Two more strong outings from sophomore pitcher Maura Lanza, timely hitting, and strong defense proved to be the winning combination for the Winthrop High softball team in a pair of victories this past week over Swampscott and Beverly.
Last Wednesday’s encounter at Swampscott saw the Lady Vikings fall behind early thanks to a walk, an error, and a home run in the opening frame, but Winthrop bounced back to knot matters at 3-3 in the second inning and then forge ahead for good with a four run uprising in the third to make it 7-3. The Lady Vikings tacked on another trio of tallies in the sixth to coast to a 10-3 victory.
Lanza tossed all seven innings, allowing just four hits with nine strikeouts. Leading the offense for Winthrop were Olivia Grillo, who was 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI, and Kelly Swanson, who was 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored, and three RBI.
Three days later the Lady Vikings met Beverly in the Bats for Buddy Memorial Tournament and eked out a 1-0 win in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel in which Lanza and the Lady Viking defense were just a bit better their Beverly counterparts to claim the win.
Maura tossed a brilliant two-hitter in which she fanned five and walked only one. Moreover, her teammates provided some stellar defense to preserve the shutout and the slim 1-0 margin of victory.
One of the biggest defensive plays of the game occurred in the third frame with two outs and a Beverly runner on second. A hard-hit ball up the middle momentarily froze the base runner before she broke for third, giving Winthrop centerfielder Swanson the opportunity to make a heads-up decision and make a throw to third, where she gunned down the Beverly girl.
Winthrop notched the lone run of the contest in the sixth. Michelle Lasala drew a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Pelletier. A bobbled ball by the Beverly on an ensuing pitch gave Lasala the opportunity to race for third. When the catcher made her throw to try to snare Michelle, the ball struck her and bounced into left field, allowing Lasala to scurry home with the winning tally.
Winthrop managed only one hit in the game, that coming from the bat of Liana Ferullo.
“Maura pitched well and our defense made the plays,” summed up WHS head coach Dave Guffey of his team’s winning formula.
Jen Adamson continues to lead the Lady Vikings in the hitting department with a .404 average, with Grillo next at .372.
The Lady Vikings, who now are 12-5 overall on the season and 11-4 in the NEC, wrap up their 2013 campaign this week and will await word of their seeding and first round paring in the upcoming MIAA state tournament.
WHS girls, boys compete in NEC Meet
The Winthrop High girls and boys outdoor track teams competed in the recent Northeastern Conference All-League Meet this past week.
On the girls’ side, Carly O’Keefe was the top performer, coming home with a fourth place finish in the 100 meter high hurdles in a time of 17.10 seconds. Carly had qualified for the final field of eight with the second-best time of 17.39 in the preliminaries.
Amy Sena scored points in two events, earning a fifth place ribbon in the 400 intermediate hurdles with a clocking of 71.55 and tying for a sixth place ranking in the high jump with a leap of 4-8.
Ashley Jurovich completed the scoring for the WHS girls with a fifth place effort in the shotput with a throw of 31-4.75.
Shanel Turransky narrowly missed winning a ribbon, taking seventh spot in the mile in 5:59.84. Lexi Vaccaro cracked the top 10 with an eighth place finish in the 200 meter dash in 28.53 and Michaela McCarthy did likewise in the triple jump with a distance of 30-8.5.Christa Vaccaro came home in ninth in the long jump with a leap of 15-3.
Isabella Kennedy reached the top 10 with a 10th place performance in the 800 meter run in 2:56.05. Isabella also competed in the triple jump with a 13th place effort in 27-8.
Other Lady Vikings who took part in the met were Maria Rago, who ran the 800 in 2:56.05, and Kristen Ford in the mile with a time of 6:48.17.
On the boys’ side, Reise Turransky was the top Viking performer with an eighth place finish in the 110 high hurdles in 18.83. Anthony Gallo made it into the top 10 with a 10th place in the 200 meter dash in 25.20 and Alexander Solano earned 10th spot in the shotput with a heave of 38-4.
Other Viking competitors at the meet included Cal Garufo in two events, the triple jump with a distance of 32-1 and in the 400 meter dash in 63.88; Joe Bosco in the mile in 5:46.01; and Daniel Dell’Anno in the 800 in 2:33.41.
Vikings need win to reach tourney
The Winthrop High baseball team kept alive its hopes for qualifying for the post season MIAA state tournament with a 16-5 victory at West Roxbury Saturday. The Vikings could punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney with a win yesterday (Wednesday) in their matchup against Saugus in the final game of the season.
Winthrop can qualify for the tourney with the win under the Sullivan Rule, which permits schools to reach the tourney with a .500 record against opponents in their own division.
“We’re excited for the Saugus game,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco. “We’re essentially in the tourney now, because from this point on, we have to win or we’re out.”
As for Saturday’s big win over W. Roxbury that moved Winthrop to the brink of reaching the tourney, “We had a really good day,” was how DeMarco summarized his team’s performance.
Steve Goddard pitched the complete-game victory for the Vikings, allowing seven hits, striking out four, and, most importantly, walking none.
A number of Vikings provided the offense, led by Michaael Ferrino, who scored three runs with a hit and two walks; Michael Rich, who had two hits, a walk, and scored three runs; Dylan Driscoll, who crossed the plate four times; Ben Spinazzola, who had a hit, a walk, and scored twice; freshman Jeff Collignon, who accounted for two runs and three RBI; and Brendan Van Dalinda, who had two hits, two walks, and two runs scored.
Winthrop dropped a tight 2-1 decision to Marblehead Monday in the bottom of the seventh inning. A combination of Winthrop pitchers held Marblehead to just five hits. Zack Mills started, but had to leave after the first inning with an ankle injury. Van Dalinda tossed the next three frames and Chris Fucillo went the final three.
However, the Vikings managed only two hits, by freshman Collignon and Driscoll (who scored Winthrop’s lone run on an error), but left 12 men on base, many of whom were in scoring position.
“Our hitting overall has been fine this season, but our problem has been hitting with men in scoring position,” said DeMarco. “We’re a young team and we’re either overly-aggressive or under-aggressive when we have men on base. There’s a learning curve for young hitters to know what it takes to have a good at-bat when there are runners on base.”
If the Vikings were successful yesterday, they will learn of their seeding and first round tourney opponent in the middle of next week.