Sports, Sports Nuggets

Richards Wins Vermont Open

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FAIRLEE – Recent University of Rhode Island (URI) graduate Riley Richards shot a final round 66 to win the Vermont Open by one stroke last Wednesday at Lake Morey Resort.

Richards second consecutive 66 gave him a three-day total of 9-under par, outlasting Patrick Pelletier of The Golf Garage who finished runner-up at 8-under. The former U-32 star is the son of former Craftsbury Academy legend Pete Richards and his recent victory only adds to an impressive resume that includes two of the last three Vermont Amateur titles. The smooth lefty finished his collegiate career at URI earlier this month with a school record six individual tournament wins and was named Senior Male Athlete of the Year. Richards is leaning towards defending his Vermont Amateur title next month at Burlington Country Club and will then head to Scottsdale, Arizona to enter the pro ranks.

Strong Leads First Team Lake Division Honors

SOUTH BURLINGTON – Finley Strong, daughter of former Hazen Union baseball standout Jeff Strong, earned First Team Lake Division honors last week for her outstanding season playing for the Rice softball team.

The junior captain carried her Green Knight team to the Division I Final Four earlier this month, belting four home runs in her last six games, including a game winning solo shot against Middlebury in the quarterfinal round. Strong led Rice in eight different offensive categories, batting .484 with 30 hits, blasting six home runs, and driving in 31 runs on the season.

She is also the granddaughter of Wildcat coaching legend Jack Strong who coached the varsity Lady Cat soccer program for 26 years and the Hazen varsity baseball team for 19. Strong led the Wildcats to their lone state title in 1982 and also won a baseball state championship as a player for Hardwick Academy. Strong and Randy Lumsden are the only people in both schools’ history to win state titles as both players and coaches. He was honored this past weekend by the Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union Alumni Association, friends, and family for his accomplishments and 50 years of service to the school.

Alekson Earns First Win for Mountaineers

MONTPELIER – Former Peoples Academy star Ben Alekson was stellar on the mound in picking up his first win of the season for the Vermont Mountaineers last week.

The big righty scattered four hits in five innings of work, allowing one earned run, and striking out two in a 9-8 home win over North Adams last Wednesday. The 2023 Vermont Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year is coming off a strong freshman campaign for Fairfield University, where he posted a 6-1 record.

Alekson and the Mountaineers sit atop of the NECBL standings at 10-3 after coming back to beat Bristol 7-3 on the road for their fifth straight win on Friday. They will be back in action at Montpelier Recreation Field on Saturday for a double header against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.

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