Softball team beats Revere and Gloucester, improves to 9-6

Saturday, May 16, 2009
By Cary Shuman

The Winthrop High (WHS) softball team won two of its three games last week to improve to 9-6 on the season.

“We’ve continued to hit the ball pretty well,” said WHS head coach Dave Guffey of his team’s 9-4 triumph over Revere last Wednesday and 14-2 pounding of Gloucester this past Monday. “But we could have won all three games if we hadn’t made a couple of errors, and that is an area we need to continue to work on,” noted the coach, referring to the 5-4 loss to Peabody on Thursday in which two fielding miscues allowed Peabody to score the winning run late in the game.

Elaine Lanza went all the way on the mound against Revere, allowing just four hits and one earned run in her seven innings of work. Elaine displayed fine control, issuing only one walk while striking out one enemy batter.

Former Winthrop High All-Scholastic pitcher Kristen Finn wrapped up an excellent freshman season for the Bates College softball team with an appearance in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament at Tufts University in Medford. Among those greeting Finn after the Lady Bobcats’ opening game versus Wesleyan was Tufts football captain and baseball player Anthony Fucillo, who had been practicing with his team on an adjacent field.

Former Winthrop High All-Scholastic pitcher Kristen Finn wrapped up an excellent freshman season for the Bates College softball team with an appearance in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament at Tufts University in Medford. Among those greeting Finn after the Lady Bobcats’ opening game versus Wesleyan was Tufts football captain and baseball player Anthony Fucillo, who had been practicing with his team on an adjacent field.

Lindsey Barker got the Lady Vikings off and running in the third with a base hit that brought in two teammates in the second frame. A five-run fourth inning then sealed Revere’s fate, with Winthrop adding two more markers in the fifth for good measure.

Courtney Finn, who leads Winthrop in hitting with an otherworldly .673 average, smacked three doubles on the day, scoring three runs and driving in three. Abby Belcher, who sports a .386 average, had two hits, including a triple, knocked in two runs, scored twice, and stole a base. Lanza helped her own cause with two hits, a run, and an RBI, while teammate Ashley Fiandaca, who is hitting at a .462 clip, had two hits (one a double), a stolen base, and an RBI. Andrea Martucci also made a major contribution with two hits and a run scored.

The Lady Vikings lowered the boom early and often against Gloucester en route to Monday’s 14-2 rout. Abby Belcher deposited the fourth pitch from the Lady Fisherman pitcher over the left field fence and Finn whacked one out of the park moments later.

Bates College softball player Kristen Finn, a former three-sport athlete at Winthrop High, had her own personal rooting section from Winthrop on hand at Tufts University for the NESCAC Tournament. Pictured, from left, are Joe Wallace, Anthony Fucillo, her sister, Courtney Finn, Kristen Finn, Abigail Belcher, and her brother, Paul Finn.

Bates College softball player Kristen Finn, a former three-sport athlete at Winthrop High, had her own personal rooting section from Winthrop on hand at Tufts University for the NESCAC Tournament. Pictured, from left, are Joe Wallace, Anthony Fucillo, her sister, Courtney Finn, Kristen Finn, Abigail Belcher, and her brother, Paul Finn.

A base hit by Fiandaca, a walk, and a double by Martucci made it 3-0 after the opening inning. Although Gloucester got one back in the second, Winthrop added three more in the third. Kristen Lanza started the rally with a hit, and sister Elaine followed suit with her own safety and soon took second. That brought up Finn, who came through with a base hit to plate both Lanzas. Courtney then scored moments later when Fiandaca sent a blast high off the fence in center that hit the pole where the fence gets higher (an inch to the left and Ashley’s shot would have been a roundtripper).

Gloucester nicked WHS pitcher Angela Pettee for a run in the fourth, but Winthrop erupted for six runs in the bottom of the frame to put the game away. Kristen L. once again started the rally with a hit. Belcher walked, Elaine L. was hit by a pitch, and Finn drew a walk to force in Kristen.

Successive base hits off the bats of Fiandaca, Alyssa Moore, Martucci, and Haley Benson produced five more tallies and the game was all but over at 12-2. Two more Winthrop runs in the fifth ended the game under the mercy rule.

Fiandaca enjoyed a banner day, going four for four with three ribbies and two runs. Finn was three for three with four RBI and four runs. Amanda Brogna also contributed to the carnage with a hit and a run scored.

Angela Pettee pitched all five innings, yielding just four hits and the two runs while fanning three and walking only two.

In the setback at Peabody, Pettee pitched all six innings and allowed only six hits. However, six bases on balls and key errors allowed the Lady Tanners to overcome an early 4-0 Winthrop advantage and eventually score the winning tally in the bottom of the sixth.

The Lady Vikings put up a pair of runs in the opening frame when Belcher led off with a hit and moved to second on a passed ball. A base hit by Finn brought Abby in and Courtney herself eventually came around, thanks to some passed balls. Two more Winthrop tallies in the third, thanks to a lead off triple by Belcher and RBI base hits by Finn and Martucci, made it 4-0.

However, the Winthrop bats went silent after that, giving Peabody the chance to scratch together enough runs for the 5-4 win.

Guffey and his crew will close out the season with five games in the coming week. The Lady Vikings played at Swampscott yesterday (Wednesday) and will travel to Danvers Friday. They will host Marblehead Saturday and Monday (the latter game under the lights at 6:30) and the journey to Saugus next Wednesday.

Boys tennis team shuts out Revere

The Winthrop High boys tennis team won its third straight match last week, defeating Revere by a score of 5-0 at Revere’s “home” court in Winchester.

“The match started out very close, with two of the singles matches going to tie breaks in the first sets. But after that things went quite well,” said a pleased WHS head coach Barbara Hoffmann.

Ken Hodgkins won his match at first singles, 7-5,6-2. Second singles Alex Hamilton defeated his Patriot counterpart,7-6 (7-4), 6-4, and Jake Rand also took the third singles match in straight sets, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

In the doubles matches, the first doubles duo of Connor Brugman and Ryan McKinnon won 6-2, 6-1 and the second tandem of Kevin Cash and Brendan Fitzpatrick were winners by a 6-4, 6-4 margin.

“I’m very pleased with the team’s performance in the last three matches,” said Hoffmann, who also noted that, according to WHS Athletic Director Rob O’Leary, Hodgkins now has won the most tennis matches of any player in WHS history.

Baseball team looks to get back on track

The Winthrop High baseball team dropped all three of its contests this past week, falling to Revere, Peabody, and Gloucester. However, WHS head coach Frank DeMarco isn’t discouraged by his team’s recent skid in which Winthrop has dropped its last six encounters.

“The team is working hard and our fielding has been superb,” said DeMarco, who noted that his Vikings have committed just three errors in their past four games. “We have to put a premium on having our pitchers throw strikes and letting the other team hit the ball.”

Moreover, the Vikings still have a good chance of qualifying for the state tourney if they have a .500 record against fellow Division 3 schools. Winthrop currently stands at 3-2 against D-3 teams (the Vikings are 4-10 overall) with three more D-3 opponents on tap.

The 7-3 loss to Revere was attributable solely to the bat of Patriot Brendan Carter, who accounted for all seven Revere runs with two homers, including a grand slam in the sixth.

“Will Milano pitched a fine game for us, but he made those two mistakes,” noted DeMarco, referring to the junior’s six hit effort. Pat Feeley had a base hit in the seventh that produced two RBI for Winthrop.

In Thursday’s game with Peabody, Joe Boudrow came on to pitch four and one-third innings of strong relief in a 14-5 loss. Although the Tanners nicked Joe for four runs on six hits, he didn’t walk a batter. Milano, Paul Finn, and Tyler Pettee each had two hits on the day.

In Monday’s 9-2 loss to Gloucester – which is in first place in the Northeastern Conference Small School Division – the Vikings managed just three hits against a tough Fisherman pitcher. Freshman Mike Paulson, batting in the DH slot, Nick McCarthy, and Matt Moore accounted for the Viking safeties.

DeMarco and his crew were set to take on D-3 Swampscott yesterday (Wednesday) and then will host Danvers on Friday and Marblehead on Saturday at noon. Winthrop will journey to Marblehead on Monday and then wrap up the season with two D-3 games, at home against Saugus on Wednesday and then at Bentley College next Thursday vs. Watertown.

Viking trio fall just short at State Coaches Meet

The Winthrop long jumping duo of Charlie Asquith and Chris Berenger and high jumper Jake Connors fell just short of winning ribbons at Saturday’s State Coaches Meet held at Durfee High in Fall River, an invitation only meet featuring the top track and field athletes in the state.

Connors and Beranger landed in eighth place and Asquith in ninth. Ribbons are awarded to the top six finishers in each event.

Jake, who recently tied the WHS school record with a leap of 6-5, had a best of 6-0, which left him out of the money by two inches. The winning high jump was 6-6.

Beranger’s best leap was 20-1 and Asquith’s was 19-10.25. The winning jump was 21-4 and the sixth place jump was 20-5.25.

Coach Pat McGee and her Vikings will wrap up their dual meet season today (Thursday) against Gloucester at the Swampscott track facility.

The Winthrop track teams have encountered a bit of a unique situation lately when it was discovered that a pair of endangered birds had nested where the Vikings practice their discus, shot put, and high jump, forcing the team to seek alternate practice areas.

Said McGee, who has been coaching for about four decades, “That’s a new one, even for me.”

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