NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 15, 2013

Academy of championships

Softball, boys lacrosse teams on path to ISL titles

By Dan Guttenplan
Sports Editor

---- — BYFIELD — Seemingly every year in mid-May, The Governor’s Academy softball and boys lacrosse teams gain control of Independent School League titles on the same day within a few hundred yards of each other.

Yesterday served as that day for the softball and boys lacrosse teams, as both squads secured wins against top ISL foes. The undefeated Governor’s Academy softball team posted a 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Noble and Greenough. About 10 minutes after the softball game concluded, The Governor’s Academy boys lacrosse team finished off a 6-4 victory over Noble and Greenough.

The victories put both squads in position to continue their runs of dominance in league play. The softball team (16-0) will clinch its third ISL title in a row with a victory over Middlesex next Wednesday. If the Govs’ boys lacrosse team (12-1) wins its last three games, it will clinch at least a share of an ISL title for the seventh time in the last nine years.

The theme yesterday on the softball field was no different than that of any time in the last three years. Amesbury native Sarah Dupere, a junior, was nearly flawless in her eighth shutout of the season. She has pitched the Govs to a cumulative record of 48-6 over the last three seasons, all of which have resulted in ISL titles. She was the ISL MVP as a freshman. She followed that up by posting a 0.58 ERA as a sophomore, when she finished second in the MVP voting to battery-mate Paola Otero, a senior. This season, she is on the cusp of leading the Govs to their first undefeated season in her career.

“When the kid needs to, she can rear back for a little extra,” Governor’s Academy coach Scott Kingsbury said of Dupere. “We were not at our best defensively, and you would never know it. She stays composed and does her thing. She made pitches when she needed to make them.”

The Govs scored their lone run on an error in the fifth inning. Dupere said she could feel her nerves kick up a notch over the final two innings.

“Toward the end there, I felt a lot of pressure,” Dupere said. “I knew my team was behind me working hard. This year, I think it’s the best team we’ve had of the last three years. If there’s any year to do it, it’s now.”

Dupere has yet to narrow her college search, but she plans to play softball at the next level. She will pitch for the Polar Crush out of Arlington this summer before deciding where she will take her game at the college level.

As for the boys lacrosse team, the Govs (12-1) bounced back from their lone loss of the season — a 7-6 overtime loss to St. Sebastian’s Academy Saturday. The loss dropped the Govs into a tie with Belmont Hill for first place in the ISL.

“We learned from our game on Saturday,” Governor’s Academy coach Peter Bidstrup said. “We coasted a bit, and St. Sebastian’s played a great game. We learned some things about ourselves, and we played a pretty important game (yesterday). We were hopeful, but we knew we were facing an excellent team.”

The Govs’ scoring is down over the last two games, with the team scoring 12 combined goals over the last eight quarters. In the first 11 games of the season, the Govs never scored fewer than 12 goals in a single game and averaged 14.8 goals per game.

“We’re really athletic in the midfield,” Bidstrup said. “We have a group of guys that can play hard, tough defense. They did it (yesterday) against a team of good dodgers. I would have liked to have seen a few more goals on the offensive end. But at the end of the season, it can get into defensive games against good teams.”