The Mountain Times

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All Hail the Queens: Proctor Lady Phantoms sweep all three Division 4 championships to win the coveted triple crown

PROCTOR-The 2011-2012 sports season for the Proctor Lady Phantom Varsity teams was nothing short of magical. The Lady Phantoms won state titles in soccer, basketball and just recently in softball to sweep the Division 4 major titles and secure a triple crown.

The road to the crown started last fall when the Lady Phantoms soccer team went undefeated with a 15-0 record and got the #1 seed in the tournament. They beat #4 seed Black River in the semifinal before facing Arlington in the championship. At the end of regulation the score was tied 2-2. With 4 ½ minutes left in the 15 minute sudden death overtime Mikayla Tanner sent a cross kick in front of the goal and Mikayla McCormack was able to muscle the ball in for the winning goal. This victory gave Proctor their first Division 4 Soccer championship since 1998. In 1999 they were co-champions.

The Lady Phantoms kept the winning streak going as the varsity basketball team ended the season with an 18-1 record and the second seed in the state tournament. The Phantoms knocked off Black River easily in their first tournament game but their next game Blue Mountain gave them a run for their money but Proctor prevailed with a 57-46 win advancing them to the semi-finals in Barre against cross-town rival West Rutland. Proctor handled the Golden Horde easily setting them up for the chance at another state championship. With tenacious defense and great foul shooting Proctor defeated the #1 seeded Twinfield 61-52 and cemented the championship. It was one step closer to a triple crown.

After the Lady Phantoms won the basketball championship in January softball head coach Laurie Serrani remembers clearly how there was a lot of talk about how great it would be to win the softball championship to secure a triple crown so the pressure was on before the season even started. Coach Serrani knew she would have a strong team since most of her players were returning from last year and her star pitcher had worked all fall and winter on her pitching, along with freshman Hannah Ashby who would fill in that difficult position of catcher nicely.
The season started out with a 1-0 loss against a strong Poultney team, a team Proctor knew they could possibly play in the championship final. Proctor finished the regular season 13-3 on the strength of their hitting and Taylor Trombley's MVP worthy performance on the mound. Coach Serrani praised her pitcher for her toughness and poise. When she had runners in scoring position Trombley would dig deep to throw strike outs or ground balls and get herself out of a jam.
Seeded fifth for the tournament Coach Serrani looked to her players that played on the other championship teams to step up and lead the team to another title. From that point on they worked tirelessly in practice before playoffs pushing themselves to the max and bringing their game to the next level.

Proctor beat South Royalton 10-4 in the play downs and then defeated 4th seed Twinfield by a score of 8-2. They advanced to the semi-finals and faced a very strong number 1 seed in Blue Mountain. The game turned out to be a real pitcher's duel. Proctor pitcher Taylor Trombley had an incredible game throwing a shutout, striking out a personal best 23 batters and only giving up one walk. In the top of the tenth inning Sarah Wade drove in the winning run for Proctor and they went on to win 1-0. Number three seeded Whitcomb upset number two seed Poultney to earn the right to face Proctor in the title game.

Proctor scored 4 runs in the first inning of the championship game and played great defense throughout to hold onto that lead and win 4-3 and earn their triple crown. Trombley pitched a great game against Whitcomb but got rattled in the fifth when Whitcomb scored three runs and had a runner on third with only 1 out. She held strong and so did her defense as first baseman Erin Keefe fielded a bunt down the first base line, tagged the runner out going to first while holding the tying run on third. Proctor would go on to get a third out without that runner scoring and hanging on to their 1-run lead.

Proctor's Brodie Langlois scored all the way from second on a bunt play but the home umpire called her out on the tag. Many thought Langlois slid under the tag and the umpire blew the call costing Proctor a 2-run lead going into the final inning. Trombley settled down on the mound in the last couple of innings and her team played great defense behind her. In the bottom of the seventh inning Trombley threw a strike out, a ground ball and a deep infield fly ball which second baseman
Alyssa Valerio squeezed tightly for the final out of the game to secure the D4 softball championship and the triple crown sweep!

Taylor Trombley pitched every inning of every game this season for Proctor racking up 182 strike outs and only 52 walks.

According to the Vermont Principals Association website, which has a list of past division winners, only one other school in D4 varsity girls sports has accomplished the triple crown since 1984 and it was Arlington in the 1989-1990 school year. Triple crowns are few and far between making it an incredibly special accomplishment. Congratulations to all the players and coaches who worked so hard.

Tagged: Soccer, Basketball, Softball, Proctor