12-4 win compliments Senior Day
Published June 11, 2021
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—Home is where the heart is for the Melrose High girl’s softball team, who finished their regular season in style with a 12-4 win over Wakefield at home on Monday, June 7 that puts Melrose at 5-5 on the season as they enter the Middlesex League Tournament play this week.
At press time, Melrose was slated to travel to Arlington on Thursday (post deadline) in the opening round of the Middlesex League tournament. They are expected to compete on Saturday at a time and opponent TBD.
On Monday, it was Wakefield who got on board first when they hit a 2-run homer in the first. But after that, Melrose took a lead that they never lost, thanks to big bats from Maddie Kozlowski (who had a home run) and solid bats adding to the lineup from Brigid Corolla, Cassie Sleeper, and Caroline Kiernan.
Sophomore ace Cassie Sleeper was on the mound again and kept the Warriors at bay with 7 strikeouts. “Cassie pitched an impressive game hitting all the spots around the plate,” says Melrose head coach Kelly O’Neill. “Her ball was moving better than it has all season. She kept scoring runs off the plate with strike out third outs 3 different innings.”
This win followed a previous heartbreaker when the two teams met at Blatz Field in Wakefield on June 3. It was true nail biter as Melrose took a 9-5 lead in the seventh but fell 10-9 thanks to a Warrior walk off. Wakefield scored in the bottom of the 7th inning, down 9-5, but five hits and five RBI’s were all they needed to steal victory from Melrose. In that game, the Red Raiders broke through with six runs in the 3rd and another three in the 7th. Scoring in the third for Melrose was Caroline Kiernan, Brianna Stanton and Maddie Kozlowski (2 RBIs) Melrose would enjoy a RBI triple by Stanton in the seventh as well. No doubt the final inning was a letdown for Melrose, but it offered a learning experience.
Coming into Monday, not only did Melrose have the home field advantage, they were celebrating Senior Day, an uplifting and motivating occasion for Melrose. “We were mentally focused even while celebrating senior night,” says coach O’Neill. “We knew how it felt to be ahead and lose and we did everything in our power to treat every inning like the score was 0-0. We came ready to go and kept that energy the entire time.”
Speed has been a major advantage for Melrose on the base path. Despite oppressive heat, Melrose was able to keep cruising. O’Neill complimented her runners. “The best base running performed by Middlesex was brought to us by Maddie Tobin, Adrianna and Sophia Centrella–this was in full effect during our game despite the high 90 degree temperatures.”
The win was extra special for the seniors being honored that day. Melrose will say so long to seven: graduates: captains Adriana Centrella, Sofia Centrella, Caroline Kiernan and Brianna Staton, plus seniors Francessca Maiuri, Delia McCarthy and Emily Waden.
“These 7 seniors brought so much leadership to this team regardless if they were captain or made the team for the first time,” says O’Neill. “They switched field positions for the best interest of the team and put aside their own personal desire. They are a great group of ladies and will accomplish so much.”
At press time, Melrose is slated to travel to Arlington to face the Spy Ponders in the ML Tournament. Says O’Neill, “We will face Arlington, who is a very good team. But, we have improved so much this season we will continue to play with the same determination and focus on putting the bat on the ball.”
Fans are encouraged to visit our social media pages for ML tourney and MIAA tourney game information as it becomes available.