THE WAKEFIELD HIGH softball seniors were honored before their 10-9 walk-off win over Danvers on Monday. Pictured from left to right is Chloe Silva, Abbey Fitzpatrick, Paige Butland, Charlotte Rossicone, Sara Nemec, Emma Kane and Sophie Seidman. (Courtesy Photo)



WAKEFIELD — Trailing 9-7 going into the bottom of the 7th inning against Danvers on Monday, the Wakefield High softball team decided that Senior Day was simply too important to end like this. 

It was only fitting that senior captain Sara Nemec ended it with a walk-off hit for a thrilling 10-9, comeback victory.

Nemec was honored before the game along with fellow captains Paige Butland, Emma Kane and Charlotte Rossicone as well as Abbey Fitzpatrick, Sophie Seidman and Chloe Silva. 

“These seniors mean a lot to me, the other coaches, and the program as a whole,” said Wakefield head coach Chris Tolios. “They’re all four-year players and have given the program so much. 

“They will always have a special place with me because they are the core group that rebounded us as a program from the loss of the 2020 season (their freshman year). Many of them stepped into a varsity role in the following shortened season of 2021 as sophomores and then they were all together as a junior group in 2022, building us back up and getting us to the tournament, setting the stage hopefully for years to come.”

The Warriors, who lost a close, 3-2 game to the Falcons exactly one week prior, were trailing 7-2 early in this one before battling back.

Kane and Butland sparked the offense, allowing the team to get back into it. 

Wakefield also had some big defensive plays during the comeback, highlighted by Rossicone’s catch and throw out at the plate for a double play as well as multiple strong plays from Kathleen Gmelch at shortstop. 

SENIOR CAPTAIN Sara Nemec had Wakefield’s walk-off hit in their win over Danvers on Senior Day Monday. (File Photo)

Fresman Kathryn Sliski gave a boost to her seniors with a two-run single in the 7th to tie the game at 9-9, setting up Nemec’s heroics and an epic celebration.

“It was a really fun win to get especially on our Senior Day where the energy was already high,” said Tolios.

The win was Wakefield’s third in a row and their fourth in their last five – a stretch in which they outscored their opponents 55-27.

The Warrior softball 2023 seniors have certainly helped lift the program to new heights, helping last year’s team advance past the first round for the first time since 2009. Wakefield will return to the Div. 2 state tournament this year. They were ranked 17th in the latest power rankings. 

More important than the on-field success to coach Tolios is what the seniors will accomplish beyond Wakefield High. Butland will be playing softball and studying biology at West Chester University; Kane will be studying criminal justice at the University of New Haven; Nemec will be studying criminal justice at the University of Maryland; Rossicone will be studying business management at Bentley University; Fitzpatrick will be studying business at UNH; Seidman will be studying neuroscience at Sacred Heart University and Silva will be studying psychology at Providence College. 

The Warriors battled it out with 15-2 Burlington yesterday back at Blatz Park, Meghan Burnett Field. 

Wakefield played the 4th-ranked team in Div. 2 close with multiple opportunities throughout the game to take the lead. 

“We were led by a strong pitching performance from Kathryn Sliski who settled in real nicely as the game went on,” said Tolios.

Wakefield scratched across two runs by playing situational small ball and had the score at 3-2 going into the 6th inning. 

“We had the bases loaded in that inning and threatened to take the lead but just couldn’t take advantage of it and get it done,” said Tolios. “Credit to Burlington and their pitcher who is one of the best in the state.”

One of the best in the state is how the Red Devils could be characterized as a team. Wakefield’s effort against them should be proof that they can make another run in the state tournament this season. 

“Proud of how the girls battled,” said the coach. “That’s a top 5 team in Division 2 and hopefully was an awakening for us that we can play with anybody and have some fun closing out the regular season and then come June.”