The annual Battle at the Beach softball tournament enjoyed the most successful year in its history this past weekend. The tourney saw Winthrop host 20 teams from throughout Massachusetts and the Northeast in three age group divisions, 12U, 14U, and 16U. The weekend’s games proved highly competitive in all age groups, with many contests going into extra innings or being decided in the last inning.
In the 16U division, the Academy team defeated the Legends squad in the championship contest, 7-3. The Academy was led by Winthrop High sophomore pitcher Taylor Thomas, who tossed five innings, allowing just five hits and three runs while fanning one in the title tilt. Shana Zeramby (Lynn English) came in for the save, pitching one-hit ball in the final two frames to preserve the victory. The Academy jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and relied on the duo of Thomas and Zeramby the rest of the way.
“It was exciting to see us hold on for our first tournament championship of the season,” said an exuberant Thomas afterwards. “This team is awesome and I am so happy that we won.”
“This team really came together and we have had a bunch of highlights this season,” said Academy head coach Dave Guffey. “We beat the state champs and now we’ve won the Battle at the Beach. It has been a pleasure to coach this group of talented players and see their growth.”
The Academy’s only real test came in the tourney opener Friday evening in a 5-3 win over the Bay State Riptide, a squad composed primarily of Winthrop girls including Amanda Pelletier, Ally Love, Sam Wells, Natalie Fitzpatrick, Christine Haskell, Alexis Joyce, Emma Carney, Jessica Martin, Regina Garufo, and Jaida Hightower.
In the younger age divisions, the Diamond Gems of New Hampshire won the 14U title, defeating the Warning Track Heat from New York. In the 12U group, the Revere Rampage topped the Worcester Cyclone in the championship game, 12-1.