Lanza Blanks Latin on Three Hitter, 2-0

Maura Lanza tossed a brilliant three hitter to pace the Winthrop High softball team to a 2-0 victory over Boston Latin last Thursday in the opening game of the North End tournament held in Woburn. The tournament had been scheduled to start last Tuesday at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, but it was moved to Woburn in the wake of last week’s tragic events at the Boston Marathon.

Maura was in command all the way, fanning seven enemy batters and walking none. Her teammates played solid defense behind her and gave her all the runs she would need in the second frame. Liana Ferullo led off with a base hit, after which Lanza and Kelly Swanson both bunted and reached on Latin errors, the latter allowing Ferullo to come home with the first run of the game.

Amanda Pelletier successfully laid down another bunt which brought in Lanza with what prove to be an insurance run. Swanson afterwards was awarded the game bat for bringing in the winning run and freshman second baseman Olivia Grillo received the defensive Glove of the Game award for her flawless play at second in which she made two putouts and had three assists without an error.

The Lady Vikings then had to wait around for two hours while the other preliminary contest was played between Woburn and O’Bryant High of Boston. The lengthy interlude did the Winthrop squad no favors as they came out flat en route to a 14-2 loss to Woburn, a team the Lady Vikings had beaten 2-1 in a pre-season encounter. Grillo provided the lone highlight for Winthrop with a home run to the left center gap in the fifth.

The Lady Vikings returned home Sunday to host Marblehead for a game that was moved up a day from Monday. The contest was a tight 2-1 affair in Marblehead’s favor until the seventh when the Lady Magicians put up five runs on the board to come away with a 7-1 victory.

Grillo scored the lone tally for the Lady Vikings in the fifth when she singled, stole second, and tagged up and came all the way home on a deep fly ball to right center by Michelle LaSala which was caught by the Marblehead rightfielder, but who collided with her centerfielder. She held onto the ball, but by the time she got to her feet, Grillo had scampered all the way home.

The story of the game however, was the inability of the Lady Vikings to come through with a timely hit that could have changed the complexion of the game. They loaded the bases in the second inning with one out and did so again in the sixth, but were unable to take advantage of those opportunities.

WHS head coach Dave Guffey and his crew, who now stand at 3-3 on the season, have a busy week ahead. They were set to travel to Peabody yesterday (Wednesday) and then return home next week for four games in five days: Revere on Monday, Saugus on Tuesday, Salem on Wednesday, and Lynn English next Friday.

Baseball team whips Marblehead, 9-5

The Winthrop High baseball team put together a complete game on the mound, in the field, and at the plate to roll to a 9-5 win over Marblehead last Wednesday.

Viking starting pitcher Chris Fucillo gave Coach Frank DeMarco’s squad a strong performance, going six full innings to pick up the victory. Steven Goddard came on in the seventh when Fucillo began to tire to record the save.

“Chris fought hard all the way and gave us a quality game,” noted DeMarco, citing Fucillo’s six strikeouts of enemy hitters while allowing only two bases on balls.

His teammates meanwhile, provided both solid defense and a powerful offensive attack in support of their starting hurler. The Vikings scored twice in the opening frame, added four in the second, and another in the third to open up a nice early lead. Winthrop tacked on two more in the fifth to put the game on ice.

Brendan Van Dalinda enjoyed a big day at the plate with three hits and three RBI. Zack Mills continued his torrid hitting with a double, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored. Ben Spinazzola went 3-for-3 with a run and Mike Rich led off the game for Winthrop with a double and scored the first Viking run.

Three days later the Vikings traveled to Austin Prep for a contest that had been postponed from earlier in the week because of the Boston Marathon events. Goddard took to the hill and tossed a superb four hitter over the full seven inning route, yielding just two earned runs while fanning five.

“Steven pitched a great game,” said DeMarco.

However, the Viking bats were silent, managing just three hits on the day, and the end result was a 5-0 loss. “We only struck out twice,” noted DeMarco, “but we hit the ball on the ground for nine outs. Credit their defense, because they made all the plays and got the job done.”

Monday saw the Vikings trek to Saugus. David Kirby got the starting nod and turned in his second straight fine effort (and fourth consecutive strong outing for Winthrop starting pitchers). David went into the sixth inning before coming out with the score at 4-3 as he approached the 100 pitch count. However, Saugus erupted for four more runs in that frame to pull away for an eventual 8-3 triumph.

“Our starting pitching has kept us in almost every game,” noted DeMarco, “but other than in the Marblehead win, we haven’t been able to put together a string of timely hitting to provide the offense we need to win ballgames. I feel confident that if our pitchers continue to perform well for us, our bats will come around.”

Kirby was 2-for-2 on the day with two walks, a run, and an RBI and Van Dalinda had two hits and a run.

DeMarco noted the fine contribution at the plate thus far this season of senior captain and rightfielder Michael Ferrino, whose on-base percentage is hovering in the .650 range.

“Michael has been a great leader for us and is doing a lot of things to help the team,” said DeMarco.

The Vikings were set to host Peabody yesterday (Wednesday) and will entertain Lynn Classical tomorrow. They trek to Beverly Monday and return home to face Salem next Wednesday.

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