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16U Nor'Easters looking to shine in home tournament

by Bob Martin
Sports Reporter - Gilford Steamer, WInnisquam Echo, Meredith News

The Nor'Easter 16 U team is coached by Gilford High School coach Shawn Garrett, and he is joined by several Lakes Region softball players. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
July 17, 2017
LAKES REGION — The Nor'Easters 16U softball team has had its ups and downs this summer, but coach Shawn Garrett is hoping that they can turn things around in the second half.

Garrett said summer softball can be beneficial, but also a bit frustrating because there are many variables that go along with who is available. Summer is a prime time for family vacations and weddings, but he foresees the second half of the season to be better with a fuller roster.

"We have had some games rained out and some players that couldn't be there because of other commitments," said Garrett. "So far we are 5-7 and that is definitely where we expected or wanted to be."

Garrett said the Nor'Easters have been playing better as time goes on, however, and he hopes to see them thrive in the second half of the summer season- notably at the Nor'Easter Classic in front of hometown fans and former players.

This year's squad consists of players from seven different high schools, coming from as far away as Vermont. Coming from Lakes Region Schools included Taylor Morrell of Laconia and Liz Fleming of Belmont. Garrett was the coach of the junior varsity softball team at Gilford High School, and said he managed to attract several players from his school including Tricia Jarry, Emily Smith, Randi Byars, Nicole Daigneault and Karly Sanborn.

Representing Inter-Lakes was Jade LaSalle, who just wrapped up her freshman season and was highly lauded by coach Harry Blood throughout the season for her pitching despite a tough all around season for the Lakers.

LaSalle said she felt that the team has been playing its best during pool play, rather than elimination play in the tournaments thus far. She said the past couple weekends have been disappointing but she had similar sentiments as Garrett, saying that the best has yet to come for her team.

"We are playing some higher skilled players so it is a lot different than high school ball," said LaSalle. "I have to work the strike zone a lot more and keep the girls focused on where the next play is going to be. We also need heads up base running."

LaSalle said the team is young and they are trying to get on the same page, but she said with the skill she has seen on the 16U team, they have the chance to do well in the remaining tournaments.

LaSalle feels that summer softball, overall, is great for her. She said playing with and against players from all over the state and beyond has helped her improve her skills.

"It is cool to pick up what they are good at," said LaSalle. "They can teach you."

Garrett reiterated that it is important for the players to be able to play, and give them the best quality baseball they can pay for. He said the great thing about the Nor'Easters is that it is only $350, and this gives girls a good opportunity to play high level softball at a reasonable cost.

For a complete roster and schedule log onto http://noreastersoftball.org/16us.html.

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