Knock off Stoneham, Wilmington for key league wins


THE MELROSE Lady Raider softball team is off to a 2-1 start after recent league wins against Wilmington and Stoneham. (Donna Larsson photo)

THE MELROSE Lady Raider softball team is off to a 2-1 start after recent league wins against Wilmington and Stoneham. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE — The Melrose High School girls’ varsity softball team rebounded from a season opening loss against Arlington to sweep Middlesex Freedom League opponents Stoneham and Wilmington for a solid 2-1 start to the season.

Melrose played a sharp game against the Spartans on April 15 at Pine Banks which resulted in a 9-4 victory for Melrose. The game was fueled by an early offensive explosion that gave Melrose a lead of 6-2 in the third and benefited from the solid pitching of Melrose’s Alyssa Gorman. The Lady Raiders began the damage in the second inning with a lead off single from Melanie Cohan, who was driven in by Allie Bornstein’s double. Kaitlin Carson’s RBI single drove in Bornstein while Stephanie Crovo beat out a bobbled infield ball that resulted in an RBI. Alyssa Gorman’s sacrifice fly scored Carson and Victoria Crovo drove in Stephanie Crovo on an RBI single. When the dust settled, Melrose was up 6-0.

After Stoneham scored two runs on a triple in the top of the third, the Lady Raiders got out of a jam in the bottom when a bases loaded scenario threatened to tie the game up. Fortunately Melrose defense held the fort with Jen Stanton turning a double play and sophomore Rachel Pfeiffer making a diving catch in the outfield that saved potential runs. According to Melrose coach Steve Wall, preventing one big inning of runs turned key in the win. “We minimized the damage, and didn’t give up a big inning.”

Melrose had an easier job against Wilmington, whom they played two days later on Friday, April 17. The result was a lopsided 15-3 victory, behind the efforts of Alex McGuire on the mound. Scoring for Melrose was Kaitlin Carson (3 RBIs) Alyssa Gorman (3 RBIs) and Stephanie Crovo (3 RBIs), among others. The victory ended in a five inning mercy rule. Finding some oomph at the plate hasn’t been a problem in the last two efforts. “After the Arlington game, the girls just came out and rebounded, the bats came around, and defensively their getting the job done,” says Wall. On the upswing is the return of a healthy Olivia Joyal.

“They’ve done everything I’ve asked of them the last few games. I’m pleased where we are right now,” confirms their coach. At 2-1 with two critical league games behind them, Melrose has also limited their opponents to seven runs in two games. On the plate however will be tough opponents in Wakefield and Burlington, two league foes who’ve proven tough teams to beat the last few season. The Lady Raiders will face their first challenge on Wednesday (post deadline) against Burlington and will then travel to Wakefield to take on the Warriors Friday morning at 10 a.m.

Middlesex Freedom League Standings

League     All     Home     Away     PF/G     PA/G

Burlington   2-0     2-0     2-0     0-0     13.5     1.0

Wakefield    2-0     5-1     0-1     5-0     9.7     3.3

Melrose       2-0     2-1     2-0     0-1     8.0     6.3

Stoneham   0-2     0-2     0-1     0-1     2.5     13.0

Wilmington  0-2     0-2     0-0     0-2     2.5     14.5

Watertown   0-2     0-3     0-1     0-2     1.0     11.3