The Everett High softball team turned in what Coach Stacy Poste termed their best game of the season, but the Lady Crimson Tide fell just short by a score of 3-2 against Greater Boston League rival Malden in the opening round of the Division 1 North Sectional Tournament last Thursday afternoon.
“At first we were disappointed that we had to play Malden,” said Poste afterwards. “We like to play teams outside of the GBL when it comes to playoffs. We played one really good game against them during the regular season, so we knew we could beat them.
“Two years ago we lost twice in the regular season and them beat then in the playoffs,” Poste continued. “After losing to them the second time this year, the girls were pumped to meet them again. We cranked up the batting machine for practices last week, which is what I credit to the girls hitting their pitcher, who had thrown a no hitter against us the first time we met them, but in the tourney game we had eight hits.”
Lady Crimson Tide hurler Michelle Zullo was immense on the mound, allowing just eight hits herself, while walking only one enemy batter. After spotting Malden a 2-0 lead in the first on a walk and a home run, Zullo settled down the rest of the way and held the Lady Golden Tornadoes scoreless over the next four frames.
Her teammates meanwhile, pushed across two runs to tie the game with solo markers in the third and fifth innings. In the third, Kristie Welch walked and Alea Martinelli bunted to move Welch along. However, an overthrow by the Malden third baseman allowed Welch to come all the way around and Martinelli to get to third.
In the fifth, Martinelli bunted safely, but was erased from the basepaths on a fielder’s choice by Tori Cyrus. However, with two outs, Samantha Rebelo singled and Amanda Ray doubled to bring in Cyrus with the tying tally.
But Malden moved ahead in the bottom of the inning thanks to an error and a two out base hit for the 3-2 final margin.,
“It was tough way to end our season to lose by one run,” said Poste. “I feel like we played our best game of the year and we have no reason to hang our heads. This is a great group of girls and the coaches agree their favorite. We have had so many laughs, and cries together. We are family. We always try to pick each other up.”
Although Poste will be losing six seniors, Stephanie Chaves, Amanda Ray, Cristian Faia, Kristie Welch, Samantha Welch, and Allie Battaglia, the Lady Crimson Tide will have a strong nucleus of returnees. “I think next year we will shock a lot of people,” noted Poste. “We sadly will lose six seniors, but we will have seven of our nine starters coming back.”