By Jean DePlacido
---- — The Peabody Williamsport Senior Softball All-Stars won the final game of pool play, beating Rhode Island, 2-1 in the New England Regional at Worcester yesterday afternoon.
Shelbi Wilson pitched all seven innings, scattering three hits and striking out nine. Offensively, Michelle McHugh had three of her team’s six hits. Sara Hayward, Courtney Sabino, and Dom Del Bene also hit safely.
“Shelbi pitched a terrific game in her first full outing since suffering an arm injury on Memorial Day (while pitching for Peabody High),” said manager Bill Hayward. “It’s great to end on a high note. It was a tough game, well pitched on both sides.”
Peabody scored both runs in the second inning with McHugh singling to start things off. Hayward, Sabino, and Del Bene all hit safely in that inning. McHugh and pinch runner Kayla Santos scored with Sabino being thrown out at the plate on a very close play. Rhode Island scored an unearned run in the fifth.
“Defensively we had a very good day,” said Hayward. “The big play was a game ending classic 4-6-3 double play turned by Ashley Jenkins to Ashley Ghostlaw to Sara Hayward. You don’t see that very often, and our girls turned it perfectly.
“The competition was outstanding in all four games (Peabody was 1-3), and every team had not one but a couple of outstanding pitchers. We really didn’t hit well in the series, but I credit that to the pitching we were going up against. We had one bad game (against host Ty Cobb) and one bad inning (against Connecticut). Otherwise we played everybody even; they were all hard fought games.
“Getting all the way to the New England’s was a good experience for our girls. Nine of them will be eligible to come back to the Seniors next year. They will return with this invaluable experience, and hopefully the team will get back to the New England Regionals.”