PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bishop Fenwick Senior
At the beginning of the season, senior pitcher Taylor Ahearn of Salem was a mystery, since she had won a grand total of seven games for Bishop Fenwick the previous two years. By the end of the season, she could be viewed as the pivotal figure for the Crusaders, who made their deepest state tournament run since 2005.
Ahearn was fantastic in going 17-5 with a 1.07 ERA. She was a power pitcher with pinpoint control, striking out 194 and walking just 27 in 151 innings. She allowed just 84 hits all year.
Ahearn and her teammates also put it together in the postseason, beating Everett and Malden in Division 1 North before they lost to Acton-Boxboro, 1-0, in the semifinal round. She gave up just two hits in that game.
"It was probably the best game she pitched all season even though we lost," Crusaders coach Paul Lyman said of the Acton-Boxboro game. "Taylor just had a career-type year.
"She worked with a personal trainer in the offseason, played with elite teams last summer and got used to pitching against good competition. It made all the difference in the world."
The co-MVP of the Catholic Central League Large division, Ahearn also batted .337 and knocked in 14 runs. She will continue her career at Curry College.
The best pitcher in Salem history capped off her career with a 15-5 record and an 0.79 ERA during the regular season ... Struck out 203 batters and walked only 24 in 142 innings ... Had a couple of legendary performances, including a perfect game (3-0) vs. No. Shore Tech and 21 strikeouts in 15 innings in a 2-1 win over Revere ... Also led Witches with a .431 average and 15 RBI ... Ended career with 51 wins and a remarkable 574 strikeouts ... Salem Hall of Fame award winner ... Will pitch at Suffolk University