For the past six years, Latin Academy and East Boston have made their presence known in the Boston City League. This year was no exception, as the two powers clashed at Clemente Field Monday for the softball city championship. And for the sixth year in a row, Latin Academy took the crown, defeating Eastie, 25-0, in five innings.
Latin Academy senior hurler Sydney McGrath threw a perfect game with nine strikeouts.
“I wanted to end my senior year great and this is more than I ever expected,” said McGrath, who plans to play for Catholic University next year. “I like the adrenaline and I like the pressure. I work well under pressure and I had great defense and offense behind me.”
McGrath said this season has been the best in her career. She credits her hard work in the offseason and playing with the Bay State Thunder over the summer to help her get to this level.
Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza was not surprised by McGrath’s perfect game.
“She’s the type of pitcher the entire year that every time she goes out that’s a possibility,” said Zizza. “This is her first perfect game. Sydney is a first-class pitcher. As long as we hit the ball with her on the mound, we’ll be in every single game.”
What sealed the deal for the Dragon’s was their explosive fifth inning. Already up by 10, Latin Academy managed 10 hits and pushed 15 runs across. Olivia McGrath, Julieanne Coleman, and Colby Cahill were all able to bat twice and managed a hit each at-bat.
Eastie earned its spot in the championship after defeating West Roxbury, 15-12, an hour earlier in the semis. Latin Academy knocked off O’Bryant, 21-0, to secure its spot.
Zizza said the score of the second game was surprising, considering both teams had already played earlier in the day. The Dragons compiled 46 runs total.
“We played everyone -- all 17 kids, two pitchers and two catchers,” said Zizza. “In the long term, it helps us; in the short term, it kind of hurt us. We are a little surprised by the score.”
The Dragons wasted no time in the first, scoring two quick runs. They added another two in the second and six in the fourth to give McGrath some breathing room before they erupted in the fifth.
Coleman had a great day, going 5 for 5 and had two stolen bases. Rachel Wells went 3 for 4 and Aurora O’Brien went 2 for 5 with a triple.
As for the final out of the game, McGrath -- who has never lost to a City League team since she started pitching for Latin Academy as a seventh grader -- said she knew the pressure was on her.
“My heart was pounding a little more," she said. "I knew it was the last out and I knew what I had to do. When it was called, it was surreal.”
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