Latin Academy made this Memorial Day one to remember, capturing its 12th straight Boston City League softball title with a 7-2 win over O’Bryant on Monday morning at Daly Field.
Olivia McGrath set the tone for Latin Academy (20-2), striking out a career-high 19 batters. She also went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
“At this level, a pitcher can be dominant and she was,” said Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza. “We never thought the game was in jeopardy at all even though we weren’t playing great on offense.”
The 20-win season is a record for one of the state’s most storied programs.
The Dragons got on the board in the second inning after McGrath doubled and later scored on a fielder’s choice. Latin Academy added two runs an inning later on three hits, including an RBI single by McGrath.
After the first nine O’Bryant batters struck out, the Tigers’ bats came alive in the fourth. Madison Theriault doubled on a sharp line drive toward her sister, Dragons center fielder Mackenzie. The double paved the way for a two-run inning on three hits to pull the Tigers back into the game.
In the sixth inning, everything went wrong for the Tigers.
In the top of the frame, Latin Academy took advantage of two walks by O’Bryant pitcher Maggie Fortune and plated three runs. A two-run double with two outs by sophomore catcher Shantary Pimentel was the exclamation point for the Dragons.
Pimentel went 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs, a welcome sign for such a young program.
“A lot of credit goes to our catcher who calls the game,” said Zizza. “We still have a very young team. Throughout the year we’ve started three sophomores. We have some good young players that we think will develop nicely.”
Despite no strikeouts for Fortune, her pitches kept Latin Academy guessing, making for a frustrating day at the plate.
“A little awkward at the plate today,” said Zizza. “We never saw this type of pitcher. Probably the equivalent of seeing a knuckleball pitcher in baseball.”
In the bottom half of the sixth, O’Bryant had runners on first and second with two away when a hard comebacker by Casey Shoula kicked off McGrath in the circle. The Dragons pitcher stuck with it and made the close forceout at second to kill the Tigers’ rally.
“This has definitely been our hardest City championship,” said McGrath. “O’Bryant had their drive and it made us play harder. They made us do our best.”
The Dragons head into the Division 3 North tournament with a chance to get a top seed in the region and another piece of hardware to add during this historic season.
Tournament pairings will be announced Tuesday.
Austin Prep 3, Peabody 1 — Logan MacDonald picked up her 17th win of the season, tossing a three-hitter while striking out 13 for the Cougars (18-2).
Mystic Valley 16, Northeast 3 — Sophomore shortstop Anastasia Bessler homered to lead off the game and classmate Brianna Nogeria added a grand slam to pace the Eagles (17-3).
Hopkinton 13, Holliston 7 — Senior outfielder Brian Gaughan went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs, while outfielder Brett McIntire added a double and four RBIs for the Hillers (13-8).
Wachusett 11, Acton-Boxborough 1— Johnny Flynn was 3 for 3 with four RBIs, and Nick Yanco and Mike Mahar both had two hits as the Mountaineers (16-6) closed out the regular season with a rain-shortened, five-inning win over the Colonials (12-8).
Hingham 4, Mansfield 1 — Nick Vaillancourt and Cameron Dunlap both won their singles matches for the Harbormen (16-3).