For the second consecutive year – and the 20th time over the past 21 seasons – Everett High School softball will compete for a state championship in the division 1 MIAA tournament.
The Lady Tide (11-6) picked up their 10th win, the magic number to clinch a playoff berth, with a, 14-0, thrashing of Waltham on Friday. They followed that triumph up on Saturday in Salem, coming out on top, 9-6, behind timely hitting (10 hits in the second inning) and a strong performance on the mound.
Friday’s victory over Waltham was the cherry on top for a small group of seniors that were honored before the game as part of the team’s Senior Night celebration at Glendale Park. Included in the group of graduating athletes were four-year starter Kaylee Nearen, Yalixa Colon, Rachel Zullo and Sidney Hennessey.
The bullpen combination of Ariana Garay (7-0, 1.83 ERA), who picked up her second shutout in the win over Waltham, and Celeste Fuccillo, who fanned 9 batters against Salem and leads the team with 50 Ks, proved to be the driving forces in both wins.
For those of us old enough to recall the great days of Bill Russel and the Boston Celtics, of Red Auerbach and John Havlicek, well, it didn’t get any better than that.
Havlicek died two weeks ago. He died as he lived and played, that is, with nearly everyone who knew him, who watched him, who loved him for his sports theatrics when life was very different than it is today recalling what a great guy he was.
He was humble. He was talented. He went off into the sunset after his career never looking back.