Patriots play at Bedford Friday
When the Revere High softball team dropped the first game of its final four contests last week, 4-3 to Beverly (after leading most of the way 3-0), the Lady Patriots had their proverbial backs to the walls in their quest for a berth in the postseason state tourney.
Revere had entered the week with a 7-9 record and needed to capture three of its final four games to achieve the tourney-qualifying .500 record.
When the Lady Patriots’ bats fell silent in the final four innings as they watched Beverly erase their 3-0 lead, their record fell to 7-10 and they knew they were going to have to run the table if they were to punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
Their uphill fight began two days later with a 6-1 win over Peabody behind the five hit pitching of Sabrina Palermo. Lindsay Gurska was a one girl wrecking crew at the plate with four hits, including two doubles, and four RBI.
Brianna Lauletta then took the mound against Waltham Friday evening under the lights at Hill Park for Senior Night and spun a nifty seven hitter for a 5-1 triumph. Nicole Palermo swung the big bat for Revere with a multiple RBI night.
Thus the Lady Patriots’ season came down to the 20th and final regular season contest with Marblehead on Sunday in a redo of a game that was stopped after four innings because of lightning (with Marblehead leading 1-0).
Sunday’s make-up at Hill saw Marblehead take leads of 1-0 and 2-1 into the sixth, bringing the Revere girls’ to potentially their second to last at-bat of the season and, for the seniors, of their RHS careers.
“We had the top of the order coming up in the sixth, which consists of our seniors,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello, “and I took them aside and said, ‘It’s up to you right now to decide whether your careers will end today or whether you will make the tourney, which is a goal all of you have been working toward for four years’.”
Kat Prince, a senior captain and lead off hitter, placed a perfect bunt between first and second to get on base.
A sacrifice bunt by Gurska advanced Kat to second with the tying run. Senior captain Ashley DiFraia then lined a single over shortstop, moving Prince to third. Ashley then stole second with the potential go ahead run.
That brought up Nicole Palermo, who drilled a ball up the middle that tipped of the Marblehead shortstop’s glove, scoring Prince and moving DiFraia to third.
After Logan DiCarlo reached on an infield hit to load the bases, Michaela Maguire came through with a deep drive to left field that allowed DiFraia to tag up with the go ahead tally.
Sabrina Palermo came on in the seventh in relief of Lauletta and set Marblehead down in 1-2-3 order to preserve the victory.
“This was such a big win on so many levels for the seniors and for our program,” said Ciccarello, whose team is the first Lady Patriot softball squad to reach the tourney in seven years. “This has been a great group of girls who have worked hard all year and who richly deserve this achievement.”
The Lady Patriots, who are seeded 19th in the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional State Softball Tournament, now will play at Bedford, the 14th seed, on Friday, June 3, at 6:30.
If the Patriots get past Bedford, they will play at No. 3 seed Malden of the Greater Boston League on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.