Another Walpole run scores to further the Rebels’ lead. Photos by James Kinneen
By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
With a freshman starter on the mound, the Walpole softball team would eventually put ten runs on the board en route to a 10-6 victory over Needham.
However, it was the relief pitching of Katie Lynch that would save the day for the Rebels.
Samantha Marshalsea would pitch well early on, until an ugly third inning led to Lynch needing to come in and stop the bleeding.
Walpole’s hitting was strong throughout the game, putting up runs in the first three innings, including a two-run homer from Ashley King. Going into the third, the Rebels led, 7-1, but after Marshalsea experienced control issues that saw her walk in a couple runs and throw a wild pitch that led to another, she was pulled for Lynch.
Lynch wouldn’t get out of the situation unscathed, either, and by the time the inning was over, the 7-1 lead had been cut to 7-6 by the enterprising Rockets.
However, those were the last runs Lynch would allow on the day, while Walpole would add some insurance runs soon after.
In the fifth inning, clutch hitting and a couple of errors, including a ground ball going off the third baseman’s mitt and a pick-off attempt at third by the catcher that resulted in an overthrow and a run scored, left the Rebels ahead, 10-6. Lynch would strike out two of three batters in the seventh before inducing a fly-out to end the game.
Walpole coach Rachael Sprague applauded her freshman’s effort, given the tough stage, while noting that the team was sloppy at times.
“We have three games in a row this week, so we pulled [Marshalsea] up from JV to give our starter a break,” explained Sprague. “She worked really hard - I don’t think she was getting the calls that she should have gotten - but she stepped upon a big stage, and she did well. Her control was a little bit off, but she’ll improve as the years go on, and for now, she’s going to stay down in JV and get some more innings. But I was really proud of our starter. Sophomore Katie Lynch coming in and kind of saving the day - it was a little bit messier than we would like. We’ve got a lot to work on defensively. We have some kids in new positions this year, and they’re always working hard offensively. Ten runs is ten runs - it’s impressive, but we need to clean up defensively and we’ll get there.”
Unfortunately for Needham, the loss kept them winless on the year, but the coaches were able to find some good things to take from the game. They also pointed out that while they’re 0-3, they played three very good teams - likely the three toughest teams in the league.
“Our shortstop, Mackenzie Kraft, on defense really stood out,” said coach Stephanie Magni. “Our pitcher, Cece Wekstein, had a great game - she pitched a full seven innings. We’re hitting the ball; we had some good hits [and] some good base-running, which is an improvement from last year. Lot of aggressiveness on offense.”