Softball: Concord’s Wachter wins Gatorade Player of the Year; Coe-Brown’s Bieniek (D-II) and Brady’s Bryson (D-III) also selected by NHSCA

Coe-Brown's Kylie Bieniek pitching during her D-II softball semifinal no-hitter win over Bow on June 4.

Coe-Brown's Kylie Bieniek pitching during her D-II softball semifinal no-hitter win over Bow on June 4. Chip Griffin / Photos by Chip

Bishop Brady baserunner Payton Bryson slides safely into second base as Conant shortstop Sophia Spingola bobbles the ball during a May 29 game.

Bishop Brady baserunner Payton Bryson slides safely into second base as Conant shortstop Sophia Spingola bobbles the ball during a May 29 game. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 06-11-2024 11:24 PM

Concord High softball’s playoff run might have been cut short, but Maddy Wachter’s light still shined brightly in the circle this year.

The Crimson Tide’s senior ace was absolutely dominant this season, earning Gatorade’s New Hampshire Softball Player of the Year honors, and she was also selected as Division I’s Pitcher of the Year by the New Hampshire Softball Coaches Association.

Wachter compiled an 11-4 record with 188 strikeouts and a 0.73 ERA in 95⅔ innings pitched. She allowed just 10 earned runs (15 total), 49 hits and 12 walks.

Defense was never a problem for the Tide. Even in defeat, Wachter never allowed more than three runs in a game, while Concord shut out its opposition in nine of its 19 contests.

The NHSCA handed out other area players top awards as well.

Coe-Brown sophomore Kylie Bieniek was named D-II’s Player of the Year, while Bishop Brady junior Payton Bryson earned the same recognition in D-III.

Bieniek started 13 of Coe-Brown’s 19 games, posting a 12-1 record and 1.60 ERA in the circle, striking out 124 batters. At the plate, Bieniek had a .569 batting average and a 1.062 slugging percentage, highlighted by seven home runs and nine doubles. Bieniek also drove home 44 runs.

Bieniek struck out six and had an RBI single in Saturday’s 3-2, nine inning loss to Oyster River in the championship.

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“The kid works as hard as any player we’ve seen,” Coe-Brown head coach Dave Allis said. “She is constantly trying to improve, and she is a great kid.”

After missing the playoffs in 2023, Bryson helped the Green Giants not only make the tournament but host a game thanks to their No. 5 seed before falling in the quarterfinals. Bryson was dangerous at the plate with a .603 batting average, .968 slugging percentage, 38 hits (including two homers, four triples and nine doubles), 20 RBIs and 37 runs scored. But she was also a threat on the basepaths, a place she reached often with a .662 on-base percentage and stealing 36 bases.

“Payton leads our team by being a positive role model and constantly uplifting teammates, the umpires and other coaches,” Bishop Brady head coach Shane Baron said.

Accolades weren’t just limited to area athletes, coaches from the region were recognized as well. Franklin’s Maddie Trefethen was named D-IV’s co-Coach of the Year and Belmont’s Bill Hart won D-III’s JV/Assistant Coach of the Year.

A complete list of area All-State selections is below:

Division I

First Team: Delaney Duford, Concord; Maddy Wachter, Concord.

Honorable Mention: Andie Moreira, Concord.

Division II

First Team: Kylie Bieniek, Coe-Brown; Kayla Smith, Merrimack Valley; Haile Comeau, Coe-Brown; Taylor Ouellette, Bow; Ava Rivers, John Stark; Jayden Porter, Coe-Brown; Morgan Clouthier, Pembroke.

Second Team: Caydence Allberg, Merrimack Valley; Annie Jerome, Coe-Brown; Ella Roos, Bow.

Honorable Mention: Addison Coffin, Coe-Brown; Madison Oppold, Bow; Ally Tessler, Pembroke.

Division III

First Team: Payton Bryson, Bishop Brady; Kimble Rose, Bishop Brady; Lizz Holmes, Hopkinton;.

Second Team: Falyn Sicard, Belmont; Abby Tyrell, Bishop Brady; Steph Elrick, Hopkinton.

Honorable Mention: Cadence Smead, Hillsboro-Deering; Ally Duval, Hopkinton; Annie Morrall, Hopinton.

Division IV

First Team: Lily Cornell, Franklin; Alex Penney, Pittsfield.

Second Team: Tiffany Boucher, Pittsfield; Adelis Stopyro, Pittsfield; Alivia Lavigne, Pittsfield.