She says she’s from Saugus, and proud
Jen Migliore is from Saugus, and rest assured, her teammates on the Wellesley College softball team are well aware of that fact.
“Sometimes we’ll pass Saugus on the highway, and she’ll always mention what her exit is,” said junior shortstop Emilyrose Havrilla . “Everyone knows she’s from Saugus.”
Coach Keri O’Meara concurs.
“The kid has so much pride for being a local, it’s great,” O’Meara said. “It makes me want to recruit more local kids. I’d take a Saugus kid any day of the week; that’s how tough Jen is. She has a lot of pride and a lot of heart.”
And strong vocal cords, as evidenced by her leadership skills, as well as her ability to instill goals and benchmarks for her teammates. It also helped her maintain an attitude that pushed Wellesley to a 24-9 regular season (ranked fifth in New England, Division 3) and the NEWMAC tournament, which starts Friday on the first of three straight days and rounds.
“I’m Italian and I’m from the North Shore, so I’m naturally loud,” said Migliore, a Governor’s Academy graduate. “I’m the only player from Massachusetts on the team, so I like to give the West Coast girls a hard time, especially in early April, when it was 40 degrees.”
Migliore was not an everyday player until this season, but her production level left O’Meara realizing she had unearthed an offensive gem. Splitting time between third base and designated player, she has been at her best in the most significant games on the schedule. Against NEWMAC foes, she is hitting a conference-best .500.
Overall, Migliore is 11th in the conference (third on her team) with a .393 average in 33 games, including three home runs and 26 RBIs.
“Up until last year, I hadn’t hit well,” Migliore said. “So I worked a lot on my mechanics, and the big change for me this year was my mental game. I read a lot of books, and worked things out within. I focused on breathing. And I’ve been confident.”
Migliore brings the same energetic spirit to the field — it was on her on-field aggression that landed her a spot on Wellesley’s roster in the first place. In the summer after Migliore’s junior year of high school, O’Meara watched her compete in the New England’s Finest softball tournament. On a play in foul territory, O’Meara saw Migliore run into a brick wall before jumping right back into the game.
“That’s when I decided I wanted this kid on my team,” O’Meara said.
After a 2-6 start to the season, which included five straight losses in Florida, the notion that this was a rebuilding year for Wellesley strengthened for some. Those viewpoints have long since been abolished.
“The funny thing about this year is we didn’t really expect anything,” Migliore said. “We didn’t have a good spring break training trip. But we can do this [win the NEWMAC]. We’re a really great, cohesive team.”
At Bentley, O’Connor tosses a no-hitter
After Ryan O’Connor walked the first two batters he faced Saturday, the Newburyport High graduate started to wonder how long a day it would be on the mound.
For the Bentley University baseball program, one of the shortest in 42 years, actually.
O’Connor, a 6-foot, 200-pound junior southpaw, needed just 107 pitches to no-hit Saint Anselm College, 5-0. It was host Bentley’s first no-hitter since Len White shut out Stonehill on April 28, 1972.
That he was on the verge of history was news to O’Connor until the ninth inning, when he overheard a Saint Anselm player say, “We have to break this up.”
“I thought it was just a shutout, but then I realized I didn’t really remember giving up a hit,” said O’Connor, the Globe’s Division 3 Player of the Year in 2011, when he pitched Newburyport to the state title. “I just kind of let it pass.”
O’Connor is now 5-2 with a 1.50 ERA. Using his fastball, with the occasional curveball and change-up, he retired 26 of Saint Anselm’s final 27 batters.
He also knows a thing or two about responding to an initial struggle; he did not let losses in his first two starts of the season affect his now-dominating season.
“My first inning was so bad that I assumed someone got a hit,” O’Connor said. “They hit the ball pretty hard and the outfielders had a couple of diving plays. I just had to go out there and throw strikes.”
Odds and ends
Exeter, N.H.’s Martha Griffin (Phillips Exeter Academy) is leading the attack for the women’s lacrosse team at Trinity. The 5-11 sophomore midfielder has collected 26 goals and nine assists in 13 games. The Bantams (11-2) are ranked second nationally in Division 3. . . . Boxford’s Blair Shrewsbury is second in scoring for Bates College’s women’s lacrosse team. Through 14 games, the senior has posted a 26-9-35 line for Bates (8-6 through Monday), ranked No. 9 in New England Division 3.
Jeff Powalisz can be reached at email@example.com.