By Ruby Kennedy
Bedford High School softball was undefeated against DCL small schools, winning the DCL small championship title for the first time since 1990 with a 13-5 season record. Under the coaching of Denis Walsh and Megan Asp, it was a memorable season filled with stunning victories and devastating losses. Key wins included defeating bigger schools (Boston-Latin, Newton South, and North Andover) and beating long-time rivals, Lincoln-Sudbury, twice!
The Bedford High School varsity softball team began its season with a relatively young team, with only two seniors, a half dozen juniors, and a handful of sophomores. As the season progressed, a few more sophomores made regular appearances in varsity games, and Nicole Hebert began starting in center field as a freshman. Fielding errors were a common occurrence early on, but the team steadily improved over the season along with the team’s hitting. An 8-game winning streak, at the very end of the season, proved that the team was able to pull it all together in a winning combination.
Bedford celebrated senior night with a walk-off 4-3 win over North Andover, after losing to North Andover previously in the season. With the game tied 3-3 after 7 innings, Bedford held North Andover in the top of the 8th inning. Walks for Kara Shelmire, Sydney Hoiseth, and Taylor Hite loaded the bases after two outs. Nicole Kennedy hit a walk-off double to left-center, scoring Shelmire for the win!
Seeded 8th in the state tournament, Bedford played Wilmington (9th seed) in the first round of playoffs. Against a strong pitcher and perfect fielding, Bedford’s single run was scored by Elizabeth Carter’s home run hit to right field in the bottom of the 7th. Fielding errors came back to plague Bedford playing under pressure, though they did not determine the game (1-10 loss) due to Wilmington’s strong hitting. Despite not advancing further in the state tournament, Bedford had an outstanding season.
Notable season statistics:
- Sixteen different players had plate appearances over the 18 regular spring 2017 season games.
- Four regular varsity players batted over 300 (Nicole Kennedy 471, Jamie Winn 333, Elizabeth Carter 328, and Grace Wilson 308).
- Elizabeth was the leading scorer with 23 runs, followed by Nicole Kennedy with 21.
- Nicole Kennedy had 17 RBI’s followed by Kara Shelmire with 15, and Elizabeth Carter with 13.
- Elizabeth Carter had the highest slugging percentage with 2 home runs, 3 triples, and 6 doubles.
- Elizabeth Carter had 8 stolen bases, Nicole Kennedy 6, Sena Changelian 4.
- Megan Beecy had the most successful sacrifice hits/bunts with 5, Brooke Martin 3, Taylor Hite 2.
- Nicole Kennedy pitched 104 innings over 16 games, throwing over 1500 pitches (69% strikes), 114 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.9.
Congratulations to this year’s all-stars (Elizabeth Carter, Nicole Kennedy, Kara Shelmire, and Grace Wilson) and a league player-of-the-year award to Nicole Kennedy. Bedford says goodbye to its two senior captains, pitcher Nicole Kennedy (off to Tufts) and catcher Elizabeth Carter (off to NYU). Looking forward to next year, the Bucs should have a lot of returning, experienced varsity players. Players to watch include Sema Changelian (3B), Kara Shelmire (pitcher and 2B), Grace Wilson (shortstop), and Jamie Winn (3B).