WHS Softball Team Opens Season at Cambridge Monday

The Winthrop High softball team will open its 2011 season with a non league contest at Cambridge MondayCoach Dave Guffey’s Lady Vikings concluded what has been a fine preseason with a scrimmage against Woburn yesterday. Guffey and his crew made their annual trek to the Cape last weekend to participate in the pre-season jamboree featuring teams from all over New England. Winthrop played well in the tourney, winning three games, tying two, and losing just one.

After dropping the opening contest on Saturday against a strong Grafton squad, Winthrop parlayed strong pitching from Alex Ferri and Jacky Hetherton and timely hitting to win or tie their remaining five encounters. Among the highlights were Ferri’s four shutout innings against Westford and another four impressive frames against Holliston in which Alex fanned six enemy hitters. Hetherton had a nice outing against Mt. St. Joseph’s in which she worked two innings and whiffed four batters. Jackie also pitched four strong innings against Lynn Classical, allowing just four hits while striking out four.

In the hitting department, Michelle Lasala hit .800 for the weekend, Taylor Brown hit .750, and the trio of Janelle Gillespie, Liana Ferullo, and Ashlyn Howard all hit .600

“We’re looking forward to a good season,”: said Guffey, who noted that 34 players came  out for the three teams in his program, including six eighth graders. “All teams are looking to be competitive with some strong pitching at all levels. The younger teams have two experienced pitchers with ninth grader Kelly Swanson and eighth grader Maura Lanza,” added the coach.

The 2011 varsity Vikings will have a nice blend of veterans and new faces. The six seniors on the team, Captain Kristen Lanza (third base), Captain Andrea Martucci (centerfield),

Captain Haley Benson (shortstop), Taylor Brown (second base),  Hetherton (pitcher), and Alyssa Moore (left field) represent the largest group of seniors on a team that Guffey has coached in his 11 years at the helm of the Lady Vikings .

They will be joined by juniors Ferri (pitcher),  Rachel Delsolio (OF/ DH), and transfer Brittany Lento (first base/catcher). Sophomores are Liana Ferullo (1B/OF) and Ashlyn Howard (2B/OF) with freshmen Jen Adamson (catcher) and Michelle Lasala (shortstop) joining the varsity.

The team suffered a major down note during the preseason with the loss of Benson, who is recovering from a knee injury and will be out four to eight weeks. “We definitely will miss Haley’s leadership and her toughness on the field,” said Guffey. “Michelle Lasala will fill in and has shown some slick fielding and a strong bat for a young gun.”

After Monday’s opener, the Lady Vikings will stay on the road for games at Northeastern Conference rivals Marblehead Wednesday and Gloucester Friday. They will host the April vacation tournament playing North Quincy at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 18th.

Senior-laden Winthrop High baseball team opens Saturday

Although the weather the past week has been anything but spring-like, the Winthrop High boys of spring will take to the baseball diamond Saturday at Bishop Fenwick in a non league encounter to open their 2011 campaign.

Veteran WHS head coach Frank DeMarco will be fielding a senior-laden team led by captains Joe Boudrow at shortstop and Nick McCarthy at second, both of whom are three year starters. Tyler Pettee, another three year starter, will handle the chores behind the plate, with fellow senior Mario Pasco providing solid depth at that important position.

“We figure to be strong up the middle with our experience and talent,” said DeFelice. Senior pitchers Anthony Hatzisavas and Alex Liberti will be expected to bear the principal duties on the mound. Senior Justin Rowe will hold down first base and seniors Chris LeBlanc and Joe Cloherty will man the hot corner to round out the infield. Senior Dylan Piwinski will see a lot of action in the outfield.

Other Vikings who will see plenty of innings are Mitch and Mike Paulsen, freshman Dan Eruzione, Bobby Clewer, and Dan Feeley. Feeley, Boudrow, and Rowe also will be counted upon to help in the pitching department. “We have a very competitive team among ourselves for positions and playing time,” noted DeMarco.

As for the Vikings’ Northeastern Conference competition, DeMarco said that no one rates the favorite role at the present time, but fully expects the usual schools to field strong squads.

After Saturday’s season opener with Fenwick, Winthrop will host NEC rivals Marblehead on Wednesday and Gloucester on Friday.

It will be a matchup of state championship teams.

On Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m. at the Winthrop High School gymnasium, the 1995 WHS state champion boys basketball team will play the 2011 WHS state champion boys basketball team in an exhibition game.

Coach Dave Brown’s Vikings defeated Cohasset to win the state title this year at the TD Garden. The 1995 team, led by coach Peter Grimes, defeated Cohasset in the state semifinals at the old Boston Garden. That team went on to defeat Sutton in the state championship game at the DCU Center (formerly the Worcester Centrum).

The 1995 team was inducted into the WHS Hall of Fame in November.

The event is being billed as the “Return of the Champions.”

There will be a celebration following the game at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks.

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