Softball Team Opens tourney play Today at the Academy of Notre Dame

The Winthrop High baseball team will embark on its Journey to the Tourney today (Thursday) when the Lady Vikings travel to the Academy of Notre Dame in Tyngsborough.  The first pitch is slated to be tossed at 3:30.

Winthrop, which comes into the tourney with a 9-11 record, is the 17th seed in the Division 3 North Sectional bracket. Notre Dame is the 16th seed by virtue of its 9-10 mark and thus earned the home game nod.

The winner of today’s contest will move into the next round to take on number one seed Whittier Regional Vocational High of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, which is 18-2 on the season.  That game will be played at Whittier Tech, which is located in Haverhill, though the date and time have not been announced.

Winthrop should rate the favorite against NDA. The teams shared one common opponent this season, Mt. Alvernia. The Lady Vikings won that contest in an 11-1 romp, whereas NDA eked out a 1-0 victory. Moreover, Winthrop plays in the much stronger Northeastern Conference against predominantly Division 2 schools, whereas NDA competes in the lower division of the Merrimack Valley and earned most of its wins against small, non-league Catholic schools.

Indeed, the Lady Vikings 9-11 mark belies a team that could do some heavy damage in the tourney. Winthrop played well against the two top teams in the NEC, Lynn Classical and Saugus. Classical, which was undefeated in the NEC and is ranked 18th in the Boston Globe poll, edged Winthrop by a slim 4-3 score last week.  Saugus, which was 14-2 in the NEC,  took nine innings to beat Winthrop 3-1 in their first encounter this season.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge of the tourney,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey. “We’re happy to be in it and we’ll be hoping to play our best.”

Four of Guffey’s Lady Vikings were named to the NEC South All Star team: Andrea Martucci, Taylor Brown, Liana Ferullo, and pitcher Alex Ferri.

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