MAU softball, girls lax start postseason at home
BENNINGTON >> The playoff seeds for baseball, softball and boys and girls lacrosse were made official on Monday and many of the local teams will start their quests for state championships on familiar soil and others will have to make a road run to get to the top of the division.
The highest seeds are No. 2 for both the Mount Anthony softball and girls lacrosse teams. The softball team comes into the tournament at 15-1, the only loss to Pittsfield, Mass., and just behind undefeated Essex in Division I. They'll open the postseason aiming for their third straight state championship against No. 15 St. Johnsbury and then would face the winner between No. 7 Missisquoi and No. 10 U-32 on Friday.
Coach Katie Contrada's team has outscored opponents this season 192-37 and has scored double digits in runs 11 times in 16 games.
For the Patriot girls lacrosse squad, Mount Anthony gets a bye in the first round as the No. 2 seed after a 13-2 regular season.
The No. 2 seed is MAU's best since 2010, when the Patriots were the top seed and won the championship. They'll play Friday at 4 p.m. at the Vets Home Field against the winner of the playdown between No. 7 South Burlington and No. 10 BFA St. Albans.
For the rest of the Mount Anthony spring teams, boys lacrosse is the No. 9 seed and will travel to No. 8 Middlebury at 5 p.m. today. Both teams are 8-8, but MAU has won five of its last six, while Middlebury is 3-4 in its last seven. The winner between the Patriots and Tigers will face a tough challenge in No. 1 seed CVU on Friday.
The baseball team is the No. 15 seed at 7-8 and will travel across the state to face No. 2 St. Johnsbury today. Last year as the 7-seed, MAU lost to the Hilltoppers and would love to repay the favor in 2016. The Patriots are on a five-game losing skid but every team is back to 0-0.
"Mount Anthony is a dangerous team," said Burr and Burton baseball coach Ed Lewicki, whose Bulldogs lost at home to MAU this season. "They have some good pitchers and if they can get up early, they could be tough."
Heading north to Manchester, the Burr and Burton baseball team is the No. 5 seed after a 13-3 season — one of five teams in Division I that finished the year with that same record. The Bulldogs started the season at 9-0, lost back-to-back to MAU and Wahconah and was victorious in four of the last five games.
"What turned our year around was getting down 5-0 against Rutland and coming back to win 6-5 in [extra innings]," Lewicki said. "So 2-0 isn't that big of a deal."
They will take on No. 12 North Country today at 4:30 at the Dana Thompson Rec Park. The winner would face the winner between No. 4 CVU and No. 13 Rice on Saturday because BBA graduation is Friday.
"I've done a little scouting on North Country, they have a quality team and a legit No. 1 pitcher," Lewicki said. "They were 8-8 and there's a lot of tough teams in Division I. I hope we can play a solid game and I'm looking forward to it."
The two-time Division II defending champion BBA boys lacrosse team is the No. 4 seed and will have a first round bye after finishing the regular season 12-4. They are riding a wave of momentum with seven straight wins, their last loss coming against Mount Greylock three weeks ago.
On Thursday at 4 p.m. at Taylor Field, they'll face No. 5 Essex in a Division I quarterfinal for the right to reach the Final Four.
The boys aren't the only lacrosse team at BBA to be on a roll, as the girls are the No. 6 seed and will host No. 11 Brattleboro on Wednesday at Taylor Field at 4 p.m. After starting the season 2-5, they've won seven of the last eight and come into the postseason at 9-6. BBA won both games this season against the Colonels, winning 15-11 at home and 11-7 on the road. The winner will travel to face No. 3 seed CVU in a game scheduled now for Saturday.
In Division IV, both Arlington baseball and softball will be on the road. For the boys, who finished the regular season 4-10, they are the No. 9 seed and will travel to No. 8 Danville today at 4:30 p.m., with the winner going to top seed Proctor on Friday.
The softball team is also the No. 9 seed and will travel to Proctor for a playdown today and the winner will head to West Rutland for a Friday quarterfinal.
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