They started playing softball together in the Wyoma Little League as nine year-olds. Samantha Kiley was the standout pitcher on the mound and Brittany Hanscom was the classy catcher behind the plate.
Just two Lynn kids learning the game under their fathers’ [Diamondbacks coaches Bill Hanscom and John Kiley] watchful eye and having a lot of fun doing it.
There were Lynn City Series titles, District 16 All-Star appearances, middle school softball, state titles for their Lynn Babe Ruth All-Star teams, summertime stints with the Mass Wildcats AAU softball team – and the culmination of their outstanding softball careers in the St. Mary’s High School program.
And what better way for Samantha Kiley and Brittany Hanscom to walk off the field for the final time Saturday in Worcester than as state champions for the second year in a row.
Kliey was the winning pitcher with a four-hitter in the Lady Spartans’ commanding 11-1 victory over Murdock. She also had two hits in the game. Hanscom had three hits, scored two runs, and had a memorable slide at home plate as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup and the starting rightfielder for three seasons.
“Brittany caught for Samantha right up through Little League and Babe Ruth,” Bill Hanscom recalled Monday. “We won the [Wyoma] league and the City Series two out of three years.”
Bill Hanscom said he couldn’t be prouder of what these two lifelong friends accomplished in their senior years.
“It’s been awesome watching what an excellent pitcher Samantha became and the games she’s pitched,” said Bill Hanscom. “She really had a lot of heart and grew up a lot.”
His daughter, Brittany, became an All-Star player this season at St. Mary’s. She batted .408 and solidified the outfield alongside centerfielder Maria Nazzaro and left fielders Sabrina Iannetti and Michelle Macchione.
Hanscom developed into a clutch hitter over the last two seasons. Coach Colleen Newbury moved Hanscom into the No. 2 spot in the order to take advantage of her bunting skills and keen batting eye.
A team captain, Hanscom understood the significance of winning back-to-back state championships.
“It’s pretty surreal – most kids go into high school not really expecting anything but to just to have a good senior season and be on top of their league,” said Hanscom. “But we’ve won two times on top of the entire state. It really hasn’t hit a lot of us yet.”
And to become the best with Sam Kiley, her close friend since first grade at the Shoemaker School along for the journey, made it even sweeter.
“We’ve been together since Wyoma Little League and your dream there is to win the City Series and make All-Stars and Sam and I did that,” said Hanscom. “And then your dream for high school is to win the state title and that’s exactly what we did.”
Hanscom and Kiley appreciate the coaching they have received from Colleen Newbury, a two-time All-American player at Salem State and All-Scholastic shortstop at Bishop Fenwick.
“I’ve known coach Newbury since I was 10 or 11 and she’s done so much for all of us,” said Hanscom. “It’s more about how great she is on and off the field – she’s always there when you need someone talk to, whether it be family, friends, or school. A lot of us owe it all to her.”
The high school careers of Brittany Hanscom and Samantha Kiley are ending, but they’ll keep in touch once college starts in the fall. Hanscom is heading to Barry University in Miami where she will be majoring in Athletic Training. Kiley will be attending Babson College in Wellesley.
“We’ll keep in touch through texting and Facebook and then get together on Thanksgiving,” said Hanscom. “After having a bond like that, you don’t really want to just end it in high school. Our fathers are friends. Our mothers are friends. And we’re good friends.”