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.

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— 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.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s De­lanie Henry fires a pitch against North Dorch­ester Fri­day. Henry picked up the vic­tory in six in­nings of work.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester’s Rachel Windsor belts an RBI dou­ble to left against Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester Fri­day, March 24.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

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