Softball team improves to 9-5

The Winthrop High softball team improved to 9-5 with an 11-0 blanking of Somerville of the Greater Boston League yesterday. Alex Ferri pitched the first five innings and allowed just two hits while fanning six and walking only two. Elaine Lanza wrapped up the win with two hitless frames, striking out two enemy batters.

Haley Benson swung a big bat for the Lady Vikings with a single and a triple and two RBI. Amanda Brogna went 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Taylor Brown went 2 for 3 with two runs, a steal, and a walk.

The day before the Lady Vikings endured a tough loss at Salem in 10 innings, 4-2. Ferri pitched the entire game in a remarkable effort.

Northeastern Conference MVP candidate Abby Belcher was the offensive and defensive star for Winthrop. At the plate Abby socked a two run homer in the third to account for both Winthrop runs and also drew a walk.

But the senior catcher was simply amazing with her play behind the plate as she threw out six Salem runners on the day. She gunned out two batters on bunt attempts; threw out two attempted steals of second base; and then picked off two runners at third.

On Wednesday the Lady Vikings traveled to Beverly to take on the Lady Panthers. The game was a true pitcher’s battle with Sarah Pazzulo of Beverly and Ferri both keeping the offense to a minimum.

Beverly only had three base runners through the first five innings. Their best chance to score was in the third inning when the lead off hitter worked a walk and went first to third on a bunt. However, Ferri took matters into her own hands by striking out the next two batters.

Winthrop base runners also were few and far between until Winthrop finally solved Pazzulo in the sixth. Lead off batter Liana Ferullo singled, followed by Abby Belcher who hit a single. Elaine Lanza laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Haley Benson then delivered a sac fly to score Liana for the first run of the game.

In the seventh, Andrea Martucci led off the inning with a single and Amanda Brogna’s sac bunt moved her to second. Kristen Lanza’s single put Lady Vikings at first and third and Ferullo delivered a clutch base hit to score Martucci.

Winthrop needed both runs because Beverly hit a home run in the bottom of the seventh before Ferri closed the door for the win.

On Friday the Lady Vikings continued their hot play. Lynn Classical came to town and the Vikings had a great walk off win. In the first, Ferri K’d the first two batters of the game before the Lady Rams rallied with three hits and a run.

However, the Lady Vikings answered right back in the bottom of the first. Haley Benson hit a double and Taylor Brown drove in the tying run with an RBI single. Abby Belcher reached on error and a sac bunt by Elaine Lanza moved her to second. Two more errors loaded the bases and Andrea Martucci worked a walk to give Winthrop the lead.

The Rams threatened in the third, but a perfectly executed pick off play at third, Belcher to Lanza, ended the threat. In the sixth Classical tied the game and the seventh saw two great plays by Amanda Brogna to record the first two outs. However, with two outs, Classical got two runners on and with the league’s leading hitter up, Ferri got her to ground out sharply to Pettee at second.

With the game still tied in the bottom of the seventh, Ferullo and Belcher both got singles to start the inning, but during an attempt to bunt, the lead runner was called out for leaving early. Elaine Lanza then laid down a perfect bunt to move Belcher to second. This set the stage for Haley Benson to be the hero with a double that drove in Belcher for the game winning run.

Belcher is second on the team with a .408 average that includes six doubles, two triples, and a home run. She also has knocked in 16 runs. Abby also has thrown out 20 base runners on the season, including an incredible 10 pickoffs at third base, which must be some kind of record. Benson is the top hitter with a .426 average. Haley has 13 RBI and three doubles and two triples.

WHS head coach Dave Guffey and crew travel to Gloucester Monday and to Marblehead Tuesday before returning home on Wednesday to host Danvers.

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