Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”
For the Revere High softball team, those words were never more true than in their games of last week. After thumping Swampscott 12-1 last Monday in a contest that RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello termed his team’s best performance of the season, the Lady Patriots dropped successive encounters to Salem and Medford.
The contest at Salem under the lights is one that every Lady Patriot will remember for the rest of her life. Salem took a 1-0 lead in the second, but Revere got that back in the fifth with a two out rally when Courtney Gurska worked a base on balls, stole second, and then scored when Michaela Maguire, coming in as a pinch hitter, roped a clutch double. From there, the teams went on to play a duel of eight scoreless innings. With the time already past 10:00 p.m., the ump told the teams at the start of the 15th frame that it would be the last inning. Salem’s pitcher, who hurled all 15 innings, set Revere down in the top of the 15th.
Revere eighth grader Sabrina Palermo, who pitched the first nine innings and then gave way to Briana Lauletta for the next five frames, came back in for the 15th. Sabrina mowed down the first two Salem hitters, but an error on a fly ball put a Salem runner on first. A stolen base, followed by an opposite field poke through the gap into right field, produced the winning run.
“It was a real heartbreaker,” said Ciccarello afterwards. “But it truly was an extraordinary game, the likes of which I’ve never known in my career. Neither team deserved to lose and both of us played great and clutch defense inning after inning,” added the coach, noting that Revere had a runner on third in three of those extra innings, but could not push across the go ahead run.
With his team emotionally and physically drained from their odyssey in Salem, Ciccarello gave his Lady Patriots the day off on Thursday. However, their encounter the following day with Medford proved to be what Ciccarello termed his squad’s weakest effort of the season, as they dropped a 10-2 decision to their former Greater Boston League rival. “We just didn’t have it, in the field or at the plate,” said the coach.
Thus the Revere girls, who now stand below .500 for the first time in a while with a 6-7 mark, will need to win four of their remaining seven games in the final two weeks if they are to finish with a .500 record to qualify for the state tourney.
They were set to host undefeated Lynn Classical this past Monday, host Beverly today (Wednesday) and Salem tomorrow, journey to Lynn English Monday and to Peabody next Wednesday, and return home to entertain Waltham next Friday. On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, they then will play Marblehead in a make up of a previously postponed contest.