Page 8 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – Friday, June 7, 2019 Crimson Tide softball team heads into the postseason as the 19th seed with 12 wins T By Joe Mitchell he Everett High School softball team (12-8) wrapped up the regular season with a dominating shutout win over Greater Lawrence, 10-0, and a close hard-fought loss to Salem, 3-2, before waiting for Tuesday to come to see who they will be playing first in the Division 1 North state tournament. Prior to the Witches game, the local nine also lost to Lynn Classical, 5-0. The Tide ended up as the 19th seed, and they went up against host Woburn (13-7), the 14th seed, in a preliminary round game on June 6 (after press deadline). “This is my 18th appearance in the state tournament in 20 years as a head coach,” said coach Stacy Poste-Schiavo. “We only missed the first year that I took over and two years ago. “We have the necessary pitching to compete in this year’s tournament, plus a very strong defense. Our struggles may be with our bats, but we are practicing every day and hitting off the machine. “We would love to beat Woburn just to face Medford again. We lost to Medford by one run the first time we played them, and then lost to them again, even though we held a lead until the last inning. We know they are a strong team, but we can beat them if we come ready to play.” Back to the regular season game against Greater Lawrence – Ariana Garay pitched all seven innings to beat the host team after scattering six hits while issuing no walks and striking out five. The Everett offense provided her with more than enough offense in the very first inning by putting four quick runs up on the scoreboard. They then tacked on three more runs in each of the next two innings to put this game away early. Maddy Duraes (2-for-4, 2 runs scored), Maddy Smith (3-for-3, single, double and triple, 4 RBI), Kaylee Nearen (2-for-4, RBI) and Garay (2-for-4, 2 RBI) paced the explosive offensive attack. The Everett girls then lost a makeup game to Lynn Classical last Saturday, June 1, 5-0. The Rams scored three runs in the second and two more in the sixth to seal the deal. “We only had four hits in the game,” said Poste, “but we could have had more, because we hit the ball many times directly at their fielders, and when we got the ball in the air their outfielders made some great catches to help keep the shutout intact.” In the Salem game, Celeste Fuccillo pitched all seven innings, only to suffer the heartbreaking loss after giving up just three hits and one earned run. She fanned four. Salem jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the very first inning and added what turned out to be the game-winning run in the second. “In innings 3-7, we played amazing defense, but [were] only able to put up two runs,” said Poste. “Our offense was not there in this game.” Heading into the postseason, Maddy Smith batted .589 with a .998 slugging percentage (17 singles, 10 doubles, 4 triples, 2 HR, 17 RBI) to lead the offense throughout the regular season. Maddy Duraes (.446 batting average, .527 slugging percentage, 28 singles, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 18 RBI); Kaylee Nearen (.439 batting average, .742 slugging percentage, 15 singles, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 1 HR, 28 RBI); Veronica Bento (.419 batting average, .726 slugging percentage, 13 singles, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 10 RBI); and Elizabeth Peach (.304 batting average, .721 slugging percentage, 16 singles, 1 double, 6 RBI) rounded out the Tide’s top five hitters. Junior Ariana Garay pitched in eight games and won them all. She allowed 38 hits, 17 runs (11 of them earned) and 13 walks. She whiffed 35 and had a 1.571 ERA. Freshman Celeste Fuccillo was in the circle for 13 games and had a regular season record of 4-8. She gave up 93 hits, 63 runs (46 of them were earned) and 13 walks. She fanned 59 and had a 3.95 ERA. The weather was definitely a factor during the regular season, according to the coach. “The rain really hurt us this season,” said Poste. “We were lucky enough to use the cage for hitting, but not being able to practice on a field hurt us in the beginning. Once we got outside, we were able to perform outfield drills and work on our overall defense. “Some weeks, especially toward the end of the season, we were playing up to four games. Thankfully, we have access to two amazing pitchers, so we didn’t have tired arms.” Junior shortstop Maddy Duraes and senior catcher Kaylee Nearen were chosen Northeastern Conference North Division All-Stars by the conference coaches recently. “The other coaches had some amazing things to say about the girls,” said Poste. “They were just amazed at how aggressive Maddy was at shortstop, and they always wanted to keep the ball away from her. The coaches were … cautious about their girls stealing on Nearen, because of her arm. She has one of the best arms in the conference, and she is not afraid of picking someone off that’s taking a big lead.” The Crimson Tide girls softball team: Veronica Bento, Alyssa Bessler, Macayla Bessler, Yalixa Colon, Maddy Duraes, Ashley Fitzgerald, Celeste Fuccillo, Ariana Garay, Sidney Hennessey, Kaylee Nearen, Haley Oteri, Elizabeth Peach, Maddy Smith, Ashley Yebba and Rachel Zullo.

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