THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – Friday, May 10, 2019 Page 17 Tide softball drops two heartbreakers to close out first half of season, still has winning record By Joe Mitchell T he Everett High School softball team (5-4 overall, 4-3 in the Northeastern Conference) dropped a couple of conference games this past week to Peabody (7-5) and Beverly (7-4), but the good news is that they still possess a winning record heading into the second half of the regular season. Celeste Fuccillo pitched six innings against Beverly on Tuesday afternoon, May 7. Fuccillo gave up nine hits, just one walk and six earned runs, while fanning one. Maddy Duraes led off the game with a single to the outfi eld before moving to second on a passed ball. Haley Oteri then sacrifi ced her to third, and she scored on an error off the bat of Ariana Garay, who was safe on fi rst, but advanced to second on an errant throw. She went to third on another passed ball, before scoring on a fi elder’s choice. But the Panthers wasted little time to get those two runs right back in the home half of the fi rst. The Everett girls then immediately regained the lead in the second, when Veronica Bento doubled and moved to third on a passed ball before eventually coming home on a fi elder’s choice off the bat of Alyssa Bessler. In the third, Beverly started to hit the ball while the Crimson Tide made a few errors and threw the ball around, and the home team took advantage of it with its base running. Duraes singled to the outfi eld in the fi fth and went to third on a fi elder’s choice. Kaylee Nearen then brought her home with a single to account for the team’s fi - nal run. “We just didn’t have the hitting we have had in the past few games,” said coach Stacy Poste-Schiavo afterwards. “Take away that one inning Beverly hit, and we were right there with them. After that [third] inning, we played great defense, but fell short without any off ense.” The Tide fell to the Peabody Tanners last Friday, but not before it took its longtime rivals to extra innings. The game was scoreless through fi ve innings. Fuccillo pitched eight innings, allowing eight hits and two walks. She whiff ed 10, including the side in the very fi rst inning. The Everett defense rose to the occasion in the second, retiring the second out on a rundown from second to third. Catcher Nearen then assisted on the fi nal out with a strong throw to fi rst after corralling a tapper in front of the plate. In the home half of the frame, Garay drew a walk and Maddie Smith bunted her over to second to begin a threat. Smith was also able to beat the throw to fi rst to set things up rather nicely for the home team. Both runners moved into scoring position as a result of a sacrifi ce bunt by Elizabeth Peach. Ashley Fitzgerald then walked to load the bases, all with two outs. But from there they stayed, thus squandering a golden opportunity to score fi rst. "We had the opportunity here to score early, yet we just couldn’t get the bat on the ball in this inning,” said Poste. The game remained scoreless throughout the next two stanzas. Peabody threatened in the fi fth with two in scoring position, but Fuccillo was able to get out of the jam by fi elding a comebacker cleanly, and subsequently throwing to fi rst to end the frame. But the Tanners eventually cracked through with five runs in the sixth. They powered the attack with a two-run homer to start the uprising. The Tide did get three back in the home half to trim the defi cit to two. Duraes led off with a single to the outfi eld. Garay walked before Smith doubled, knocking in Duraes. With two outs, Garay and Smith scored on a two-base error by Peabody. Former EHS football standout headed to NFL Former Everett High School football play Lukas Denis recently signed to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Courtesy Photo) By Christopher Roberson fter stellar careers playing football for Everett High School and Boston College, Lukas Denis is headed to the pros as one of 12 undrafted free agents to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his time in Everett, Denis was named to the Massachusetts Football Coaches Association’s Super 26 Team. He was also named the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year by ESPN Boston. During his junior year of college, Denis was chosen for the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s All-America Team. Denis also recorded nine interceptions while playing for the Golden Eagles seven of which were made during his junior year. The home team was then able to tie it up in its last at bat to send the game to extras. Oteri was hit by a pitch to begin the rally. With one out, Duraes singled to the outfi eld, and then Nearen doubled, knocking in Oteri. Duraes eventually scored the tying run on a sacrifi ce fl y to right. But with two outs in the eighth after two straight strikeouts by Fuccillo, the Tanners broke the 5-5 tie with a two-run round-tripper. The Tide tried to mount another comeback with a runner on second, but couldn’t bring her home. “This was such an impressive JIM’S HOME IMPROVEMENT — General Contractor — •Kitchens & Baths • Carpentry • Painting (Int. & Ext.) • Cleanouts • Windows • Doors • Decks • Additions • All Reasonable MASS. BUILDER’S LICENSE NO RESTRICTIONS C.S. 065388 NO JOB TOO BIG, NO JOB TOO SMALL Call Jim @ 781-910-3649 game,” said Poste. “Peabody has a great pitcher, and they hit very well. But I’m so proud of these girls digging deep and coming back to tie it up. They never gave up, and that is all we can ask as coaches. “We have been practicing indoors a lot, and to see how well we played defensively has been amazing since we have not been able to practice infi eld and outfi eld. However, we still could improve on our hitting. We are still very inconsistent. We see how well these girls hit in the cage off the machine, and then get frustrated when we see live pitching that fast and don’t hit. “Celeste pitched back-to-back games and never stopped pushing. The defense backed her up the entire game. The infi eld was very strong, stopping balls from reaching the outfi eld. In the sixth inning, Peabody just caught up to her, and there was nothing we could do about where the ball dropped. The runs were not caused by errors. They were just hard hit balls.” Nearen (.500, 12 RBI), Garay (.476, 8 RBI) and Duraes (.414, 10 RBI) are the team’s top three hitters throughout the fi rst half of the regular season. The Tide took on Revere (after press deadline) on May 8, and will then be at Lynn Classical on Saturday, May 11, for a 3 p.m. makeup game. A

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