Bishop Fenwick has competed in Division 1 tournament softball since the early 1990s when Ed “Buddy” Henry coached the Crusaders to seven straight state championships.
Since those title years, the Crusaders have made a total of 12 postseason appearances in the Division 1 tournament, including this past season — which turned out to be the program’s deepest tournament run since 2011. In doing so, Fenwick proved that it is in fact still a contender in the state’s top division, topping Westford Academy and ousting third-seeded Lexington.
The Crusaders were guided by their senior class, who has been waiting to make a tournament push for a few seasons after missing out on the playoffs in 2012 and making a quick appearance last spring before losing to Woburn.
Co-captains Gianna Pizzano and Jen Crovo were staples in the Fenwick lineup since their freshman year. Along with fellow classmates Bridget Corcoran, Natalie Moore, Charlotte Powers and Chandler Wilder, the Crusaders had themselves one of the strongest seasons in years.
Fenwick got into the tournament as the No. 14 seed with a 13-7 record. They had a wild, come-from-behind victory against a strong Westford Academy team after Pizzano homered in the bottom of the seventh to tie and junior Gabby Hart drove in the winning run.
“We only had three hits, but in the last inning we were able to hit the ball hard,” said Fenwick head coach Paul Lyman. “When that ball when off of Gianna’s bat I was just saying, ‘please get out of the park.’ She’s a kid that’s worked so hard for four years for us, so you kind of expect it from her.”
In the next round against Lexington, Moore was locked in a pitcher’s duel with Maddie Orcutt, who allowed just three hits. But Crovo homered in the first and Powers knocked in the game-winner in a 2-1 Fenwick win.