Warriors return most of last year’s state tournament club
Published in the April 11, 2017 edition.
By DAN MARGARITA
WAKEFIELD — After its first game was postponed due to rain, the Wakefield Memorial High softball team looks to open this season this week at Vets’ Field.
Coach Rick “Coach Q” Quattrocchi has some veteran players returning. But a good mix of players is what he seeks, with players earning playing time regardless of graduating year.
“I don’t look at it that way. I have 15 kids on the roster, which is the most I’ve carried since I’ve been there. We have three seniors, seven juniors, two sophomores, and three freshmen. It’s a good mixture, a good balance of younger and veteran players,” said the coach.
Wakefield finished with an 11-11 overall record a year ago and 8-8 in the Middlesex League Freedom division. The Warriors defeated Bedford in the preliminary round before losing Div. 2 state finalist Tewksbury.
Emma Hickey, who led the team in hitting last season with a .435 average, will be at first base. Hickey is a senior
Junior Meagan Gibbons, a starter since she was a freshman, will be seeing time at second base, as will Marissa Patti, also a junior.
Shortstop will be handled by senior Alexis Truesdale, a two-time captain, and a league all-star a year ago.
“She’s my Rock of Gibraltar,” said “Coach Q” and she will be in the pitching mix.
Vanessa Kaddaras, a three-year starter for Wakefield, will likely man third base. Kaddaras is a junior.
The catching duties will once again go to Nicole Catino, of whom “Coach Q” said, “I happen to think is the finest defensive catcher in the league.” Catino is a junior.
The outfield mix is still in flux and will be predominantly patrolled by younger players.
Freshman Taylor Owen is one of those players, and the coach describes her as a “slap hitter” who possesses “blazing speed.”
Freshman Katie Pearl, another “slap hitter”, will be out there as will freshman Sophia Gosselin-Smoske. She will be fighting for a spot along with returning varsity player Mia Romano, a senior, who “might be the fastest kid on the team”.
Jocelyn Healy, a junior, can play both infield and outfield.
Julia Purcell, a junior, will return to the mound and is slated to be the number one pitcher, with Meghan Burnett, also a junior, currently out with an injury. Burnett was an all-star hurler a year ago.
Rounding out the squad is Julia DiFazio, a sophomore with “blazing speed” and the ability to play many positions, as does sophomore Juliette Guanci, who possesses “maybe the softest hands of anybody on the team.”
Despite dealing with typical New England early season weather issues, the team has managed to get in some scrimmages. The Warriors beat Arlington Catholic and had a 4-1 lead over powerful Central Catholic late in the game.They followed that with a strong showing against Bishop Fenwick.
With many players that possess speed, “Coach Q” plans to take advantage of it.
“I love to run,” said the coach.
He also noted that some other coaches in the Middlesex League have picked Wakefield to finish in first place in the M.L. Freedom division. Wakefield does return many members that made the state tournament a year ago.
The Warriors were scheduled to open up the season today against Lexington at Vets’ Field but the game has been postponed.