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Sports

May 3, 2013

Fast Pitches: Slugging Peabody finds its stride in NEC

Fast Pitches

Gianna Addario

The Peabody softball team is off to one of its best starts in recent years. Having won their opening five games of the season, the Tanners have only two losses on the their record, to Winthrop and powerhouse Danvers. Their 7-2 record has them at the top of the Northeastern Conference Large leaderboard, just above Lynn Classical (6-2).

It’s no secret that the key to Peabody’s success has come at the plate. For one thing, the Tanners have outscored their opponents 77-24 in the first nine games of the season.

The Tanners even put an end to Classical’s 41-game unbeaten streak in Northeastern Conference play, a game in which Olivia Brothers homered twice, while Holly Smith and Mikayla Wallace also went yard.

“It’s unfathomable, I don’t know how we’ve been doing it,” head coach Butch Melanaphy said of his teams impressive hitting. “This is my 17th year here and we’ve never had this many home runs in a season. I just hope we can keep it up.”

Having gone 11-10 last season with a Division 1 first round loss to North Andover in the tournament, Peabody is a newly charged team. Even with a senior-laden roster, key positions were up for grabs at the beginning of the season, though upper-class leadership has been the backbone of the team.

Brothers has been a factor in every game. Whether its be at bat or behind the plate, she’s always looking to make the next play or out. In Wednesday’s 6-0 loss to Danvers, Brothers threw out a runner at second base on a bunt attempt. Most catchers would’ve gone to first for the easy out, but Brothers is aware of everything on the field at all times. She’s also a reliable presence behind the plate for sophomore pitcher Shelbi Wilson.

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