Barton dominates, Central holds on despite late rally

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Rania Burton on Apr. 14, 2021 Photo/Andrew Sylvia

NASHUA, N.H. – Despite a late scare, Manchester Central kicked off its softball season on Wednesday with a 6-4 road victory against Nashua South.

The two teams traded runs early in the contest, beginning with an RBI triple from Central’s Rania Barton giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the first. South’s Jill Daley evened things up in the second thanks to an error, a stolen base, another stolen base and a throwing error during second steal attempt that found its way to left field, giving her enough time to head home.

Cathleen Jonier scores a run for Central. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Both teams combined for nine errors over the contest, accounting for the fact that the Barton no-hit the Panthers through 5 1/3 innings despite Daley scoring again in the fifth, again off a pair of stolen bases and a pair of errors.

Daley’s run cut the Little Green’s lead to 6-2, after a Haley Ciafo single put a run on the board for Central in the third and an eight-batter rally in the fifth put up four more runs, ending Daley’s day in the pitching circle.

The Panthers struck back in the sixth, with Lizzie DeRusha’s single breaking up the no-hitter and putting two more runs across the plate.

Abigail Heath legs out a single. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Central was unable to answer in the seventh, but Barton managed to shut down the Panthers in the final frame in order.

Barton ended the contest with 11 Ks and just a pair of hits allowed to South.

“Rania’s one of the best pitchers in the state,” said South Head Coach Kevin Handy. “I saw Rania two years ago as a freshman, she beat Pinkerton, she beat us then. And she did it today with an inexperienced catcher, which made it all the more difficult.”

Central Head Coach Ashley Trzesiara also had praise for Daley, who ended with 7 Ks

“We had a lot of new underclassmen, they have to learn things on the fly,” said  “Also, a lot of new kids, some kids who haven’t picked up a softball for two years due to COVID and a small team this year, so they’re playing three or four positions and learning things during games. I have no qualms with their performance.”

The two teams meet again on Thursday in Manchester with an expected 4 p.m. start.

South’s Jill Daley. Photo/Andrew Sylvia
About Andrew Sylvia 2150 Articles
Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and license to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.