No. 13 Lexington 4, No. 17 Stoneham 1
STONEHAM -- No. 13 Lexington (9-0) once again rode the efforts of junior pitcher Kiki Saveriano in a 4-1 victory on the road against No. 17 Stoneham.
Saveriano struck out 16 batters and allowed just three hits and one walk in the game. She also helped her own cause with the bat, hitting a solo shot to center field in the top of the sixth inning to make it 4-0 in favor of the Minutemen.
"The pitcher kept throwing outside, so I moved closer to the plate," she said of her home run. "I just got a piece of it."
Lexington also got big contributions from catcher Alyssa Zahka, who got two hits including a two-run double in the third inning that scored Meaghan Murphy and Sarah Heingartner and gave the Minutemen a 3-0 edge.
Zahka also short-circuited a potential Stoneham rally in the bottom of the fourth. After Saveriano struck out Spartans pitcher Jenny Lacolla (10 strikeouts, 8 hits allowed) for the second out, Zakha threw out baserunner Shannon Torosian at second base to end the inning with a double-play.
However, Lexington coach Frank Pagliuca felt that while his team got the win, there was plenty of room for improvement heading into Monday's game with rival Burlington.
"It was a nice win against a good Stoneham team, but I thought defensively, we had some inconsistent moments," he said. "Kiki pitched another good game and offensively, we had some good couple of innings, we had some runners on and we moved some runners.
"But we need to take a little bit better approach at the plate. I think sometimes, we went up there without a plan and against a good pitcher, you need to be ready to go. We gotta be a little more consistent in that aspect."
The Spartans made another attempt to get back in the game in the fifth inning. After Paige Minotti slapped a one-out single to center, Holly Eicher followed with another base hit that moved Minotti over to third. Eicher then stole second base to put Saveriano in a tight spot, but she recorded back-to-back strikeouts to escape.
"I expect her to throw strikes and she has very good command of her pitches, but itís not just her, itís the whole defensive team as one," Pagliuca said about that defensive stand.
"I expect them to make plays and they have high expectations on themselves to make all the plays defensively. Besides the errors we made today, weíve been very consistent on not letting the teams get extra hits or extra outs or extra bases... Fortunately, we did what we needed to do and we held on for the win."
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