ME girls lax, softball advance with Thursday wins

Kirk R. Williamson PhotoBridget Twombly and the Hornets advanced to the Division 2 North Semifinals.

Thursday was a big day for both the Manchester Essex girls lacrosse and softball teams as both advanced in the MIAA State Tournament.

The Hornets girls lacrosse team, No. 4 seed in Division 2 North, once again dominated in a 16-6 win over No. 12 Winthrop in the sectional quarterfinals. Manchester Essex has won both of its state tournament games by double-digits as it pounded No. 13 Lowell Catholic, 15-2 in first round action on Tuesday.

The Hornets (14-5) were all over the Vikings from the opening draw and put the game away early, racing out to a 15-4 lead at halftime. They cruised in the second half to preserve the win.

Manchester Essex will be in semifinal action on Tuesday, time and location TBA, against No. 1 Ipswich. The Hornets will be looking to make a second straight appearance in the sectional finals and they will need to get past one of their biggest rivals to get there. Manchester Essex and Ipswich battled for the Cape Ann League championship last month, with Ipswich squeezing out a highly competitive, 15-12 victory in Ipswich.

The Hornets softball team was also impressive in victory, picking up their first postseason win in well over a decade. The No. 17 seed defeated No. 16 Greater Lowell, 3-1, in Division 3 North Preliminary Round action on Thursday.

Sydney Levasseur went the distance for the win, which moves Manchester Essex to 12-9 on the season.

The Hornets now move on to the first round against the waiting No. 1 seed, Austin Prep (18-2). The teams meet on Sunday at Austin Prep (4 p.m.).

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