EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 7, 2013

Staying in the Hunt

Junior pitcher does it all for Londonderry

There were few better outfielders in the region last year than Londonderry’s Leah Hunt.

Sure-handed and fast, Hunt played outstanding defense in center field while hitting an impressive .410 with four home runs. Two of her homers came off Alvirne ace Taylor Carbone, including one in the Division 1 state semifinals.

So what is Hunt doing as Londonderry’s everyday pitcher?

“She’s done some pitching in the past,” said Londonderry coach Wayne MacDougall. “I wish I could use her in center field, but she’s our only pitcher.

“She’s done a good job — I don’t know where we’d be without her — and I don’t really consider her a pitcher.”

Hunt begs to differ, however, and so far the statistics back her up.

In addition to leading the team in hitting with a .424 average, Hunt has a 6-3 record as a pitcher with 43 strikeouts and 16 walks in 64 innings with a respectable 2.40 ERA.

“I guess he (MacDougall) is used to seeing me play center field,” said Hunt. “I like it at least equal to playing center (field). I’m pretty happy with the way things are going,”

MacDougall certainly isn’t complaining. After losing eight starters from last year’s 17-5 squad, there were questions about whether the Lancers could be competitive this year.

But, led by Hunt’s multiple contributions, Londonderry ended last week with a 6-4 record and has shown that it is an upper division team.

“I’m hopeful and optimistic,” said Hunt, whose older sister Kelly played for Londonderry and is now a sophomore at UNH. “I think we can make the Final Four again if we get a little more consistent defensively and hit a little better.”

Hunt, who is a junior captain, hopes to keep leading the way.

“She is really a terrific ballplayer and whatever we do will be because of her,” said MacDougall. “She’s been crushing the ball, pitching very well and has really done it all for us.”

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