The Winthrop High softball team advanced to the championship round of the Winthrop vacation week tournament with a 5-2 victory over Manchester/Essex in an opening round contest Tuesday. The Lady Vikings will meet Boston Latin, which defeated Cathedral in its preliminary round encounter, today (Thursday) at noon on the local field.
Manchester/Essex grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the opening inning thanks to a pair of Lady Viking errors, but that would prove to be the visitors’ apogee for the day. Lady Viking pitcher Alex Ferri smoked Manchester/Essex the rest of the way, ending up with 13 strikeouts in her six full innings of work, while allowing just three hits. Maura Lanza came on in the seventh, her first appearance of the season, and fanned two enemy hitters to preserve the win.
The Lady Viking offense was provided principally by the bats of Ferri herself (who was 3 for 4) and Liana Ferullo, who also was 3 for 4 and scored two runs. Rachel Delsolio had a pair of hits and accounted for two RBI. Jen Adamson also wielded a hot bat, with two hits, including a triple. Lauren Kostigan contributed two RBIs with a hit and a sacrifice.
The Lady Vikings enjoyed mixed success in three previous contests, with a 6-0 blanking of Gloucester offset by a pair of 4-1 losses to Danvers and Swampscott.
Ferri was superb in all three outings. She fanned 13 in the Danvers contest, 15 against Gloucester, and 10 against Swampscott. In her complete game shutout vs. Gloucester, Alex allowed just two hits. However, WHS head coach Dave Guffey termed her effort against Danvers, one of the top teams on the North Shore, as “the best I have seen her.” Ferri yielded just five hits to the potent Lady Falcons and took a 1-1 game into the sixth. Ferri spun a four hitter against Swampscott, but did not receive the necessary run support.
The Gloucester victory was paced at the plate by Lanza, who was 3 for 3, drew two walks, and stole a base; Ferri with three hits, including a two bagger, and two runs scored; and DelSolio with an RBI base hit.
The lone tally vs. Danvers came in the opening frame when Adamson singled and came around on a double by Ferri. Doubles by Ferri and DelSolio produced the Lady Viking run against Swampscott. Kostigan and Brittany Lento also had base hits in the Swampscott tilt.
After today’s contest, Winthrop, which stands at 2-3 on the season, will play at Saugus Monday.
Bright spots for Viking nine despite defeats
Although the Winthrop High baseball team dropped contests with Gloucester, Danvers, and Swampscott this past week, WHS head coach Frank DeMarco has seen a lot of good signs that could bode well for his Vikings in the season ahead.
“We have a young team, but they are working hard and improving with every game,” said the veteran coach. “They have a great attitude and it is only a matter of time before we put it all together.”
Sophomore righthander Steve Goddard has established himself as the mainstay of the pitching staff. Goddard earned the “W” in the first game of the season against Watertown with a strong, five inning effort in which he allowed just one earned run. He tossed four and two thirds innings against Danvers, yielding just three earned runs to the potent Falcons.
Zach Mills, who has appeared in three games for Winthrop, “throws hard and is very competitive,” said DeMarco, and teammate Mitch Paulsen had a strong outing against Swampscott before his arm started to tire.
Offensively, senior Chris LeBlanc leads the Vikings with a .385 average, while also playing staunch defense at his shortstop spot. “Chris is an amazing athlete who also can play in the outfield,” said DeMarco. “Chris also provides the team with a lot of leadership.”
Other Vikings who have shone thus far are Mike Paulsen, who has provided excellent defense upon taking over at first base this season; sophomore catcher James Baxter, who has proven a steady force behind the plate; and freshman Dylan Driscoll, who has become the starting second baseman. Dylan, who is hitting .308, also will see action at shortstop.
DeMarco and his crew were looking to get back on the winning track yesterday (Wednesday) against Marblehead and will journey to East Boston this morning for a 10:00 encounter in a non-league matchup. They will host Beverly Monday.