By Colleen Casey, Globe Correspondent
Bridgewater-Raynham improved to 16-0 to claim the top spot for another week. Milford remains in the second spot, powered by Shannon Smith, who has the chance to make history this week as she looks to break the state's all-time strikeout record. She needs 13 to break it.
Danvers suffered the biggest drop, moving from No. 3 to No. 12 after losing to St. Mary's, 1-0, on Saturday. Both Abington and Silver Lake climbed this week continuing their winning streaks.
No. 15 Coyle & Cassidy broke into the rankings after defeating No. 5 King Philip, 1-0, on Tuesday. Bellingham earned the 16th spot, proving themselves in a 7-6 win over No. 6 Hopkinton.
Bridgewater Raynham has held onto the top spot for a second week in a row, still undefeated. The Trojans completed another fantastic week with a perfect game on Friday. Sophomore pitcher Sarah Dawson struck out nine in five innings to propel B-R past Barnstable, 17-0.
Milford remains in the second spot, finishing last week with two wins. While Milford held serve, Hockomock power North Attleboro dropped to No. 9 after losing to Top 20 newcomer Taunton and No. 6 King Philip.
Dracut and Central Catholic flip-flop after Dracut’s, 6-5, 12-inning victory over Central Monday. Abington continues to climb the rankings, sporting a seven-game win streak. Newcomers include Silver Lake and Lexington, both of which have managed to lose only one game so far.
Newton North drops to No. 2 after losing to Bay State rival Weymouth and Woburn.
Bridgewater-Raynham has claimed the top spot on this week’s Globe softball Top 20. Led by junior shortstop Madi Shaw and sophomore pitcher Sarah Dawson, the Trojans remain a perfect 10-0.
Reigning Division 1 champion Milford drops to the No. 2 slot. No. 3 North Attleborough handed the Scarlet Hawks their first loss of the season, a 1-0, 10-inning battle.
Danvers (No. 4) and Sandwich (No. 5) round out the top five. Both are still perfect.
Newcomers to the Top 20 include Case, Amesbury, Boston Latin and Masconomet. Case earned the No. 14 seed after defeating Fairhaven 9-0 last week, causing Fairhaven to drop from No. 3 to No. 15.
See the full Globe softball Top 20 here.
By Nick Ironside, Globe Correspondent
Marblehead softball coach Johnny Gold knew he had a special player last season, when then-freshman catcher Emily Messinger led the Magicians with five home runs.
On Monday at Lynn English, Messinger hit her second home run of the year. She hit her third of the season Wednesday in a 5-1 win over Revere.
But on Saturday against Gloucester, Gold saw something he hasn’t seen in his nine years with the Magicians’ softball team. Messinger hit three fence-clearing home runs in a 10-5 win. The sophomore now has six on the season.
Gold raved about his sophomore, who drove each home run to a different part of the outfield.
“That’s the first time in all my years coaching that I’ve seen someone clear [the fence] three times,” Gold said. “She’s a good power hitter. She hit around .480 as a freshman, and she doesn’t strike out often.”
In the first inning, Messinger hit a two-run homer that cleared the center field fence. In the second, the sophomore drove a pitch over the left-field fence, giving her five RBIs.
The biggest moment of the day came in the fifth, though, when she led off the inning with an opposite-field home run to right.
“They were trying to pitch her outside,” Gold said, “and she took it the other way.”
According to Gold, Messinger’s teammates were excited for her.
“They went crazy,” he said. “They were jumping all over the place. It was pretty cool, and I couldn’t believe it.”
The Magicians improved to 7-4. Gold starts four freshmen, and was glad that his team had the chance to experience Messinger’s performance.
“She works at [softball] a lot. She threw out two players stealing [today], so she’s solid defensively. She’s had one [heck] of a week.”
Junior Kendall Meehan needed just 43 pitches to throw a perfect game over six innings, as Danvers beat host Lynn English, 13-0, Wednesday.
After flirting with no-hitters in her last two starts -- they were broken up in the fifth and six innings -- she refused to let this one slip away.
"She was very impressive, and she hit her spots well," said Danvers coach Tara Petrocelli. "She had great command and mound presence and looked comfortable."
Danvers held a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, then exploded for 10 runs in the top of the sixth to induce the mercy rule.
Caitlin McBride, who hammered a three-run homer to make it 13-0, went 4 for 5 with three runs and five RBIs.
"We've struggled hitting-wise lately, and we hit the ball hard," Petrocelli said. "We kept it going."
In the bottom of the third, senior second baseman Chrissy Gikas made a stellar defensive play to preserve Meehan's perfect game. Lynn English pitcher Molly Cullen scorched a one-hopper up the middle, but Gikas made a diving stop and threw out Cullen from her knees.
"It was one of the best plays I've seen in high school," Petrocelli said.
No. 11 Danvers improved to 6-0, and Meehan has earned all six wins in the circle.
By Nick Ironside, Globe Correspondent
On Wednesday afternoon, Milford senior Shannon Smith threw a five-inning perfect game for a 15-0 win at home against Stoughton.
Thirteen of the 15 outs were strikeouts for Smith, but it was hardly the first perfect game she has thrown for the 9-0 Scarlet Hawks. In her career, Smith has pitched 21 no-hitters and five perfect games.
In the fall of her junior year, Smith committed to play softball at the University of Kentucky.
During her senior year, Smith is 9-0, having pitched every game for the Scarlet Hawks. She has allowed just five hits and one earned run in 57 innings, striking out 120. Coach Brian Macchi knows she is a special talent.
“The mentality she brings to the field in practice and games is unique,” said Macchi. “It’s an honor to coach her. She’s been a major contributor since freshman year.”
Smith, a two-year captain, didn’t hurt Stoughton just on the mound. She went 3 for 3 at the plate, with a double, a home run, and three RBIs.
“She’s been in the middle of our lineup since day one,” said the coach. “She batted fifth for us her freshman year, and since she’s batted third or fourth.”
Macchi also said Smith’s leadership has been invaluable for the younger players.
“She truly is a great role model for the program,” he said. “It’s good for the younger kids to see how she carries herself. It’s a scenario where you want the younger players to see her.”
Macchi has coached the program for eight years now, and says he hasn’t seen anyone like Smith.
“For me, it’s the first time having a player of this caliber,” he said. “She’s one of the best, in my mind, in the state.”
1. Sandwich senior pitcher Julia Sullivan has been outstanding on the mound, leading the Blue Knights with back-to-back no hitters, including a 6-0 victory over Marshfield and 12-0 win Dennis-Yarmouth. The four-year starting hurler has helped the Blue Knights to a perfect 5-0 mark.
2. With a team batting average of .400 it's no surprise Bridgewater -Raynham is 6-0. In six games the Trojans have managed to score 44 runs and have allowed only 4. "So far the kids have been focused," said coach Mike Carroza. "Everybody is contributing." Junior lead-off hitter Madi Shaw went 5 for 5 in the Trojans latest 13-3 victory over Fontebonne and junior third baseman Holly Greet is leading the team in RBIs and hitting .380. Sophomore pitcher Sara Dawson has six wins, including four shutouts.
3. The Tanners have also been off to a perfect start, averaging 10 runs a game. Senior catcher Olivia Brothers' bat has been on fire. In Peabody's 13-5 win over Lynn Classical, the catcher hit two home runs and had 5 RBIs. The Tanners sit atop the Northeastern League Large Division.
4. After finishing last year at .500, Wakefield coach Richard "Q" Quattrocchi knew his team had plenty of room to improve this season and so far they have. The Warriors have turned things around and are currently 6-1. "Last week we were averaging 18 hits a game," said Quattrocchi. "I'm so proud of my kids." Wakefield has compiled 70 runs so far.
5. A dominant force on the mound, Cardinal Spellman junior Courtney Zambello has helped the Cardinals to a 6-2 start. She threw back-to-back no hitters last week. The Cardinals are currently third in the Catholic Central League Large Division.
Colleen Casey covers softball. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ColleenCasey226.
Defending Division 1 state champion and top-ranked Milford will face host Hopkinton Friday at 12:30 p.m. in a softball matchup that will put two impressive streaks on the line.
Milford (6-0) is riding a 31-game win streak and is led by Kentucky-bound pitcher Shannon Smith, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year. Smith has no-hitters in her last two games.
Hopkinton is 4-0 and has a 24-game home win streak. Hopkinton is led by sophomore pitcher Alissa Karjel, who is 3-0 this spring and 11-0 the past two years. Karjel is also hitting .643. Junior catcher Erica McBride is hitting .471.
The game is being dedicated to former Apponequet softball coach and Stoughton athletic director Peter Looney with all the proceeds going to the Looney Legacy Foundation to support melanoma research. Looney died of melanoma in 2011.
Here are some tidbits you should know in softball this week:
1. After move, Milford still dominating -- Milford’s big move into the Hockomock League has turned the competition up and so far the Scarlet Hawks have been soaring. The defending Div. 1 state champions are currently 5-0. In a 3-0 victory over rival King Philip, Shannon Smith managed a no hitter against the Warriors and handed them their first league loss in 5 years.
2. 500 feels good -- Going into last year’s South section semifinals, New Bedford coach Harry Lowe had a career record of 499-130. After 11 innings of solid play, North Attleboro was able to produce a run and defeated New Bedford 2-1, ending their year. The offseason was extra long for Lowe, who was itching to get hit 500th career win. He did not have to wait long this season as the Whalers defeated Dartmouth 3-2 in nine innings in their season opener. “I had a long wait for it. I’m glad it was the first game this year,” said Lowe. He started coaching in the area 30 years ago and has loved the game since. Lowe said he is looking forward to another season. He added, “It’s such a great game. The girls that play for me have the same passion I do.”
3. Beachemin at King Philip -- Norm Beachemin, who guided Case to back-to-back state final appearances, has left Case and taken over at King Philip. Beauchemin said his transition has been going well. He has guided the Warriors to a 3-1 start. Donald DiBiaso replaced Beauchemin at Case.
4. What a start -- Even though Avon lost four out of their last seven games last season, the Panthers have managed to turn things around. This year they have been have been off to a terrific start. In the four games played, the Panthers remain perfect, and have managed to outscore their opponents 79-15
5. Moving on up -- Dracut, who took the Division 2 North crown last season has moved into Division 1 of Merrimack Valley Conference . The Middies have made a smooth transition and are off to a perfect 5-0 start. Coach George Roy said he was happy about the change. “It’s more of a challenge,” said Roy. Now we get to play tough teams like Chelmsford, Central Catholic and Tewksbury twice. It will give us a good test.” The Middies welcome back senior captain Lauren Ramirez, who will play for UMass-Lowell next year. “I always expect big things from Lauren. She’s our captain. She’s matured over the years. She’s a great team player.”
By Tim Healey, Globe Correspondent
After dreaming of playing Division 1 college softball for as long as she can remember, Katie Casey took a huge step toward making that a reality Sunday night. Braintree’s senior righthander committed to Siena College during a weekend visit to campus that included taking in a Saints doubleheader.
Casey said coach Bill Lajeunesse made her an offer while they were talking between games, with the coach citing scouting reports from other collegiate coaches. Lajeunesse has never watched her pitch live — he’s only seen video — but he thought highly enough of Casey to make her an offer.
“I have dreamed of this ever since I was little,” said Casey, who didn’t commit to a Division 2 or 3 school in the hopes that a Division 1 opportunity would come. “Everything happens for a reason.”
Siena, located in Loudonville, N.Y., just outside Albany, is about three hours away from Braintree. Casey was visiting for admitted student day and wanted to attend, athletics aside. Lajeunesse’s offer clinched it.
She will major in biochemistry while completing a pre-dental track.
“When I walked onto campus, I just got that feeling,” Casey said. “I knew that’s where I wanted to go. I just felt comfortable there.”
Casey has pitched for the Wamps varsity since her freshman year, but she has been particularly impressive since her sophomore campaign. Since 2011, Casey has gone 20-9 with an ERA hovering around 1.50 while averaging more than a strikeout per inning.
In one of her two games this season, Casey no-hit Milton in a 15-1 win April 4.
Tim Healey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.
It's no surprise the defending Div. 1 champions Milford is debuting at the top spot in the Globe softball Top 20. With returning Gatorade Player of the Year Shannon Smith back in the circle, the Scarlet Hawks will be a force in Eastern Mass.
Bridgewater-Raynham takes the second slot, returning All Scholastic shortstop and Fordham commit Madi Shaw. The Trojans captured the South crown last season and will be a contender again this year.
Although No. 3 King Philip lost All-Scholastic Meg Rico, senior pitcher Anna O'Neill is ready to step in and show batters what she's made of.
No. 4 Dracut returns senior captain Lauren Ramirez to the circle. The Middies also welcome back their starting infield from last season's North championship team.
Fairhaven takes the fifth spot with promises of a deep playoff run for another season. The Blue Devils will look to senior Courtney Girouard at the plate and on the mound to get things going.
With Stephanie Cornish, MacKenzie Gillis and Alicia Reid back for No. 12 Abington, the Green Wave will have a shot at capturing the Division 2 South title for a second year in a row.
Malden, which finished in the top spot last season debuts at No. 15. The Golden Tornadoes lost their All-Scholastic battery of Kiara Amos and Emily Hoffman, but will still be force in the North.
No. 19 Wakefield makes its debut in the Top 20, returning the majority of last season’s team. Emma Kraus, Abby Dicredico and Marissa Wardell will lead the way for the Warriors.
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.”
Monday's inaugural Agganis All-Star women’s and men’s Lacrosse Classics have been postponed due to inclement weather. The games will be played on Wednesday at Manning Field – women at 6 p.m., men at 7:30 p.m.
That means the first competition in Agganis week will be the men's and women's soccer games Tuesday at Manning Field beginning at 5:30 p.m. In addition to lacrosse, Wednesday will have also have baseball and softball at Fraser Field. Thursday is basketball with two games at Lynn Classical. And Friday is the 51st Football Classic at 7 p.m. at Manning Field.
In the last Globe softball Top 20, Malden claims the top spot finishing at 24-2. The Tornadoes won their first Div.1 North and EMass championships this season before falling to Milford 1-0 in the state championship. Senior pitcher Kiara Amos and catcher Emily Hoffman were a tough battery to beat.
Bridgewater-Raynham finishes at No. 2, closing at a 21-4 mark. The highlight of the Trojans season was their 1-0 12-inning victory over the defending state champs, King Philip, to capture the Div. 1 South sectional crown. All-Scholastic sophomore shortstop Madi Shaw will return next year to help the Trojans to another fantastic season.
Ending the season at 23-3, the King Philip Warriors grab the No. 3 spot. The back-to-back state champions couldn’t repeat again, but still had a fantastic season. Senior pitcher Meg Rico ended her stellar career at 43-3 with 628 strikeouts and a 0.31 ERA. The George Washington commit will be missed next season.
Abington jumps up to the fourth spot, making an appearance in the Div. 2 state finals. Riding the arm of Kelly Norton, the Green Wave went 23-3, capturing the South Shore League, Div. 2 South sectional and EMass crowns.
Dracut dropped down to the fifth spot, finishing the season 23-2. The Middies won the Div. 2 North championship, and will return pitcher Lauren Ramirez for her senior season next year.
Finishing 17-8, Case comes in at No. 16. The Cardinals made it to their second straight state championship game, but were unable to take the crown. The did however win their third straight South sectional and EMass title. They’ll have some work to do next season, finding a replacement for the Div. 3 Player of the Year, pitcher Shannon Orton.
Somerset Berkeley rounds off the Top 20, completing their season 17-6. Although the Blue Raiders lost to King Philip in the South quarter-finals, they had several big wins this season, including a 6-1 victory over No. 12 Coyle & Cassidy.
Saturday will mark the end of another exciting year of high school athletics as the baseball and softball state championships will be decided in six games, all being played in Worcester.
All games will be held at Fitton Field on the campus of Holy Cross.
Division 1: Xaverian (17-8) vs. Algonquin (16-9), 7 p.m.
As the regular season came to a close, you would have had to have been clairvoyant to predict this final. The Hawks of Xaverian finished with a 12-8 regular season and were seeded 15th in Division 1 South while the Tomahawks of Algonquin finished 11-9 and were seeded 10th in the Central. Now it comes down to a test of wills as two stubborn teams get set to collide for all the marbles.
Division 2: South Hadley (11-13) vs. Plymouth North (18-7), noon
Plymouth North is in search of its third Division 2 title in the last five years. They have outscored their opponents 32-7 in five games leading up to the final. After reaching the Division 2 finals two years ago, the Tigers were hungry to get back, but probably figured it would be tough to do after a 7-13 regular season. But their schedule was loaded with Division 1 opponents which will have them ready to go in this one.
Division 3: North Reading (20-4) vs. Mt. Everett (17-8), 3:30 p.m.
North Reading returns to the Division 3 title game for the first time in 26 years seeking a fifth state title under head coach Frank Carey. Three of the five Hornets’ tournament wins have been by one run. Mt. Everett was impressive on its way to becoming the first Western Mass team to reach the D3 title game since 2007. The Eagles rolled over their opponents, outscoring them 31-4 in four games.
All games will be held at Worcester State University.
Division 1: Milford (25-0) vs. Malden (24-1), 7 p.m.
A veritable ‘Clash of the Titans’ awaits as arguably the two best teams in the state go toe-to-toe. Milford has been on the doorstep of a state title the past two seasons and the way the Scarlet Hawks dominated opponents on their way to a perfect season shows just how hungry they are to get it. The Golden Tornadoes will be looking for their first ever state title and proved their worth after gutting out one-run wins in the Division 1 North and EMass finals. A matchup of two genuine aces: Gatorade Player of the Year Shannon Smith (Milford) and Kiara Amos (Malden).
Division 2: Grafton (23-1) vs. Abington (23-2), 4 p.m.
In yet another big softball matchup, the Division 2 title game will feature top-seeded teams hungry for glory. Grafton is loaded with talent that has won state titles in the past through youth softball programs in the town. The Green Wave of Abington are making their first ever title appearance.
Division 3: Case (18-7) vs. Turners Falls (20-4), 1 p.m.
Case will be looking to avenge a 1-0 heartbreaking loss to Turners Falls in last year’s final. The Cardinals started the season 0-4 but managed to put it all together and get going at the right time. The Indians will be looking to string together back-to-back titles which would give them four Division 3 crowns over the last six seasons.
Even though the Boston City League softball all-stars don’t get to play at Fenway Park this Sunday like their baseball counterparts, they aren’t being excluded from the day’s events.
Sunday’s all-star festivities will begin at 10 a.m. at Cobe Field in the Fens with the City of Boston All-Star Softball Classic, which the baseball teams will attend as well.
Then, both the baseball and softball all-star teams will travel to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Washington Nationals before the City of Boston All-Star Baseball Classic will be played at 5:30 p.m. under the Green Monster.
“Ideally the girls would love to play at Fenway Park too, but it’s not a softball diamond,” said Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza, who will coach the North all-star team. “I have no complaints but the kids are thrilled about it that they are included.”
The Burke's JoAnne Lee Nieves will coach the South squad.
"A lot of the girls probably don’t get an opportunity to see the Red Sox and it’s nice that the Red Sox are showing their appreciation of the boys and the girls by giving them tickets to the game."
Lee Nieves said she was surprised to be chosen as the coach.
"I myself might have voted for someone else but I’m honored to do it," she said. "I know a lot of the girls because I've coached in the city for a number of years. It’s just nice to see the girls showcased in this type of game."
Zizza also coached the game last year when it ended in a 11-11 tie. Will he go for the win this year?
“I guess so,” Zizza said. “From the point of view of my players it gives them an experience, a little bit of exposure. For the underclassmen that play in an all-star game it does increase their maturity process and makes them a better player. And for those players graduating, it’s a good way to end their career.”
Two of Zizza’s players at Latin Academy, Rachel Wells and Rachel Kerrigan, are getting an opportunity to play on Sunday because their teammates, Sydney McGrath and Auroia O’Brien, have a tournament this weekend for their club team.
“It is fun because it is fun to go with the other kids from the other schools,” Zizza said of coaching the game. “They are excited to be included in a situation like that. My kids love it too.”
The rosters for Sunday's Boston City League baseball and softball All-Star Classics have been released.
The baseball game will be played at 5:30 p.m. at Fenway Park while the softball game will be at 10 a.m. at Cobe Field in the Fens.
Admission to both games is free.
The games are being organized by the Boston Center for Youth & Families and held in partnership with the Boston Scholar Athlete Program and sponsored by the Boston Red Sox.
Latin Academy baseball coach Anthony Bernazzani will coach the North squad while Burke coach Paul Duhaime will lead the South.
Latin Academy softball coach Rocco Zizza will coach the North team and Burke's JoAnne Lee Nieves will coach the South.
Here are the rosters:
NORTH: Sam Steeves,Boston Latin Academy; Vinvent Lopriore, Boston Latin Academy; Chris DeLouchrey, Brighton; Jonathan Marrero, Brighton; Danny Auch, East Boston; Manny Martinez, East Boston; Donnell Hightower, South Boston; Frederick O'Brien, South Boston; Kevin Arroyo, Madison Park; David Mercado, Madison Park; Shawn Jaglall, O'Bryant; Jose Vasuez, O'Bryant; Jonathan Bonilla Deleon, West Roxbury; Yendry Guerrero, West Roxbury.
SOUTH: Shaylim Blackwell, Burke; Mark Benjamin, Burke; Frank Rosabal, Charlestown; Alberto Melo, Charlestown; Amie Elmeghni, Dorchester; Manuel Pizarro, Dorchester; Jeffrey Pena, Fenway; Jonathan Vega, Fenway;Leonel Mojica, Boston International; Darwin Ruiz, Boston International; Jancel Cardenas, Snowden; Lewis Medina, Snowden; Jessey Valdez, Boston English; Nelson Barreiro, English; Johamin Vicioso, English.
NORTH: Rachel Wells, Latin Academy; Rachel Kerrigan, Latin Academy; Virginia McAughey, Latin Academy; Nicole Sandell, Brighton; Alison Davey, Brighton; Dioni Daley, Charlestown; Timesha Leary, Charlestown; Angela Trinh, Dorchester; Shyla Fitzpatrick, Dorchester; Gena White, New Mission; Maxiel Guerrero, New Mission; Kristen Padgett, South Boston; Yaritza Otero, South Boston; Marissa Serrette, West Roxbury; Selena Gonzalez, West Roxbury;
SOUTH: Bradley Sanchez, Boston International; Radhaisa Arias, Boston International; Brenda Calderon, Burke; Renee Pierre, Burke; Mackenzie White, East Boston; Nicolette D'Andrea, East Boston; Kiary Ortega, English; Olga Pena, English; Rachelle Pierre, Fenway; Nehemie Auguste, Fenway; Betsy Maysonet, Madison Park; Krystal Edwards, Madison Park; Evelyn O'Tolle, O'Bryant; Iryelis Lopez, O'Bryant; Tania Ortiz, Snowden; Ana Ortiz, Snowden.
Milford junior Shannon Smith was named Gatorade's Massachusetts softball player of the year for the second straight year.
Smith, a righthanded pitcher and first baseman, led Milford to a 20-0 record in the regular season for the Division 1 Central Scarlet Hawks. She had a 19-0 record with a 0.11 ERA and 286 strikeouts, according to the school. She also batted .460 with seven homers and 33 RBIs.
"Shannon has a competitive drive that is unmatched," said Milford coach Brian Macchi in a press release. "She loves the game and knows the game. She eats, breathes and sleeps softball. She wants to be the one that has the ball in her hand or be at the plate when the game is on the line. Shannon possess a self-confidence that truly separates her from other student-athletes."
Smith has verbally committed to play at Kentucky in 2013.
Saturday is a good day to be a volleyball player.
Due to the inclement weather, most tournament events scheduled for Saturday have been been postponed. The baseball, softball, lacrosse games and tennis tournaments have all been effected.
Most games are scheduled to resume Sunday or Monday. The MIAA had previously moved the state track championship, scheduled for Saturday, to Monday.
Look for updates on postponements on the MIAA website.
Six Boston schools’ teams will play in the Division 3 North softball bracket, including the city champion Latin Academy squad.
Latin Academy (11-9) plays an extra tough non-league schedule as therefore is only seeded No. 19 in the tournament.
And the Dragon’s coach Rocco Zizza said they have an even tougher draw in the tournament as they are lined up to meet No. 6-seed St. Mary’s (14-6) in the quarterfinals, where Latin Academy has lost to St. Mary’s two of the last three seasons.
Zizza said the first thing he checks when the state playoff pairings are released is where they are in relation to St. Mary’s.
“We can play with anyone in our division but one team that is head and tails above anyone is St. Mary’s,” Zizza said. “They are basically a Division 1 softball team playing in the Division 3 tournament. They usually play for the state championship every year. I think it’s a matter of time before they are moved up a division. It’s really adults among children in Division 3.”
Before the can play St. Mary’s, however, Latin Academy will have to get through No. 14 Trinity Catholic at 3:15 on Thursday. If they win that preliminary game they will travel to play No. 3-seed Marian on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“The first two games we can play with anyone in our Division,” Zizza said.
No. 12-seed South Boston (11-6), also known as Excel High, will host No. 21-seed Brighton (8-8) on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. while No. 13-seed Dorchester, also known as Tech Boston, will host No. 20 NE Metro Tech at 3:15 on Thursday.
No. 17 East Boston (12-8) will travel to No. 16 Matigon at 3:15 on Thursday while No. 18 O’Bryant (10-7) will play at No. 15 North Shore Tech at 3:15 on Thursday.
In the Division 1 North bracket, No. 6-seed Boston Latin (15-5) will play the winner of No. 11 Chelmsford and No. 22 Medford at 4 p.m. on June 2.
West Roxbury’s injury-plagued softball team clinched a berth in the city championships on Friday afternoon in the most dramatic fashion possible, a 15-14 win over South Boston.
The come-from-behind victory on the final day of the regular season gave the Raiders the tiebreaker over Dorchester for the wildcard slot in Saturday’s city championship semifinal against East Boston.
“We could win or lose by 20 points in cities, I don’t care,” junior Nadia Ellies said as she walked off Kirby Field in South Boston victorious.
After trailing 8-2 in the early innings, Westie scored eight of its own runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth to take a 14-10 lead. South Boston tied the game at 14 in the sixth inning before the Raiders took the lead for good when Ellies scored from third base on a wild pitch.
Westie and Eastie will play at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Clemente Field in the Fens while Latin Academy and O'Bryant will play in the other semifinal at 11 a.m. on Cobe Field, also in the Fens.
The championship game is slated for 10 a.m. on Monday at Cobe Field.
West Roxbury has qualified for the city tournament in two of the previous three seasons but coach Grace V. Diggs said she’s never won the tournament in her 20-year tenure. She said qualifying this year is a bit more sweet than in past years because she has four injured players, including three seniors.
“We’ve had a lousy season as far as injuries but we pulled it off,” Diggs said. “I guess just the luck was on our side … It is special and it’s exciting because we don’t have our full team so that makes it special.”
Trailing 10-5 going into the fifth inning, West Roxbury batted around before it tied the game when Ellies’ twin sister, junior catcher Nakia Ellies, knocked in junior Selena Gonzalez. Nakia Ellies eventually scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball before Nadia Ellis logged an RBI single and junior pitcher Marissa Serrette hit an RBI double to make it 13-10.
After Westie scored another run in the sixth, South Boston responded with four runs to tie the game at 14. Senior infielder Yaritza Otero, senior third baseman Francois Mitchel, senior center fielder Katrina Hernandez and junior second baseman Crystalyn Mitchel all scored runs as Southie only made one out.
Then Serrette struck out the next batter. And after she allowed the go-ahead runner on base, she struck out the next batter to retire the side.
Serrette, who recorded the win by striking out eight batters, also allowed the game-tying run on base in Southie’s final at bat before closing the game on a strike out and a ground out.
“Our outfield isn’t that great because we took a lot of JV players,” said Serrette, who was 4 for 4 from the plate with a double and 2 RBIs. “My focus was getting it over the plate and getting it to the twins’ gloves. I was trying to keep it out of the outfield as much as possible because they are still learning how to catch.”
Nakia Ellies,the team's vocal leader from her perch behind the plate and on the bench, said playing from behind doesn’t faze her team.
“I always play like we’re coming back so yes you can never know what’s going to happen,” she said when asked if she was nervous about South Boston’s comeback.
The twins are not just glad to be going to city tournament, but they are glad to be going together.
“It’s been long season, it’s been a hard season so even getting to cities is an accomplishment for us,” Nadia Ellies said. “This is the second year I’m playing with [my twin sister] so it feels good to be there.”
Three-quarters of the Boston City League softball championships are set.
O’Bryant will play Latin Academy at Cobe Field at 11 a.m. in the Fens Saturday morning. East Boston will play a team to be determined by Friday afternoon’s contests at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Clemente Field, also in the Fens.
If West Roxbury defeats South Boston on Friday afternoon they will play East Boston on Saturday. If West Roxbury loses, Dorchester would slide into the city championships and play Eastie in Saturday's semifinal.
“I was in this position last year where I didn’t know who I was playing till I got off the bus and saw Boston International warming up,” Easton Boston coach Thomas Elliott said Friday morning. “You’d like to know who you’d be playing because you go back through and you have your own scouting reports.
“At this point in time it doesn’t really matter, you still have to catch the ball, throw the ball and score runs. Personally it doesn’t faze me.”
But Elliott said his players have been asking him who they will be playing.
“I tell them the same thing, we have to line up, each team has nine girls and you still have to play,” he said. “Hopefully they settle in and are at peace with that explanation but I think they’d like to know who they are playing.”
One thing is for sure, if East Boston beats their mystery opponent on Saturday, they will most likely face defending city champion, Latin Academy, in Monday morning's championship tilt.
Latin Academy hasn’t lost a City League game in five years.
“They are the best, they are the class of the league and rightfully so,” Elliott said. “They have a great group of kids and [coach] Rocco [Zizza] does a good job getting them prepared. If you want to win the city champ it has to go through Latin Academy because they are the class of the league.”
But Zizza, who mostly plays a non-league schedule, says his team is coming off a 13-0 loss to Boston Latin and they have not played O’Bryant yet this season.
“The difficult part is city softball is a lot different than softball outside the city,” he said. “Most of all because of the pitching outside the city, the quality of pitching, is usually a little more quicker. The big thing is seeing a pitcher. That’s the key thing, you’re used to a certain type of pitching, then you get to a situation where the pitching is not the same as you normally see it and that really hurts us.”
Zizza’s team had its best post-season showing of his tenure last spring, making it to the Division 3 North quarterfinals. He’s looking to improve upon that effort this season despite having a young squad.
“This year we are very talented,” he said. “We are very young right now, we only have one active senior and we start five sophomores and two freshmen every game so we’ve taken our lumps outside the city but hopefully that will battle test us for the city championships and also the state tournament.”
Tuesday's full slate of Boston schools' baseball and softball games has been canceled due to inclement weather, wreaking havoc on the race for the city championships. The softball and baseball city championships are slated for this weekend but mother nature is making it difficult to determine who will be playing.
In softball, East Boston (9-6, 8-0) and O’Bryant (7-5, 7-3) are poised to represent the North conference in the city championships while Latin Academy (9-10, 7-0) and South Boston (9-3, 9-3) and Dorchester (8-3, 8-3) are fighting for the South conference slot.
The forecast isn’t much better for Wednesday, when Brighton and Latin Academy are slated to square off in a baseball battle that could be the key to determining who represents the North conference in the baseball city championships.
In baseball, the top two teams from the North conference qualify for the tournament so
English High is also in the running to make cities.
The top team from the Central and South also qualify for cities. East Boston is looking like the runaway leader in the Central conference while Boston International and Fenway are battling to represent the South conference.
International (8-3, 5-1), which has already had eight or nine rain outs this year, has several conference games to make up this week. They are slated to play a double header against Charlestown on Thursday and back-to-back games against Snowden and Burke on Friday.
Boston International coach Christian Irizarry said he has plenty of pitching to get his team through the nonstop schedule of games.
“I have five arms besides my regular pitcher,” he said. “So for our league we are pretty good in terms of pitching.”
Fenway (9-7, 7-3), which clinched the state tournament for the first time in eight years on Monday, feels like they deserve to be the South representatives in the city tournament, especially because they defeated Boston International, 8-4, on Saturday. International beat Fenway 6-5 earlier in the season.
First-year Fenway coach David Walsh said his team would go to cities if the tiebreak came down to runs scored.
“We would definitely do damage in the cities,” he said. “If we don’t get in at least I know we’re in states.”
If the remainder of Boston International’s league games are rained out, it’s unclear how they will be counted in the standings.
“If I don’t play anyone because of the weather why should [Fenway] be on top?” Irizarry said.
The baseball city championship semifinals will be at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday at English High. The title bout will be on Monday at 10 a.m.
The softball semifinals will be at 11 a.m. at Clemente and Cobe Fields in the Fens. The championship game will be at 10 a.m. on Monday at Cobe Field.
The Malden softball team avenged its only loss of the season, knocking off No. 12 Lynn Classical, 3-2, at Malden.
The No. 4 Golden Tornadoes (15-1) trailed, 2-1, entering the bottom of the seventh. Senior pitcher Kiara Amos — who is heading to Providence in the fall — struck out 11 in seven innings.
Lynn Classical (13-2) defeated Malden, 7-5, earlier this season.
‘‘We came out swinging,’’ said Malden coach John Furlong.
The Golden Tornadoes were sparked by senior catcher Emily Hoffman’s leadoff triple in the seventh. After two walks loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly tied the score, junior second baseman Bridget Furlong roped a pitch down the right-field line to knock in the winning run.
‘‘They’re a fun group to be around,’’ Coach Furlong said. ‘‘They know when it’s time to play and it’s time to practice.’’
The coach also noted the effect his three seniors have had on the team. Shortstop Rebecca Krigman, catcher Emily Hoffman, and Amos will play college softball next spring.
‘‘They’ve won 28 league games in a row,’’ he said. ‘‘They’ve won the Greater Boston League all four years they’ve been here.
‘‘The three of them contributed as freshman, and they’ve worked very hard to get to this point.’’
Furlong knows his team is capable of going deep in the state tournament. Malden lost to Bishop Fenwick in last season’s quarterfinals.
‘‘We knew we had to beat Lynn Classical eventually,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re one of the best teams, so we’ll probably play them in the tournament.
“Nothing is a given, though. It’s going to be tough.’’
Monday: Fenway at Charlestown, at Ryan, 3:30 - The two squads are neck and neck in the standings with Fenway (7-5) just two games better than Townies (5-6). The way the two teams currently sit in the standings, they’d both make the city tournament. However, a loss could throw a speed bump into Charlestown’s road to the postseason. A win Monday is crucial for the Townies.
Tuesday: Latin Academy at Brookline, 3:45 - The Dragons are a solid 9-6 in league action, but are just 1-3 out of conference. They’ll look to pick up their second non-league victory, which will solidify them as one of the teams to beat come tournament time.
Tuesday: Boston International at English, 3:30 - Both teams are poised to make the City tournament, and Tuesday’s match-up could be a preview of the city league championship game. Look for the winner to go on a roll in the final week and bring that momentum to the semifinals on Saturday.
Wednesday: Fenway at Snowden, at Rice, 3:30 - Snowden sits at just 3-7, and Wednesday's game should be a victory for the Panthers. However, Snowden has a hard working squad and will put up a fight, giving Fenway a good workout in their last regular season game before the tournament.
Thursday: Chelsea at East Boston, 3:30 - The Jets are a 5-1 in league action but have yet to win a non-league tilt. A win over Chelsea will give East Boston a big confidence boost heading into the postseason. Chelsea won the previous matchup, 10-6.
Monday: New Mission at South Boston, at Kirby, 3:30 - Monday’s game is a good chance for South Boston to pick up a victory over the winless Titans. A win would solidify South Boston as a tournament contender.
Tuesday: Boston International at Madison Park, 4 - The Cardinals are on the cusp of making the city tournament. A win over Boston International would push them in the right direction with only one more game remaining, a tilt with Wayland on Thursday.
Wednesday: Latin Academy at Melrose, 3:30 - The Dragons are a perfect 7-0 in city league action but have struggled in its non-conference contests. They’ll look at Wednesday’s game with Melrose as a final challenge before heading to the tournament semifinals.
Thursday: South Boston at O’Bryant, at Madison Park, 3 - Both teams are in position to make the postseason, but will be fighting to win Thursday’s matchup to gain momentum heading into the postseason.
Thursday: East Boston at Brookline, 3:45 - The Jets are 8-0 in conference action but sit at 1-6 in their non-league games. They’re in position to be the top seed in the North heading into the tournament and will have Thursday’s game to work out any kinks before the semifinals on Saturday.
Following are games of the Week in the city league for May 14-19:
Monday: East Boston at English, 3:30 – Both teams are off to a strong start to the season, but will need to continue that success to guarantee themselves a place in the postseason. Monday's game could be a jumping off point for both teams.
Wednesday: Brighton at Madison Park, 3 – After going to the city championship game last season, the Cardinals have had a rough start this year. They can still finish on a high note but will have to get through a Brighton team that has only one loss.
Wednesday: English at Latin Academy, Town Field, 3:30 – The two squads are neck and neck for a shot at the postseason with identical 5-2 league records. The Blue & Blue have a slight advantage with a 7-4 overall record to the Dragons’ 6-5 standing. Wednesday’s game will be big for both teams.
Thursday: Dorchester at Boston International, 3:30, Fallon Field – Boston International still boasts an undefeated league record at 4-0, but Dorchester sits in third in the standings and is hungry to solidify themselves as playoff contenders. An upset for Dorchester could give them the momentum they need heading into the final week and a half of regular season action.
Saturday: Brighton at Wellesley, 12 p.m. – Brighton has a solid record at 6-1 and is sitting on top of the standings with a trip to the postseason in sight. They haven’t played any non-league games, however, and Saturday’s tilt will be a good measuring stick for just how good the Tigers are.
Monday: Boston International at Burke, Casey Field, 4 – Boston International has had a strong season with a young team of players. They currently sit on the outside of the playoff picture, but could make a late push to make the tournament. A win over a struggling Burke (3-5) could be a jumping off point.
Monday: Charlestown at Madison Park, 3 – Madison Park is coming off a big win over West Roxbury, but needs to keep raking in the victories if they want to qualify for the tournament. A win over struggling Charlestown (1-5) could be what the Cardinals need to get the ball rolling.
Tuesday: East Boston at Bishop Fenwick, 3:30 – Eastie is a strong 5-0 in conference action, but has yet to win a non-conference match-up with a 0-4 record in non-league match-ups. A win against Fenwick could give the Jets a ton of confidence heading into the final weeks.
Thursday: Dorchester at O’Bryant, Madison Park, 3:30 – O’Bryant is currently in position to make the tournament, while Dorchester sits just out of reach. The game will be more important to the Bears, but both teams could use a win as a turning point.
Thursday: West Roxbury at Snowden, Fens (Cobe), 3:30 – The Raiders have just one loss, a 14-6 setback to Madison Park. They’ll look to get back on track against a Snowden team that needs wins down the stretch in order to make the tournament.
Nearly all of Thursday’s Boston City League baseball games have been postponed due to inclement weather.
All but one city softball games, however, is still slated to be played.
Other than Malden Catholic at Madison Park and the Dorchester at Randolph, the remainder of the baseball games on Thursday's schedule have been canceled.
The Wellesley at Brighton game has been rescheduled for next Friday, with the varsity playing at 4 p.m. at Rogers Park and the JV playing at 4 p.m. at McKinney Field. The Snowden-Charlestown baseball game at Ryan Field was moved to Friday at 3:30 p.m.
The East Boston at Brighton softball game has been canceled, but the remainder of the softball schedule is scheduled to be played Thursday.
Pavel Dzemianok for the Boston Globe
ROXBURY -- After she scored a run in both the first and second inning on Wednesday afternoon, Nicolette D'Andrea was the only batter in East Boston's lineup that failed to cross home plate in an eight-run third inning that broke open the Jets' 19-8 victory at Madison Park.
In the second inning, D'Andrea's base hit brought home sophomore outfielder Hannah Lunetta to give East Boston the 3-2 edge. Then D'Andrea stole second and third before crossing home plate herself on an error.
But when East Boston (5-5, 3-0 Boston City League North) batted around in the third to go up 12-2, D'Andrea was picked off at second base.
No harm no foul. The senior second baseman finished the game with two hits, two sacrifice bunts and two RBIs.
''I guess you could say that,'' she said when asked if the third inning broke open the game. ''We kept bringing on the runs.''
Madison Park (5-4, 3-2) avoided the 10-run mercy rule by scoring five fifth-inning runs to cut the score to 13-7. And after the Jets added three more runs in the sixth, the Cardinals once again avoided the mercy by making the final out of the inning with bases loaded.
The sixth inning ended when Eastie freshman pitcher Danielle Elliott's short hit bounced back to senior catcher Betsy Maysonet, who then tagged freshman infielder Stephanie Rizzo out at home.
''We made a point of not letting it happen today,'' Madison Park coach Gladys Perez-Byrd said of the mercy rule. ''I told the girls 'We are home, we have to dig in and get some runs to make it go the full seven innings'.
''And they did that. They came through.''
Madison Park junior first baseman Krystal Edwards hit an inside-the-park home run in the final inning off a hard shot up the middle that went between the outfielders. It was her fourth home run in two games.
''I saw the hole, I was focused, zoned in and slammed it with all my might and just kept running,'' said White, who was 3 for 4 with three stolen bases. ''I couldn't have done it without my team.''
East Boston senior shortstop Mackenzie White almost had her own home run but it landed foul. She ended up getting a double on the at-bat, her second of the game.
''I was so mad at that one that landed foul,'' said White, who went 5 for 6 with six RBIs. ''At least I got another double.''
Elliott (3-4), the freshman pitcher, got the victory after fanning five batters.
Sitting atop the North conference, East Boston hopes to meet South conference leader,
Latin Academy, in the City Championships. In the Cities last year, Latin Academy scored seven runs in the final inning to beat East Boston, 7-6, in the title game. They beat the Jets again, 7-4, in the first round of the state tournament.
Thomas Elliott, who is in his 28th season as Eastie's coach, was more focused on the immediate before Wednesday's game. The Jets still have two more North conference games against O'Bryant and Fenway.
''The road to the championship runs through Madison Park,'' he said before the game. ''If we cross that line we gotta go through O'Bryant next week and then Fenway the week after that.''
Two Boston City League baseball games and a softball game were postponed on Wednesday due to poor field conditions.
The Boston International vs. Snowden baseball game at Fallon Field and the Boston English at West Roxbury games were canceled, while the West Roxbury at Boston English softball game in Franklin Park was also canceled.
The remainder of the games on Wednesday's baseball and softball schedule will be played.
Neither team sent a runner across the plate through three innings before Everett managed a run in the top of the fourth. Cleanup hitter Tori Cyrus (3 for 5, 5 RBI) drove in in first baseman Alea Mortinelli before getting thrown out at home trying to stretch her hit into a home run.
Latin Academy answered in the bottom half of the inning after stringing together two hits and taking advantage of a few passed balls.
Everett’s offense got going in the fifth inning and scored four runs. It was the hitters’ third time at the plate and they managed to figure out Latin Academy pitcher Sydney McGrath. The Crimson Tide strung together four hits, led by Mortinelli.
She picked up two RBIs in the inning with a hard single down the right field line.
“She usually goes 3 for 4. She’s one of the quickest ones on the team. Anytime she’s up people always expect her to be on base,” Everett coach Stacy Poste-Schravo said.
McGrath retired the side in the sixth. She finished with four strikeouts and four walks over seven innings, and allowed 13 hits.
Everett blew the game open in the top of the seventh with 13 runs on six hits. It sent 18 batters to the plate, and the first nine hitters scored before Latin Academy was able to get an out.
“They like to wait until the end to hit, usually the fifth inning,” Poste-Schravo said.
“The thing is one girl gets a hit and then they all start following. It’s like a little bit of confidence for them.”
Crimson Tide pitcher Franki Perreault pitched seven innings, striking out six, with no walks. She allowed five hits.
“She’s coming off of a broken shin last year and she’s good. She’s gotten stronger as the games have gone on,” said Poste-Schravo. “She bears down when she needs to and she has a strong defense behind her when they do make contact.”
Boston schools’ baseball, softball and tennis contests slated for Tuesday afternoon were postponed due to inclement weather.
The Fenway at Charlestown varsity baseball game will be played on May 9 at 3:30 p.m. at Ryan Field. The Snowden-Boston International varsity baseball game will be played on May 9 at 3:30 p.m. at Fallon Field. The Dorchester-Burke varsity baseball game will be played on May 24 at 3:30 p.m. at Ronan Field. Latin Academy and Brighton varsity baseball will play at 3 p.m. on Friday at Rogers Field while the JV teams will play at McKinney field, also at 3 p.m. The O'Bryant-West Roxbury varsity baseball game will be played on Friday at 3 p.m.
The Dorchester-Fenway varsity softball game at the Fens (Clemente Field) will be replayed at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Snowden-South Boston varsity softball game will be played at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Kirby Field. The Woburn-Latin Academy JV and varsity softball games will be played on May 17 at 3:30 p.m. at Playstead field.
While the girls’ tennis match between O’Bryant and Latin Academy was postponed, the boys’ match will be played indoors at Sportsmen’s Tennis Center at 2:15 p.m.
Other scheduling notes: The Maimonides-East Boston varsity baseball game originally scheduled for April 22 will now be played on Tuesday at East Boston Stadium at 4:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Maimonides.
By Ayoub Kourikchi
Stephanie Morales drilled a two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth and Snowden charged past Burke, 12-10, Monday at Roberto Clemente Park.
The sophomore slugger (2 for 3 with four RBIs) broke a 10-10 tie to knock in Angeline Marchanti and Hellannet Sanchez as the Cougars improve to 4-3.
“These young ladies keep on playing hard all of the time. They continue to hustle, regardless if it is win, lose or draw and they do not get upset,” said assistant coach Al Kinnitt Jr. “What also helped them was that they understood what mistakes they made and continued to fix them.”
The Cougars jumped to an 4-0 lead in the first inning after Morales knocked in freshman Mejia Madelin and senior Tania Ortiz. Morales scored on an infield error and junior Cheyenne Sulfaro came in on a bases-loaded walk.
Ortiz had a two-run single to left field in the second inning to extend the lead, driving in sophomore Alexandria Deler and Madelin. With the bases loaded later in the inning, sophomore Ana Ortiz came home on a walk and Morales scored on another infield error as the Cougars led, 8-4.
Sulfaro (4-3) pitched a complete game and collected three strikeouts and allowed six runs.
“We have a lot of young kids and June Robinson, our head coach, has been teaching the girls a lot of fundamentals,” said Kinnitt. “The girls are young and motivated and always put in 110 percent in practice and during the games.”
It's finally happened. King Philip dropped from the top spot to No. 3 after its 3-2 extra-inning loss to Coyle & Cassidy last week. C-C third baseman Julie LeClaire connected with Meg Rico to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and again in the ninth to bring in shortstop Patty Borges to get the walk-off win. KP now has two losses, the other coming to Milford.
Dracut takes over the top spot with its 10-1 start. Chelmsford remains in the same slot after defeating Central Catholic, 6-4.
New Bedford drops to No. 9 after losing to Bridgewater-Raynham, 9-8.
Tewksbury claims the 14th spot, advancing to 7-2 this week in the tough Merrimack Valley Conference. The Redmen edged North Reading, 6-5, knocking the Hornets to the 16th slot.
Cardinal Spellman makes an appearance in the Top 20 sporting a perfect 7-0 record.
Boston City League baseball and softball games of the week:
April 30 - May 5
Monday: West Roxbury at Charlestown, 3:30 - The Raiders are a perfect 6-0 in league action and sit atop of the South division. Charlestown is close behind though and will be a tough test on their home turf. The Townies sit at 3-2 in the league and are in third place in the South.
Wednesday: Randolph at Boston International, 3:30 - Boston International has yet to win a non-conference game despite sitting on top of the North standings. Randolph has struggled with a 2-3 record thus far and will look to get back on the right path as they travel to Boston International.
Thursday: West Roxbury at Brighton, 3 - After a tough game against Charlestown, it won’t get any easier for the Raiders as they head out on the road again to face Brighton. The Bengals are close behind in the South division and will look to gain some ground on their home turf.
Thursday: East Boston at O’Bryant, 3:30 - East Boston has struggled thus far, opening the season at 1-4. Things won’t get much easier for them as they travel to a tough O’Bryant squad that sits just ahead of them in the standings at 2-4.
Friday: South Boston at Burke, 3:30 - The Bulldogs have yet to win a game this season, but will look to get over the hump as they host a 2-3 South Boston team. The Knights are coming off a disheartening 7-0 loss to O’Bryant.
Monday: Burke at Snowden, 3:30 - Burke has started slow at 1-3, but is still within striking distance in the North division. Snowden is two steps ahead of the Bulldogs in the North with a 3-3 record. They look to get back on track after a disappointing 9-1 loss to Dorchester on Wednesday.
Tuesday: Dorchester at Fenway, 3:30 - Dorchester is 3-0 to start the season, but the Bears still sit second behind Latin Academy. Fenway has started a slow 1-4, but will look to rebound at home.
Tuesday: Woburn at Latin Academy, 3:30 - The Dragons play a tough out of league schedule to better prepare them for the city tournament, but have yet to win a non-league game. They’re looking for their first as they host a Woburn team coming off an 8-5 loss to Winchester.
Wednesday. Latin Academy at Brighton, 3 - The Dragons are perfect in the conference but will have a tough test with a road game at Brighton. The Bengals are 1-4, but are only two slots behind Latin Academy in the South division.
Friday: East Boston at O’Bryant, 3 - East Boston hasn’t lost a conference game yet as they sit on top of the North division. But the Tigers (1-2) will look to end that streak on their home turf.
West Roxbury held on to a late two-run lead to defeat Burke, 18-16, in girls’ softball Wednesday afternoon at Casey Field in Dorchester.
The teams went back and forth, but West Roxbury (5-1) was able to take advantage of its offensive opportunities to collect the win.
“Clutch hitting (was the key),” said West Roxbury assistant coach Wilson Mercado. “We struggled a bit defensively, but we were able to pick it up offensively in the later innings.”
The Raiders scored in each of the first six innings, including a five-run second and five-run fifth.
Burke scored in each of the seven innings, but wasn’t able to get enough runs off West Roxbury pitcher Maritza Serrette. The junior went all seven innings to pick up the win. She also contributed with the bat, going 4 for 5.
Also aiding the Raiders offense was junior catcher Selena Gonzalez, who went 2 for 4.
West Roxbury is in first place in the Boston City League and Mercado says his team has been able to put all aspects of the game together.
“Defense and offense on the same day,” Mercado said. “Last year we would have good defense one day and good offense another, but this year we have put them together.”
Megan Colleran did a bit of everything for North Attleboro Tuesday.
The sophomore tossed her first no-hitter, striking out 17, and belted her first home run of the season as the No. 14 Red Rocketeers blanked visiting Stoughton, 9-0.
"Megan was throwing hard today," said North Attleboro coach Bill Wallace, who estimated that Colleran's fastball was consistently around 60 miles per hour. "She was moving the ball around and also showed a good changeup.
"[Megan] also bats third and she's not one of those slap bunters," Wallace continued. "She steps in there from the right side and just rakes."
Colleran entered Tuesday's game hitting .440 and after going 3 for 3 is now just shy of .500 on the season. She also leads the Rocketeers with 10 RBIs.
North Attleboro (6-2) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the second inning, powered by sophomore third baseman Marissa Gifford, who went 2 for 3 on the day. By the late innings, the only question was if Colleran could close out the no-hitter.
Meghan Winn put forth a gutsy performance for the Rocketeers. The catcher toughed it out after taking a foul ball off her left arm, but never left the game.
"Winn really called a good game," said Wallace. "Anytime you receive 17 strikeouts, you're doing a nice job. I'm glad she was able to stay in back there for us."
For the season Colleran, who one-hit Canton last Wednesday, has 79 Ks and 1.00 ERA.
"[Colleran's] become an excellent leader," said Wallace. "She's the type of kid that if she has a tough day at the plate she'll spend the next day working on hitting with her dad and if she struggles on the mound she'll spend that next day working on her pitching.
"She's unique in that she's constantly working on improving herself," continued Wallace. "The kids on the team see how hard she works and really respect her for it."
North Attleboro will face rival Franklin Wednesday.
Most of the Boston schools’ baseball and softball games slated for Monday were canceled due to inclement weather.
The O'Bryant varsity softball game against Ursuline will be played at 3:30 p.m. at 269 Common St. in Dedham. The JV game is cancelled. And Boston International will travel to Mt. Alvernia at 4:30 p.m.
Outdoor track and boys volleyball are still on for today along with Latin Academy tennis. O’Bryant boys and girls tennis, however, are cancelled. The boys tennis match will be made up on May 4th at the Sportsmen's Tennis Club.
The Fenway at West Roxbury varsity baseball game was rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Brighton at Charlestown varsity baseball game will be made up on May 15 and Ryan Field. Snowden and South Boston's varsity baseball teams will make up their game at 3:30 p.m. on May 1 at Kirby Field.
Stay tuned for the rest of the makeup dates.
Other scheduling notes: The Billerica at Madison Park varsity and JV baseball games originally scheduled for April 12 will be made up at 4 p.m. on May 8 and the Boston English-Brighton varsity softball game originally scheduled for April 12 will be played at 3:30 p.m. on May 16 at Cleveland Circle.
The Charlestown at New Mission varsity softball game originally scheduled for April 12 was moved to 3:30 p.m. on May 8 at Sheehy Park. The JV and varsity Madison Park at East Boston softball games originally scheduled for April 12 will be played at 3 p.m. on May 3.
Boston City League baseball and softball games of the week:
(April 23- 28)
Monday: Brighton at Charlestown, 3 - The two City League South powerhouses will face off for the first time of the season. Brighton is coming off a 7-2 win over Boston English and will look to carry that momentum on the road against a Charlestown team that has been up and down.
Monday: Fenway at West Roxbury, 3: 30 - The two top teams in the South go at it. Fenway is coming off a 14-1 win over Burke in which it employed the mercy rule to defeat the Bulldogs. They’ll need that offense again against West Roxbury’s solid defense.
Tuesday: Dorchester at West Roxbury, 3:30 - Both teams come into the week undefeated in league action. Kings of the South, West Roxbury will have home-field advantage but can expect a tough challenge from the Bears, who are looking to become one of the teams to beat in the league.
Wednesday: Latin Academy at Boston English, 3:30 - Both teams have started the season with up-and-down play. After picking up two wins early in the season, Latin Academy takes a four-game losing streak into the week. The Dragons look to get back to their winning ways in the road matchup against a Boston English team that is on a two-game losing streak.
Friday: Fenway at Snowden, 3:30 -- Fenway will finish their week against a Snowden squad that has had a problem scoring runs. The Cougars scored 21 runs in their only win, but only have three total runs in three losses. Snowden will look to get the bats going against a Fenway defense that will be taxed after playing three games this week.
Monday: Snowden at South Boston, 3:30 - After winning their first three games of the season, the Cougars have dropped their last two. They’ll face a tough challenge to open the week against a South Boston squad that’s riding a two-game win streak, including a 12-9 victory over Snowden last Wednesday.
Tuesday: Madison Park at Fenway, 3:30 - Fenway has struggled early in the season, but picked up a 16-4 win over Boston English to give it some confidence against visiting Madison Park. The Cardinals take a four-game winning streak into the contest.
Wednesday: West Roxbury at Burke, 3 - West Roxbury sits on top of the league at 3-0. Burke started the season strong with a 24-4, five-inning win over Fenway but has slipped in its last three games. Burke will have to bring its best in order to beat the Raiders.
Thursday: New Mission at O’Bryant, 3:30 - The contest will be the third of the week for O’Bryant, which has played some close contests, including an extra-inning loss to Brighton in the opener. New Mission lost its opener, 23-22, to West Roxbury, and is still searching for its first victory.
Friday: Bishop Fenwick at East Boston, 3:30 - East Boston is 0-2 in nonconference action. The Jets will be looking for a win that could jump-start their season. The Crusaders are coming off a 6-4 loss to Matignon after picking up their first win, a 12-0 over Austin Prep.
All but three City League teams had the day off Wednesday, but all three that did play struggled against nonleague foes.
The East Boston softball team failed to get on the board and suffered a 12-0 loss against Lynnfield. The Jets will have a second chance to take down the Pioneers at the end of the month.
The Latin Academy baseball team dropped a 6-3 decision to Norwell. Senior Nick Volpe struck out six Dragons in six innings and freshman Tommy Larason got the save for the Clippers. Senior shortstop Brett Morgan was the difference on offense, going 3 for 3 and scoring three runs.
And finally, the Dorchester baseball team lost, 11-4, to Austin Prep. The Bears remain undefeated in conference play.
Canton defeated Latin Academy, 9-3, Monday morning on the strength of pitcher Samantha Sullivan’s six-hit performance at Playstead Park.
The win is the third in a row for the Bulldogs, pushing them to .500 after they dropped their first three games of the season.
“We lost our first three games with sloppy play and now we are doing much better with the fundamentals, making much less errors,” said Canton coach Amico White.
The Dragons came out strong, scoring a run in the bottom of the first. They capitalized on a lead off walk and rare error by the Bulldogs, which allowed the second batter to reach on a dropped third strike before third baseman Marijana Stranjina hit an RBI single.
Sullivan picked up her performance after that, putting together a 1-2-3 inning in the second and then allowing just three hits over the next three innings.
Sullivan went all seven innings, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out four.
“She did great. She kept the walks down, she has great fielders behind her and that’s her job,” White said. “Throw the ball over the plate and she has a great field behind her.”
The start was the second of the season for Sullivan, who threw a no-hitter in her first appearance, a 12-0 win over Randolph Saturday.
The Bulldogs picked up their first run in the third inning, capitalizing on key misplays by the Dragons’ defense. Canton then scored two more in the fifth off a single from second baseman Meaghan McKenna, on which she scored after a miscue by the Latin Academy defense. With a runner on base, McKenna picked up two RBI, pushing the score to 3-1.
“We didn’t show up ready to play, we made a lot of mental mistakes and physical mistakes early. We gave them four to six outs every inning,” Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza said.
Latin Academy pitcher Sydney McGrath pitched well, striking out 12 while walking only one.
“Our pitcher pitched well enough to win, no question,” Zizza said. “She pitched great. She pitched great, but as a team we didn’t play well.”
The Bulldogs netted another two in the fifth inning, stringing together two hits to get the offense going.
““Basically we needed to get back to the basics,” White said of his offense. “We weren’t hitting well. We need to hit solid line drives and stick to the fundamentals and that’s pretty much it. And we did.”
The Dragons got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 7-3, but that’s as close as they would get. With two hits and a hit batsman, Latin Academy recorded the two runs, with both RBI coming from Stranjina. She was thrown out at second later in the inning as the Bulldogs nearly turned a double play.
“On offense we ran into outs easily, so that’s a big thing,” Zizza said.
Canton saved its best offense for the end of the game, scoring four more runs in the top of the seventh to cushion their lead, highlighted by a home run from first baseman Olivia Murphy.
Latin Academy falls to 2-5 on the season after playing five tough non-conference games. They’re 2-0 in the Boston City League.
“I schedule games outside the city because we want fierce competition,” Zizza said. “It’s a process. I don’t care about the record right now, all I care about how we play and we didn’t play well today.“
Monday: Cambridge at O’Bryant, 11 -- O’Bryant is looking for its first win of the season as it takes on Cambridge for the second consecutive game. With home-field advantage and familiarity with the Falcons, the Tigers should be able to turn in a solid effort.
Tuesday: Needham at Boston English, 12 -- English has opened its season strong, winning two of three, with the only loss being an 8-7 decision against Cambridge. The Blue & Blue will face a tough test as they take on their first nonconference opponent. Needham lost in the first round of the tournament last year, but started its season strong with a 7-3 victory over Dedham.
Tuesday: East Boston at Chelsea, 10 – East Boston is coming off a 4-2 victory over O’Bryant Wednesday as it travels to nonconference opponent Chelsea, which has had an up-and-down seasonr.
Wednesday: Boston English at Latin Academy, 3:30 – English gets another tough test when it takes on the Dragons in a road matchup. Latin Academy put up a convincing 11-1 win over a solid Madison Park team last Wednesday and is looking to build on that success.
Monday: Canton at Latin Academy, 10 – The Dragons have started their season 3-2, with two of their losses coming against nonconference opponents. They’ll look to pick up a home win against a Canton team that is still looking for its first win.
Tuesday: Burke at Madison Park, 3 – After winning its opener Burke has dropped two straight. The Bulldogs look to get back on track against the Cardinals, who dropped their first game, but followed that with back-to-back wins.
Wednesday: Boston International at Charlestown, 4 – Boston International has gotten off to a strong start after a 14-5 campaign last spring. They took the season’s first matchup against Charlestown, 25-13.
Wednesday: West Roxbury at Burke, 3 – This shapes up as an offensive battle. West Roxbury collected 39 runs in its first two games of the season. Burke scored 24 runs in a win to open the season and then 19 more in two losses.
Lowell’s Shelby Higgins set the bar high for Merrimack Valley Conference pitchers Wednesday. In a 6-0 victory over Dracut, Higgins struck out seven and walked three in the victory to record Lowell’s first no-hitter since 2006.
“Shelby has several pitches that she uses well but her fastball was her most dominant pitch, keeping them off guard by changing speeds,” said Lowell coach Rick O’Brien. “Dracut is very good, aggressive team and she painted the corners very well to keep them guessing.”
Higgins’ only loss has come to Andover, 3-2, where the senior gave up her only two earned runs of the season, striking out eight and allowing five hits in the losing effort.
“She had a tough year last year so we weren’t really sure how she would pitch this year,” O’Brien said. “But the results so far have come from a lot of work, working hard in the offseason and staying composed and her performance has showed all of that.”
Some Boston Public Schools baseball and softball games rained out on Thursday afternoon have been rescheduled, according to an athletic department official.
The Burke and South Boston varsity softball teams will play at 3:30 p.m. on May 9.
Snowden and Dorchester's varsity squads only will play at 3:30 p.m. at Roberts Field on May 22 while the Charlestown and Boston International varsity squads will now play at 3:30 p.m. at Fallon Field on May 24.
Also Burke's softball team had to change its April 23 game against Dorchester to May 21. That varsity game will be played at 3:30 p.m. at Roberts Field. O’Bryant will play Fenway at Clemente Field in the Fens at 3 p.m. on May 11.
O'Bryant's baseball game against Randolph and Latin Academy's game against Newton South have yet to be rescheduled.
The following softball games will be rescheduled as well: Charlestown at New Mission; O'Bryant at Fenway; Randolph at Dorchester; Madison Park at East Boston and Boston English at Brighton.
Silver Lake softball coach Mike Brennan picked up his 300th win in style on Thursday afternoon with a 5-2 victory over Duxbury.
The Lakers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning then put down the Green Dragons 1-2-3 in the seventh to claim the victory.
Silver Lake had two outs in the sixth when Emily Colton stepped up to the plate and picked up a base hit. She was driven in by a double from Kayla Dickerman (1 for 3, RBI, run scored). The Lakers brought in their second run via a couple of base on balls before a fielder’s choice gave them the three-run advantage.
The Lakers were up 2-1 in the fifth before Duxbury tied the game at two. But Brennan’s squad was able to pull out the victory and notch his 300th.
“We knew at the end of last year that he needed three more so we had to play them one at a time and we finally got there,” said assistant coach Jim Bunton, who is in his 13th year with the program.
Brennan is in his 24th season as head coach of the Lakers and had a good crowd show up to see him get that 300th win. The team, boosters and parents celebrated after the game with cupcakes.
“He’s a great game day coach and he works the girls very hard," Bunton said. "We do a lot of drills everyday so they are ready to play when the game starts.”
Silver Lake has made the tournament for the past 23 years and went to the quarterfinals of the Division 1 state tournament last year after winning their fifth consecutive Patriot League title.
This awards ceremony and program are designed to recognize Massachusetts high school student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in three disciplines: academics, athletics and citizenship. The ceremony will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Curry Student Center Ballroom at Northeastern University.
The theme of this year’s event is “How Can Student-Athletes Make a Difference in the Community?”
The event, which is being sponsored by Sport in Society at Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, is open to schools in Districts A, B, C, D, E and H.
Each school can nominate two male and two female students that merit this recognition and have participated in community service. One faculty member, coach, or parent representative should also be willing to provide transportation and accompany the students.
For more information contact Ted O’Reilly at 617-373-4025 or email@example.com.
In the fall, senior left fielder Mitchel Francois runs track for South Boston. The speed paid off for Francois on Tuesday as she legged out a two-out infield single in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in the winning run as South Boston defeated Brighton, 15-14, in softball.
With the score tied at 14, junior Syndey Cunningham hit a leadoff single then stole second. After a popup, senior Katrina Hernandez walked. Cunningham and Hernandez then had a successful double steal.
“We ran the bases really well today,” said South Boston coach Mary Linehan. After a strikeout, Francois stepped to the plate. She hit a slow roller between the pitcher and the first baseman.
“When the pitcher got the ball she was going to throw to first but Mitchel was already there,” said Linehan. “She hustled right down the line.” Cunningham scored easily on the play as the Knights walked off with the win.
The game went back and forth for the first few innings, with the Knights taking a 12-7 lead after four innings. Brighton then stormed back with a five-run top of the fifth to tie it.
Senior Eileen Soto came in to pitch for South Boston in the fifth and after struggling in her first two innings, settled in and worked a scoreless top of the seventh, giving the Knights momentum for the bottom of the inning.
“It was a good game by both teams,” said Linehan. “Both teams didn’t let up.” South Boston (2-1) will play Snowden on Wednesday.
Seventh-grade pitcher Olivia McGrath earned her second consecutive win as defending Boston City League champion Latin Academy Dragons cruised to a 12-6 win over league rival New Mission Monday at Playstead Park.
McGrath (2-0), fresh from a seven-strikeout performance against South Boston, fanned five, allowed one walk and two hits in two strong innings. She drilled a triple on a full count to knock in two runs in the fourth inning that pushed the Dragons’ lead to 10-6.
Junior pitcher Sydney McGrath relieved her younger sister in the sixth inning and collected three strikeouts to close out the six-inning affair.
“Olivia is our varsity pitcher and she is smooth just like her older sister,” said seventh-year coach Rocco Zizza. “Both sisters have a fierce rivalry and are always competing against each other and that motivates them in practice. This is [the] third McGrath that I have coached and they have all been ultra competitive.”
The Titans jumped out to a first-inning 2-0 lead.
The Dragons rebounded in the second inning to claim a 3-2 lead.
Freshman second baseman Julianne Coleman (3 for 3 with three runs scored) carried the heavy bat and drove in sophomore shortstop Rachel Kerrigan, who singled, and freshman left fielder Vicky Brown, who reached base on an error.
Later in the inning, Rachel Wells singled to left and knocked in sophomore catcher Eliza Laden-Mauro.
The Titans fell apart late in the game after committing five errors and issuing eight walks.
“A lot of our offense stemmed from New Mission’s mistakes, they had more errors and [issued] walks than us, and we capitalized on that,” Zizzo said. “Those mistakes allowed us to have base runners in every inning and we were able to over match them. They had great athletes but we had better softball players.”
Junior third baseman Aurora O’Bryant had a base-clearing double in the fourth inning to knock in two Dragons and extend the lead to 9-2.
Wells, Coleman, and Anna Kopp scored the Dragons' final three runs on two hits, two walks, an error, and two fielder’s choices in the sixth inning.
“We are a very young team. We have a lot of sophomores and freshman and they are all out there having fun,” Zizza said. “It was close for a little bit but we played tough and as long as we play well we are going to win.”
The Dragons (2-0) face Everett Wednesday.
It's no surprise defending Div. 1 champs take the top spot in the Boston Globe Softball Top 20. King Philip welcomes back the power battery of George Washington commit Meg Rico and Olivia Godin. The Warriors haven't lost a league game since 2008. They're the team to beat.
Acton-Boxborough comes in at the second spot after winning the North title last season. With a deep tournament run under their belt, and only one new face to the lineup, the Colonials are contenders for the title.
With former Gatorade Player of the Year Shannon Smith leading Milford for her junior season, the Hawks are in the running for a championship.
Burlington, the defending Div. 2 North champs are back this year hungry for a deep tournament run after a losing in the state finals last season.
Norwood takes the eighth spot after a South Sectional final appearance. Will the Mustangs be able to reload after losing pitchers Ali Maloof and Lauren Duggan?
Case starts off in the final spot with their Div. 3 state final appearance last season. The Cardinals hope for a rematch against Turners Falls and this time claim the title.
See the Boston Globe softball Top 20.
Junior third baseman Stephanie Cornish had three hits in Abington’s softball season opener against Whitman-Hanson, but it was the ball that was caught that made the difference in the game. Cornish hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth to give the Green Wave a 6-5 extra-inning victory Tuesday over the Panthers.
With the game tied at five in the top of the eighth, freshman right fielder Victoria Chiocchio reached on an error to lead off. She then stole second (her fourth steal of the game) and advanced to third on a passed ball.
“When the eighth inning came around I knew I had a speedy one coming up in Victoria and if I got her on she could get to second,” said Abington coach Ernie Ortega.
With one out and Chiocchio still on third, Cornish stepped to the plate, at that point 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles.
“I told her we just needed a fly ball,” Ortega said.
She delivered with one to left-center that was plenty deep enough to score Chiocchio, who Ortega said is the fastest player on the team.
“The freshman [Chiocchio] came up big. She scored our first and last run,” Ortega said.
Senior righthander Kelly Norton (eight strikeouts) picked up the complete-game win, retiring the side in order to end the game.
“It was our only 1-2-3 inning,” Ortega said. “She started with a strikeout in the eighth and got ahead of batters getting them off balance. She really beared down late in the game.”
Ortega said the win was a great way to start the season.
“It definitely had them all pumped up and had them ready for the next game,” he said.
Abington will host Franklin on Thursday.
The King Philip Warriors (25-0) softball team capped off a perfect season with a 1-0 win over Amherst in the Division 1 State Finals to repeat as State champions. Led by Meg Rico, the Warriors have been atop the ranking since Day 1.
At No. 2 is Norwood (21-1), who was edged out by King Philip in the Division 1 North sectional finals, 4-2. Returning All-Scholastic player of the year Ali Maloof put together another outstanding season for the Mustangs, going 12-1, with a 0.59 ERA.
Climbing to No. 3 is Acton-Boxborough (19-6) who was this year's surprise team, entering the tournament at 15-5 and making it all the way to the State semifinals before falling to KP (a reoccurring theme).
The Colonials came out the the gate 1-4, without star hurler Sarah Ropaik, but got things on track after her return and entered the tournament with a ton of momentum.
Burlington (23-3), which finished runner-up in the Division 2 State final,s comes in at No. 4.
Second year coach, and former Red Devil herself, Kristen Mahoney led Burlington to a season for the ages, highlighted by a 17-game winning streak that ended June 18 with a 4-3, 11-inning loss to Wahconah Regional at Worcester State University in the Division 2 finals.
The biggest slide from the regular season was Mansfield, which entered the tournament ranked No. 3 at 18-2. But the Hornets ran into a hot New Bedford team.
Trish Hansen will return for her senior season next year and expectations will again be high for the Hornets.
New Bedford, which entered the tournament at 23-7, earned some major respect riding their hot bats all the way to the Division 1 South semifinals. On the way they knocked off No.3 Mansfield. The Whalers crack the Top 20 (in a big way) for the first time all season.
For a look at the latest softball news, final stats & standings, click here.
Entering the bottom of the fifth trailing, 4-3, Jill McElroy told her Reading softball team "this is the time right now. Somebody’s got to step up. Somebody’s got to be a leader out there. Our pitchers are keeping us in the game we need to pick them up.”
Seniors Meg Kelly and Jen Toussaint heard the message loud and clear. The duo knocked back-to-back home runs to first tie the game and then give the Rockets (18-3) the lead for good, as Reading defeated Pentucket, 6-4, Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Division 2 North sectionals.
“It was amazing,” McElroy said. “Meg [Kelly] hit the ball out to dead center and that in itself was a great boost for us to get the game tied.
“Then Jen [Toussaint] gets up and somebody in the stands yelled, ‘back-to-back!’, and I’m thinking, ‘are you kidding me?’ But next thing you know, Jen hits the ball farther than I’ve ever seen a high schooler hit it, and I’ve been around for awhile. It was just awesome.”
Nicole Cafazzo started in the circle for Reading, but couldn’t make it out of the third inning. The senior left after surrendering six hits and four runs.
Junior Sammy Gabriella came on to toss five scores innings of three-hit ball to pick up the win.
“When [Gabriella’s] come in, she’s done pretty well,” said McElroy. “When we put her in it’s usually in a tough relief situation and she’s been good for us like that all season.”
The Rockets were able to add an insurance run in the sixth when Tara Zerfas led off the inning with a single, stole second, took third on a fielders choice and eventually stole home as part of a double-steal.
Julianne Meehan ended up the tough-luck loser for the Sachems (10-8). Meehan went the distance, striking out three and scattering (best she could) 10 hits.
King Philip (20-0) won’t have any real trouble reaching the finals. Its pitching is just too strong. The duo of Meg Rico (0.09 ERA) and Meg Carnase (0.00 ERA) has been sensational. The Warriors have only surrendered three runs total this season, holding their opponents to a meager .2 runs per game.
The three runs allowed is the lowest total in recent EMass softball history as far as we can find out. If you know of a better season share it in the comments section.
At 7.4 runs-per-game the Warriors don’t score a ton, but they haven’t needed to.
Apologies to Sandwich (16-2), Oliver Ames (12-7), and Bridgewater-Raynham (17-3). They're each solid, but no one's getting past the Warriors.
On the other side of the D1 South bracket it’s going to come down to Norwood (18-0) and Mansfield (18-2).
The Mustangs are led by Ali Maloof (9-0, 129 strikeouts, 0.35 ERA) and Lauren Duggan (9-0, 101 strikeouts, 1.03 ERA), who comprise the second-most formidable tandem in Eastern Mass. Duggan also leads EMass in home runs with seven.
The Hornets only two losses of the season came to KP, the second a, 1-0, defeat in eight innings. Trish Hansen (18-2, 177K, 0.35 ERA) can throw with the best of them, but she’s going to need her defense to buckle down.
To the Hornets advantage, they have Bri Chiusano atop their lineup. The speedster is hitting .470 and is as close to an automatic steal as it gets.
The North is Chelmsford’s to lose. The Lions (19-1) have four starters hitting at or above .500. (Alex Burgess, Meghan McNamara, Rachel Couto, and Allison Couch). Meghan Rich (12-1, 1.07 ERA) has again been excellent in the circle, and the Lions took care of business against Central Catholic twice in the regular season.
However, if Catholic (15-3) has some revenge in mind, it’ll have to start with Briana Martin, who finished the season leading the Merrimack Valley with a .549 average and three home runs.
Boston Latin (15-5) played well all season, only to watch their DCL title slip away in the last week of the season to Acton-Boxboro. If Emily Berardi (13-2 1.05 ERA) can keep the game close the Wolfpack have the power to score in a hurry. (Mary DeMoura, Paige Mulrey, and Berardi each have .500-plus averages and three home runs).
Monica Diercks (.575) and Allie Colleran (.516) have been the table setters for Concord-Carlisle (17-3) this season, but a, 7-1, loss in the last game of the season to St. Mary’s may have killed CC's momentum.
Lynn Classical, with their 22-2 record looks impressive, but who have they really played? It’s tough to buy in on them just yet. It’ll be interesting to see how MaKenzie Coopinger (8-1, 0.48 ERA) fairs against stronger lineups.
Acton-Boxboro (15-5) is stronger than its record suggests, (keep in mind they started the season 1-4) Sarah Ropiak has been excellent and the team’s had high expectations entering this tournament before. For more on A-B, check out last week’s notebook.
The North is full of teams that can mash the ball. Amesbury’s (18-2) Laura Kaminski sports the second highest average in Eastern Mass at .680.
Reading (17-3) is going to be one of the most exciting teams to watch. Second basemen Meg Kelly leads all of EMass in RBI with 35. If Nicole Cafazzo can avoid issuing free passes (31 walks) and allowing easy runs the Rocket offense (10.1 runs-per-game) should be enough to keep it in any game.
At 6.1 runs-per-game Saugus (17-3) just doesn't have the offensive firepower to hang in this bracket.
Without exaggeration, there are seven different teams that could come out of the South. But if all goes to plan we could be looking at a Middleboro (17-3) vs. Hanover (17-3) final. The two played neck-and-neck all season in the Patriot League.
For Hanover, Alex Alicea (.536) and Ericka Stearns (.509, 4 HR) provide the offense for Deanna McMahon (13-3, 123K), who sports the lowest ERA in the league at 0.51, while Middleboro looks to Marissa Linehan (.485) and Jackie Kielty (0.84 ERA).
With wins over Division 1 contenders Lynn Classical and Concrod-Carlisle to close out the season, you can just pencil in St. Mary’s to take the North.
The South is a little more interesting. Nantucket (17-3) has maybe the best pitcher no one has ever heard of off the Islands. Kelly Reid has gone 15-3, with an EMass-best 223 strikeouts to go with her 0.37 ERA. The Cape & Islands League isn’t necessarily known for its success come tournament time, however Reid could help to change that.
Case (14-6), which just missed a South Coast Conference title this season, and Avon (16-4) should be contenders as well.
At this point in the season, the top four teams are more or less set in stone. King Philip (20-0) and Norwood (20-0) ran the table in the Globe softball Top 20.
Acton-Boxborough (15-5) has returned strong since a healthy Sarah Ropiak has manned the circle for the Colonials.
Hanover (18-3) is the recipient of the largest jump after defeating Central Catholic (14-3) for the second time this season last week.
Hopkinton (17-1) makes an appearance at No.1, while Silver Lake (16-5) shows up for the first time all season, coming in at No. 20.
Somerset (12-8) made a big push for the top 20 defeating Case (14-6) in their final game of the season, but eight losses was just too many to crack the top this week.
The MIAA released the softball seedings for the state championship tournament today. Here are the seedings by division and region. Games start as early as June 2. For first-round matchups, check out Wednesday's edition of the Globe or go to MIAA.net.
1. Chelmsford (19-1) .950
2. Lynn Classical (20-2) .909
3. Malden (17-3) .850
4. Concord-Carlisle (17-3) .850
5. Central Catholic (15-3) .833
6. Bishop Fenwick (15-4) .789
7. Acton-Boxboro (15-5) .750
8. Boston Latin (15-5) .750
9. Medford (15-5) .750
10. Salem (15-5) .750
11. Everett (14-6) .700
12. Newton North (14-6) .700
13. Woburn (13-7) .650
14. Lexington (14-8) .636
15. Methuen (12-8) .600
16. Beverly (11-9) .550
17. Andover (10-10) .500
18. Revere (10-10) .500
19. Westford (10-10) .500
1. King Philip (20-0) 1.000
2. Norwood (18-0) 1.000
3. Mansfield (18-2) .900
4. Sandwich (16-2) .889
5. Bridgewater-Raynham (17-3) .850
6. Walpole (16-4) .800
7. Braintree (15-5) .750
8. Dighton-Rehoboth (15-5) .750
9. Notre Dame (12-4) .750
10. Silver Lake (15-5) .750
11. New Bedford (13-7) .650
12. Marshfield (13-7) .650
13. Oliver Ames (12-7) .632
14. Quincy (12-7) .632
15. Somerset (12-8) .600
16. Bishop Feehan (12-8) .600
17. Taunton (13-9) .591
18. Durfee (11-9) .550
19. North Attleboro (11-9) .550
20. Franklin (9-8) .529
21. Weymouth (10-10) .500
22. Stoughton (10-10) .500
23. Barnstable (8-8) .500
24. Whitman-Hanson (10-10) .500
25. Dartmouth (10-10) .500
26. Sharon (8-12) .400
1. Milford (19-1) .950
2. St. Peter-Marian (17-3) .850
3. Holy Name (14-4) .778
4. Shrewsbury (15-5) .750
5. Leominster (13-7) .650
6. Algonquin (12-8) .600
7. Quabbin (12-8) .600
8. Shepherd Hill (12-8) .600
9. Wachusett (11-9) .550
10. Burncoat (11-9) .550
11. Doherty (7-13) .350
1. Amherst (19-1)
2. Agawam (16-4)
3. East Longmeadow (15-5)
4. Chicopee (14-6)
5. West Springfield (13-7)
6. Westsfield (12-8)
7. Minnechaug (12-8)
8. Pittsfield (13-7)
9. Northampton (8-12)
1. Amesbury (18-2) .900
2. Burlington (18-2) .900
3. Saugus (17-3) .850
4. Resding (17-3) .850
5. Newburyport (16-4) .800
6. Danvers (15-5) .750
7. Dracut (14-5) .737
8. Tewksbury (14-6) .700
9. Wilmington (13-7) .650
10. Bedford (10-6) .625
11. North Reading (12-8) .600
12. Arlington (12-8) .600
13. Pentucket (10-7) .588
14. Arlington Catholic (11-9) .550
15. Stoneham (11-9) .550
16. Triton (11-9) .550
17. Marblehead (12-10) .545
Perfection is becoming commonplace for the King Philip (17-0) softball team.
The Warriors’ pitching has been downright unfair to opposing teams all season. In 17 games, the tandem of Meg Rico and Meg Carnase has yet to allow a team to score more than one run in a game.
Yesterday was more of the same as Carnase took to the mound at home against Avon (12-2) and was nothing short of perfect.
Carnase fanned13 batters in six innings before the weather forced the game to an end early with the Warriors leading 6-0.
“[Carnase] comes out today, in less than ideal conditions, and takes complete control of the circle,” said King Philip coach Jim Leonard. “She was absolutely dominant.”
The perfect game is the fourth no-hitter of Carnase’s career and the second perfect game this season for Warriors (five no-hitters total this season). Meg Rico was perfect against Canton on April 24 and was perfect through the seventh inning in a game against Coyle & Cassidy before a walk spoiled it.
“Both [Carnase and Rico] have been outstanding,” Leonard said. “Carnase has been as good as she could possibly be in every opportunity she’s had.”
After five starts, Carnase’s ERA still stands at 0.00 in 34 innings this season, while Rico’s in a minute 0.096.
“Not too many coaches have the luxury of having two pitchers that they have complete confidence in,” said Leonard.
With such perfectionists on the mound in Wrentham, some friendly competition between the two hurlers wouldn’t surprise anyone. However, according to Leonard the two aces are all about the team.
“[Rico and Carnase] are two of the most internally motivated girls I’ve ever seen. They know that they are each different kinds of pitchers, but the both have incredible respect for each other,” said Leonard.
Not to discourage other softball teams in Western Mass., but 17 games into last season KP had allowed 15 totals runs. They went on to defeat Milford 10-1 to take the state title. This season, through 17 games, they’ve allowed three runs.
Next Tuesday the Warriors will play host to undefeated Milford in a rematch of last season's state championship.
The top three softball teams remain the same in the Globe Top 20 despite Mansfield’s loss to King Philip (13-0) last week. The Hornets played with the No. 1 team in Eastern Mass. right down to the wire and the one-run loss actually helped to solidify their No. 3 spot.
Chelmsford (14-1) and Reading (14-2) flip-flop because the Rockets have come back to earth lately. Chelmsford is now No. 4, Reading No. 5.
Boston Latin (13-2) keeps on rolling, getting some strong pitching from Emily Berardi (8-2 1.12 ERA) to move up a spot to No. 7.
Burlington moves up to No. 8 after extra-inning wins over Lexington and No. 5 Reading (14-2).
With back-to-back wins over Sandwich, No. 11 Plymouth South has shown us who the true power is in the Atlantic Coast League. \
Is Lynn Classical (13-0) ever going to lose? The Rams are going to continue to move up until it happens. They're now No. 13.
Amesbury (15-0) could very well be the best team no one’s talking about. They're No. 12.
The South Coast League makes an appearance in the Top 20 with Dighton-Rehoboth’s continued solid play. D-R comes in at No. 18.
Despite having its perfect season ruined with a loss to Bellingham, Hopkington (11-1) remains in the Top 20 at No. 20.
Mansfield's eight consecutive wins, combined with the emergence of Trisha Hansen as a legitimate ace, helped the Lady Hornets (10-1) jump from No. 5 to No. 3 in the Globe softball Top 20.
King Philips (12-0) and Norwood (9-0) are virtual locks to stay No. 1 and No. 2 unless something drastic happens.
No. 4 Reading, which lost a 5-4, heart breaker to Stoneham last week, and No. 5 Chelmsford, which dropped a game to Methuen, both fell a spot to make room for Mansfield.
Two undefeateds made the jump to the Top 20 in Hopkington (9-0) and Lynn Classical (11-0). Classical had to take down Saugus (8-1) to get the nod.
Plymouth South (8-3), led by the pitching of Noelle Christmas made the biggest jump, going from unranked last week to No. 13. South put an end to Sandwich's perfect season last week and now sit atop the Atlantic Coast League. There's a rematch of these two teams on Friday in Plymouth that will certainly shake things up in the rankings next week.
King Philip takes on Mansfield Wednesday in what should be an excellent pitching matchup as Meg Rico throws against Trisha Hansen. Game starts at 3:30 p.m. in Wrentham.
Lynnfield coach Peter Marinelli knew that he would need something to motivate his struggling softball team, something they could relate to and who better than teen pop singer Miley Cyrus. Marinelli showed up early to the home game Friday afternoon against Masconomet to write a message on the inside of the dugout. It was a line from one of Cyrus’s hit songs. In chalk he scribbled, “Life is a climb and the climb begins today.”
What Marinelli didn’t realize is how long a climb it would be in the 16-inning 4-3 victory.
The Chieftans took an early two-run lead which they held until the fifth when the Pioneers finally struck back. With a runner in scoring position, Melody Mancinelli doubled in Taylor Reska to make it a 2-1 game.
Pioneers' Kelcie Mancini got on base in the seventh, moving to third with one out. Brittany DeSantis's sacrifice fly to left field brought Mancini in with the tying run.
From the seventh inning on, both teams had many opportunities to score but stranded players on base. Both teams scored in the 11th, to keep the game locked, this time, 3-3.
The players were getting worn down as they entered the 16th inning which was noticeable by the increase in errors by both teams. Lynnfield's Katie Rowe doubled up the middle in the bottom of the 16th inning and was moved over on a bunt. Distracted by the runner on third, Masconomet pitcher Lisa Rescigno balked, allowing Rowe to score and finally ending the marathon game.
Mancinelli and Rescigno both pitched complete games for their respective teams. Mancinelli allowed 10 hits and struck out eight as Lynnfield managed to climb to victory over Masconomet and improve its record to 3-5.
St. Mary’s softball earned a tie for first place in the Catholic Central with Bishop Fenwick after senior Angela Dandreo delivered a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eight to drive in senior Brianna Holmes, defeating Arlington Catholic, 9-8.
Both teams combined for 23 hits as the offense dictated the course of the game.
“Late in the game we were hitting the ball really well,” said St. Mary’s head coach Colleen Newbury. “We made the sure the ball was down when we hit and overall there was really good base running. Little things like that really help you win games.”
The Cougars led early with a 4-1 lead at the end two innings after first baseman Briana Siciliano doubled to left center field to drive in senior second baseman Caitlyn Leddy and catcher Courtney Casey who had reached base on a pair of infield singles.
The Spartans answered back with a flurry of runs to lead 7-4 in the third inning. Sophomore pitcher Brooke L’Abby doubled to center field to drive in senior first baseman Angela Dandreo, who had walked to load the bases, and senior center fielder Sabrina Lannetti, who singled on a line drive to center field.
Junior left fielder Genevieve Benoit and freshman second baseman Jennie Mucchiaroni continued the Spartans’ offensive strike with a pair of RBIs to complete the inning.
The Spartans committed a series of infield errors in the top of the seventh and allowed Siciliano, who had doubled to lead off the inning, and Riccardi, who had singled to left field, to score and tie the game 8-8.
St. Mary’s (3-0) stayed resilient in extra innings due to their strong lineup of seniors that kept the team focused late into the game.
“We graduated 7 seniors last year and this group here has taken over,” said Newbury. “They have really done a great job leading in the dugout and in the huddle.”
With the baseball and softball seasons underway, here are some players to watch going forward.
P: Megan Rico, King Philip
P: Noelle Christmas, Plymouth South
P: Ali Maloof, Norwood
P: Sara Ropiak, Acton-Boxboro
P: Maggie Hoffman, Avon
C: Lindsey Gibbs, Acton-Boxboro
1B: Tiffanie Marsh, Tewksbury
2B: Tori Yost, Middleboro
SS: Elizabeth Murphy, Silver Lake
3B: Anna Kelley, King Philip
OF: Anna Kokos, Concord-Carlisle
OF: Emily Messina, Plymouth South
OF: Holly Eicher, Stoneham
Team chosen by Seth Lakso, Globe correspondent
RHP: Adam Ravenelle, Lincoln-Sudbury
RHP: Matt Goreham, Catholic Memorial
RHP: Pat Connaughton, St. John's Prep
RHP: Derek Reddy, Xaverian
LHP: Will Marcal, Lexington
1B: Lorenzo Pappa, Arlington Catholic
2B: Zack Apotheker, Brockton
SS: Peter Yanakopoulos, Malden Catholic
3B: John Gorman, Catholic Memorial
OF: Carl Anderson, Lincoln-Sudbury
OF: Dillon Gonsalez, St. John’s Prep
OF: Connor McDavitt, Wachusett
BROCKTON – It looks like the Cardinal Spellman softball team may have found a new pitcher.
After finishing 18-5 with a Division 2 quarterfinal round loss to Plymouth South last year, the Cardinals lost Catholic Central League All-Star pitchers Hillary Tarr and Barbara Silva to graduation. But there doesn’t seem to be much drop off with their replacement – freshman Courtney Zambello.
Zambello earned her second career win for the Cardinals Saturday morning as she struck out eight Archbishop Williams batters and Spellman cruised to a 12-0 win on Saturday morning. She gave up just three hits and a walk and helped her cause by going 3 for 4 at the plate and driving in three runs.
“I thought [Zambello] did a very good job,” Spellman coach Michael Gerrish said. “She pitched a real nice game. She’s becoming more and more comfortable. First game she was a little nervous and yesterday she really started to find her groove. She retired the last eight batters on 14 pitchers against Austin Prep. And then today I thought she was relaxed, had good velocity again.
The win for Spellman (2-1) came just hours after Zambello’s first career win on Friday, an 11-4 decision over Austin Prep in which she fanned seven batters and gave up three earned runs. Zambello and the Cardinals are showing improvement since a 13-5 season-opening loss to Bishop Fenwick on Wednesday. Spellman only has three seniors on its roster and one is out with an early-season injury.
“We had a tough loss the other day,” Gerrish said. “Fenwick’s a tough team, they’re a veteran team this year. Their pitcher did a real nice job. I don’t want to take anything away from them because they did a real nice job. But at the same time we committed eight errors. We had eight walks and a hit batsman. That’s 17 runners right there that are unaccounted for, that are just freebies. You can’t do that and get away with it.
“Today they came together real well. We played with a lot of confidence today. Hit the ball very well. We hit the ball well yesterday too. We actually hit it okay against Fenwick. We had eight hits, we out hit them 8-5. We had hard hit balls at the back of our order. I think the top of the order went 0 for. The back of the order hit, so I knew that was a good sign because I know the front of the order’s going to hit at some point.
“I like our team a lot. They’re great, great kids to coach. They listen they work hard. I think we’re going to get better and better.”
The spring sports season is finally upon us as many high schools have already began to play games.
If you are looking for info about your favorite team or to see which teams are the best in Eastern Massachusetts, look no further. We've got the Globe Top 20s right here. (You can also find them here.)
Here are the links to our preseason Top 20s for Spring:
With the ball game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded, shortstop Laura Tavalone stepped up to the plate and delivered a laser to left field that drove in junior first baseman Paige Keefe as host Dedham squeezed a tight 4-3 victory over Medway Thursday.
Keefe got things rolling at the bottom of the ninth with a bunt single. Junior shortstop Emily Mosco then found herself at first after beating out a sacrifice bunt. The Marauders benefited from another mistake by the Mustangs as senior center fielder Kaitlyn Abber singled to first after a poorly handled sacrifice fly.
“We have a lot of juniors so we are decently experienced,” said Dedham’s head coach Erika Eisenhut. “They handled it well and they didn't get flustered and kept playing.”FULL ENTRY
WORCESTER — Meg Rico and her ground-dragging delivery had turned heads heading into the Division 1 state final. Ever since the sophomore right-hander was thrust into spotlight after King Philip starting pitcher Maggie Quealy was injured, Rico had racked up 19 strikeouts and allowed only six hits through 15 innings. Once again, she didn’t disappoint.
Rico fanned 11 batters and allowed four hits Saturday night at Rockwood Field to help lead the Warriors in a 10-1 victory over Milford and a state title.
Rico went to work quickly in the first, forcing back-to-back line outs to junior third baseman Anna Kelley, who showed off her range while diving into foul territory for the second. Rico got sophomore Taylor Archer to pop out on her sixth and final pitch of the inning — all six were for strikes.
Shannon Smith (six strikeouts, seven walks, seven hits) struggled with control in the bottom of the inning, throwing 42 pitches and only half for strikes. Kelley’s one-out bloop single over the head of second baseman Nicole Hanley scored the first run. Senior Casey McCourt’s double to right in the next at-bat brought two more Warriors home. Junior Kelsey Gray singled to center, scoring Kelley, and courtesy runner Alyssa Siegmann
scored the fifth run and final run of the inning for King Philip on a throwing error.
Milford (24-1) took one back in the second when freshman Caroline Fairbanks drilled a shot to deep right center field. The Scarlet Hawks had a chance to chip away in the third, but with one out and the bases loaded, Rico got the next two batters to swat at air and escaped the jam.
King Philip (26-1) cushioned its lead in the third, when sophomore Olivia Godin clocked a two-out homer over the fence in left to push the margin to 7-1 before adding three more runs in the fifth.
Freshman pitcher Jurnee Ware allowed just two runs, had three hits, and sang the national anthem in leading Hudson past Stoneham, 8-2, in the Division 2 softball final. An better still, it was her birthday.
Catcher Michelle Serrentino had two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs.
Erin McAndrews and the St. Mary's girls are no strangers when it comes to playing for state titles.
McAndrews was all smiles after she won her fifth championship at the Lynn school on Saturday afternoon at Rockwood Field in Worcester, leading the Spartans with four hits and three RBI as they defeated Murdock, 11-1.
"This one feels just as good," McAndrews said after the game.
St. Mary's took advantage of sloppy defense in the second inning, putting up seven runs on four errors and giving pitcher Samantha Kiley more than enough run support as she tossed a complete game.
Kristina Burri and Brianna Holmes added three hits a piece, driving in five runs for the Spartans.
A bizarre finish kept the Malden High softball team from springing the upset of the state tournament in a Division I North game Monday.
The eighth-seeded Golden Tornadoes (15-7) took a 2-1 lead into the last of the seventh inning against top-seeded Central Catholic (22-1). But the Raiders scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, the winning run scoring on an obstruction call against a Malden player for a 3-2 final.
After Malden fought back from a 1-0 deficit to score two runs in the top of the sixth inning, sophomore pitcher Kiara Amos was one out away from locking up the victory.
With runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh, Central’s Kayla Maloney roped a base hit into the gap in right-center field. The runner from third scored easily to tie the game at two, but the runner at first, Brianna Martin, took a turn at second base and then collided with Malden’s shortstop, Jen Tamindzija.
Martin fell to the dirt immediately, grimacing in pain and holding her right arm. Maloney turned and ran past Martin and ordinarily would have been ruled out for passing the runner.
But the umpires ruled that Martin had been obstructed by the shortstop, and not only awarded her third base, but also gave her home for the winning run. Martin eventually walked herself off the field and appeared to be OK.
The Malden players, unsure of how the game had ended, slowly walked off the field, visibly upset. The coaches were even more upset, and appealed their case to the umpires but were turned down.
“It might be the right call, but it’s a tough way to end the game.” said Golden Tornadoes coach Rich Cullen.
Central Catholic had routed Malden, 17-2, during the regular season, but Amos kept Malden in it all the way on Monday.
Francesca Richardson scored the first Malden run on a double by Renee Santo to make it 1-1 in the sixth and the Golden Tornadoes took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Santo scored on a double by Amos that nearly cleared the outfield fence.
Amos allowed just 1 earned run, 7 hits, and struck out 7.
In the Division 2 South softball tournament, No. 8 Hanover battled back from a 10-2 deficit in the sixth inning to steal a win from No. 9 Fairhaven in the 13th inning, 14-13.
“It was a great game to watch,” said Indian’s Head Coach Joe Messina.
The bases were loaded in the top of the 13th when Alex Alicea, who had two hits in the game, singled in the game-winning run against the Blue Devils.
“Each team had errors. Each team had big timely hits,” said Messina.
Senior catcher Kelly DuVal had a standout game, hitting for the cycle in the first round playoff game.
Hanover will play Middleboro, the No.1 seed, next in the quarterfinals. The time and date has yet to be announced.
North Notes: Although Central Catholic earned the No. 1 seed in Division 1, the second-ranked Concord-Carlisle have the stronger team heading into the postseason. Both teams have only fallen to teams outside of Eastern Mass. The Raiders lost to St. Peter-Marian, and the Patriots lost to Gardner. Acton-Boxboro deserves its third spot. In Division 2, Stoneham should have been the No. 1 seed, with Tewksbury up higher than ninth. St. Mary's should sit atop the Division 3 seedings.
North Division 1
1. Central Catholic (20-1) .952
2. Concord-Carlisle (19-1) .950
3. Acton-Boxboro (17-3) .850
4. Newton North (17-3) .850
5. Boston Latin (17-3) .850
6. Lynn Classical (17-5) .773
7. Salem (14-6) .700
8. Malden (14-6) .700
9. Everett (13-7) .650
10. Chelmsford (13-7) .650
11. Peabody (11-7) .611
12. Lexington (12-8) .600
13. North Andover (12-8) .600
14. Medford (10-8) .556
15. Masconomet (11-9) .550
16. Methuen (11-9) .550
17. Lowell (9-9) .500
18. Woburn (10-10) .500
19. Westford Academy (10-10) .500
Concord-Carlisle defeated the St. Mary's Spartans 10-3 in the first annual At Bat For Buddy Scholarship softball game last night at the Bowser Complex in Lynn.
The meeting was in memory of Ed "Buddy" Henry, Bishop Fenwick's longtime softball coach who passed away with cancer.
"The St. Mary's kids were very close to Ed Henry, some of my kids worked pretty closely with him, he means a lot to softball in the whole state," said Concord-Carlisle coach Lisa McGloin, who played under Henry as a catcher from 1985 to 1998. She also coached with him from 1990 to 1997 at Fenwick and for half of the 1998 season at Shawsheen. "He brought softball to a new level in the whole state, and it's just an honor to be able to do something back for him and and his family and in memory of him."
Junior Gayle Miner (double, single, RBI) scattered four hits and fanned three batters through five scoreless innings for Concord-Carlisle (19-1). Freshman Galen Kerr finished the game.
The Patriots scored six runs in the top of the fifth, with four hits against St. Mary's pitcher senior Samantha Kiley. The Spartans also featured junior Vanessa LaFauci, freshman Brooke L'Abbe, and junior Brianna Holmes on the mound.
St. Mary's (16-4) scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, with senior Brittany Hanscom driving in two on a single, and another scoring on a fielding error.
Once again, Latin Academy will face East Boston in the softball Boston City League championship game on Memorial Day.
The Dragons (11-8, 7-0) of the South Division will take on the Jets (12-7, 7-0) of the North Division at Cobe Field in the Back Bay Fens at noon.
Latin Academy defeated East Boston, 11-1, in last year’s title game and is going for its fourth consecutive league championship. The Dragons have also defeated the Jets twice during the regular season.
“We beat them twice, but they’re very well coached,” said Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza. “They’re a little more senior than we are. We’re actually still developing, and I had to really focus on my team playing well as opposed to focusing on the other team. If we play well and pitch well, we’ll do well.”
Senior Sarah Essaibi and freshman Sydney McGrath, younger sister of former pitcher Rachel McGrath, split time on the mound during the Dragons’ 10-2 semifinal win against O’Bryant. The duo combined for 17 strikeouts, with McGrath taking the ball the first four innings and Essaibi the final three.
McGrath and Essaibi have posted similar stats: McGrath is averaging seven strikeouts and three walks a game, and Essaibi is averaging eight strikeouts and three walks a game.
Although both pitchers’ ERAs hover around 4.00, they are significantly lower in league play (McGrath 0.45 ERA, Essaibi 0.33 ERA), with Latin Academy facing 12 teams outside the city this season.
“I try to schedule the best teams possible,” Zizza said. “Prepare the kids if they want to play college softball, and also try to play softball at the highest level.”
Zizza admits this is the youngest team he’s ever coached, with only three seniors, but his philosophy is to get as many players – even the youngest – as much playing time as possible.
East Boston was also splitting time between two pitchers until junior Renee Elliott suffered a knee injury in the first week of May while playing Charlestown. Now, junior Julie Tirone is handed the ball every game.
“She’s come a long way,” East Boston coach Tom Elliott said of Tirone. “We’ve been through some bumps…She’s made herself quite the pitcher. She works at it every single day, and for someone’s who’s never picked up a ball as a pitcher while starting as a freshman, she took the responsibility and went with it.”
Tirone has improved her walk ratio and mound presence. Elliott knows Tirone won’t toss many strikeouts, but she does enough to keep the team in games. Tirone pitched a five-hitter in the Jets’ 19-4 semifinal victory over West Roxbury.
Powering the Jets’ offense and manning the infield are senior third baseman Paula Leuci and sophomore shortstop Mackenzie White. White, who is also East Boston’s RBI leader, went 3-for-4 with a triple in the semifinal win.
“She’s actually the one who steps to the plate and the kids know something big is gong to come out of that at bat,” Elliott said of White. “She’s a hard base runner, smart base runner, and has very good base running awareness.”
The first At Bat For Buddy Scholarship softball game between Concord-Carlisle and St. Mary's will be held at the Bowser Complex in Lynn. (Breed Jr. high field) on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
The game and scholarship are in memory of Ed "Buddy" Henry, Bishop Fenwick's longtime softball coach who died last month after a long battle with cancer. There will be a senior presentation and unveiling of a sign prior to the start. A $5 donation will be accepted at the gate. Any other donations can be given to the coaches upon conclusion of the game and checks can be made payable to At Bat for Buddy c/o McGloin and Associates 152 Lynnway, Unit 1F Lynn, MA 01902.
Beginning in 2011 the At Bat for Buddy Scholarship Foundation will award scholarships to high school softball players towards furthering their education.
For more on Henry, click here.
Madison Park steamrolled Boston International, 24-0, and South Boston upended Brighton, 9-5, in Saturday's City League semifinals at Boston English.
Each Madison Park starter had at least three hits and starting pitcher Shawn Bradley threw a complete-game one-hitter that was cut short after six innings.
South Boston had more of a hill to climb, falling behind 3-0 in the first inning before quickly answering with five runs in the second frame. Southie's outburst was started by Joshua Neely's home run to the bleachers in left field.
Madison Park and South Boston will face off at noon Monday at Boston English to determine the league champion.
In the City League softball semifinals, East Boston beat West Roxbury 19-4 and Latin Academy beat O'Bryant 10-2 to advance to the City Championship Monday. The two teams will play at noon at Cobe Field (Back Bay Fens).
The home team will be determined by a coin toss prior to the game.
Sophomore Eileen Soto let loose all her first game jitters, coming up big for South Boston (9-4) in a 24-17 win over Charleston in the Boston City League.
She recorded four hits, including her first two career home runs and two doubles to lead her team.
Undefeated Middleboro clinched the Patriot Fisher Division League title for its third consecutive year with the help of another stellar performance by pitcher Amber White.
The Sachems senior pitched her second consecutive no-hitter against Carver Friday, winning the game 4-0.
The Sachems (18-0) defeated Quincy (12-3) 1-0 on May 20.
White has accumulated 168 strikeouts and three walks this year, getting her 62nd career victory against Carver.
“She’s just doing an amazing job for us pitching and she’s able to command several pitches, keeping cool all the time,” said Middleboro coach Tanya Sullivan. “She’s just a really good competitor who’s worked hard all year round. This is what she loves to do and she’s at the top of her game right now.”
This week alone, White has fanned 24 batters, recorded two no-hitters and has allowed no walks.
“I can’t ask anymore from a pitcher,” Sullivan said.
“She’s gotten better and better. As a freshman she pitched really well and worked in the offseason to change her pitching style, adding more pitches to her repertoire.”
White will be attending Plymouth State next year and is looking to play for the university's softball team as well. A scout from Plymouth State was at the Sachems' game checking her out, Sullivan said.
With White as the team’s catalyst, and the Sachems’ strong lineup and defense, the tournament title should be within reach, Sullivan said.
“This year, we’d like to go as far as we can," Sullivan said. "We have high hopes to go deep into the tournament. That’s been our goal from the start. We have everything we need … strong pitching, strong hitting, strong defense.”
Sandwich's softball team dealt Plymouth South (11-2) its first league loss in the Atlantic Coast League, 1-0, as both teams suffered a pitcher's duel.
The Blue Knights (10-6) walked away unscathed in the shutout as starting pitcher Nancy Henry battled in the win, keeping hitters off base. She finished with seven strikeout, allowing only two hits. Noelle Christmas fanned 10 and allowed five hits, but couldn't prevent the winning run from crossing the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Sandwich's Frani Davis got a fourth inning single, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout setting up Kim Wolfe's RBI single and eventual game-winning hit.
Some Notes: Blue Knights catcher Briana Smith has started only two games at catcher this season, part of a lineup change by head coach Jean Russel. The change has worked out well for both sides. In both starts Smith helped her team to wins, 18-1 over Falmouth and 1-0 over Plymouth South. She's also thrown out two potential base-runners and caught two foul bunts for outs in both games.
Tournament bound Bishop-Feehan (13-3) battled at home with Durfee (8-8) till the eighth inning, winning 2-1 on a clutch squeeze play by Ashley Brillon.
In the eighth inning, Bishop-Feehan's Brillon was on third base while junior center fielder Allie Ferreira was sitting on second. The Shamrocks' catcher Morgan Lindeerg bunted on a 2-0 pitch with one out, forcing the Durfee pitcher to make decision with Brillon threatening at third. She tossed it to first and Brillon bolted home, beating the throw for the game-winning run. It was her second scored run of the day.
Brillon, who batted 1-for-2 on the day, singled in the sixth inning before getting moved over by senior shortstop Lauren Paquette on a sacrifice bunt. She continued to steal third on the same play, and eventually scored on an erred pickoff throw.
Bishop Feehan plays next at 3:30 p.m. May 19. at West Bridgewater.
Former Bishop Fenwick softball coach Ed Henry passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 61.
The 1967 Fenwick graduate led the Crusaders to eight state titles, including one in 1985 and seven in succession beginning in 1990. In 2002, Henry was inducted into the Bishop Fenwick Hall of Fame for his accolades and building up the softball program.
"He was a teacher first and a coach second, and I don't mean a school teacher," McGloin said. "He was a teacher of life and all that was much more important than the winning or losing."
McGloin called Henry a "rule follower," explaining that Henry was the kind of coach who would bench his own family members if they didn't agree with him or they weren't good enough to be playing. But he was fair and sincere.
"He would make every person who played for him feel important," she explained. "Doesn't matter if you were a starting pitcher or a pinch runner off the bench ... He took everyone's effort and everyone practicing hard to be good and he appreciated everybody."
Henry is a figure the Bishop Fenwick community will dearly miss, said athletic director Dave Woods.
"It's a sad day in Fenwick history for sure," Woods said. "He was a legend in the state, one of the best coaches ever in the state. Everyone here at Fenwick's going to miss him. He definitely put Fenwick softball on the map, and he's going to be missed by a lot of people."
Henry's wake will be 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Campbell Funeral Home at 525 Cabot St in Beverly. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul's Church at 50 Union Street in South Hamilton.
This spring, the Globe’s high school standings will be based entirely on game results and not on Sunday phone calls or emails from league representatives. We think the change will be a huge benefit to spring fans looking to see where their team stands every day of the week, not just on the one day standings are updated.
How does it work?
When coaches call in their games scores during the week, our database will compile the standings and they will be available 24/7 on Boston.com/schools. This is what we’ve done the past two years for football and we’re now expanding that system to include spring sports. The only information we need from league representatives are the league’s leading performers, whether hitters, pitchers, goalies, or runners.
What are the benefits of doing this?
Under the old system, standings we took on Sunday afternoons were only accurate until a team played its next game. This meant that after a big Tuesday of baseball, fans had to wait until the following Monday’s paper to see the league standings. Now, after you watch your team beat its cross-town rival and your coach calls in the score, you can go home, click on Boston.com and see the league standings.
What are the drawbacks?
If your school doesn’t call in the scores, then your record will be 0-0 all year. Even if a league representative says your team is 10-0, the only way we can make the standings agree is to get the scores of the 10 games.
How do we get you any missing scores?
Scores can be emailed to us at HSsports@globe.com. Be sure to designate the
home and away teams.
As with any new system there will be an adjustment period. But we hope you agree, accurate standings sevens days a week are better than just one.
Barry Chin / Globe file
Kelly Naegelin struck out 215 batters in 119 innings pitched last year as a junior pitcher on the Cohasset softball team, and returns this year hoping to help the Skippers repeat as Division 3 South champs. We caught up and asked her a couple of questions about how she fares off the diamond.
Who is your favorite professional team?
Naegelin: "Boston Red Sox."
Who's your favorite athlete?
Naegelin: "Cat Osterman, the pitcher from the USA softball team."
What's the most played song on your iPod?
Naegelin: "Probably anything by RED."
You're going to be trapped on a deserted island, and all you can take with you is a DVD player and three DVDs. What movies do you take?
Naegelin: "Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz 2, and probably Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring."
If you won $50 million in the lottery, what's the first thing you'd buy?
Naegelin: "I'd get a car, probably a hybrid. I just like the way they look."
Read more on Naegelin this Sunday in Globe South.
— Jake Seiner, Globe Correspondent
Braintree coach Tom Grandy said it best: Softball is 98 percent pitching. And last season’s powerhouses, Ashland, Lexington, and Braintree, all graduated their star hurlers.
Former Clockers pitcher Nicole D’Argento finished her title-filled career with a perfect 62-0 record on the mound. Aces Kiki Saveriano of Lexington and Liz DiMascio of Braintree won’t be easy to replace either.
The fall of these three softball juggernauts, as well as this season’s division realignment, makes way for a new class of strong teams that have their own aces in the hole. This season it’s time for King Philip to shine.
The Warriors only graduated their second baseman and shortstop, but more importantly Hockomock League Most Valuable Player Maggie Quealy returns. The power pitcher was 15-1 on the mound last spring with a 0.94 ERA, tallying 97 strikeouts and only allowing 24 runs and 19 walks.
Although Quealy was last year’s star, King Philip coach Jim Leonard said they have two other pitchers who can provide some support on the mound.
‘‘Coming in we feel that we have some pitching depth,’’ Leonard said. ‘‘We have all three pitchers that are all confident pitchers, so as a coach that gives us a little bit of flexibility with what we can present other teams with.’’
Quealy, who also notched a .314 average and a .614 on-base percentage last year, will also be rejoined by league all-stars first baseman Cara Daly, center fielder Casey McCourt, and left fielder and leadoff hitter Sara Hedtler.
The Warriors are off to a solid start. Quealy opened up the season with a no hitter, defeating Stoughton, 9-0.
‘We’ve got a good degree of confidence in our pitching and our fielding, but we know it takes a lot of work to get through our entire season,’’ Leonard said.FULL ENTRY
Globe photographers were hard at work over the final days of the spring high school sports season. Check out our collection of galleries from this week's state championship tilts and the Globe's Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet on Sunday.
- Sunday, June 14: The Globe's Scholar-Athletes Awards.
- Saturday, June 13: State baseball finals in Lowell; State softball finals in Worcester; Individual tennis finals in Worcester.
- Friday, June 12: State lacrosse finals (Walpole vs. St. John's Shrewsbury; Westwood vs. Longmeadow) in Worcester.
- Thursday, June 11: State volleyball final: St. John's Prep vs. Lincoln-Sudbury in Ashland; State team tennis final: Concord-Carlisle vs. Longmeadow in Worcester.
- Wednesday, June 10: State lacrosse finals (Duxbury vs. St. John's Prep; Scituate vs. Dover-Sherborn) in Worcester.
- Tuesday, June 9: State lacrosse final: North Andover vs. Norwell in Wellesley.
Check out our collections of photo galleries from Saturday's state final action.
BC High celebrates with the Division 1 championship trophy. (Barry Chin / Globe Staff)
View more photos from the state baseball championships at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.
Gardner outfielder Erika Berube makes a running catch. (Paul Kapteyn / Telegram & Gazette)
View more photos from the state softball championships at Worcester State College.
Westford Academy's doubles tandem of Jocelyn Lund-Wilde and Eileen Liu. (Tom Rettig / Telegram & Gazette)
View more photos from the individual tennis championships at Clark University.
WORCESTER -- Check out highlights from the Division 1 and 2 softball championships Saturday at Worcester State College's Rockwood Field.
The spring season comes to a close today (weather permitting) with the baseball and softball title games (as well as the state individual tennis championships).
Keep an eye on our daily scoreboard for final scores and recaps from today's championship tilts.
Our plan is to take in some of the softball championships in Worcester. We'll pass along video highlights later in the day. Enjoy the games!
Latin Academy senior Rachel McGrath hurled a Memorial Day three-hitter and struck out 12 as the Dragons beat East Boston, 11-1, in the Boston City League softball title game. Latin scored seven runs in the first inning and turned the game over to McGrath.
The city will crown its baseball and softball champions this holiday weekend.
In Saturday's semifinals, Brighton faces East Boston at 10 a.m., followed by O'Bryant taking on Latin Academy at 1. Both games are at Madison Park.
In Saturday's semifinals, Brighton meets host Boston English at 10 a.m., followed by Madison Park playing West Roxbury at 1 p.m. Both games are on the turf at Boston English in Jamaica Plain.
Both city championship games are Monday at noon, with baseball being held back at English, softball at Madison Park.
Break out the bats and balls. (Jon Chase / Globe Photo)
We don't want to jinx anything, but barring a late winter snowstorm or a torrential batch of early April rains, the diamonds around Eastern Massachusetts are in good shape to actually start the spring season on time.
We're here to help you plan you travels to see your favorite baseball and softball teams. Click your sport of choice to view all the spring schedules we've compiled so far. You'll find a handy link at the bottom to email us any changes or updates as the start of the season approaches.
Our sports staff is busy pecking in schedules for lacrosse now and we'll have those for you shortly. Ahhh, spring is in the air.
After 25 years and more than 360 career wins, Steve Kingman has a new home. The former Abington High School softball coach was named the new softball coach at Weymouth High School.
During Kingman's stay at Abington, the Green Wave won 12 South Shore League titles. His position at Abington was opened up after last season and when he wasn't rehired, Kingman was looking for a new home. Yesterday he found one in the Bay State Conference.
A number of area senior student-athletes are making their college commitments official this week, with the early non-football signing period now in play (Nov. 12-19).
Correspondent Brendan Hall checks in with an updated list of commitments:
Sahil Bloom, Weston (Stanford)
Kevin Brown, Algonquin (Bryant)
Peter Castaldi, St. John's Prep (Northeastern)
Jon Leroux, Auburn (Northeastern)
Derek Lowe, Lincoln-Sudbury (William & Mary)
John McKenna, Algonquin (UMass-Amherst)
Justin Quinn, Lincoln-Sudbury (Rollins College)
Fran Whitten, Westborough (Maine)
Antoine Allen, Notre Dame Prep (Providence)
Russ Braithwaite, St. Mark’s (Babson)
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, Tilton/Boston (UConn)
Courtney Finn, Winthrop (Bentley)
Dave Johnson, St. Mark’s (Quinnipiac)
Erik Murphy, St. Mark’s (Florida)
Alex Oriakhi, Tilton/Lowell (UConn)
Dartaye Ruffin, Stoughton (Drexel)
James Southerland, Notre Dame Prep (Syracuse)
Kara Mackintire, Shrewsbury (Boston College)
Brittany Altomare, Shrewsbury (Virginia)
Quinn Cully, Duxbury (Notre Dame)
Hakeem Lecky, Duxbury (Syracuse)
Colin O'Rourke, St. John's Shrewsbury (Wagner)
Alex Papoojian, St. John's Shrewsbury (VMI)
Chris Pellichero, King Philip (Providence)
Kristen Scopetski, Algonquin (UMass-Amherst)
CC Jensen, Acton-Boxborough (Elon)
AJ Millet, Westford (Harvard)
Sarah Wooley, Duxbury (Siena)
Nicole D’Argento, Ashland (Boston College)
Jessie Bryant, Marlborough (Providence)
Lexington's Kiki Saveriano has verbally committed to the University of Connecticut. You can check out the flame-throwing ace's All-Scholastic bio below:
Kiki Saveriano, Lexington
Here's the schedule for the 2008 Agganis All-Star Classics:
- Awards ceremony -- Sun. July 13, 10 a.m. -- Fraser Field, Lynn
- 11th Softball Classic -- Sun. July 13, noon -- Fraser Field
- 14th Baseball Classic -- Sun. July 13, 2 p.m. -- Fraser Field
- 4th Women’s Basketball -- Mon. July 14, 6 p.m. -- Lynn English
- 4th Men’s Basketball -- Mon. July 14, 7:30 p.m. -- Lynn English
- 13th Men’s Soccer -- Tues. July 15, 5:30 p.m. -- Manning Field, Lynn
- 13th Women’s Soccer -- Tue. July 15, 7:30 p.m. -- Manning Field
- 48th Football Classic -- Wed July 16, 7 p.m. -- Manning Field
After the jump you'll find all the rosters that we've been provided for the event.FULL ENTRY
Our final Top 20 polls for the 2008 baseball and softball seasons have been posted.
We'll check back with final top 20 polls for boys' and girls' lacrosse Monday.
Charlestown's Omar Aden, Bromfield's Emily Jones, and Ashland's Nicole D'Argento have earned Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year honors for their respective sports.
Aden won for boy's track, Jones for girls' track, and D'Argento for softball. They join Acton-Boxboro's Scott Weismann as those honored for the 2008 spring season.
Here's a bit on each athlete from the press releases distributed by the Gatorade folks:
- The senior distance runner won the mile at the MIAA All-State Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 4:13.83, which ranked as the nation's No. 7 scholastic performance in 2008 at the time of his selection and helped the Townies to the state championship. An Indoor Track All-Scholastic selection as named by The Boston Globe, Aden, who placed fourth in the mile at the National Indoor Scholastic Championships, captured second place in the 1,600-meter run at the New England Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 4:13.19.
- The junior distance runner ran the 2-mile race at the Central Region Meet in 10:27.03, the fastest time in the nation at the time of her selection. A week later, Jones ran the 2-mile in 10:33.30 to win the All-State Meet with the fourth-fastest time in the nation. Also the 2007-08 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Jones ran the mile race in 4:59.15 this spring, which ranked as the nation's No. 22 performance in the mile this spring at the time of her selection, and she placed second in the 3,000 meters at the Penn Relays Carnival.
- The junior pitcher started 22-0 with a 0.28 ERA and 288 strikeouts in 147.2 innings this season, leading the Clockers to a 26-0 record entering the Division 2 state semifinals scheduled for June 11. A returning All-Scholastic selection as named by The Boston Globe, D'Argento had produced a .605 batting average, 35 RBI, 33 runs scored and six home runs at the time of her selection. The two-time Tri-Valley League Player of the Year, she concluded her sophomore season of 2007 with a 9-0 record and a 0.00 ERA.
By Chris Estrada, Globe Correspondent
WORCESTER – Small ball brought the biggest prize for the Lexington softball team tonight at Rockwood Field.
With runners at the corners and one out, Gardner pitcher Elyssa Boris got a third strike on Minuteman batter Amanda McKenna only to see it dropped. McKenna ran to first base to force a throw there, which enabled Beth Rutila to dash home and score. Then in the bottom of the seventh, Kiki Saveriano put the finishing touches on a 16-strikeout no-hitter by striking out the side to give Lexington their first state championship since 1976 with a 1-0 victory over the Wildcats.
“Beth had a great jump and took off right when she should have,” said Lexington coach Frank Pagliuca. “That’s a credit to them and that’s the little things that we’ve been doing up to this point. It’s a great win.”
Pagliuca was also elated for his pitcher’s performance, which he called “unbelievable.”
“[She] proved tonight that she, as I’ve said before, is one of the best pitchers in the state,” he said. “That’s a credit to her demeanor…She got behind on one of the hitters late in the game, I believe 3-0, and she battled back, and that’s her mentality this year. She has really matured to be one of those pitchers.”
Saveriano expected to win the game, but she had no idea that she’d be able to perform at such a high level on perhaps the biggest night of her high school career.
“I expected the team to win it obviously, because we’ve really deserved it this year, but, you know, I only had 16 strikeouts and the team got the other ones,” the happy pitcher said as she clutched the MIAA Div. 1 championship trophy.
“In the beginning of our season, not even the postseason, our team had a hard time coming back in these situations. We’ve definitely learned since the postseason started.”
The Minutemen left the bases loaded in the top of the second, then left five more through the first six innings. But everything came together in the seventh.
Rutila led off the top half of the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from left fielder Callie Tingley. Sarah Heingartner then laid another bunt just outside of the batter’s box that managed to stay on the fair side of the first baseline.
Heingartner took second on the first pitch to McKenna, who fouled off twice before having her dropped third strike – and then tearing off toward first. Gardner catcher Jocelyn Goodale fired to first baseman Nikki Boris to get McKenna out, but Nikki’s throw back to Goodale was too late as Rutila beat the tag.
“Coach told me to run and I ran, pretty much,” Rutila said. “We went over that in practice yesterday because there was a dropped third strike and in those situations, [Saveriano] didn’t go in for the [at-bat]. I didn’t see her go in, so I went.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s – I don’t know. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
As for Wildcats coach Howie Klash, he remained stoic after a second straight defeat for his club in the Div. 1 finals and called his players “fabulous people.” He also had high praise for Saveriano.
“We ran into a tough pitcher today,” he said. “She was real tough, probably the best high school pitcher I’ve seen in all my years of coaching. She was real tough today, there’s no doubt about that.
“[The strikeout play] is tough, but that’s part of the game. A finish like that happens.”
So did Lexington’s ability to stay focused in a tight spot. For Pagliuca, it was another affirmation of that fact.
“We’ve had grinders all the way through and as I’ve said to you before, we know how to play in those situations,” he said. “We didn’t panic, we knew that we would get another opportunity, and we took advantage of that.
“I’m just so proud of them from where they’ve come to where they are now, especially the two seniors [McKenna and Tingley] on our team. For them to go through that, it’s just a great way to end their career."
Lexington (24-2) ... 000 000 1 - 1 5 0
Gardner (20-5)...... 000 000 0 - 0 0 0
Lex: Kiki Saveriano and Alyssa Zahka. Gard: Elyssa Boris and Jocelyn Goodale.
WP -- Saveriano. LP -- Boris.
Saveriano threw 93 pitches with 65 going for strikes; her highest number of pitches in an inning was 23 in the fourth inning (two strikeouts, a grounder, and a walk). She allowed another walk in the fifth...Gardner's Nikki Berube was called out twice for bunting with two strikes in the count, once in the first inning and again to close the bottom of the sixth...Boris threw 99 pitches with 64 for strikes. Her highest number of pitches in the inning was 24 in the first, as she escaped a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout of Rutila...No Gardner player was able to reach second base for the whole game.
By David Carty, Globe Correspondent
TAUNTON -- It was business as usual for the West Bridgewater softball team.
The Wildcats shut down Bristol-Plymouth, 10-0, in the Division 3 South final, their third straight win over the Craftsmen this season - by a combined 42-1 score.
West Bridgewater starter Alyssa Williams carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before pinch hitter Kayla Rasar broke it up with a leadoff single. It was the only blemish for Williams, who struck out only two, relying on her defense to get the outs.
"They can flash the leather when they have to," said co-coach Richard Zanca.
They can also get the job done with the aluminum. West Bridgewater had seven hits, including a triple by freshman Alyssa Gray, and were aided by nine walks.
Williams appreciated the support. "It helps you calm down so your nerves don't get control of you," she said.
The sectional title is the third straight for the Wildcats, and the sixth in seven years.
West Bridgewater faces North champion St. Mary's Tuesday in Lowell.
Junior cocaptain Samantha Doyle got the nod for B-P, but allowed seven base runners - six on walks - in the first inning. B-P fell in a 5-0 hole they would not be able to climb out of.
"I thought the tone was set with the first [West Bridgewater] batter," Craftsmen coach Paul Westner said. "She wound up walking her and it was all downhill from there."
West Bridgewater drew nine walks at the plate and logged seven hits, including a triple by freshman Alyssa Gray.
The win extends West Bridgewater's dominance on the softball diamdon. "We know the tradition here and it feels good to win it again," said Meg Dow, Mayflower League MVP.
Both Dow and Williams shook off the idea that winning may be getting old. For Williams and Co., there's one very clear goal in mind: "We want to go all the way," she said.
A few game notes:
- According to co-head coach Ed Fitzgerald, West Bridgewater has not committed an error throughout the tournament. In Sunday's game alone, West Bridgewater cleanly recorded 19 of 21 outs. "We put the ball in play," Westner said. "They just got everything we hit."
- West Bridgewater had an easy run in the regular season, averagin 14 runs per game and obliterating many of their opponents. The tournament has been a completely different beast. The Wildcats only scored four runs in each of their games against Hull and Harwich. They even needed some heroics - a walkoff single by do-it-all Williams - to knock off Hull.
- Lowell is a hike for both St. Mary's and West Bridgewater. St. Mary's can expect about a 45-minute drive; West Bridgewater about an hour.
- The Wildcats must be happy to see a different opponent this year. North Reading knocked the Wildcats out of the tournament each of the last two years. They have Austin Prep to thank for bumping them out in the D3 North quarterfinals.
- If you think the well is running dry on talent in West Bridgewater, think again. Williams and Dow are the only two departing seniors for the 'Cats. On Sunday, eight freshmen started between the two teams.
- Here's the game line score:
Bristol-Plymouth - 000 000 0 - 0 1 1
West Bridgewater - 500 014 X - 10 7 0
LOWELL -- After getting two hits in the first inning, it had been a tough going for the Lexington softball team when the seventh inning rolled around in a scoreless MIAA Div. 1 North final at Martin Field.
Billerica's Sarah Quatiere had done a masterful job throughout the day, keeping the Minuteman offense shackled with a steady dose of changeups. So when pitcher Kiki Saveriano stepped into the batter's box to start the bottom of the seventh, she decided on a plan.
"I was thinking not to be swinging at the changeup," she said. "I was waiting for a changeup, and then I would swing at the pitch after the changeup."
The plan worked. With two strikes against her, Saveriano jumped on an outside fastball and send it to right field for a double. After that came catcher Alyssa Zahka, who ripped a soaring shot to the left field fence that scored pinch runner Meaghan Murphy and gave Lexington the North title with a 1-0 victory.
For Zahka, it was about overcoming a lost opportunity to get Lexington ahead in the bottom of the first inning, when she struck out with runners on second and third.
"In the first inning, I left [second baseman] Amanda McKenna on third, and I promised myself that this would be it," Zahka said in reference to her at-bat in the seventh. "I tried my hardest to put it in play...It's what you wanna do in that situation. I'd take four singles over a home run."
It was exactly what Lexington coach Frank Pagliuca was looking for.
"We talked about it on deck, and [Zahka] said, 'I got this, Coach'," he said. "She's done an outstanding job all year behind the plate...I wanted her to put the ball in paly and she did that."
Pagliuca was also happy with Saveriano's 12-strikeout effort despite less-than-ideal pitching conditions with 90-degree heat and high humidity.
"It's not the ideal pitching situation," he said. "When it's hot like this, you tend to lose control. She had to re-focus on her pitch selection, which is not easy in this kind of weather."
After Lexington had the first big crack at scoring in the first, Quatiere and Saveriano settled in and had their pitcher's duel. While the former induced plenty of pop flies and ground balls from the Minuteman offense, the latter used her powerful heater to blow away the Indians. Both ways were effective.
But just as Quatiere was in the first, Saveriano became under siege in the bottom of the sixth. After getting Leah McWilliams to ground out, Quatiere laced a single up the middle. She was followed by Jamie Jacobs, who ripped a line drive just to the right of Lexington third baseman Beth Rutila's glove and down the left field line.
Lily Perkins then hit into a fielder's choice, enabling both runners to move up to second and third base. But when she needed it the most, Saveriano came up with a strikeout against senior Nikki Giatas to end the inning.
Billerica coach Patti Higgins said in that situation and others earlier in the game, her team wasn't able to get the critical hit that would have put a crucial run on the board.
"We just couldn't get the hit and they did," she said. "[Saveriano] shut us down when we needed a hit...We got people on with two outs, and we couldn't get the hit. She came back, fought, and sat us down."
Despite the loss, however, Higgins was thrilled with her team's season and run through the playoffs.
"Nobody thought we would be in this game," she said. "But we were confident that we'd be here."
Lexington will now face South champion Braintree on Tuesday at Martin Field for the Div. 1 EMass championship. The Wamps dispatched last year's Div. 1 state champ Taunton, 2-0, on Friday night.
The Globe's Chris Estrada and Amanda Bruno check in with longer recaps from Saturday's tournament action.
From the volleyball court, Bruno recaps Lincoln-Sudbury's 3-0 triumph over Milford in a Central sectional final. From the softball diamond, Estrada recounts King Philip's 10-1 trouncing of Hockomock-league rival Stoughton in a first-round matchup.FULL ENTRY
Info on the 2008 City Championships for baseball and softball:
BASEBALL (at English High School):
Semifinals: Saturday, May 24. Game 1 at 10 a.m.; Game 2 at 1 p.m.
Finals: Monday, May 26. Championship at noon.
SOFTBALL (at Charlestown High School):
Semifinals: Saturday, May 24. Game 1 at 10 a.m.; Game 2 at 1 p.m.
Finals: Monday, May 26. Championship at noon.
The rain date for both semifinals is Sunday, May 25; the finals is May 27. Sites remain the same. Teams are TBD.
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 it’s not just her, it’s 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, we’ve 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."
For those curious, the Globe begins collecting high school sports standings for the spring season this Sunday, April 27.
Standings will start appearing in Monday's paper (and online) along with our first batch of in-season top 20 polls, which will update each week from there.
League representatives are reminded to call the Globe between 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday at 617-929-3235, 2860, 2861, or 2862. Our toll-free number is 1-800-232-2860. Standings can also be faxed to 617-929-2670 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, but please confirm all fax and e-mail transmissions by calling one of the numbers above.
In the Play of the Game clip below: Concord-Carlisle's Georgia Guttadauro hits a 3-run home run in the second inning to propel the Patriots past Dual County League rival Acton-Boxboro, 10-4. Guttadauro finished with 5 RBIs on the day.
Complete game highlights are also available below.
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.
Concord-Carlisle emerges with a 10-4 triumph over Acton-Boxboro in a Dual County League matchup.
Georgia Guttadauro paces the Patriots with 5 RBIs, here big 3-run home run in the second inning helping her squad open some breathing room that allowed them to breeze to the finish.
More to come on this one in a bit, including video highlights.
C-C, 10-3 (end of 6th)
Casey Tarca's fielder's choice grounder back to the mound plates Emily Beinecke as Concord-Carlisle enters double digits with a 10-3 advantage through six frames.
Three outs to go here.
C-C, 9-3 (end of 5th)
Finally, a scoreless inning. C-C remains out front, 9-3, moving to the sixth inning.
C-C, 9-3 (end of 4th)
Georgia Guttadauro doesn't need to hit the ball far to drive in runs.
The senior first baseman drove in her fifth run of the game on a ground out to first base plating Carly Streeter as the Patriots chased Acton-Boxboro starter Erin Fry from the game and lead, 9-3, at the end of four innings.
Yaya Faria has taken over in the circle for Acton.
C-C, 7-3 (end of 3rd)
Acton-Boxboro pulls one back in the third thanks to an RBI double by Lauren Murphy (plating Erin Fry, who had a one-out double), but the Colonials still trail host Concord-Carlisle, 7-3, moving to the fourth frame.
C-C, 7-2 (end of 2nd)
Maybe it's the three extra feet.
We're not certain we've seen offense like this in a softball game in years, but Concord-Carlisle just erupted for four more runs in the second innings -- keyed by a 3-run homer by cleanup hitter Georgia Guttadauro -- and the Patriots lead rival Acton-Boxboro, 7-2, moving to the third inning.
C-C, 3-2 (end of 1st)
Yaya Faria delivered a two-out single plating two runs (Erin Fry and Lauren Murphy) as Acton-Boxboro jumped on top of Concord-Carlisle, 2-0, in top of the first.
But the Patriots responded with a little two-out magic in the home half of the inning. Emily Beinecke reached on an infield single before Georgia Guttadauro and Casey Tarca each followed with RBI doubles. Jessica Stout singled home Tarca for a 3-2 advantage.
Today's pitching matchup features Concord's Gayle Miner (kid sister of the Globe's reigning Division 2 Player of the Year Kim Miner, who is now at Tufts) opposing Acton-Boxboro's Erin Fry.
Welcome to Concord. It's a gorgeous spring afternoon with nothing but blue skies above and a temperature of 64 degrees.
Concord-Carlisle's defense just took the field. We're about to get underway. Back with more throughout the afternoon.
A reminder that we'll be live from Concord this afternoon, where the undefeated Concord-Carlisle softball team hosts Acton-Boxboro in a Dual County League showdown of undefeateds.
Both teams enter with a 4-0 mark on the young season, but they share more in common than that. Acton-Boxboro first-year head coach Mary Matthews and veteran Concord-Carlisle skipper Lisa McGloin coach a summer squad together, so needless to say both sides know each other well.
We'll have live updates from the game and we'll capture video highlights for the site. Stay close.
Here's what we've got penciled in for live coverage the next few days. As usual, we'll provide live updates from these games and we'll capture video highlights for the site:
Tuesday: boys' lacrosse Billerica at Reading, 4 p.m.
Reading is one of the most intriguing stories of the young season. The Rockets posted a quality 14-4 mark out of the Middlesex League last season, but earned the 14th seed in the Eastern Mass. Division 2 tournament and fell to North Andover, 6-4, in a first-round matchup.
After two quality efforts against Lexington last season, the Rockets finally broke through by topping the Minutemen, 11-10, this past Friday. Reading now stands at 5-0, but Billerica should provide one of the loftiest tests the Rockets will encounter during the regular season in this nonleague battle.
Wednesday: softball Acton-Boxboro at Concord-Carlisle, 4 p.m.
Concord-Carlisle dominated the Dual County League while putting together a perfect regular season last spring, but it was Acton-Boxboro that shone brightest during the postseason.
While the top-seeded Patriots endured an unceremonious quarterfinal exit in the Division 2 North bracket, A-B stormed all the way to the Division 1 North finals before the 10th-seeded Colonials fell to Reading in the championship tilt.
Thursday: baseball Xaverian at Lincoln-Sudbury, 4 p.m.
Fresh off a thrilling win over second-ranked BC High, Xaverian boasts a 5-0 mark and is the only Catholic Conference squad without a blemish thus far. The Hawks will make the trek to Sudbury, where the defending Division 1 champions continue to roll with a 4-0 record on the young season. The Warriors have outscored opponents, 32-7, during those wins, but Xaverian will pose the biggest challenge of the season.
We're proud to have an extensive collection of schedules online this spring. You'll find schedules (and, as the season progresses, game results) for most schools in Eastern Mass. for baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, and volleyball.
Click one of the sports below to jump to that schedules page.
You can also search by school (only spring schedules for Eastern Mass. teams will be available for now):
We will need your help in keeping these schedules/results up to date. While the schedules will update with results that are phoned in each night by coaches, we'll need help chasing down anything that isn't reported directly to us. Anyone can use the email link at the bottom of each school's team page to submit scores or a schedule change.
Scores not sent by coaches or scorekeepers will need to be confirmed by the school before appearing live on the site.
You can find quick links to many of these team schedules in the upper right-hand corner of High School Sports Central.
Again, many schedules might have small errors (duplicate games or wrong start times or mislabeled opponent) as we get this project off the ground, but with your help we'll smooth everything out.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Waiting for Twitter...