EHS softball team tops Beverly, Swampscott
The Everett High softball team earned a pair off well-played victories over Northeastern Conference rivals Beverly and Swampscott this past week.
In an exciting 7-5 triumph at Beverly on Monday, the Lady Crimson Tide scored three runs in their last at-bat to come away with a dramatic victory.
Everett grabbed a 1-0 in the top of the first when Kloey Cardillo led off with a walk and eventually came around on a two-out base hit by Kaylee Nearen.
The Lady Panthers got that one back in their half of the inning, but Everett regained the lead in the second thanks to some disciplined and patient at-bats that drew four bases on balls, the last being a bases-loaded walk by Maddy Duraes that forced in Lexi Bartolomeo.
The Lady Crimson Tide enlarged their lead to 4-1 in the third with a two-out rally. Bartolomeo tripled, Veronica Bento walked, and Ashley Fitzgerald laid down a perfect bunt that brought in Bartolomeo and, when Beverly made an overthrow, also scored Bento, who alertly had darted around the base paths from first base while Beverly was trying to get Bartolomeo at the plate.
The Lady Panthers forged ahead with a four-run rally in their half of the third, but the Everett defense thwarted what could have been a bigger inning thanks to a perfect relay from left fielder Izzy Bourouis to shortstop Duraes to third baseman Maddy Smith to tag out a Beverly runner for the first out of the inning after Beverly already had scored its four runs.
“We needed an out,” said EHS head coach Stacy Poste. “It was a great relay from Izza to Maddy Duraes to Maddy Smith. We practice this all the time and today it was huge for us to get it right, and we did.”
Everett had two runners on in both the fifth and sixth frames, but could not push across the tying run. The score remained at 5-4 in Beverly’s favor heading into the seventh and final inning.
Bartolomeo started the Everett rally with a one-out triple. After a ground-out by the next EHS batter, Ashley Fitzgerald drew a walk. Cardillo then came through with a clutch, two-out base hit to score Bartolomeo with the tying run. Bourouis followed with another base hit, bringing up Duraes, who singled into the outfield, knocking in her two teammates for a 7-5 Everett lead.
Everett pitcher Ariana Garay, who tossed all seven innings, and the Lady Crimson Tide defense, then preserved the win. After the the Beverly lead-off hitter singled and moved to second on a wild pitch, a pop up to Duraes at shortstop, a strikeout, and a fly ball to centerfielder Cardillo ended the contest.
“Before the girls went out for the last inning on defense, we told them that the team that has the most heart will win this game,” said Poste. “They showed such determination during this last inning that the coaches as well as the parents were so impressed. We knew they had it in them all along, they just needed to believe it themselves. Ariana pitched a great game and when they did make contact with the ball, her teammates backed her up by making the plays.
“I hope these girls continue this enthusiasm into the rest of the season,” added Poste, whose squad also pulled off a 6-4-3 double-play in the sixth inning that kept matters at 5-4, setting the stage for the big seventh-inning comeback.
In an 8-6 win over Swampscott at Glendale Park last Wednesday, Garay once again went the entire seven-inning route, allowing just four earned runs.
The Everett defense made some big plays once again, including a pick-off of a Swampscott runner at third base by catcher Nearen to third baseman Smith.
Everett scored three runs in the second inning, with RBI base hits by Bartolomeo and Cardillo being the keys.
Swampscott scored three runs in the fourth, but the Lady Crimson Tide responded in their half of the inning thanks to run-producing singles by Duraes, Nearen, and Bourouis (two RBI) for a 7-3 advantage.
Swampscott got one back in the fifth, but Everett responded in its half of the frame, with Fitzgerald, who had walked, scoring what would prove to be an insurance run.
After Swampscott had trimmed the Everett lead to 8-6 with two runs in the sixth, Garay and the Lady Crimson Tide defense did the job in the seventh. Bento made a diving catch of a liner at second base for the first out and third baseman Smith made a perfect throw to first on a ground ball for the second out.
Garay then ended the contest with a flourish, striking out the final Swampscott batter.
“The girls played great,” noted Poste. “We always seem to have that one bad inning where the opposition either hits well or we make errors. The errors we did make only allowed one run to score. We stepped up the bats when we needed to, especially with two outs in that fourth inning. However, we did leave runners out there too many times.”
Poste and her crew are scheduled to host Marblehead today (Wednesday) and will travel to Lynn English on Monday and to Boston Latin on Tuesday before returning home to entertain Somerville next Wednesday.