NEWTON — The third time was not the charm for the Methuen softball team yesterday.
The Rangers saw their season ended by Newton North for the third year in a row, this time by a 3-1 score in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.
“Maybe we can get on the other side of the bracket next year,” mused Methuen coach Jason Smith, whose club concluded a terrific season with a 17-4 record. “It’s a little disheartening.”
Newton North sophomore Gabby Vachon threw a three-hitter while striking out seven to pick up the win. Methuen’s only run was unearned, coming in the fifth inning.
Kayleigh Forgetta pitched well for Methuen but Newton North, which collected nine hits, got all the runs it needed in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer by senior Kate Ainger.
Heather McLaughlin played well defensively at first base for Methuen and threw out a runner at the plate and Kelly Blackwell shined at third while going 1 for 3. Amanda Conway and Kayla Potter had Methuen’s other hits.
With the majority of the team returning next year, Smith knows that the potential is there to take the next step.
“This hurts now, but we have a great core coming back,” said Smith. “We just need to keep getting better so we can go beyond this point next year.”
Newton North 3, Methuen 1
Division 1 North Quarterfinals
Methuen (1): Conway rf 2-0-1, Murphy cf 2-0-0, Delaney ph 1-0-0, LeFebre c 4-0-0, Blackwell 3b 3-0-1, Correia ss 2-0-0, Adames dp 3-0-0, Potter 2b 3-0-1, Ferraro pr 0-0-0, Forgetta p 2-0-0, Mathieu pr 0-1-0, Lemire lf 3-0-0, McLaughlin 1b 0-0-0. Totals 25-1-3
WP: Vachon; LP: Forgetta
Methuen (17-5): 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 — 1
Newton North (18-4): 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 3