Lady Vikings defeat three NEC opponents

The Winthrop High softball team is on a roll with a four game winning streak, including the last three over Northeastern Conference rivals Gloucester, 9-4; Danvers, 11-7 (marking the first win for a Lady Viking softball team at Danvers since 1980); and Swampscott, 8-1.

The victory over Gloucester featured a trio of Winthrop pitchers who shared in the victory. Elaine Lanza started and went three innings, allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts. Angela Pettee came in for an inning, allowing a run on three hits, and Alex Ferri tossed three strong frames, fanning six batters and giving up just one hit.

Winthrop started fast with three runs in the opening inning and then adding solo markers in the second, third, and fourth stanzas. The Lady Vikings then broke the game open with three runs in the fifth.

Wielding the big bats for Coach Dave Guffey’s squad were Haley Benson, who went 3 for 4 with a triple, three RBI, and a run scored; Taylor Brown, 2 for 4 (both doubles), three steals, and two runs scored; and Liana Ferullo, 1 for 1, with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, an RBI, and a run scored.

The following win over Danvers featured a gutsy pitching effort by Ferri, who went the distance, facing 37 batters and allowing five earned runs on eight hits, while walking four and fanning eight.

The Winthrop offense banged out nine hits, but the patient Lady Viking hitters also drew 10 bases on balls which added immeasurably to their final run production.

Abby Belcher came through with a bases loaded double in the fifth that cleared the sacks and delivered all three Viking teammates for a 7-5 Winthrop lead.

Andrea Martucci and Brown also delivered in a big way with two hits, including a double apiece, and two RBI.

Ferri got the starting nod once again at Swampscott and turned in a masterful effort in which she had a no hitter through six and one third innings. Although Swampscott touched her for three hits and a run in the final frame, the eight run lead her teammates had provided for her proved to be a substantial cushion. Alex’s final line showed seven strikeouts and just three walks. Ferri has struck out 38 enemy hitters in 35 innings and sports an ERA of 2.68 this season.

Belcher once again did some heavy damage with the bat, socking two doubles for three RBI and two runs scored. Benson had a hit for an RBI and stole a base; Martucci had a hit and a run scored; and Ferullo tripled and scored a run.

The Lady Vikings also were impressive in the field, committing no errors to provide strong support for Ferri’s gem on the mound. Guffey noted that Benson has been moved to short and has committed just one error in three games at that pivotal position.

Belcher, a candidate for the NEC MVP honors, meanwhile has been a force behind the plate. “Abby is a game changer at a key position,” said Guffey, who noted that she has thrown out seven runners on the season.

The Lady Vikings traveled to Saugus yesterday (Wednesday) and will host Peabody on Friday. They will travel to Revere Monday and to Beverly next Wednesday.

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