Softball Team Wins Two of First Three

The Winthrop High softball team got off to a nice start in its first week of the 2013 campaign, taking two of its three contests against Northeastern Conference rivals.

“We’ve received strong pitching, we’re playing good defense, and we’re getting our bats on the ball,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey to sum up the reasons for his team’s early success.

The Lady Vikings opened the season with a 10-6 win at Gloucester in a contest that was not as close as the final score might indicate. Winthrop held a 10-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but two fielding miscues with two outs allowed the Lady Fishermen to put up a few unearned runs that made the final margin a bit closer.

The Lady Vikings pounded out 14 hits, breaking open a tight 2-1 affair with a four run outburst in the fifth inning and adding to their margin with a solo run in the sixth and three more in the seventh.

Junior Jen Adamson did a lot of damage at the plate with three hits, including a triple, a walk, three runs scored, and two RBI.

Senior captain Liana Ferullo was another major contributor, banging out a pair of hits, walking twice, scoring thrice, and adding a ribbie. Sophomore Maura Lanza also had two hits with two runs scored and an RBI and Kelly Swanson had a hit and two RBI.

Lanza tossed all seven frames for Winthrop, allowing just five hits and one earned run while fanning five and walking only one. Lanza’s superlative effort on the mound would be a recurring theme for Winthrop in the opening week, as Maura’s line score improved even further with each passing game.

Although the Lady Vikings’ bats were silent Saturday morning in a 3-0 loss to perennial power Danvers, one of the top-ranked teams in the state, Lanza was superb. Maura once again went the entire seven inning route, scattering eight hits for two earned runs, while fanning eight and allowing just one base on balls.

Winthrop managed just two hits, both coming off the bats of freshmen, Taylor Thomas, who had a single in the first inning, and Olivia Grillo, who doubled in the third. The Winthrop outfield shone throughout the contest, with centerfielder Ferullo tracking down some long drives and rightfielder Christine Haskell likewise hauling in some deep Danvers fly balls.

However, the Lady Vikings bounced back Monday to claim a 3-1 triumph at Swampscott. Lanza displayed even more flame-throwing in this one, racking up 13 strikeouts of enemy batters. She gave up just six hits and the lone Swampscott run was unearned.

“Maura was really mowing them down,” noted Guffey.

Winthrop scored twice in the third. Grillo drew a lead-off walk and Michelle Lasala reached on a sacrifice bunt that turned into a hit. A sacrifice fly to right by Thomas advanced both runners and Adamson walked to fill the sacks. Consecutive line drive base hits to left by Ferullo and Lanza brought in Grillo and Lasala.

Winthrop added an insurance tally in the fifth when Adamson singled, moved to second on a passed ball, and came around on an error by the Swampscott shortstop on a grounder hit by Lanza.

Adamson made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the fifth when she picked off a Swampscott runner at third base to snuff out a potential scoring threat.

“We have a young team,” said Guffey of his squad, whose only senior is Ferullo, “but we’re playing solid softball in all phases of the game.”

The Lady Vikings have a busy week ahead with six games in eight days. Today (Thursday) they will play a doubleheader in the North End tourney, which originally had been scheduled to start Tuesday at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, but which has been moved to Woburn because of the tragic events at the Marathon. The Lady Vikings will take on Latin Academy and then play either the consolation or championship game against Woburn or O’Bryant, the other two teams in the tourney.

Winthrop travels to Marblehead tomorrow morning for a game at 10:00 and then returns home to face Saugus Monday afternoon. Wednesday brings a trip to Peabody and next Thursday is a trek to Lynn Classical.

Tough start for WHS baseball team

The outcome in any type of sports event often is determined not so much by one team beating another, so much as it is by the losing team beating itself. In football, the team with more turnovers (fumbles and interceptions) invariably will be the loser. In basketball, turnovers and poor free throw shooting often tell the tale.

And in baseball, walks and errors usually are a pretty good indicator of which team will prevail.

The young Winthrop High baseball team learned the truth of that axiom this past week, dropping its first three encounters to Northeastern Conference opponents. The box scores for the three contests reveal that the Vikings allowed 20 walks to enemy hitters, of whom 14 crossed the plate.

“You aren’t going to win too many games with those kinds of statistics,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco. “We need our pitchers to throw more strikes.”

Errors also played a role in the Vikings’ 0-3 start in the NEC. In a 9-6 loss to Gloucester, six miscues in the field, together with eight free passes to first for Gloucester hitters, proved to be the key factors in Winthrop’s undoing.

The Vikings have been hitting the ball well however, with Cody Wasson, David Kirby, and Zack Mills the leading Winthrop hitters in the first week. Catcher James Baxter has been solid behind the plate and has thrown out three enemy basemen on steal attempts.

“This team works as hard as any I’ve coached,” said DeMarco. “They have great practices every day. It’s just a matter of putting what we do so well in our practices into game situations.”

Winthrop will seek to get on the winning track this morning (Thursday) when the Vikings host Marblehead. They will play at Austin Prep Saturday morning; travel to Saugus Monday; and host Peabody Wednesday.

Girls track team edges Revere, 59-57

The Winthrop High girls outdoor track team nipped Revere, 59-57, last week. The Lady Vikings were led by the duo of Carly O’Keefe and Ashley Jurovich who posted two first place finishes each.

Carly reigned supreme in the hurdles events, capturing the 400 low hurdles in 73.5 seconds and the 100 high hurdles in 17.2. Ashley was the top thrower on the day, taking first places in the shotput with a throw of 28 feet, six inches, and the discus with a toss of 86-6.

Amy Sena, who  is getting her strength back after missing the early season, scored 14 points for Winthrop. Amy won the triple jump with a hop, skip, and jump of 29-4 and took second places in three events, the high jump with a leap of 4-8, the 200 dash in 29.1, and the 400 hurdles in 74.1.

Isabelle Kennedy also contributed 14 points to the Winthrop side of the score sheet with a stellar day. Isabelle won the two mile run in 13:16 and took seconds in the 400 meter dash in 69.2, the long jump with a leap of 14-5, and the triple jump in 28-6.

Meyammi Meggison pitched in eight points with a winning long jump of 15-6 and a second in the 100 meter dash in 14.1

Jordan Griffiths remained undefeated in the 400 dash with a clocking of 65.0 and qualified for the states.

Other point scorers for the Lady Vikings in a meet in which every point was crucial were: Lexi Vaccaro with a second place in the 200 in 28.4; Maria Rago with a third in the 800 in 2:54; Shanel Turansky with a second in the mile in 6:19; and Julia Wallace placed second in the high jump, tying with Sena at a height of 4-8.

WHS head coach Warren MacPhail also noted that Jillian Kfoury, Mary Texeirra, Carlyn Hetherton, Abby Love, Christa Vaccaro, and Holly Vaccaro all had strong efforts in their events.

The Lady Vikings extended their undefeated streak to11 conference meets with the victory. They  will meet Saugus next Wednesday.

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