Warriors walk-off with 2-1 triumph
Published in the May 2, 2016 edition
By DAN MARGARITA
WAKEFIELD — After two straight one-run, walk-off losses, the Warriors were happy to be on the winning end of that type of game.
The Wakefield Memorial High softball team edged out Middlesex League Freedom division leader Burlington Friday night by a 2-1 tally at Vets’ Field just two days after losing 15-14 at Melrose.
The big story for Wakefield was pitcher Julia Purcell who tossed a one-hitter.
“Wednesday we played a game where we made a lot of errors and the pitching wasn’t that good. (Today) Julia Purcell (pitched), that’s her second varsity game,” said Wakefield coach Rick “Coach Q.” Quattrocchi.
“I threw her against Burlington, the iron of the league and she didn’t show any nerves. When I said, ‘You’re pitching’ she just looked at me and said, ‘OK, coach,’” he added.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Purcell hit Cassidy Smith with a pitch but she was thrown out trying to steal second by Wakefield catcher Nicole Catino. It wasn’t until the third inning that Burlington got another base runner but it would be a leadoff triple by Erin Browne. She scored on a passed ball to give Burlington a 1-0 lead but the Red Devils didn’t have another base runner until Marissa Bourgeois drew a walk in the sixth inning.
Early in the game Purcell was called for a couple of illegal pitches.
“She took her back foot off the rubber and he caught it. I can’t argue with it because I saw it but she fixed herself and she stayed composed. She’s only a sophomore and what’s a sophomore, 15 years old?” mused “Coach Q.”
Purcell was aided by some fine defense, particularly from Hannah Dziadyk in right field who made five put outs on the day.
“I thought our defense was flawless. Hannah usually plays center, depending on who’s pitching, was terrific,” praised “Coach Q.”
Wakefield tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning. Alexi Truesdale led off with a single and, after a failed bunt attempt for the first out, Emma Hickey tripled to right-center to score Truesdale. After a strikeout, Meagan Gibbons drew a walk but a ground out to third to end the inning.
“Emma Hickey’s really come on and had that big hit,” said the coach.
Wakefield took advantage of its last at bat to score the winning run in the seventh inning.
With one out, Vanessa Kaddaras reached on an error. Truesdale followed with a single to center. Dziadyk lined out to shortstop Kat Nikolopoulos for the second out. Nikolopoulos saw that Truesdale had wandered too far off first base and threw over to the bag to try and double Truesdale up. But Nikolopoulos’ throw was wild for an error, allowing Kaddaras to score the winning run.
“I have much respect for this team (Burlington). We’ve had many great battles over the years. We needed this game. It was a great win and I’m really proud of my girls. We’ve been in games, 15-14, 9-8. To play them like we played them with a rookie pitcher and flawless defense, I’m tickled,” said the coach.
Wakefield is scheduled to play Watertown this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Vets’ Field, weather and field conditions permitting.