Season of Joy
Cambridge-South Dorchester lacrosse player Brooke Webster, left, hugs Micah Slacum after Slacum gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead over Saints Peter and Paul Tuesday. Teams from both high schools began the spring sports season last week.
— CambridgeSouth Dorchester High’s softball team used a big third inning Friday, March 24, to defeat county-rival North Dorchester 9-5.
The Vikings improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the North Bayside after the first week of the season. Freshman pitcher Delanie Henry (2-0) picked the victory, throwing six innings in relief.
The game’s pivotal moment came in the third inning with Cambridge-SD trailing 3-1. Senior Emily Keener (2 for 3, RBI) doubled off the fence to lead off the inning. After a Paige Phillips walk, Henry bunted, scoring Keener from third. An error allowed Phillips to score and tie the game at 3-3. Henry scored when Maddison Lednum (2 for 4, RBI) blasted a double off the fence for 4-3 lead.
Alyssa Swann followed with an RBI-double of her own to extend the lead to 5-3. Swann beat a throw home on a single by Sabrina McKelvey for a 6-3 lead. Katie Smith and Keener capped the inning with RBIs for an 8-3 Viking lead.
“We are a super young team, but I was super impressed with the team’s composure,” said Cambridge-SD head coach Kareem Otey. “North Dorchester was smacking the ball. It didn’t seem to phase our girls early on when we got down. Hopefully we go with that same attitude the rest of the season.”
Otey had high praise for Eagle pitcher Brooke
Morton who allowed three earned runs and struck out nine in a complete-game effort.
“Ever since Brooke’s freshman year, she has been a really composed pitcher,” she said. “Her changeup is ridiculous. She kept us on our toes.
“She pitched good enough to beat us today,” she added. “We just were able to take advantage of some plays out of her control.”
North Dorchester head coach Clark Harrison echoed Otey’s assessment.
“Brooke kept us in the game, and gave us a chance to win,” he said. “She kept Cambridge off balance. She has been doing that to teams all her career. We just needed to help her more.”
Trailing 1-0 in the first, the Eagles came right back to take the lead. Leadoff hitter Meredith Bell walked and advanced to second on a ground out. Leann Asplen tied the game with an RBIsingle to plate Bell. Maddi Nossick (3 for 4, RBI) gave North Dorchester a 2-1 lead with an RBI-single of her own.
After a leadoff single to start the second, Bell threw out McKelvey at second on a steal attempt. Morton then struck out consecutive batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Lexie Mills (2 for 4) singled and stole second. Mills scored on a fielder’s choice by Meredith Coulbourn to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead.
Bell (2 for 3) followed with a single to put two on with one out. The Vikings got a huge lift by its defense. Phillips, who made a sliding catch to start the inning, tracked down a fly ball in deep center for the second out. Lednum ended the threat when she fielded a hard grounder at third and stepped on the bag for the force.
Phillips and Keener battled a strong crosswind all game but made key catches to stop the Eagles’ momentum.
In the fourth, Phillips made a running catch with a runner on first. Rachel Windsor (2 for 4, two RBIs) then hit an RBI double to shrink the deficit to 8-4, but the damage could have been worse without Phillips’ catch and a quick snag by McKelvey at shortstop off the bat of Asplen.
Keener made two catches on sinking line drives in the fifth, and another in the sixth.
“We talked before the game about how to play the ball in the wind,” Otey said. “Paige, being a freshman, did awesome in center field. Keener just held it down in right field like she always does in the outfield.”
North Dorchester (1-2 overall, 0-1 North Bayside) threatened again in the sixth after consecutive singles by Madison Edwards and Bell. Rachel Windsor’s single plated Edwards and brought the score to 8-5.
Keener and Lednum again stopped a rally with a catch in right and a force at third.
“We have been putting the bat on the ball all year,” Harrison said. “The base hits are going to come. We are just hitting it right at people.
“We got a young team, and I was happy how they played,” he added. “We played Cambridge tough this first time. The second time through, they better we ready for us.
“I’m very optimistic with how everything is going to start the year,” he said. “We are going to be competitive against everybody. I’m proud how the girls have started the season on a strong note.”
Brooke Windsor (2 for 3, RBI) capped the scoring for the Vikings with an RBIdouble to left for a 9-5 lead in the seventh inning.
Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Delanie Henry fires a pitch against North Dorchester Friday. Henry picked up the victory in six innings of work.
North Dorchester’s Rachel Windsor belts an RBI double to left against Cambridge-South Dorchester Friday, March 24.
North Dorchester’s Brooke Morton struck out nine and allowed three earned runs in a complete-game effort against Cambridge-South Dorchester Friday, March 24.
Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Alyssa Swann belts an RBI double to right against North Dorchester Friday, March 24.