said Sousa. “I can tell that it’s going to be a good hit when it’s like that.”
The Lions (11-10) made hard contact all afternoon, driving the ball to all fields and accumulating 12 hits. The flurry of line drives was the product of extra time in the cages and a concerted effort to be aggressive early in counts.
“I liked that we were attacking strikes,” said Chelmsford coach Dana Degan, who earned Easton All-American second team honors during her junior season playing at the University of Hawaii. “That’s what we always try to encourage in practice. We’re looking to hit when we go up and it looked like they were making good adjustments and swinging at good pitches.”
Senior pitcher Mikayla Alto pitched well, scattering four strikeouts and three hits in five innings. Alto mixed locations and pounded the strike zone, limiting baserunners.
“I think we’re a lot more confident, especially getting runs really early today,” said Alto. “I’m glad that my team had my back today.”
“I think that was one of our better complete games,” said Degan. “I’m happy with our defense, our battery did well. I liked the pitches that [senior catcher] Sidney Schwartz was calling, I liked the pitches that Alto was executing.”
On Wednesday, Chelmsford will face the winner of second-seeded King Philip and No. 31 Needham, who play on Tuesday.
Division 1 State
Bishop Feehan 9, Braintree 8 — The seventh-seeded Shamrocks (13-9) squeaked out a first-round win over No. 26 Braintree behind a walkoff single by Maddie Coupal. Bishop Feehan will face No. 10 Attleboro in the second round on Wednesday.
Bridgewater-Raynham 2, Natick 1 — Ava Selter sent a ball to right-center in the seventh, giving the eighth-seeded Trojans (18-3) a walkoff first-round victory over No. 25 Natick. B-R will host No. 9 Methuen in the second round on Wednesday.
Chelmsford 12, Hingham 0 — The No. 15-seeded Lions (11-10) exploded for an eight-run third inning, led by a home run from Emilee Sousa, to secure a first-round win over No. 18 Hingham.
Concord-Carlisle 2, Boston Latin 1 — Phoebe Rodgers finished 2 for 3 with a home run and Catherine Lynch supplied the game-winning RBI, resulting in a preliminary round win for the No. 29 Patriots (14-7). Alex Tyson struck out 10.
Lincoln-Sudbury 7, Lynn Classical 2 — Sarah Danielson clubbed a pair of home runs and Lauren Blanchette contributed three RBIs in a first-round win for the sixth-seeded Warriors (20-1). Kelsey Blanchette notched a pair of hits and struck out 16.
Taunton 13, Wellesley 1 — Sam Lincoln fanned 12 in five innings, propelling the third-seeded Tigers (20-1) to a first-round win. Mia Fernandes, Bella Bourque, and Ava Venturelli all notched a pair of RBIs.
Woburn 5, Doherty 3 — Sophomore Grace Forsythe blasted a 280-foot two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, powering the No. 11 Tanners (18-3) over No. 22 Doherty in the first round. Woburn will face No. 6 Lincoln-Sudbury in the second round on Wednesday (3 p.m.)
Division 2 State
Bedford 4, Westborough 1 — Kaylee Grace did not allow an earned run, striking out six in a complete-game performance to lead the No. 11 Buccaneers (15-4) to a first-round win. Alice Cooprider and Lexie Masters each recorded an RBI.
Burlington 4, Pembroke 0 — Cece Imbimbo struck out 14 and Madison King belted a two-run triple, lifting fourth-seeded Burlington (17-4) to a first-round win over No. 29 Pembroke.
North Attleborough 5, Norwood 0 — Kelly Colleran recorded 18 punch-outs and allowed one hit for the fifth-seeded Red Rocketeers (16-5) in a first-round triumph.
Tewksbury 9, Stoughton 1 — Sam Ryan tossed four innings, fanning six and going 2 for 3 at the plate to lift the third-seeded Redmen (16-5) to a first-round win over No. 30 Stoughton. Tewksbury will face No. 14 Dartmouth on Wednesday (6 p.m.) in the second round.
Division 3 State
Apponequet 6, Monty Tech 1 — Lauren Bernaiche shined for the No. 12 Lakers (11-10), going 2 for 4 with two runs scored at the plate and fanning 13 from the circle in the first-round win over No. 21 Monty Tech. Apponequet will face fifth-seeded Pittsfield in the second round Wednesday (4:30 p.m.).
Dighton-Rehoboth 21, Bristol-Plymouth 2 — The second-seeded Falcons (17-4) soared to a first-round triumph over No. 34 Bristol-Plymouth behind strong performances from Kylie Hillier (5 innings, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks), Ally Bastis (3 for 4, 2 RBIs), and Caleigh Cloonan (3 for 4, 4 RBIs, 2 runs).
Greater New Bedford 13, Tantasqua 1 — Ana Tsonis (2 for 4, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) and Hailey Soares (2 for 4, two runs) led the offense in a first-round victory for the No. 10 Bears (14-9). Hayleigh Silva struck out five and allowed four hits.
Middleborough 8, Hanover 2 — Haley Puzzo and Alexandra Welch plated a pair of runs apiece in a first-round victory for the sixth-seeded Sachems (17-4). Cassidy Machado smacked a pair of doubles and struck out nine.
Norton 9, Fitchburg 2 — Freshman Avery Tinkham recorded three RBIs, scored a run, and tripled to highlight a first-round win for the fourth-seeded Lancers (19-2). Freshman Liana Danubio hurled a complete game.
Division 4 State
Archbishop Williams 2, Blackstone-Millville 0 — Freshman Jillian Ondrick ripped a two-run homer, putting the fifth-seeded Bishops (18-5) ahead in their first-round victory over No. 28 Blackstone-Millville.
Bay Path 5, Tri-County 4 — A two-run homer from Savannah Steiner gave the No. 18 Minutemen (15-6) the edge over No. 15 Tri-County. Bay Path will face Hampshire on Wednesday (4:30 p.m.) in the second round.
Joseph Case 20, Hull/Cohasset 1 — Olivia Silva went 4 for 4, and Bree Fontes and Hailey Berube each rapped two home runs for the top-seeded Cardinals (20-1) against No. 33 Cohasset. Case will host Advanced Math and Science on Wednesday (4 p.m.) in the second round.
Lynnfield 4, Notre Dame (Worcester) 3 — Riding the momentum of the program’s first win over Cape Ann rival North Reading in 10 years, the 24th-seeded Pioneers (12-9) made the trek to Worcester and derailed the No. 9 Rebels (16-6) in the first-round win. “This was a gigantic game for us,” said first-year coach Hector Longo, noting that his club started to “believe” after a 7-6 victory over North Reading in the next-to-last game of the regular season. In the fifth, Lynnfield surged ahead, 2-1, on a triple to left-center by Catie Kampersal and a groundout. Junior catalyst Ava Gamache sparked a two-run sixth with a lined single to right, went to second on an error, and later beat a throw home when Libby Considine legged out a bunt single. Considine scored the fourth run on a groundout. NDA rallied in the bottom half on a two-run single from eighth grader Addison Scoble, but that was all against junior righthander Sophia Brown, who scattered seven hits and struck out six. “She’s not overpowering, but she competes,” said Longo. “She has done it all year.”
Tyngsborough 15, Quabbin 0 — Sam Puma (11 strikeouts, 1 walk), Carly DiMento (4 for 4, 4 singles, 4 RBIs), Kiley Hogan (2 for 4, 4 RBIs), and Elisabeth Sillipp (3 for 4, home run) catapulted the fourth-seeded Tigers (15-4) over No. 29 Quabbin. Tyngsboro will play No. 13 Abington in the second round Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Cam Kerry can be reached at email@example.com.