The Winthrop High softball team snapped a two game losing streak with a 3-0 win over Revere Monday on the local field. Alex Ferri earned her first varsity shutout, going all seven innings in which she yielded just three hits, fanned six, and walked five.
Alex received strong defensive support from her Lady Viking teammates. Of the eight Revere runners who made it onto base, catcher Abby Belcher erased half of them. Abby threw out two Revere runners on attempted steals and picked two runners off third base.
“Having Abby behind the plate has changed the season for us,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey. “She keeps everyone on their toes,” noting that thus far this season, Abby has thrown out eight of 10 enemy runners on steal attempts and has picked off an amazing eight runners at third base. “Abby and (third baseman) Kristen Lanza have almost a poetic timing,” said Guffey. “They know exactly when they have baited the runner. It has helped change innings and games for us.”
The offensive stars for Winthrop were Belcher, who went 2 for 4, and shortstop Haley Benson, who also was 2 for 4, scored a run, and had a steal. Taylor Brown was 1 for 4 with a triple and an RBI. Liana Ferullo went 2 for 3 with a steal.
Amanda Brogna socked a double in the fourth and scored on Angela Pettee’s RBI single.
In the fifth, Benson reached on a infield hit and Brown brought her around with her triple. Brown then scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrea Martucci.
Revere’s only real threat came in the fourth with runners on first and third and one out. Their top hitter, Ashley DeFraia, hit a line shot that was snagged by Benson at short, who then fired over to Lanza to double up the Revere runner at third.
Defensively the Lady Vikings went without an error. Lanza had a good game at third with eight putouts, five on pop ups, two on pickoffs, and the throw from Benson.
In the two contests last week, Guffey and crew ran into some rough sailing with losses of 13-3 to Saugus and a tough 5-4 defeat to Peabody in extra innings. The contest last Wednesday with Saugus was doomed from the outset amidst the rain and the cold and eventually was halted after five innings because of unsafe conditions.
The Peabody game was a classic, hard fought affair between two good softball teams. Belcher went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Benson was 1 for 2 with two RBI. Haley also walked, reached on an error, and laid down a nice sac bunt.
Winthrop put together six hits for a three run rally in the third, but single markers by the Lady Tanners in the second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth frames provided the winning margin.
After Peabody had pushed across the go ahead run in the top of the seventh, the Lady Vikings sent the contest into extra innings when Belcher singled, moved to second on Benson’s sacrifice, and then scored when Brown belted a double off the centerfield fence.
Ferri matched Peabody’s all star pitcher, going all eight innings and fanning 12, walking just three, and allowing only seven hits.
“Alex kept the Peabody hitters off balance all game,” said Guffey. “The Peabody line up is considered one of the strongest in the NEC, but I can’t recall even one ball that they hit hard.”
The Lady Viking team leaders at this point in the season are Benson with a .438 average and 13 RBI; Belcher with a .389 average and 10 RBI; and Liana Ferullo, .375 average and three RBI.
Ferri has pitched 51 innings, striking out 57 enemy hitters and compiling a fine 2.90 ERA.
Guffey and company were set to play at Beverly yesterday (Wednesday) and return home for a match up with Classical on Friday. They travel to Salem Monday; host Somerville on Tuesday; and then have a night game with a 6:00 start under the lights at Fort Banks against Lynn English next Wednesday.