Concord-Carlisle 10, Acton-Boxboro 4
CONCORD -- It's a whole lot easier to lose an All-Scholastic pitcher when the bats you bring back can pick up the slack.
Concord-Carlisle softball coach Lisa McGloin hoped her team's lumber could carry her Patriots while the pitching and defense came along on a young team. She probably didn't expect 66 runs over five games, including double-digit run production in each contest.
Concord-Carlisle settled for its lowest offensive output of the season Wednesday, striking for seven runs over the first two innings en route to a 10-4 triumph over Dual County League rival Acton-Boxboro.
The Patriots (5-0) posted 12 hits on the day and were paced by cleanup hitter Georgia Guttadauro, who delivered a three-run home run in the second inning while driving in five runs overall.
"We sorta figured hitting would have to carry us the first half of the season because we're young on pitching and defense... real young," said McGloin. "I knew we could hit, but I didn't know we could hit this well. To do what we did today against two very good pitchers (from Acton-Boxboro) really impressed me."
The Colonials (4-1) struck for two runs in the top of the first when Yaya Faria's two-out single skipped through Concord's right fielder allowing both Erin Fry and Lauren Murphy to scramble home.
Concord-Carlisle never flinched. It produced some two-out magic of its own in the home half of the frame as Guttadauro and Casey Tarca both produced RBI doubles to even the game before Casey Tarca's single put the Patriots out front to stay.
Guttadauro's bomb over the right-field fence in the second frame helped Concord take a 7-3 advantage and it never really looked back from there.
"They're a good hitting team," said Acton-Boxboro first-year coach Mary Matthews, who coached many of the opposing players as part of a summer squad she runs with McGloin. "We gave up some bad pitches to good hitters and that hurt us."
Both teams showed some confidence in young hurlers as Concord sent freshman Gayle Miner to oppose Fry, a sophomore.
Miner has big shoes to fill and ones she's all too familiar with in big sister, Kim Miner, the Globe's reigning Division 2 Player of the Year (now at Tufts). Kim Miner guided the Patriots to a perfect 20-0 regular-season record last spring, while posting a 14-1 record overall with a 0.49 ERA.
After some first-inning nerves, Gayle Miner (who is splitting starts this season with junior Shannon Dalton) calmly navigated to the finish line. She gave up single runs in the third and seventh innings, but also struck out Acton's No. 4 and 5 hitters with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth to effectively slam the door on any comeback thoughts.
She finished with 13 strikeouts. All the more impressive considering A-B hadn't struck out a single time in its last two games.
Fry got chased from the game in the fourth inning, but Matthews is confident she'll bounce back. Faria pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, giving up a lone run in the sixth.
"This was a good test for us at this point of the season," said Matthews. "I think it provides a nice wake-up call and let's us know we're not just going to roll through the season. We'll learn from this."
For Concord, this was its fifth straight game with double digits in runs, having posted wins over Newton South (16-1), Westford (17-2 in 5 innings), Weston (11-1), and Boston Latin (12-0).
McGloin likes how everything is coming along. She heaped the most praise on Jessica Stout, who moved from the outfield to behind the plate to seal up a gaping hole left by Lisa DeBruzzi.
The two teams joust against in Acton on May 12.
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