Softball team wins three straight contests; Zullo hurls no hitter

The Everett High softball team enjoyed a fine week, winning all three of its games against GBL rivals Medford and Somerville and non league foe Boston Cathedral.

Michelle Zullo earned the “W” in a 5-1 triumph over Medford last Tuesday, going all five innings in a contest that was called in the sixth inning because of thunder and lightning. Michelle dazzled the Medford hitters, allowing just one hit, walking none, and fanning five.

Everett got on the board in the second frame when Janyne Sierra singled, Zullo sacrificed her to second, and Tori Cyrus came through with a single into the outfield to bring in Sierra. After Cyrus stole second and Kristie Welch walked, Cyrus scored on a pass ball and Welch moved up a a base. Alea Martinelli then walked to fill the sacks for Samantha Rebelo, who hit a shot into center field, but it came up short for the third out.

Medford scored its lone tally in the third to make it 2-1 on a triple and a fielder’s choice, but that would prove to be all that Zullo would allow on the day.

Her teammates then added some insurance in the fourth. Welch walked and Martinelli slapped a hit into the left center gap, moving Welch to third. Amanda Ray followed with a hit to bring in Welch, with and Martinelli coming all the way around on the hit as well. Ray then scored on a Rachel Pierce hit down the third base line.

“The girls did a great job hitting the ball and putting it into play to force Medford into mistakes,” said EHS head coach Stacy Poste. “Michelle pitched a great game. Janyne and Tori’s hits in the second started us off and it was nice to see them come out swinging. Amanda Ray’s hit in the fourth then gave us a comfortable lead.”

Two days later, Poste’s charges took the measure of Somerville, 9-5. Stephanie Chaves went all the way on the mound, allowing just three earned runs, three hits, fanning four, and walking three.

After Somerville scored two runs in the first inning on a two run homer, the Lady Crimson Tide began to battle back in the second thanks to a home run by Rebelo to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Everett then put together a big rally in the fifth to move out to a 7-2 lead. Ray and Sierra singled and with one out and runners on second and third, Welch delivered a clutch base hit to the outfield to bring in both of her teammates. After a bunt by Martinelli moved Welch to second, Cyrus banged a two out roundtripper to make it a 6-2 ballgame.

However, the Lady Crimson Tide were not done and continued to bat around. Rebelo singled, stole second, and then scored on a hit by Pierce to up the lead to 7-2.

Somerville scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a walk and then some Everett fielding miscues, but the Tide put the game away with two more markers in the seventh. Cyrus doubled, moved to third on a hit by Rebelo, and scored on a passed ball. Rebelo then came across on a base hit by pinch hitter Nicole Flores.

“The girls finally came around with timing the bats this game,” noted Poste. “We (coaches) were happy to see people swinging the bats fast and making contact. At the beginning of the game we decided to move Tori Cyrus, who has been at the bottom of the lineup, to the third batting position. She has really improved in her hitting and she works hard at practice. The move was beneficial in this game.”

The 20-0 triumph over Boston Cathedral was called after five innings thanks to the mercy rule. Zullo earned her first no hitter, fanning 11 Cathedral batters (out of the 15 she faced) and walked no one for a perfect game.

Everett scored 11 runs in the opening inning and at that point Poste decided to replace all starting players on the field in the next inning.

“Our immediate thought was to pitch Zullo another inning, while Chaves warmed up,” said Poste. “However, at the end of the third inning, we realized Michelle was pitching a no hitter and she really wanted to finish the game. So we allowed her to do so, knowing Stephanie would be pitching the following game.”

Everett scored two more runs in the third and added seven in fourth. Key hits were triples by Rebelo and Sierra.

Poste and her crew, who improved to 7-5 on the season, were set to travel to Cambridge yesterday (Tuesday) and host Marblehead tomorrow. Arch-rival Malden then visits next Tuesday.

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