The Peabody Juniors All-Star Fast Pitch Softball team made it a trifecta as all three Peabody West Little League age divisions (Majors, Juniors, and Seniors) reached the state finals.
The Juniors (ages 13-14) ran into a tough Ty Cobb team from Worcester and lost both ends of a doubleheader at Winchendon, ending their remarkable season.
“It was exciting for the girls to go all the way to states,” said manager Jon Blake. “We had quite a run, especially considering how young we were. Three of the girls on the team never played fast pitch before this year, and it’s a very different game from what they were used to in slow pitch. They learned very quickly.
“That Ty Cobb team could hit the ball hard right through the lineup and had two very good pitchers. We only had three hits in the first game, but the girls settled down and played much better in the second game even though we lost, 4-1.”
In that second game, Peabody used Mikayla Porcaro on the mound. The team’s regular shortstop, who had only pitched a few innings previously, did a “terrific job” according to her coach.
“She knew she’d have to pitch because we were playing a doubleheader and worked very hard with her father every night to get ready,” Blake said. “She threw heat, and her control was a lot better.”
Peabody beat Marblehead to win the district before toppling Woburn in the best-of-3 sectional round. Woburn won a nailbiter at Peabody, but lost at home to force a third and deciding game which Peabody prevailed in, thus advancing to the state championship.
“We scored a lot of runs in the districts and sectionals while only giving up a few,” said Blake. “Our team could smash the ball, and we were very deep defensively.