SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 3, 2013

Fast Pitches: Slugging Peabody finds its stride in NEC

(Continued)

The defense behind Meehan has also been superb. From senior captain Chrissy Gikas at second base to sophomore right fielder Tori Costa, the Falcons are disciplined and poised in the field.

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First year North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie head coach Jody Norton has split up the pitching duties during games. He’s found that it’s worked out quite nicely for the Bulldogs, with a combined no-hitter last week and a combined one-hitter on Monday against Minuteman.

“We split it (the pitching) often,” said Norton. “We don’t like batters to get too many looks at the same pitcher. We have three girls to throw and it keeps them fresh and against the hitters no one gets more than two at-bats with the same pitcher.”

In Monday’s win, freshman Kaylin Countie (three innings, five strikeouts, one hit) and junior Kaera Wyse (four innings, nine strikeouts, no hits) combined for the win. The Bulldogs have done this for the past three games now and the strategy has proven to be successful for the most part.

“Those two (Countie and Wyse) combined for a no-hitter against Greater Lawrence and we used (two pitchers) against Whittier. We lost (to Whittier), but Whittier is a really good hitting team so the book is still out.” Norton said when asked about the effectiveness of the method.

Freshman Rhiannon Lane also worked her way into that rotation as the third pitcher for the Bulldogs. It keeps them fresh, yet active at the same time and doesn’t allow opponents to get too comfortable with the same hurler.

“We have three girls more than capable of throwing and we have to get them innings,” added Norton. “I think we’re on to something because when a few of the starters went the distance batters would catch up to them the second time around.”

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Fast Pitches, a column on North Shore high school softball, runs every Friday during the spring season in The Salem News. Contact Gianna Addario at GAddario@salemnews.com, 978-338-2615 and follow her on Twitter @GiannaAddarioSN.

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