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Nipmuc Softball Slugs Its Way to the Postseason

Nipmuc softball head coach Bernie Curtis could not have been more pleased with the way her team wrapped up the 2015 regular season. "We finished on a nice roll," she said. "The girls came together both defensively and offensively. I don't know if it was the warm weather or the girls pushing themselves because these were important games, but they started attacking early and putting runs on the board."
The Warriors posted a 13-5 regular season record and locked up the number six seed in the Central Mass Division II tournament. They will host Bromfield on Friday in the opening round, and hope to carry the momentum of winning their last five and posting double digit run totals in three of the final four.
"Our philosophy going forward is to get the bats going right away," Curtis said. "We want to get runs on the board."
No one has swung the bat quite like junior Kayla Peabody. She finished the regular season with a .552 batting average, four home runs, and a whopping 47 runs batted in. Her RBI total works out to better than two and a half driven in per game. "I had a feeling early on Kayla was going to be our strongest hitter," Curtis said. "She really came through. When she gets up to the plate, you know the ball is going to be cracked somewhere. Teams play back on her because she is so powerful. She works so hard at it, on the field and in the weight room, softball is truly her focus."
Senior Nickole McGrath has set the table at the top of the order all year, and fellow senior Emily Paine usually hits second. "Nikki has great speed and we depend upon her to get on base," Curtis said. "Emily is a great bunter who can push Nikki along on the base paths and has quite a few bunt singles. She can get hits for us when needed."
Senior Meghan Elliot, the number three hitter in the order, played the role to the tune of a .447 batting average. Peabody hits cleanup and sophomore Grace Caughey and senior Emily Ambrosino have been consistent run producers in the heart of the order. "Those top six hit there for a purpose, they are steady and reliable," Curtis said.
Caughey and Paine have split time in the circle and Curtis says that will continue in the postseason. Caughey went 5-5 with a 1.54 ERA and Paine was a perfect 7-0 with a 3.61 ERA. The head coach says both will be needed if Nipmuc is going to make a playoff run.
"They know that, if one of them gets in any trouble, it's a quick pull and the other one can go in and produce," Curtis said. "We can't afford to get behind going into this level of competition. They are going to be important in pushing us along."




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