The BSA softball all-star game will be played at noon Saturday June 15 at Wentworth's Sweeney field. The following scholar-athletes will make up the red and blue all-star teams.
Coach: Jenelle Corey, English
Sydney McGrath, Latin Academy
Aurora Obrien, Latin Academy
Rachel Kerrigan, Latin Academy
Crystal Figueroa, Brighton
Kristie Cruise, Brighton
Jeanette Supulveda, Dorchester
Brittany Saintcyr, Dorchester
Nicole Sandell, New Mission
Alison Davey, New Mission
Mackala McPherson, West Roxbury
Nakia Ellies, West Roxbury
Heidy Barreiro, English
Lorena Labour, English
Stephanie Morales, Snowden
Ana Ortiz, Snowden
Coach: Joanne Lee-Nieves, Burke
Jarolin Espinal, Boston International
Johanny De Jesus, Boston International
Brenda Calderon, Burke
Renee Pierre, Burke
Yissa Guerrero, Burke
Vanessa Bernabei, East Boston
Stephanie Rizzo, East Boston
Danielle Elliot, East Boston
Lorena Escolero, Fenway
Laura Escolero, Fenway
Krystal Edwards, Madison Park
Katiria Andujar, Madison Park
Kristen O'Brien, O'Bryant
Valerie Nieves, O'Bryant
Elaina Wright-McCarthy, South Boston
Softball Sportsmanship Award
Marissa Serrette, West Roxbury
Renee Pierre, Burke
A day after pitching Latin Academy to its sixth straight city softball championship on Memorial Day, Sydney McGrath was watching baseballs fly over a nearly 25-foot fence in Tuesday’s baseball city championship between Boston English and Latin Academy.
While the balls were flying off the bats in English’s 4-3 victory at Madison Park Tuesday, the same could not be said for East Boston’s team in Monday’s softball championship game. McGrath pitched her first perfect game to lead her team to a 25-0 victory shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
Now McGrath is looking to take a curtain call in the Division 3 North state tournament, where her squad has fallen to eventual state champ St. Mary’s the last few years.
In order to get to a meeting with St. Mary’s this year, No. 16 Latin Academy (13-9) will have to get past No. 17 North Shore Tech at 4 p.m. Saturday at Clemente Field. Then it would have to beat No. 1 Shawsheen (20-0) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Shawsheen.
"They are a great team offensively, defensively -- they have amazing pitching, too,” McGrath said. “They are probably one of the best in the state. To beat them would be surreal, to know that we came that far to beat a team like that.
"I have 100 percent faith in my team, but beating them would be the best thing to come out of senior year.”
McGrath is not looking past North Shore Tech, though.
“I just actually kind of scouted them online,” she said. “I think it will be a good match. They seem to be good. All teams in the state tournament are good. I think it will be a tight game, but if we bring everything we brought in the [city tournament], I think we’ll have no problem.”
Also in Division 3 North, No. 22 East Boston (10-10) will look to rebound when it meets No. 11 Northeast Metro (12-6) on the road at 4 p.m. Thursday.
“We have to understand that that Latin Academy team is the best team in the city and the girl who threw the perfect game is a great pitcher,” said East Boston coach Thomas Elliot. “It’s best to go against the best. It brings out the best in you.
"Even though we did not win that game or get a hit or score a run, we still had to play good softball against Latin Academy.
“Playing teams like that gets you ready for the state tournament. Now our kids know everything to expect. It only helps you.”
No. 12 O’Bryant (12-6) will be looking to rebound from a 21-0 loss to Latin Academy in the city championship semifinals. O’Bryant will play No. 21 Greater Lowell at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Madison Park.
“I think we’ll be fine," said O’Bryant coach Bridget Ryan. "My starting pitcher [Naya Shedd] got sick, my backup pitcher was away for the weekend, and I had to ask a young eighth-grader to step up [in the city semis]. She did great at pitching. We’ll rebound. We’re just hoping to play great and advance in states.”
No. 3 Burke (12-3) will play the winner of the game at 4 p.m. between No. 14 Notre Dame Academy (13-7) and No. 19 Dorchester (8-7) Thursday at Notre Dame Academy.
No. 15 New Mission (9-5) will play No. 18 Mystic Valley at 3:30 p.m. at Ross Field in Hyde Park Thursday.
After this postseason run, McGrath, who plans to play for Catholic University next year, will hand the reins to her sister Olivia McGrath, an eighth-grader who one-hit O’Bryant in the city semifinals.
“Olivia is definitely going to be successful if she continues on,” Sydney McGrath said. “She’s going to be in high school next year and I think she is already phenomenal. I have 100 percent faith in her and her career and her future.
“It’s great to know that I’m going to go to college next year, and I most likely will never play softball with her again. It’s just great to be on the same team as her and watching her progress through fall and winter workouts we did together and now see her success. It’s awesome to be her big sister.”
But, of course, she also had to one-up little sis with a perfect game in the city playoffs.
“I’m the big sister,” she said. “That’s what I have to do.”
O’Bryant at Madison Park, 4 p.m. Tuesday
This could be a hotly contested game even though this is a down year for Madison Park, which is still searching for its first victory of the season, and it is strong year for O’Bryant, which had a good showing in a loss to East Boston last Thursday.
Madison Park will come to play against its next door neighbors and nothing would be sweeter than to get that first taste of victory this season against the Tigers.
Fenway at South Boston, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday
Don’t look now but the once underachieving Fenway Panthers are on a three-game win streak after starting the season 0-4.
In fact, the Panthers did not just start the season 0-4, their closest margin of defeat was a two-run loss to Boston English. The other three losses were by an average of 15 runs.
But then the Panthers beat Brighton 18-10, New Mission 11-3 and Snowden 19-5.
South Boston on the other hand is looking break a two-game losing streak.
Burke at New Mission, 3:30 p.m. Friday
With the league’s top hitter Rene Pierre on its side, Burke is just about the hottest team in the league these days.
But if anyone can snap the Bulldog’s five-game win streak it’s New Mission. Especially since the toughest competition Burke has faced during its win streak was during a 13-11 victory against West Roxbury.
A game between two teams that qualified for the city tournament last spring got interesting Thursday when O’Bryant took a one-run lead against East Boston in the fourth inning at City Yards.
But after senior Gabby Martinez’s bunt scored two runners to give O’Bryant the lead, East Boston broke open the game with a four-run fourth before ultimately winning, 13-6.
The catalyst of East Boston’s big fourth inning was junior Kayla O’Brien, who scored the go-ahead run to make the score 4-3 just moments after being inserted into the lineup.
“I don’t think it’s really that hard, I’ve been playing my whole life,” O’Brien said of coming in off the bench. “I just love being in the game. I was just excited to get that run when we were down."
After drawing a walk, O’Brien was brought home by sophomore catcher Anamaria D’Argenio, who also had an RBI double in the Jets’ six-run sixth inning that iced the game.
“It worked out for me,” said East Boston JV coach Robin Sutera, who was filling in for varsity coach Tom Elliott (who had a death in the family). “I just felt like at that point I needed to change a little bit. She wanted to play.”
It didn’t hurt that East Boston logged 16 hits on the day.
“They hit very well,” Sutera said. “We did what we had to do today, we came to play today, we all did an awesome job.”
The win puts East Boston in the driver's seat to clinch the No. 1 seed out of the North division for the city tournament over Memorial Day weekend. East Boston is 3-6 overall but 2-0 against city league opponents.
“We try so hard to get to [the city tournament] and it’s a big thing for us,” said sophomore pitcher Danielle Elliott, who got the win for East Boston by striking out seven batters.
Kristen O’Brien struck out five in a losing effort for O’Bryant (7-2) while Naya Shedd had an RBI and scored two runs.
“We came in really prepared, really excited, we wanted the game really bad,” O’Bryant coach Bridget Ryan said, “and I thought we played lights-out phenomenal up until the bottom of the sixth inning. Couple of passed balls, [gave up] some really nice hits. But we played well and we have to be happy about that."
The following are the most recent makeup dates for BPS baseball and softball games:
-O’Bryant vs. Boston International at Fallon Field, varsity only, at 3:30 p.m. on May 23.
-West Roxbury vs Boston International varsity baseball at Fallon Field at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
-Latin Academy vs East Boston varsity baseball at East Boston at 3:30 p.m. on May 6.
-Brighton vs Boston English varsity baseball at Rogers Park at 3:30 p.m. on April 29.
-Brighton vs. Boston English JV baseball at McKinney Field at 3:30 p.m. on April 29.
-Dorchester at Burke varsity softball at Casey Field at 3:30 p.m. on May 21.
-South Boston vs Cathedral varsity baseball at 3:30 p.m. at King Field on May 2.
-Dorchester vs. New Mission varsity baseball at 3:30 p.m. at Ross Field on May 20.
-Latin Academy vs. South Boston varsity baseball at King Field at 3 p.m. on May 21.
-Fenway vs Madison Park varsity softball at Madison Park at 4 p.m. on May 24.
The following baseball and softball games have been rescheduled:
-West Roxbury vs. Boston International varsity softball was rescheduled from April 12 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Hemenway field.
-Snowden and New Mission varsity baseball was rescheduled from April 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Ross Field on Thursday.
-Brighton vs Boston English varsity baseball was rescheduled from April 12 to next Monday at 3:30 p.m. at Rogers Park. The JV teams will play at 3:30 p.m. next Monday at McKinney Field.
-Madison Park vs. West Roxbury was moved from April 12 to May 13 at Jefferson Field. Both JV and varsity games start at 3 p.m.
Snowden at Dorchester, 3:30 p.m. Monday
In their first game after spring break, both Snowden and Dorchester will try to not only try to shake off the rust on Monday afternoon but also try to get back to business as usual after last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.
Dorchester is 1-1 with a win against Madison Park and a one-run loss to New Mission. Snowden beat Fenway before ending its game against Madison Park in a 13-13 tie.
Fenway at Madison Park, 4 p.m. Wednesday
Madison Park is still searching for its first win of the season and a game against 0-3 Fenway could be just what the Cardinals need to get going.
Madison Park’s last outing was a 26-14 loss to Burke and they have also lost to Dorchester. Fenway has given up more than 20 runs twice in losses to Snowden, Burke and O’Bryant this year.
O’Bryant at New Mission, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday
Testing itself against the gold standard in the Boston City League, Latin Academy, on April 8, New Mission’s revamped softball squad fell 11-1. Now the Titans will be looking to get back on track against another city league softball power, O’Bryant, on Wednesday.
But O’Bryant is also coming off a 6-2 loss against Latin Academy and will be trying to end a two-game slide against the Titans on Wednesday.
The loudest crack when hitting a home run is usually that of the bat. The most delightful play in softball also should be just that: delightful.
That wasn’t the case for Sydney Cunningham in the fourth game of the season last spring.
“It was against Brighton High, I hit a home run and my [left] shoulder had rotated back,” the South Boston senior recalled after the Knights' opening day loss to Latin Academy last week. “My rotator cuff got bruised so I couldn’t play. It still clicks now.
“I heard the crack of my rotator cuff grinding together and it was just horrendous, I was on the verge of crying.”
Cunningham, who spent all of last season rehabbing her shoulder and was unable to bring herself to attend South Boston’s game on the days she didn’t have physical therapy, couldn’t even watch the Knights' 24-12 loss to Brighton in the preliminary round of the Division 3 North state tournament last spring.
Now she couldn’t be more thrilled to be back in the lineup.
“It felt so good,” she said after the 16-0 loss to Latin Academy. “Being able to put the uniform back on is an amazing feeling. It’s my senior year, it’s my last year. I’m going to go all out for the chance and hopefully play when I enter college.”
First, Cunningham, who carries a 3.6 GPA, will enlist in the Air Force for two years, she said.
For now though, the righthander is learning how to play shortstop. Despite the fact that she was the team’s starting first baseman in her freshman and sophomore years and for the first four games of last year, Cunningham and her coach, Mary Linehan, felt she would feel more comfortable at short this year.
But the transition is an adjustment.
“It’s just because I was feeling pressure [at first base] and I have a really good throwing arm so it would be a lot more easier for me to play [short],” she said. “It’s crazy, I’m learning how to maneuver from first to shortstop. I was trained on first, so it’s more difficult being trained on a different position.
"There’s more pressure on first than there is on shortstop, but I feel a lot more free.”
Linehan said she’s hoping freshman Americle Ogarro will fill the void at first base.
“She’s a great first baseman but I’m hoping she will do well at shortstop,” Linehan said of Cunningham. “She has a strong arm. Hopefully we can train somebody else at first. We’ll see what happens. We’re a young team.”
Overall, Linehan is just happy to have Cunningham back in the lineup.
“She’s a very strong player in our lineup and I’m very excited to have her back this year,” Linehan said. “I hope she can keep her shoulder good so she stays the entire year. It’s very exciting. I coached her since she was a freshman. Last year we really missed her. The whole team missed her. It’s too bad too because we went to the playoffs last year.”
Linehan said more than her fielding and hitting ability, the team missed Cunningham’s leadership.
“Definitely her leadership and how she helps the freshman,” she said. “She’s always encouraging the freshmen: ‘You can do it, you can do it.’
“She’s a good kid.”
Cunningham’s goal is to make it back to the state tournament, which she played in as a freshman.
“It was a good feeling to be in states my freshman year on a varsity team,” Cunningham said. “It would take our heart and soul to get into states [this year]. It would mean everything to go to states my senior year.”
Latin Academy at New Mission, 3:30 p.m. Monday
While Latin Academy is no doubt the gold standard for girls softball in the city league, New Mission is on the rise this season and could pull off the upset.
The Titans, who are coached by boys’ basketball coach Cory McCarthy, inherited athletes from Boston Community Leadership Academy this year. And it has not paid off more than in softball, where 12 of the teams 18 players are from BCLA.
Dorchester at West Roxbury, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday
Coached by football coach Rich Moran, Dorchester sits atop the South division with Latin Academy in the city league after starting the season with a 24-13 win against Madison Park.
They will look to continue their success against a young West Roxbury team on Wednesday.
Snowden at South Boston, 3:30 p.m. Thursday
Snowden has got its bats going early this year with a 16-4 season-opening victory against Fenway.
South Boston is looking for its first win of the season behind senior infielder Sydney Cunningham, who returned to the lineup last week after suffering a season-ending injury in the fourth game of the season last year.
The Wolfpack scored two quick runs after their first four batters of the game got on base before they added a run in the third and another in the fifth to close out the 4-0 victory.
“We’ve been waiting for this day since the end of last season so we were excited from the start, which really helped our game today," said senior left fielder Mallory O’Brien, who hit 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored. “You have the set the tone right from the start and we did that today.”
Junior pitcher Caitlyn Berry got the win by striking out seven hitters walking none. Her defense committed only one error behind her.
“I know they are a great team,” Berry said. “It’s difficult playing against them because I know them and I don’t want to hurt any of them.”
Tim Holland, who is in his 12th season coaching the Wolfpack, said Latin Academy (1-2) has only beaten them once during his tenure.
“It was great, we got two in the first,” Holland said. “But then Latin Academy played fantastic. Any time we threatened they made a bunch of plays; in the outfield, at second, the throw at third. We had to chip away at it but we were fortunately very, very tough.
In the fourth inning sophomore second baseman Julieanne Coleman knocked down a hard hit short hop before throwing senior Mary Demora out at first. That defensive effort was only topped in the third inning when junior left fielder Colby Cahill threw out junior Bridget Walsh at third.
“I couldn’t catch the ball so I just grabbed it [off the hop] and I knew I had the arm to make it so I just threw it right to [Eliza Laden-Mauro] like I always do,” said Cahill, who also caught two deep fly balls. “I thought we did a really good in the outfield but we could use a little bit more effort. We have to get those bats swinging. We have to work on that.”
O’Brien was impressed with Latin Academy’s defensive effort.
“Their D is better than any years we’ve seen it so good for them,” she said.
And even though they scored four runs, Latin School also said they need to improve their offense.
“Their pitcher did a fantastic job against us,” Holland said of senior Sydney McGrath, who struck out one and walked three but retired the side after three hitters in both the second and sixth innings. “We see pitching like that in the DCL, every team has a good pitcher and they hit up and down the lineup so we need to get a lot of runs.
“We can’t miss any opportunity.”
Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza said the loss will only make his team better.
“We love playing up like this, I wish we played them 20 times a year because you usually tend to play to the level of your competition,” Zizza said. “They are in a great league, they play a great schedule. We wish we were them in certain ways. We would love to play that type of schedule where it forces us to get better.
“We have some great athletes and we just need to play some high quality competition to get better. … Games like this will make us better. We don’t schedule wins. A lot of coaches try to schedule wins. We try to schedule the toughest games possible in order to make us better.”
About Boston Public Schools Sports BlogMore »
- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Zolan Kanno-Youngs -- A former captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School football team and a current second-year Ujima Scholar at Northeastern University, Kanno-Youngs is the color commentator of the mens basketball team and a writer for Northeastern's campus newspaper, the Huntington News. He joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at KannoYoungs.Globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @KannoYoungs.