Central Catholic Raiders Softball '14

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 04:00 PM @ Revere
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Final
Central Catholic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Revere 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

Central drops extra-inning heartbreaker in North semis

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Friday, June, 06 By David Willis
Staff writer

LOWELL — After more than seven innings of outstanding pitching and spotless defense, a few inches led to heartbreak for the Central Catholic softball team yesterday.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and a runner at third, No. 10 Revere’s Victoria Russo was able to bloop a ball barely over the infield and just a hair inside the first base line scoring the run that dealt the No. 11 Raiders a devastating 1-0 loss in the Division 1 North semifinals at Martin Field.

“This is an emotional loss,” said Central coach Stacy Ciccolo. “They made it happen and we didn’t. They got one bloop hit at the end. It was one of those things. I wish it was us. The game was a matter of who would break first, and unfortunately we did.”

For seven innings, the Central Catholic pitching duo of Olivia Antczak and Meg Hanley were able to keep the Revere bats at bay.

Starter Antczak worked the first two, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first then working through an easy second inning.

Hanley, a sophomore southpaw with a deceptive wind-up, then stepped in and set the Patriots down 1-2-3 in four of her first five innings on the hill, dealing with just two harmless singles in the fifth, which she erased with a strikeout and a grounder she snagged and threw to first baseman Bella Jankowski.

“I thought both (pitchers) did a great job,” said Ciccolo. “We like to use both. Olivia started well, then we went to Meg and I thought she was awesome. We want to mix them in and I am very happy with both.”

The duo were also helped out by some highlight-reel defense. Olivia Ciccarelli turned in an outstanding sliding catch in left field, shortstop Ally Cavanaugh aggressively charged a ball that struck Hanley and threw the runner out at first and Karoline Leavitt was her flashy self at third base, including a diving backhand and throw across the diamond in the seventh.

“You can’t hit the ball anywhere near them,” said Revere coach Joe Ciccarello. “They are outstanding in the field and so technically sound.”

But the game remained scoreless into extra innings as the Raiders struggled offensively against Revere pitcher Sabrina Palermo, who just two days earlier was hospitalized with strep throat.

Central’s best chance to score came in the third when leadoff batter Krista Maloney walked and was sacrificed to second. Leavitt (three hits) then roped a single to left, but Maloney was thrown out at the plate.

“That was my call and I think I would do it again,” said Ciccolo. “We needed to be aggressive. When there are two outs and someone on second, you are flying. We were going to fight for everything we could, and I felt like it was the right time to test them defensively. We needed to take a chance, and one inch either way and it may have worked.”

The Raiders stranded eight in the game, including leaving Madison Borrelli at third in the second and Jankowski at third in the seventh.

Revere had just one runner pass second until the deciding eighth, when catcher Juliana Cecere roped a triple to right field — the team’s lone hard hit of the day — and scored on the Russo bloop.

“I can think of three or four innings we had a runner at second and then we had a few at third,” said Ciccolo. “At this stage you need timely hitting and we just didn’t have it today. We have been inconsistent at the plate all season, and today we couldn’t string a few hits together. I felt like we could have won if we scored early, but it didn’t happen.”

Game Statistics:

Central Catholic (0): Krista Maloney cf 3-0-1, Ally Cavanaugh ss 3-0-1, Olivia Antczak p 3-0-0, Meg Hanley p 1-0-0, Karoline Leavitt 3b 4-0-3, Madison Borrelli 2b 3-0-0, Devlin Frost c 3-0-0, Bella Jankowski 1b 2-0-1, Dylan Parsons dh 2-0-0, Olivia Ciccarelli lf 3-0-0. Totals 27-0-6

Revere (1): Ally Hinojosa 3b 4-0-0, Logan DiCarlo 2b 4-0-1, Juliana Cecere c 4-1-2, Kristina Stella ss 4-0-0, Victoria Russo lf 3-0-1, Cassandra DiBella rf 3-0-0, Lauren Hayes 1b 3-0-0, Noelle MacDonald cf 3-0-0, Stephanie Gregorio dh 3-0-2, Sabrina Palermo p 0-0-0. Totals 31-1-6

RBI: R — Russo

WP: Palermo; LP: Hanley

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