Photo: Belmont High Varsity Softball.
In the past few days, Boston sports media has been all worked up that the Boston Red Sox scored 27 runs in two games vs. the hapless Oakland A’s.
Well, Belmont High Softball scored 34 in their last two complete games, and they won both with shutouts.
After a rough patch in which the team faced the established teams in the Middlesex League, Belmont righted the boat with a 22-0 victory over a very young Watertown squad and took some revenge from Arlington, beating the SpyPonders at home, 12-0 (called after 5 innings) on Wednesday, May 11 after losing the first encounter of the season, 13-1.
The wins – in between the finish of a halted contest with Burlington (a 10-1 loss) – brings the Marauders up to 5-7 and within a realistic chance of making the playoffs for the first time in several years.
“We certainly have a chance of breaking through into the postseason,” said first-year coach Melissa O’Connor, who praised the girls for bringing “great intensity to the game, from the first inning to the fifth.”
Taking part in Wednesday’s slug fest was senior catcher Meghan Ferraro who collected two doubles, a triple along with a single to go 4-4 and 5 RBIs, second base Katrina Rizzuto (three singles, three runs), third base Lia Muckjian (3-4 with 3 RBIs) and first base Irini Nikolaidis whose 4th inning bases-loaded triple sealed the victory. Sophomore pitcher Christine MacLeod struck out five Arlington batters for the win.
“We know we can score runs, 10 to nine a game, so we are going to be in every game for the rest of the season,” said O’Connor.
Just about ten days ago, Belmont High Baseball was undefeated (8-0) and ranked 16th in the Boston Globe’s top 20 baseball poll. It looked like clear sailing the rest of the way into the playoffs.
Well, not so fast, Marauders.
Since that red hot start, Belmont Baseball has allowed themselves to flutter into the wind and lost its early momentum, going 1-3 in their last four, as ace pitcher Cole Bartels struggles with his release point and patient hitting by their opponents is paying off.
On Wednesday, Belmont played host to Arlington High and played that role to perfection, allowing the SpyPonders to take an early lead, stretch it with some key errors – leaving a good performance by sophomore pitcher Max Meier out to dry – and never finding any offensive punch with the exception of a Bartels double that this the base of the wall in deep center.
The final was an 8-0 drubbing; the first shutout of Belmont this season.
“You would expect with first place in the Middlesex League on the line, we would have responded,” said long-time head coach Jim Brown.
“We didn’t show anything today. Errors killed us, and our hitting was non-existent as we were upper-cutting everything,” said Brown.
Belmont will attempt to tack the boat back into the wind Friday, May 13 away against Woburn behind sophomore righty Nate Espelin.
Tuesday night, May 10 was going to be a celebration of a resurgent Belmont High Boys’ Lacrosse team with a late afternoon game to allow parents and fans to fill the stands at Harris Field.
But it was visiting Watertown which left with a good feeling, upending Belmont, 11-10, to send the Marauders to 5-8 and likely end their pursuit of a playoff spot.