There is nothing more exciting in the world of sport than a single elimination tournament that determines a championship. Anything can happen. No matter how good, or bad your respective team is, anyone can beat anyone else on any given day. Favorites can get knocked off early, and under dogs can advance farther than anyone thought possible, or not.
The single elimination format is what Vermont high schools use to determine their state champions in all their sports. The playoffs for the spring sports season began on Tuesday, June 2nd, and as of Monday morning (this paper's deadline) each sport had completed their quarterfinal round, reducing each divisional field to just four teams.
Our four area teams (Middlebury, MT Abe, Vergennes and CVU) had teams in action last weekend competing for a spot in the state semifinals while others were eliminated in the opening round. Some did not even make the playoff field. Of those that did compete this weekend some survived to play on, while others were eliminated. Read on to see how our local teams fared in softball and baseball as well as boys and girls lacrosse.
Tigers Alive and Kicking
In Division I softball the seventh seeded Middlebury Tigers survived the first two rounds and were headed to the semifinals when we went to press.
After squeaking past the Hartford Hurricanes 2-1 (Wednesday, June 3rd) in the opening round, the Middlebury Tigers upset the second seeded BFA-St. Albans Terriers 2-0 in the quarterfinals last Saturday, in Saint Albans. Mallory James had a single and a double, while driving in the game winning run to lead the Tigers to the quarterfinal upset. Lea Gipson tossed a five hit shutout for Middlebury, who entered the semifinals with an 11-6 record.
In Division II the thirteenth seeded Vergennes Commodores pulled off back-to- back upsets to advance to the semifinals. The Commodores began their unlikely quest by eliminating the fourth seed Mill River Minutemen 9-4 in the opening round before squeaking past the fifth seeded Mount Abraham Eagles 4-3 last Saturday in the quarterfinals. Katie Curler fave up two runs on three hits with a dozen strikeouts on her way to the complete game win. Devon Lane and Virginia Devon Joyal ripped RBI triples for the victorious Commodores, who enter the semifinals with a 4-13 record.. Courtney Jipner and Julia Wilkinson collected RBI singles for Mount Abraham Shanna Gebo was the losing pitcher Mount Abe, after defeating Bellows Falls in the opening round end their season with an 11-7 record.