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The Harwood Union High School girls' softball team will not sneak up on anyone this season, as they must be considered as a strong contender for the Division 2 crown. The Highlanders nearly won in 2008, going extra innings, only to lose 2-1 in nine.
Returning six seniors and seven starters from last year, the Highlanders started off their 2009 campaign with a 10-9 victory over the Yellow Jackets of Milton, on Tuesday, April 14.
Although, the game was a lot closer than Harwood had planned on, they did pick up the victory, in splendid fashion, scoring six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to snatch the game away from a well-prepared Milton squad.
Harwood had leads of 2-0 and 4-2, before suffering a terrible fifth inning, giving up five runs. Milton tallied single runs in both the sixth and the seventh, before the Harwood charge came.
Harwood's Jess Jones got on via an error to open the frame. Following an out, Harwood cranked out four straight hits to make the score 9-8. With Hannah Lovely standing on third base, representing the tying run, Sarah Danaher hit a ball to the shortstop and showed she still had a great set of wheels as she beat the throw to first base, scoring Lovely. Danaher stole second on the next pitch. Then, Megan Audet hammered a double to left field, scoring Danaher for the win. The victory went to Morgan Lamson, pitching in relief.
Harwood had four players with two hits apiece, Audet (two doubles), Lovely (double), Ashley Sweet (triple) and Randi Lowe (double).
The 2009 Harwood team consists of the following players: seniors Katy Bickford, Brittany Hoare (capt.), Mariah Liberty (capt.), Randi Lowe, Kim Martin, Hanna Martini and Ashley Sweet (capt.); juniors Sarah Danaher (capt.), Katelyn Durfee and Jess Jones; sophomores Megan Audet, Chelsea Delphia, Morgan Lamson and Hannah Lovely; and freshmen Anna Benard, Emma Benard, Autumn Benjamin, Charlotte Davis, Charlotte Thompson and Sam Winters.
Fred LaRock leads Harwood's coaching staff. Bernie Sweet, Scott Lamson and Codi Collins assist LaRock.
Harwood's next game is at home (Dac Rowe Field in Waterbury) on April 25.