Twice as nice for Bates’ Decato

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The late decision to become a two-sport athlete at Bates College has paid off with a career-ending honor for Kyla Decato.

Decato, who was recruited to Bates as a basketball player and spent four winters as a key reserve on the hardwood for the Bobcats, celebrated the end of her third and final softball season as a second-team New England Small College Athletic Conference all-star.

Few hitters in New England enjoyed a hotter streak than Decato over the second half of the season. Anchoring the infield at first base, the Paris product and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School graduate chalked up 10 multi-hit games in her final 16 starts. She batted a fabulous .529 in that stretch.

It elevated her season clip to an even .400, tops on the team and fourth in NESCAC. Decato also paced the Bobcats with 40 base hits, including nine doubles.

Decato was one of three Bates softball players reaping postseason plaudits. Catcher Stacia Saniak was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year after batting .371 with 38 hits and 28 RBIs, while junior center fielder Katie Franklin picked up both Bates’ lone first-team NESCAC spot and a place on the All-New England squad. Franklin hit .365 with four home runs and 23 RBIs, belting a team-high 14 doubles while handling every defensive opportunity without an error.

Toast of the coast

Katie Morin of Lewiston capped her sophomore season at shortstop for the University of New England by winning second-team Commonwealth Coast Conference recognition.

Morin led the Biddeford school in two offensive categories and was second among the Nor’Easters in four others over the 31-game schedule. She batted .373 with 20 RBIs and 22 runs scored. Morin’s power and speed produced seven doubles, four triples and five stolen bases.

Defensively, Morin recorded a putout or assist in seven of UNE’s 10 double plays.

She was one of two sophomores setting the pace for UNE in post-season voting, joining Lisa Baillargeon of Berlin, N.H., who batted .418 in earning second-team New England status.

The Nor’Easters also enjoyed a splendid year from senior catcher Karcha Turner of Paris (Oxford Hills), who finished up at .311 with a team-leading 22 RBIs.

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Lyons lean on locals

Three players with area ties helped Wheaton College earn the top seed in this week’s NCAA New England regional baseball tournament in Harwich, Mass. The Lyons, who are making their third NCAA appearance in four seasons, will have to fight off a field that includes Saint Joseph’s, Southern Maine and Bowdoin in that seven-team tournament.

Sophomore pitcher Louie Bernardini of Gray led the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference with a 1.68 ERA this spring. Bernardini spun four complete games while rolling up a 5-2 mark.

Senior slugger Mark Baumer of Durham (Greely) is batting .285 with four home runs and 29 RBIs, while Karl Olson of Bethel (Gould) brings a .238 average off the bench.

Making a racket

Three-time Bates tennis All-American Wil Boe-Wiegaard adds another accomplishment to his championship career this weekend, when he enters the NCAA Division III Doubles Championship with senior classmate Tristan Beach.

The NCAA meet begins Saturday and continues through Monday at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.

Boe-Wiegaard and Beach rolled up a 19-7 record this spring, earning both players a place on the NESCAC all-conference doubles team. That was a first for Boe-Wiegaard, who has achieved national notoriety for his strength in singles. The native of Georgetown, Conn., also has qualified for the singles tournament at this year’s nationals.

Going fourth

Jeff Caron of Auburn (Edward Little) followed up his America East championship in the 5,000 meters by finishing fourth at the New England meet last weekend.

Caron checked in with a time of 14:43.12. His University of Maine teammate, Kirby Davis of Falmouth, followed in fifth.

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