SWAMPSCOTT— It took a few innings to settle in, but the Danvers High softball team found its hitting stride midway through yesterday’s Northeastern Conference contest against Swampscott.
The Falcons took advantage of timely hitting and smart base running to top the host Big Blue 10-1 in the season opener for both clubs.
“I thought we were hitting the ball hard, but we left a lot of base runners on in the beginning,” said Danvers head coach Tara Petrocelli. “We started some freshmen and I think it was a little nerve racking for them, but they fought through it and that’s all I could ever ask for.”
With the score tied at one a piece, Danvers drove in five runs in the fifth inning. Junior pitcher Kendall Meehan and Tori Costa both knocked in a pair of runs off doubles to mount the lead.
Meehan, now in her third season in the starting position, allowed just six hits and struck out six batters to get her first win of the season. The ace went 17-3 last year and looked solid in her first outing.
“It’s the first game out, so I thought she did good,” added Petrocelli. “She’s the leader out there now and is working with a new catcher (Caitlin McBride). I thought the two of them out there work really together.”
McBride, a sophomore, made the switch from third base to the catching position and took over the responsibilities behind the plate this year. McBride went 3-for-4 on the day, all of which were singles.
The Falcons tacked on another four runs in the sixth as Devyn Downs and Meehan each singled in runs, while Madison Mucci hit a huge triple to left field, which drove in the final two runs of the game.
Devin Johnson finished 1-for-3 with one RBI, while senior second baseman Chrissy Gikas went 2-for-4 with one stolen base and three runs scored for Danvers. Mucci, Costa and senior captain Julia Saggese were solid in the outfield defensively as was sophomore Birttany Dougal at shortstop.
Despite the loss, the Big Blue looked solid through the first four innings both at the plate and defensively. Senior captain and starting pitcher, Stephanie Collins got through six innings of work and struck-out three batters. First baseman Bridget Generversa Wong drove in the lone run for Swampscott in the second inning.
“Stephanie looked good on the mound, made a small mistake and they were able to score some runs,” said head coach Frank Kowalski. “We need to work on doing the little things. I thought after the first four innings would already be gone, but we ended up making mistakes that we wouldn’t usually make.”