State titles claimed by local teams

Last week we gave a run down of all the Rutland County high school lacrosse, baseball and softball teams. We let you know how they fared through the opening two rounds of the playoffs. Of the five Rutland County teams that were still alive heading into the semifinals of their sport, only two managed to complete their missions for a state title successfully. The Rutland Raiders captured their first ever Division-I state championship in girl's lacrosse, while the Otter Valley Otters won their first Division-II softball championship since 1995. Read on to discover how these clubs brought home the gold, along with how the other three squads came up short.

Otters Capture D-II State Championship

Before the Otters could think about last Friday's championship game they had to get past the thirteenth seeded Vergennes Commodores first. Vergennes had already pulled off upsets against the fourth seeded Mill River Minutemen and the fifth seeded Mount Abraham Eagles. On Tuesday, June 9, in Brandon, the Commodores hoped to make it three in a row by knocking off the top seeded Otters in the semifinals, but that upset would not take place.

Senior Otter Valley hurler Ashley Sanderson tossed a two hitter with ten strikeouts, as the Otters rolled over the Commodores 9-1. Fellow senior Ashlee Bird paced the Otters offensive attack by smacking a double, a triple and she drove in a run as well. Janelle Gallipo added a triple for the victorious Otters.

Maggie Kirshner and Abby Danyow had Vergennes lone hits and Kirshner scored their only run. Katei Curler took the loss for the Commodores, who finish their season at 5-14. Curler allowed eight hits and struck out three in the losing effort.

For the Otters it meant a rematch against Division II powerhouse, the Lyndon Vikings. Earlier in the season the Otters ended Lyndon's 79 game winning streak with a 3-2 win in Brandon on May 9th. Lyndon was definitely seeking pay back, instead the Otters pilled out another 3-2 win and effectively ended another of Lyndon's streaks. This was the Vikings sixth straight appearance in the Division-II Championship, and they had won the last four, including a 4-2 win over the Otters in 2006. They were going for their fifth straight state championship, but would fall short.

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