Sophia Clarke tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts as the Everett Tide 12-Under team defeated Salem, 5-1, to win the Middle Essex Eastern Massachusetts championship last Sunday in Salem.
The all-Everett contingent, led by head coach Nick Olson and assistant coaches Danielle Nadeau, JT Morello, and Ivan Velev. finished their spectacular season with a 12-1 record in the 19-team league.
Clarke, a talented right-hander who was in her first season as a pitcher, was truly an ace all season, tallying 97 strikeouts in 13 starts to go along with a few shutouts.
“Sophia always had aspirations to be a pitcher,” said Coach Olson. “She put in the hard work and really excelled. She’s a really good kid to coach.”
Salem was undefeated coming into the game with its own exceptional pitcher, but Everett used their top-notch bunting, speed, and baserunning to score five runs.
Leadoff batter Jayla Davila had two key bunt singles and scored two runs. Luiza Velev and Julianna Ferguson scored runs by stealing home.
First baseman Alexa Morello was a defensive standout all season. Starting catcher Amelia Marie Babcock limited opposing baserunners to few steals on the bases. Sarah Tiberii also had an outstanding campaign as one of the league’s top outfielders. Third baseman Ashley Seward was the team’s unsung hero, according to Coach Olson.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria presented awards to members of the championship team during a ceremony Nov. 12 at Glendale Park.
“This team was a special group of kids,” said Nick Olson, who served eight years in the United States Marine Corps. “Their camaraderie and teamwork were great. They were a fun team to coach.”