Wachusett makes history in dramatic D1 state final over Methuen
WORCESTER — It took an extra inning, but the Wachusett Regional girls’ softball team captured the program’s first MIAA Division 1 title in dramatic fashion Saturday evening to a finish off a 25-0 season.
In the bottom of the eighth of a 1-1 game, Hannah White led off with a triple to right, and Emily Todorov and Abby Simes walked, setting the stage for senior Erin Hancock, who singled to the right side to deliver White for a 2-1 victory over Methuen at Worcester State University.
“I just got up there and did what I’m supposed to do,” said Hancock, who will play softball and study engineering at Wentworth this fall.
“It’s crazy to be a part of history.”
North champ Methuen (21-5) broke a scoreless game open in the sixth when senior Nyah Mazzone (hit by pitch) scored on a two-out single from classmate Cori Rizzo. But the lead would only last four pitches.
A trick play ended the inning when Dana Littlefield was caught trying to steal. In the home half of the sixth, , Simes socked a solo shot over the center field fence to knot the game at 1. Both defenses pulled together a 1-2-3 seventh to send the game to extras.
Methuen did not strike out once — Wachusett’s Courtney Lanpher ended the day scattering three hits and walking as many. For Methuen, Jillian McCoy fanned five, giving up eight hits and walking two.
“That’s an amazing team that we played there today,” said Methuen coach Jason Smith. “To go eight innings and lose by one run to a team that has been here three years in a row, [Methuen has] nothing to hang their heads about.
Wachusett finally raised the trophy after two consecutive state final losses, to Taunton (2018) and Milford (2017). “It was a great ride,” said Wachusett coach Jason Lanpher. “It was good to finish. This is one of those records that stands. No one’s ever going to beat an undefeated season. I’m pretty proud of what they did.”