The Everett High softball team enjoyed a fun and productive week, easily cruising past GBL rival Cambridge and then taking the measure of Saugus, a team that is in first place in the South Division of the Northeastern Conference.
Last Tuesday’s romp over Cambridge was about as easy as it gets for Coach Stacy Poste and her Lady Crimson Tide crew. Everett scored nine runs in the opening inning and tacked on seven more in the second to put the game out of reach from the opening bell. Errors by the Cambridge fielders and walks courtesy of the Cambridge pitchers produced the parade of Everett runners to cross the plate.
Michelle Zullo started and went two innings, allowing two hits and an earned run while fanning three. Rebecca Burley wrapped up matters with three strong frames in which she yielded just one run and one hit and struck out one opposing batter.
Two days later proved a different story however, when the Everett girls hosted Saugus under the lights at Glendale against a Saugus team that had defeated Everett in their first encounter and which was ranked in the top 20 with an 11-2 mark coming into the game.
Zullo earned the starting nod and was on fire and in control from the outset. Michelle demonstrated why she is considered one of the top pitchers in Eastern Mass. as she dominated the Saugus hitters en route to firing a complete game six hitter in which she racked up 10 Ks. More impressively, Michelle issued no bases on balls.
Still, her teammates had to put some runs on the board if they were to turn the tables in the rematch, which they had not accomplished in a 4-1 loss in the teams’ first meeting a month previously. Everett struck first in the second inning when Nicole Flores beat out a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop. After taking second on a dead ball, Nicole moved to third on a ground out by Rachel Pierce. Tori Cyrus then came through with a base hit up the middle to bring in Flores.
In the fourth, Everett rallied for four markers. Brianna Uga got things going with a single. Cyrus laid down a sac bunt, but an overthrow to first by the Saugus third baseman put runners at the corners. Zullo helped her own cause with a base hit up the middle to deliver Uga, with Cyrus advancing to third.
A Saugus error on a ball off the bat of Janyne Sierra brought in Cyrus and Sierra eventually scored on a base hit by Erin McLaughlin to make it a 5-0 Everett advantage. Saugus got its lone tally in the fifth when the their lead off hitter tripled and scored on a single.
That’s how matters ended, as Zullo and the Lady Crimson Tide defense behind her made sure that any dreams by Saugus of a comeback did not become a reality.
“The fifth inning could have changed the entire game,” said Poste. “They had the bases loaded when their clean up hitter hit a ball to right field, but the inning ended with a great catch by Erin McLaughlin. Earlier in the game that same girl had hit one over Erin’s head, and if she got a piece of it again, they could have easily scored three runs in that inning. But Michelle kept her composure and tried to keep the ball low.
“This was a big win for us,” continued the coach. “The first time we played them we lost 4-1. While driving home on the bus after the first game, we knew that we could have beaten them. They are ranked and we gave them a loss, which is always a great feeling when you are the underdog.”
Poste and her crew were set to meet Malden yesterday (Tuesday) in a showdown for first place in the GBL. The girls host Medford tomorrow (Thursday) and host Marblehead Friday. They travel to Latin Academy next Tuesday before returning home to entertain Swampscott next Thursday.