Warriors put Vikings away with late push
Easton plates three runs in the sixth, backing solid outings by Elzey, Kolakowski
EASTON — A pair of lefties and a pair of home runs were all the Warriors needed Thursday afternoon, although three runs in the sixth inning definitely didn’t hurt.
Easton High’s softball team handed CambridgeSouth Dorchester its second divisional loss of the season, nursing a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning before pulling away for a 5-1 victory.
Sophomore left-hander Peyton Elzey didn’t allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings of work, and junior left-hander Joy Kolakowski took over from there, as the duo combined to leave 10 Viking runners stranded.
Elzey also homered with one out in the first inning to open the Warriors’ scoring. Kate Miles belted a solo homer in the third and Tori Weems added a two-run double in the sixth.
With the win, Easton improved to 11-4 overall, 5-3 in the North Bayside division with two regular-season games remaining.
“They played as a team and they came back from any mistakes that they made,” Warriors co-coach Kurisha Hoffman said. “They didn’t give up after being down
1-0 in the first inning. They fought all the way through to ensure the win.”
The Vikings’ loss, combined with a win by undefeated St. Michaels, added up to the Saints clinching the North Bayside title for the first time in program history.
Cambridge-SD (12-4, 6-2) scored its lone run in the first inning. Karli Lewis opened the game with a walk and later scored on a two-out fielding error by the Warriors.
Elzey’s solo blast, over the right-center fence, off Vikings pitcher Paige Bleyer, tied the game at 1-1 after one inning.
On the mound, Elzey retired the side in order in the second, her best inning, with a pair of strikeouts. She finished with seven Ks.
Lewis (2-for-3) doubled to right-center with one out in the third. With two outs, Bleyer grounded a single through the right side and stole second uncontested. But Elzey was able to induce a pop out to end the threat.
Easton then went ahead to stay when Miles blasted her two-out homer, well over the fence in left, to make it 2-1 after three innings.
Cambridge’s Kaylie Seabrease reached base on an error to open the fourth, but ended up stranded at third. The Vikings loaded the bases with three consecutive singles with one out in the fifth, but couldn’t push any runs across. Elzey snagged a line drive for the second out, and Weems, playing second base, gloved a soft liner to end the threat.
An error, a walk, a wild pitch, and a stolen base put two Vikings in scoring position with one out in the sixth. Kolakowski then took the mound and got a strikeout and a soft-liner to third for the third out.
“Peyton held hers and Joy came in to finish it. It’s a good combination,” Warriors co-coach Jen Powell said.
The Warriors made it easier for Kolakowski with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kassidy Willis and Ty Johnson singled. With two outs, Weems lofted a deep fly to center that picked up some wind and sailed over the center fielder’s head for her two-run double. Weems then came home on a single to left by ninth-place hitter Lexie Kettering to make it 5-1.
“It’s good to see that when the top isn’t necessarily producing what we need them to produce that the bottom can pick up the slack and really come through,” said Hoffman. “It’s good to know that we are starting to get solid all the way through our lineup. That can be a major threat in the future.”
The Warriors committed their fifth error in the top of the seventh to allow a base runner with one out, but Kolakowski ended the game with a strikeout and a ground out.
“We just left too many runners on,” Vikings head coach Kareem Otey said. “If we could have got the timely hits that we needed, with the bases loaded or the two innings that we had two on, it may have been a different ballgame. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Paige Bleyer runs to first base for an infield hit in the fifth inning Thursday afternoon in Easton.