With a team dominated by seniors, Sacred Heart softball coach Kevin Callahan didn’t expect the younger players to deliver their first win of the season against Pope John Paul II. It was two juniors that proved him wrong – pitcher Julia Pomella, with 11 strikeouts, and Gabby Fantasia, with a three-run homer in the fourth inning to lead the Saints to an 8-5 victory.
While Sacred Heart came out with the win, it didn’t look promising judging by the first three innings. The Tigers were up, 5-2, in the top of the fourth until Pomella got more comfortable on the mound and Fantasia took over at the plate.
“We were shaky in the first three innings,” Callahan said. “We were especially shaky on defense until Pomella took over the game.
“They played great and after the third inning there were no errors.”
After Pomella delivered a flawless inning, Fantasia's homer put the Saints up, 6-5.
Sacred Heart held the lead for the rest of the game. Freshman second baseman Lauren Melchionda had two hits and two RBIs and with senior Marybeth Mason also had two hits.
“We just started practicing two weeks ago,” Callahan said, “I hadn’t met them until then.”
Even with little experience coaching the Saints, Callahan thinks they’ll improve on 10-11 record from last year. He also said senior outfielders Sammy Savik, Kelsey Gailles, and Mason will provide leadership.
“I’m pretty optimistic about this year, we have a strong pitcher, catcher and lots of strong hitters,” he said. “I’m already looking forward to getting into the tournament.”
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