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    MIAA DIVISION 2 SOFTBALL FINAL | GRAFTON 10, DRACUT 1

    Grafton strikes first, rolls to Division 2 softball title

    8.3.2827582534_Sports_18hssoftball Dracut captain Michelle Gaudreau (9) holds the second place trophy as she is comforted by an assistant coach following their loss 10-1 to Grafton at the Div. 2 State Softball Final in Worcester State College in Worcester, Mass., Saturday, June 17, 2017. (Robert E. Klein for the Boston Globe)
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    Clutching the Division 2 runnerup trophy, Dracut captain Michelle Gaudreau (9) is consoled by an assistant coach after the Middies’ 10-1 loss to Grafton in the state championship game at Worcester State on Saturday.

    WORCESTER — Any momentum the Dracut girls’ softball team had gained following Wednesday’s marathon 13-inning state semifinal victory over Norton vanished in the first inning of the Division 2 state final on Saturday.

    Grafton plated four runs against Dracut sophomore Ryley White in the first inning en route to a 10-1 victory over the Middies at Worcester State, capturing the program’s third state title, and first since 2013.

    Five of the first seven Grafton hitters reached base on batted balls, but only one reached the outfield. Two errors and three stolen bases fueled the four-run first.

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    “We were so sky-high after Norton and today we just came out flat,” said Dracut coach George Roy.

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    “We just came out nervous and I give credit to [Grafton]. They came out and played the little game. We just couldn’t make a play in the first inning.”

    Said Grafton coach John Gemme, “we put the ball in play, they made some mistakes, and we took advantage of it.”

    Junior Savannah Small pitched a complete game, shutting out Dracut (21-5) in the final six innings.

    “[Small] got stronger and stronger as the game went on, and she usually does,” Gemme said.

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    Of the 21 outs recorded, only five came via a strikeout.

    Second baseman Sarah Remillard, third baseman Bella Thornton and shortstop Jessica Hamilton each handled multiple hard groundballs and line drives cleanly.

    “We played our best game of the year today,” said Gemme, whose squad finished 20-5.

    “[Remillard] made some great plays, [Hamilton] made some great plays. [Thornton] is just a freshman but she covers a lot of ground.”

    Dracut was playing in the state final for the first time since it won the title in 1998.

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    “I’m so proud of them,” Roy said. “They had an unbelievable season. We just came up one game short . . . we have a good nucleus coming back next year, so hopefully we can make another run.”

    More photos from the championship

    Grafton High pitcher Savannah Small got “stronger and stronger as game went on,” said coach John Gemme.
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    Grafton High pitcher Savannah Small got “stronger and stronger as game went on,” said coach John Gemme.

    Grafton’s Elisabeth Sudbey slides headfirst into home plate to score what proved to be the winning run as Dracut pitcher Ryley White loses the ball while attempting to make the tag.
    The Boston Globe
    Grafton’s Elisabeth Sudbey slides headfirst into home plate to score what proved to be the winning run as Dracut pitcher Ryley White loses the ball while attempting to make the tag.

    Grafton pitcher Savannah Small (left) celebrates with her teammates after 10-1 victory over Dracut in the Div. 2 state final.
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    Grafton pitcher Savannah Small (left) celebrates with her teammates after 10-1 victory over Dracut in the Div. 2 state final.
    There was no consolation in holding the runner-up trophy for Dracut captain Michelle Gaudreau (second from right) as she stood flanked to her right by head coach George Roy during the postgame award ceremony.
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    There was no consolation in holding the runner-up trophy for Dracut captain Michelle Gaudreau (second from right) as she stood flanked to her right by head coach George Roy during the postgame award ceremony.
    In the end, it was Grafton’s softball team that held up the hardware after defeating Dracut for the Div. 2 title.
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    In the end, it was Grafton’s softball team that held up the hardware after defeating Dracut for the Div. 2 title.

    P.J. Wright can be reached at pj.wright@globe.com.