The Revere High (RHS) softball team opened the 2009 season with a 7-2 victory over Waltham last week.
“It was a nice way to start the year,” said veteran RHS head coach Joe Nichinello, whose Patriots excelled in all three aspects of the game with timely hitting, solid defense, and fine pitching.
Sara Selevitch picked up the “W” with a strong six inning performance on the rubber. Sara allowed just five hits, though yielding seven walks. Brianna Lauletta came on in the seventh and put down the enemy in 1-2-3 order to preserve the win.
“Sara was just a bit off on her control,” noted Nichinello, “but otherwise she pitched pretty well. She had thrown a lot of pitches, especially for the first game, so we brought in Brianna for the last inning and she did a good job.”
After spotting Waltham an early lead in the first inning, the Lady Patriots stormed back with four runs in the second frame to take control of the contest. The Prince sisters (Kat and Kelleigh) got the ball rolling for Revere with a walk and a base hit. Another base on balls to Jen Carrabino loaded the bases.
A wild pitch brought Kat Prince across the plate for the first Revere run of the season and advanced the other two Lady Patriot runners. Kristen Gravallese then earned two RBI with a base hit to make it 3-1. Gravallese, who got to third on her hit, thanks to some Waltham miscues, eventually came across for the fourth run of the inning.
The Lady Patriots pushed across solo markers in the third, fourth, and sixth innings to pad their cushion. A base hit by Jessica Simpson, a sacrifice bunt by Kat Prince, and an RBI base hit by Christina Bagnera accounted for the marker in the third frame.
In the fourth, Kelleigh Prince singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and then came home on a groundout by Paige Licata. The final Revere run was produced when the speedy Carrabino singled, stole second, and flew across the plate on a hit by Licata.
The contest featured a strong defensive effort by the Lady Pats, most notably by Licata at second base. Paige thwarted a potential Waltham rally in the sixth inning when, with two runners on, she moved to her left to snare a hot grounder, tagged the runner going to second, and then threw to first for the double play.
“That was just a great play,” lauded Nichinello. “Paige was playing closer to second and up the middle because they had a right handed batter, so she had to go a long way to her left to get the ball, and then she made a heads-up move for the DP.”
Nichinello and his team have a busy week, weather permitting, with a home game today (Wednesday) against Somerville and another home contest tomorrow vs. Lynnfield. The girls then will travel to Lynn Classical Friday for their Northeastern Conference opener.
The Lady Pats will entertain Lynn English next Wednesday and journey to Beverly next Friday.