The Everett High softball team won its preliminary round contest last week in the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA softball tournament before dropping a 9-4 decision to top-seeded Concord-Carlisle in the first round.
The Lady Crimson Tide entered the D-1 North as the 16th seed in the 21-team sectional and drew #17 Newton South for the preliminary round encounter.
Lady Crimson Tide captain Kloey Cardillo got Everett rolling in the bottom of the first when she led off with a double. After Maddy Smith laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Kloey to third, Maddy Duraes brought Cardillo homeward with a base hit for a 1-0 Everett lead.
The Lady Crimson Tide added five markers in the second. Lexi Bartolomeo belted a two-run homer after Ariana Garay had reached on an error. Kiana Wilkerson then followed with a triple to score Gray and Veronica Bento drew a base on balls.
A bunt by Ashley Fitzgerald scored Wilkerson and Ashley herself was safe at first on an error. Bento had moved to third by the time the dust had settled and promptly scored on a sac fly by Cardillo. Fitzgerald, who also had tagged up on Cardillo’s fly ball, scored the final run of the frame on another sacrifice fly by Smith, leaving Everett in command, 6-0.
In the Crimson Tide third, Bartolomeo reached first on an error. After Wilkerson walked and both advanced a base on a passed ball, Bento beat out a sacrifice bunt on which Lexi B. scored.
That brought up Cardillo, who belted a double that brought in Wilkerson and Bento.
Kloey herself soon crossed home on a base hit by Maddy S. to make it 10-0.
The Lady Crimson Tide scored what eventually would prove to be the game-winner in the following inning when Garay reached on an error and scored on an RBI base hit by Wilkerson.
However, the 11-0 Everett bulge soon dissipated thanks to a seven-run fifth inning by Newton South and another South rally in the seventh that closed the gap to 11-10. What had been a runaway contest became a nail-biter with the outcome in doubt up to the final out.
Newton South had two runners on base, representing the tying and go-ahead runs, with two outs, but a fly ball to centerfielder Cardillo ended the game.
“Our girls played well and came out swinging,” said EHS head coach Stacy Poste. “Unfortunately, we had that one bad inning that when we could not catch a break. Our girls never gave up though, and we were determined to beat them.”
That victory earned the Lady Crimson Tide the right to advance to the first round, where #1 seed Concord-Carlisle, a perennial softball power with a 19-1 record, was awaiting them.
However, the Lady Crimson Tide were undaunted by the vaunted record of a Concord-Carlisle team that is ranked eighth in the state and appeared on the verge of pulling off the upset of the tourney.
After spotting Concord-Carlisle a 1-0 in the opening frame, Everett scored four runs in the third. Alyssa Bessler started the inning with a double. After Cardillo singled, Bessler scored on a bunt by Garay, who reached first safely on an error.
Duraes then brought in Cardillo with a single and Kaylee Nearen delivered Garay and Duraes with a double, giving Everett a 4-1 lead.
However, that would prove to be the Lady Crimson Tide’s apogee. Concord-Carlisle trotted seven players across the late in the bottom of the fourth and added a solo marker in the fifth for the 9-4 finale.
Despite the loss, Poste was upbeat about her team’s performance both in the tourney and throughout the season.
“The girls improved so much from the beginning of the year,” said the coach. “Once they got comfortable in their positions and lineup, things fell into place for them We (the coaches) told them at the end of the game that they needed to keep their heads up. They played well against the number one seed.
“Many of the girls will be playing on AAU teams over the summer, which will only help them prepare for next year,” Poste added. “We are hoping to have a better record next year and making a longer run in the tournament.”