After Winthrop’s Sofia Vitale scorched a fastball down the left line in the Harry Agganis Softball Classic Sunday at Fraser Field in Lynn, the only question was whether Vitale would stop at third for a standup triple or go for the home run.
Saugus Coach Steve Almquist, who was coaching third base, seemed to be giving Vitale the traditional windmill “keep going” sign. As a very interested spectator in the stands, Winthrop Coach Dave Guffey was hoping that his star pitcher would settle for a triple.
“I was happy that Sofia made it to third without any injuries and we wanted to keep it that way,” said Guffey, knowing that his ace right-hander and her Winthrop teammates would be playing Lynnfield in the State Tournament Monday (The Vikings advanced with a 14-1 victory).
Guffey said that Vitale has been the No. 2 hitter in the Vikings’ lineup this season.
“Sofia has good bat control and is a very good bunter, but she showed a little bit of pop in her bat,” said Guffey.
Vitale elected to remain at third for the triple before South All-Star teammate Izzy Mahoney of Winthrop came on as a courtesy runner and scored on a wild pitch, producing what would be the game-winning run. Vitale also pitched two strong innings in relief to earn the victory on the mound.
“It felt good to get the triple,” said Vitale, who will be attending Regis College. “I thought about going for the home run but it all worked out well.”
Izzy Mahoney, who played very well in the game, enjoyed representing Winthrop High in the Harry Agganis All-Star Classic. A versatile infielder and outfielder for the Vikings, Mahoney has been a solid contributor to the team’s success this season after undergoing knee surgery her sophomore year and having her junior season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earning a spot in the Agganis All-Star Classic was a significant accomplishment for Mahoney, who will be attending Ithaca College.
“It was a great experience to play with all these athletes from other schools,” said Mahoney. “It was nice to be teammates with the girls whom we compete against during the season.”
Guffey said he was proud of his All-Star players.
“They did a great job,” said Guffey, who garnered his 200th career victory this season. “I love to see good athletes compete against each other. They want to compete and have a good time and that’s the beauty about going to an All-Star game.”