The Winthrop High softball team defeated both of its opponents this past week to improve to 11-5 on the season and qualify for the post season state tournament.
Last Wednesday the Lady Vikings hit the road to Lynn English in a contest that featured an old fashioned slugfest. Abby Belcher got things rolling for Winthrop in the opening inning with a base hit on the second pitch of the game. Two more base hits loaded the bases for Amanda Brogna, who singled in Abby for an RBI. However, the Lady Vikings did not do any further damage in the inning
English answered with three hits and two runs in its half of the first to take the lead, but Winthrop responded immediately, exploding for five runs in the in the second which saw 10 Lady Vikings come to the plate.
However, the seemingly comfortable 6-2 lead proved shortlived. English bounced back with three markers of their own in the bottom of the second and three more in the third to regain the lead.
The Lady Bulldogs added to their advantage and eventually built a 9 to 7 lead going into the seventh and final frame. However, Coach Dave Guffey’s Lady Viking crew refused to surrender. After a ground out to start the inning and the chance of a comeback looking grim, Rachel Delsolio (who was starting her first varsity game as the DH) worked the pitcher for a base on balls. That was followed by back to back hits by Alex Ferri and Liana Ferullo to plate DelSolio.
League MVP candidate Belcher strode to the plate and came through with a clutch base hit that delivered Ferri with the tying tally. Haley Benson then applied the coup de grace with a double that sent home both Ferullo and Belcher to make it 11-9. This marked Haley’s second game winning hit against the Lynn teams in successive weeks, having down so against Lynn Classical the week before.
Ferri toed the mound in the bottom of the seventh and took care of business with three strikeouts to secure the victory.
On Monday the Lady Vikings made the long trek to Gloucester a profitable experience, albeit a nerve wracking one, to record a 7-6 triumph. The game started as expected with heavily favored Winthrop scoring three runs to start the contest. Belcher led off with a single and Elaine Lanza followed with another hit. Benson then singled to score Belcher and Taylor Brown cleared the bases with a two RBI base hit, though she was gunned down at second trying to advance.
Winthrop continued to cruise along, scoring another marker in the fourth, but Gloucester showed some life with two runs in their half of the fourth. However, when the Lady Vikings tacked on solo tallies in the final three frames to move out to a 7-2 advantage, the game seemed all but in the bag.
However, the fates seemed to conspire against Winthrop in the bottom of the seventh. After a pop out to left for the first Gloucester out, a bouncer back to the mound turned into a throwing error. Then Gloucester’s lead off hitter beat the throw on another grounder and suddenly the Lady Fishermen had a rally. They turned that into a reality with a single and triple that brought the tying run to the plate with one out.
However, Ferri bore down and ended Gloucester’s dream of an upset with back to back K’s to end the threat and save the 7-5 victory.
The team leaders for Winthrop at the season’s three quarter pole are as follows: Benson has a .455 avg. with 25 hits, five doubles, two triples, and 16 RBI. Ferullo sports a .452 average with 19 hits, two doubles, a triple, and five RBI. Belcher is ripping the ball at a .448 clip. with 26 hits, seven doubles, two triples, two homers, and 21 RBI.
The Lady Viking junior varsity squad also has been on a tear, winning five games in a row. Jackie Heatherton spun a two hitter vs. Lynn English in a 15-1 triumph and then fanned the last two Gloucester batters with the tying run on third to hold onto a 6-5 victory.
Offensively, Rachel Delsolio, Jennelle Gillespie, and Ashlyn Howard have been solid and Lisa Legna has shined on defense.
The Lady Vikings have just five games remaining on their regular season schedule. They were set to play Marblehead this past Tuesday and Danvers yesterday (Wednesday). They will wrap up with home contests against Swampscott on Monday, Mt. Alvernia on Tuesday, and Saugus next Wednesday.