The Black Widows played their best softball of the season when it mattered the most, capturing the 2020 Everett Girls Softball League Major Division championship by sweeping the final two games of the playoffs at Glendale Park.
The Widows, led by first-year head coach Hailey Warren, rallied to defeat the Legends twice in the championship round of the playoffs and take home the coveted title. The Widows received their championship trophies at the annual Field Awards Day, culminating a challenging season that had been delayed in the spring to the coronavirus but re-launched in the summer as a result of the resilient efforts of EGSL President Vinnie Oliva and the league officers.
Hailey Warren, who competed in the Everett softball league and also played softball at Everett High School, said she was proud of her team who won four playoff games overall.
“We were the third-place team going into playoffs,” said Hailey, a 21-year-old student at UMass Boston. “It felt really good to take it home for our eighth and ninth graders. So it was great to give them a nice, big win as they leave the league. Everyone worked hard all season. We didn’t have a fantastic regular season, but the team always kept their focus and came to every practice and every game ready to play. I couldn’t be prouder of how they performed this season.”
Peyton Warren and Jessica Colman were the winning pitchers in the deciding games against the Legends. Peyton, an eighth grader. is the younger sister of Hailey Warren. Gianna Darnell also pitched well during the regular season.
Aniya Thompson, Lauren Ahearn, Jessica Colman, and McKenzie Powers were the leading hitters for the Widows who produced a lot of runs in the playoffs. Ahearn also excelled at shortstop.
“As a team, we played really good defense,” said Hailey Warren.
The Widows head coach credited league officials for organizing a season under difficult circumstances.
“It was really nice to have a season in the first place with everything that was going on,” said Warren. “It was really good to give the girls something to do, especially when they had missed out on school and all their other sports.”
Dave Warren, father of Hailey and Peyton, was an assistant coach of the Widows who helped out at several practices. Their mother, Laurie Warren, supported the team with her attendance at every game.
Legends head coach Andrea Fuccillo’s team, the fourth seed in the playoffs, built a lot of momentum heading into their matchup with the Black Widows, having won their first three games of the playoffs.
The Legends had also handed the No. 1-seeded Storm their only loss during the season and had defeated the defending champion Storm in the playoffs.
Asked who were the premier players that helped produce an excellent season and a powerful run to the championship round of the playoffs, Coach Fuccillo replied, “Everyone was a star. Every single player contributed to our team.”
Fuccillo congratulated the Black Widows on their championship season. “They were the third seed and they really put it together in the playoffs. They have a great coaching staff. I played softball with one of their coaches (Maureen Stevens Ahearn) at Everett High School. I was the [Crimson Tide] pitcher and Moe was the catcher. So it was a fun, little rivalry. But the Widows definitely pulled it together. They have a lot of talent on that team.”