Playoffs end with 3-2 heartbreaker against Burlington
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The playoff journey of the Melrose High School Lady Raider softball team ended on Wednesday, June 3 in Burlington when the host Red Devils (6th seed) edged 11th seeded Melrose in a crushing 3-2 loss that finishes the Lady Raiders otherwise successful season at 10-9. Burlington kept Melrose scoreless for seven innings until Melrose put a scare in them at the the top of the seventh when they reduced the deficit 3-2.
Their comeback began with a leadoff double by Allie Borenstein, followed by a single from Caitlin Carson. With two Lady Raiders on base, Alyssa Gorman hit an RBI grounder that scored Borenstein, and Victoria Crovo hit an RBI single that scored Carson and made a one run game at the top of the seventh. Down just 3-2 with two outs and first base occupied Melrose threatened to score until the final pitch, which came at a potentially controversial moment, when Melrose batter Alex McGuire capitalized on a dropped third strike. She was initially called out but eventually awarded first base by officials, keeping Melrose’s final drive alive. But with two Melrose runners on, Burlington hurler Jill Ghio struck out the game’s final batter to preserve the win.
Melrose hurler Alex McGuire had a strong day for Melrose and Lady Raider defense was top notch despite the result. “I actually think this was one of Alex’s best games. She kept the ball on the ground, let our infield do the work, and defensively we played a good game and limited errors,” says Melrose coach Steve Wall. Burlington earned eight hits over the day with senior Kaela Hersee went 2-3 with a run scored while Marisa Bourgeois, Gillian Daly and Erin Browne also contributed with RBIs. “Burlington is a very good team we beat this season,” says Wall, who anticipated a close game. “They just seemed to be one more hit and one more ahead of us.”
Melrose graduates 7 seniors (names) That includes about a handful of starters but fortunately they maintain their pitching staff in Alex McGuire and Alyssa Gorman. “‘ll miss some of our seniors’ bats, our top of the order girls especially,” says Wall. “But we have some talent coming back, I think we’ll return with confidence and solid pitching and will be in a good place.”
After defeating Gloucester on Friday, Burlington was slated to take on Swampscott this week in semifinal play.