By Lorenzo Recupero
Led by stellar hitting and a potent mixture of renewed chemistry and focus, the Crimson Tide softball team is heading back to the postseason for the first time in three years.
With a convincing, 20-3, decision over Mount Alvernia Monday, the Crimson Tide earned their 10th win of the season, just enough to clinch an MIAA tournament berth with three more games still remaining on the schedule.
The win not only promises a playoff spot, but offers the team a chance to add to their win total that’s already eclipsed their 8-12 records each of the past two years.
And a return back to playoff ball is exactly what coach Stacy Schiavo’s been looking for.
“We are excited. It’s the first time in three years we’ve made it back to the postseason,” said Schiavo, who lamented not having second chances at those teams that defeated Everett earlier in the year, with her team playing top-notch ball on the diamond and confidence at a high. “I feel like now, those teams like Saugus, Revere and others that beat us we could beat them if we had a second opportunity,” said Schiavo.
Helping the Crimson Tide pack a punch on the plate has been senior captain Kloey Cardillo, whose emergence as a hitting force this season brought her from the last slot in the batting order to leading off.
Her batting average of .433 is one of the best on the team and includes four home runs.
“I hit in the batting cages all summer and put in work and it’s really paid off for me,” said Cardillo of her colossal improvement at the plate. “I built my confidence in the batting cages and now I’m just showing it on the field,” she said.
The senior centerfielder was part of the last EHS softball team to make the postseason when she played as a freshman in 2014. The team was defeated by Methuen in the semifinals that year, a season where Cardillo was just getting her softball career started.
“It feels good to be a captain this time around and trying my hardest to push my team. It feels good knowing we have a really good chance this time around,” she said.
Seedings, dates, times and locations of the 2018 MIAA tournament will be announced on June 5th.
With the playoffs knocking on the door, the team will play three final games to wrap up the regular season.
They will play two matchups at home against Lynn Classical Wednesday, May 23 at 4PM and Friday, May 25 against Malden also at 4PM. The final game of the regular season, a make-up game from a rain cancellation, will be played at Latin Academy on June 1 at 4PM.
Prior to Friday’s matchup, all seniors will be honored on the field beginning at 3PM as part of the team’s Senior Night celebration.