Thursday May 22, 2014
South Burlington defeated Essex handily in their first meeting in April. The Hornets refused to go quietly this time around, as Essex upended the visiting Rebels Friday night 14-11. Shannon Flaherty led her team with an impressive offensive performance that included five goals. This was one fewer, however, than the six scoring strikes provided in a game defining performance by Essex player Charlotte Stuart. Sage Barton netted four goals for South Burlington in the game. However, the Hornets cohesive, precise, and determined play at both ends of the field belied their 3-5 record and left the Rebels desperately searching for a defensive answer for their suddenly overwhelming opponent. Courtney Barrett and Alex Warshaw split time defending the net for South Burlington and combined to make six saves. After winning their first six games straight, South Burlington has gone 1-4 in their last five games, bringing their regular season record to 7-4.
After last week’s tough loss to CVU, the Rebels were looking to bounce back this week and had no easy task of doing so against the Middlebury Tigers. To win, South Burlington would not only need to run the x’s and o’s, but find within their team leadership, creativity, and the ability to deliver in the clutch. The Rebels got all of that, and then some, in last Tuesday’s thrilling 10-9 victory that South Burlington’s Willy Champagne kept from going into overtime by netting the deciding goal with 2.1 seconds remaining in regulation. For Champagne, it was his fourth goal of the afternoon and put an exclamation point on the reliable consistent offensive play that he has brought to the field for South Burlington in one of his best games of the season. Teammate Cam Nolting added three goals on the afternoon from his attack position, while defensive enforcer Malik Hines changed up his role on the field as he added two goals in the win. Mike Blauvelt made eleven saves in goal for the Rebels to preserve the win, as South Burlington improves to 9-2 on the season.
South Burlington got another big win this past week and some additional help at the plate from an increasingly potent offense in last Wednesday’s 12-3 win over Spaulding. Gabe Simpatico led his team in the game with three hits, including two doubles, and a pair of RBI’s. Teammate Jason Gaines also swatted three hits in the game, while driving in a run. Spencer Lieberman had a hit in each of his two at-bats, including a double. Max Smith worked through four innings on the mound for the Rebels to hold Spaulding in check. Smith struck out six Crimson Tide batters in the win.
Connor Bradley carried South Burlington on his back, delivering one of his team’s best pitching performances of the season in the Rebel’s 8-4 victory over Mount Abraham this past Friday. Bradley very nearly pitched a complete game to earn the win, working through six and two-thirds innings. The junior pitched aggressively to overpower the Eagles, while augmenting his pitching choices strategically to keep Mount Abraham off balance and earn ten strikeouts from the mound. Gabe Simpatico and Max Smith lead South Burlington at the plate. Each player delivered two hits in the game, helping the Rebels to jump out early to a four run lead in the first inning. The win capitalizes a successful week for South Burlington baseball, who rattled off four straight wins to halt a four game losing skid. The team that shows up for the final five games of the regular season will impact South Burlington’s goals of thriving in the playoffs and beyond. This most recent win improves the team to a 7-4 record.
South Burlington took another hard loss this past Friday night against Mount Abraham, falling 18-3 against the Eagles in five innings. Maddie Baldwin had two hits in the game for her team, but the Rebels failed to generate the kind of offense at the plate that has carried them throughout the season. Mount Abraham took over the game in the fourth inning, driving in ten runs to build an insurmountable lead. Liz Sargeant took the loss for her team, who fall to 3-7 on the season.