Saturday will mark the end of another exciting year of high school athletics as the baseball and softball state championships will be decided in six games, all being played in Worcester.
All games will be held at Fitton Field on the campus of Holy Cross.
Division 1: Xaverian (17-8) vs. Algonquin (16-9), 7 p.m.
As the regular season came to a close, you would have had to have been clairvoyant to predict this final. The Hawks of Xaverian finished with a 12-8 regular season and were seeded 15th in Division 1 South while the Tomahawks of Algonquin finished 11-9 and were seeded 10th in the Central. Now it comes down to a test of wills as two stubborn teams get set to collide for all the marbles.
Division 2: South Hadley (11-13) vs. Plymouth North (18-7), noon
Plymouth North is in search of its third Division 2 title in the last five years. They have outscored their opponents 32-7 in five games leading up to the final. After reaching the Division 2 finals two years ago, the Tigers were hungry to get back, but probably figured it would be tough to do after a 7-13 regular season. But their schedule was loaded with Division 1 opponents which will have them ready to go in this one.
Division 3: North Reading (20-4) vs. Mt. Everett (17-8), 3:30 p.m.
North Reading returns to the Division 3 title game for the first time in 26 years seeking a fifth state title under head coach Frank Carey. Three of the five Hornets’ tournament wins have been by one run. Mt. Everett was impressive on its way to becoming the first Western Mass team to reach the D3 title game since 2007. The Eagles rolled over their opponents, outscoring them 31-4 in four games.
All games will be held at Worcester State University.
Division 1: Milford (25-0) vs. Malden (24-1), 7 p.m.
A veritable ‘Clash of the Titans’ awaits as arguably the two best teams in the state go toe-to-toe. Milford has been on the doorstep of a state title the past two seasons and the way the Scarlet Hawks dominated opponents on their way to a perfect season shows just how hungry they are to get it. The Golden Tornadoes will be looking for their first ever state title and proved their worth after gutting out one-run wins in the Division 1 North and EMass finals. A matchup of two genuine aces: Gatorade Player of the Year Shannon Smith (Milford) and Kiara Amos (Malden).
Division 2: Grafton (23-1) vs. Abington (23-2), 4 p.m.
In yet another big softball matchup, the Division 2 title game will feature top-seeded teams hungry for glory. Grafton is loaded with talent that has won state titles in the past through youth softball programs in the town. The Green Wave of Abington are making their first ever title appearance.
Division 3: Case (18-7) vs. Turners Falls (20-4), 1 p.m.
Case will be looking to avenge a 1-0 heartbreaking loss to Turners Falls in last year’s final. The Cardinals started the season 0-4 but managed to put it all together and get going at the right time. The Indians will be looking to string together back-to-back titles which would give them four Division 3 crowns over the last six seasons.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.