Norton softball pitcher Kelly Nelson turned in an immaculate performance again in a Wednesday afternoon game at Walpole, striking out 18 in a one-hit shutout to lead the Lancers over the Rebels, 9-0.
“I was just locking in and focusing on every single batter one pitch at a time,” Nelson said. “I was feeling good with my mechanics today.”
Nelson recorded her first 11 outs by strikeout. The streak was snapped when Rebels pitcher Kathryn Wilmot grounded out to third to end the fourth inning.
Between the third and sixth innings, Nelson only threw four balls, with two of the four innings featuring only strikes.
“She’s getting better each game,” said Norton coach Wade Lizotte. “At the end of the day, Kelly doesn’t care about those stats. It’s a team win and that’s what I’m most pleased with.”
Walpole finally snapped Nelson’s no-hit bid with one out in the seventh, when McKenzie Rae poked a single to right field. Only three Walpole hitters reached base, two of whom were hit by pitches.
“We have to give a lot of respect to her, she’s got good stuff,” said Walpole coach Rachel Sprague. “She was throwing that first-pitch curveball every time, and we knew about it and still couldn’t do anything with it. Her ball moves really well and we weren’t prepared for it.”
Norton provided run support before its ace even stepped in the circle. Olivia Pietersen crushed a ball well over the center fielder’s head for a two-run homer, scoring Stephanie Nosky.
Both Nosky and Pietersen reached base in four of their at-bats, scoring a combined five runs.
“This lineup is just deadly one through nine,” Lizotte said. “Pietersen’s shot to start the game off takes so much pressure off our pitcher and our defense. To have a 2-0 lead before you throw a pitch is a good way to start a game against a good team.”
Latin Academy 28, O’Bryant 0 — The Dragons (10-10) will be making their 13th consecutive trip to the Boston City League Championship after blanking O’Bryant in a semifinal at Roberts Field. LA used smart base running and a couple of monster innings to record the five-inning win.
“We play a lot of games outside of the city, and one of the things you have to learn in those games in base running,” coach Rocco Zizza said. “It forced us to learn how to make good decisions on the bases and that showed today.”
The Dragons stole 12 bases, including taking home for the first run of the game. Latin Academy will take on East Boston in Thursday’s final at Wentworth’s Sweeney Field at 5:30.
Peabody 5, Marblehead 1 — Mallory LeBlanc went 3 for 4 and Tianna Dawe belted a two-run homer and struck out five while allowing one earned run for the Tanners.
Masconomet 10, Georgetown 1— Seniors Jack Seymour (3 for 3, three runs) and Dylan Duval (3 for 4, four RBIs) led the offensive onslaught for the 16th-ranked Chieftains (18-2).
Hingham 12, North Andover 5— In the final of the ninth annual Coaches Challenge Cup, the second-ranked Harbormen (19-1) got goals from seven players, with junior Will Kenney (3 goals, 1 assist), and seniors Ryan Hill (2 goals) and Marshall Terres (2 goals, 1 assist) leading the charge.
Hamilton-Wenham 3, Masconomet 2 — In an exhausting three-plus hour thriller at second singles, sophomore Nick Greco pulled out a riveting 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1) win over Marshall Lastas for the deciding point as the Generals clinched the Cape Ann League’s Baker Division title. Lastas had forged ahead, 6-5, in the third set before Greco forced the tie-breaker.
‘‘This was really a special day for the kids and our seniors,’’ said Hamilton-Wenham coach Joe Maher. ‘‘I could tell Nick did not want to let [the team] down and he persevered despite being exhausted in the third set. He showed me a lot out there today and really battled. This is a big win for Nick in his young career; it’s not often you have the opportunity to win a title for your team riding on your shoulders. Some kids fold in that situation, but Nick was up for the challenge physically and mentally.’’
At first singles, Billy Whelan beat Haolon Zahn, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, and Jack Greenwald rolled at No. 3, 6-1, 6-1.
Dover-Sherborn 4, Algonquin 1 — Seniors Max Schuermann, Lucas Minas, and Jason Vavras finished their careers a perfect 63-0 for the Raiders.
Walpole 13, Foxborough 8 — The second-ranked Rebels (17-0) were led by Emily Curtis, who scored five goals and dished out three assists. Sophia DiCenso had five goals in the losing effort for 20th-ranked Foxborough (14-5).