Lady Vikings Win Three, Outscoring Rivals 30-2

The Winthrop High softball team put it all together in its three games this past week, outscoring its rivals by a combined run total of 30-2, which included a win in the game of the year so far (from a Lady Viking perspective), a 3-0 triumph over a strong (8-3) Revere squad Monday, and a no-hitter by the Lady Viking pitching combo of Maura Lanza and Taylor Thomas last Friday at Lynn English.

The Winthrop-Revere encounter saw the teams battle through seven scoreless innings, as the respective pitchers, juniors Lanza for Winthrop and Sabrina Palermo for Revere, showed why they are two of the most dominant hurlers in the Northeastern Conference.

However, in the top of the eighth Lady Viking Michelle Lasala broke the deadlock with a home run clout over the centerfield fence. Michelle’s blast changed the momentum of the game, as teammates Maddie Finga’a and Jen Adamson followed with singles up the middle. After a fly-out to right field by Lanza advanced both runners, Taylor Thomas blooped a single just over the Revere shortstop’s head to plate both Maddie and Jen for a 3-0 Lady Viking lead.

Lanza set Revere down in 1-2-3 order in the bottom of the eighth on two strikeouts and a ground-out, but Maura’s (and her teammates’) best moments came in the bottom of the seventh when Revere tried to play some small ball in an effort to push across the winning run.

After the lead-off Revere batter reached on a bunt, WHS catcher Adamson gunned her out at second on a steal attempt on what appeared to be a missed bunt by the Revere batter. However, that  Revere hitter bunted safely and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. She then stole third, but Lanza shut the door with a strikeout to force the contest into extra innings.

Maura finished with 14 strikeouts on the day and allowed five hits — all of which came on bunts.

In contrast to the nail-biter with Revere, the Lady Vikings’ two previous outings were walks in the park, as Coach Dave Guffey’s crew bashed Salem, 14-2, last Wednesday and Lynn English, 13-0, on Friday.

Winthrop got off to a quick 1-0 lead against Salem in the bottom of the first on doubles by Finga’a and Adamson. The Lady Vikings added another run in the second on a double by Thomas and an RBI base hit by Kelly Swanson. Winthrop made it 3-0 in the third when Adamson stroked her second two-bagger of the day and came home when Lanza’s grounder to third was thrown away by the Salem third baseman.

Salem got on the scoreboard with a run in the fourth, but the Lady Vikings responded with three markers in the bottom of the inning.  After Olivia Grillo reached on an error and Lasala walked, both moved up on a wild pitch. A safety squeeze by Finga’a brought in Grilo and a double by Lanza brought in Lasala and Finga’a to make it 6-1.

Salem got one back in the fifth, but the Lady Vikings put the game away with a six-run uprising in its half of the frame.

Key hits were delivered by Olivia G. with an RBI triple and Finga’a and Lanza with  run-producing singles. Winthrop then ended the game via the mercy rule with two more runs in the sixth. Lasala brought in Grillo, who had singled, with a base hit and Michelle herself came around on a triple by Finga’a.

The final stats showed the leading Lady Vikings to be Finga’a, who went 4-for-5 with a double, triple, three runs scored, and two RBI, and Lanza, who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI. Lasala and Grillo scored three runs each.

Two days later it was bombs away again at Lynn English by a score of 13-0, but the contest will be best-remembered for the near-perfect game tossed by Lanza and Thomas. Maura yielded a base-on-balls to the English lead-off hitter in the opening inning, but after that English did not have another base runner. Maura tossed the first four innings of hitless softball and Taylor came on to hurl two more to close out the game, which was halted after six frames because of the mercy rule.

After being held in check for the first two innings, Winthrop got all the runs it would need with five markers in the third on the strength (literally) of a three-run homer by Adamson to right field and a two-run roundtripper by Swanson to left.

The Lady Vikings erupted for four more runs in the fourth to put the game away. Lanza belted a bases-loaded double to center that brought in Grillo (who had singled) and Lasala (who had walked).  Thomas and Swanson then came through with RBI base hits that scored Finga’a (who had walked) and Lanza.

The Lady Vikings added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to bring about the slaughter-rule ending.

Winthrop nows stands at 8-4 on the season and has reeled off seven straight victories. For Coach Dave Guffey, who recorded his 150th career victory with the Revere win, and his troops, the week  ahead will be a busy one, with five games in eight days. Winthrop was set to meet Marblehead yesterday (Wednesday) and will host always-tough Lynn Classical today. The Lady Vikings will entertain non-league foe Everett Friday in a make-up game, host Swampscott Monday, and trek to Danvers Wednesday.

Six straight wins for WHS boys tennis

Coach Marie Finn’s young Winthrop High boys tennis team ran their winning skein to six games with victories over Revere and Salem this past week.

In Monday’s 5-0 shutout of Revere, the Vikings won every match in straight sets. Sophomore Noah Hodgkins triumphed at first singles, 6-1, 6-0; sophomore Mike Norris was a 6-2, 6-2 winner at second singles; and senior captain Chris Capone triumphed over his Revere counterpart at third singles, 6-2, 6-0.

In the doubles matches, the first Viking duo of sophomore Robbie Miles/junior Sean Gillis won in a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash and the second doubles tandem of sophomore Brandon Creador/sophomore Jake LaFratta were 6-1, 6-1 winners.

Last Friday’s match with Salem proved more competitive as the Vikings puled out a 3-2 victory. Capone was the lone singles winner, 6-1, 6-0. Both doubles squads also were handy victors, 6-0, 6-1 for Miles/Gillis and 6-0, 6-0 for Creador/ LaFratta.

“Assistant Coach Ken Hodgkins and I have a great group of boys,” said Finn. “They’re a young team and always are working hard to get better.”

Other members of the 2104 squad, whom Finn praised both for their work ethic and their talent, are seniors Mike Gennaco and Nick Miller; juniors Ryan Duyon, Pat Todisco, and Tyler Rucker; and sophomores Matt Sennott, James Forster, Brian Perrin, and Kyle Dalton.

The Vikings, who now stand at 6-5 on the season after an 0-5 start, must win three of their final five matches in order to qualify for the post-season state tournament.

They play at Gloucester today (Thursday) and will host Danvers Monday and Swampscott Tuesday.

WHS baseball team tops Lynn English, 5-1

The Winthrop High baseball team put it all together last Friday, earning a well-played 5-1 victory over Lynn English, one of the big dogs of the Northeastern Conference.

The Vikings received a stellar pitching effort from Chris Fucillo, who went all seven frames, allowing just five hits and fanning six enemy Bulldog hitters.

Winthrop also received timely hitting, particularly in a four run uprising in the fifth. After Tyler Gillis and Vin Sparacino drew walks to start the inning, James Baxter singled to bring in Gillis. Cody Wasson, who had driven in the sole Viking run to that point in the third with a base hit, then cleared the bases with a triple. A subsequent base hit by Brendan Van Dalinda rescued Cody to make it 5-1.

“We had timely hitting, made the plays in the field, and received outstanding pitching,” said WHS head coach Frank DeMarco. “It showed the kind of baseball we’re capable of playing, especially coming against a top team like English.”

The Vikings seemed to poised to continue that style of play in their next contest against Revere on Monday.  Winthrop jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Revere ace Noah Jaynes on a succession of base hits by David Kirby, Van Dalinda, Ben Spinnazola, and Matt Feeley.

However, the Winthrop bats went silent after that and the defense committed six errors, which allowed Revere to score seven unearned runs in an ultimate 12-2 loss. Freshman Jack Wallace started for the Vikings and yielded only three earned runs in his four and one-third innings of work. “Jack did a good job, but we didn’t give him the support he deserved,” said DeMarco, who noted that his freshman hurler threw only 73 pitches, of which 55 were strikes.

Van Dalinda came on for the final two and two-thirds frames and allowed just two earned runs.

The Vikings will host Boston International tomorrow (Friday), trek to Swampscott Monday, and entertain Danvers next Wednesday.

Lady Vikings shine at NEC Fr.-Soph. Meet

A contingent of the younger members of the Winthrop High girls outdoor track team turned in outstanding performances at Saturday’s annual Northeastern Conference Freshman/Sophomore Meet held at Manning Field in Lynn.

Christa Vaccaro shone most brightly for the Lady Vikings, winning the first place ribbon in the long jump with her running leap of 15′-3″. Christa also earned a fourth place ribbon in the 400 meter dash with a time of 76.9 seconds.

Isabella Kennedy medaled in two events, taking second place in the triple jump with a distance of 31′-8.5″ and third place in the 800 meter run with a clocking of 2:35.3.

Shanel Turransky brought home a second place ribbon in the high jump, with her bar-crossing leap of 4′-7″. Shanel also competed in the 100 high hurdles and turned in a time of 20.8.

Other Lady Vikings who competed in the meet and acquitted themselves well were Nina Leone with a personal record (PR) time (by over a minute) with a clocking of 6:20.9 in the mile, which was good for ninth place in the field; Gabby Hinchion with a discus toss of 49′-3″ and an 800 run of 2:56.6; Maddie Jurovich with a high jump of 4′-0″; Katherine Thano and Shereen Laniale in the 200 dash; and Olivia Rago in the 800.

Turransky wins two medals at Fr.-Soph. Meet

WHS trackman Reise Turransky won two ribbons at Saturday’s Northeastern Conference Freshman/Sophomore Meet. Reise took second place in the 100 meter dash in 12.0 seconds and fourth in the shotput with a throw of 33′-6″.

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