Abby Joensuu’s game-tying, inside-the-park grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning gave the Cambridge Rindge & Latin girls’ softball team a must-needed boost on the bench and the scoreboard. But two solid defensive innings from Boston Latin allowed the Wolfpack to steal the Falcons’ home and Dual County League opener, 8-7, Wednesday afternoon at St. Peter’s Field.
“Every time we play this team, it’s a full seven-inning game,” said Boston Latin coach Tim Holland of his undefeated squad (5-0 overall, 4-0 DCL). “Cambridge is a great team. They’re coached well.
“We just got a couple to fall in for us. We had some good D and some good pitching when we needed it.”
The Wolfpack’s Guliana Kehayias went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored and catcher Colleen Goonan was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Kate McGrath, who stepped in to throw those last two crucial innings of relief, when she struck out two and allowed two hits.
Offensively, McGrath, who started in the leadoff spot as the designated hitter, was 2-for-4 with a double and a run.
“I just tell myself that hitting my spots is really important,” McGrath said. “I need to make sure that I get the ball on the ground and get something that my team can make the play behind me to help us win.)
Joensuu (3-for-5, two singles, grand slam, 4 RBIs) paced the Falcons (1-1, 0-1 DCL).
The Wolfpack wasted no time getting on the board. McGrath led off with a double, scoring on Keyhayias’ two-base hit. Four more Boston Latin players scored in the opening frame to give the Wolfpack a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first, when Cambridge’s Paloma Pellegrino doubled to score Anaya Benzan.
The score held until the bottom of the third — Mercedes Jimenez scored to inch the Falcons closer. In the top of the fourth, Goonan hit an RBI double and scored herself to push Boston Latin ahead 7-2.
“It’s amazing when I can help my team that much,” Goonan said. “I try not to stress about it because sometimes I get in my own head, but I try to do as much as I can to help the team.”
Pellegrino singled in the top of the bottom of the fifth inning to start the Falcons’ rally, eventually scoring and cutting the deficit to four. The Wolfpack made two outs before pitcher Caitlyn Murphy (8 hits, 6 strikeouts, 5 walks) walked two to load the bases.
Players and coaches huddled together with the senior righthander as Joensuu stepped up to the plate. She rocketed the ball into center field and fell into line on the basepaths behind her teammates. After a close call at third, she rounded the corner and slid into the plate just in time to tie the game for the Falcons.
The Falcons got some much-needed relief when Ymari Blackmon (2 hits, strikeout), who is working her way back from an injury, took to the circle in the top of the sixth. She allowed just one run, from Kehayias, who led all scorers with three runs.
Trailing 8-7, Cambridge put two runners on in their last ups but couldn’t get the tying score across, keeping the Wolfpack perfect.
“I can’t remember a time that we’ve started the season over .500,” said McGrath, who has played on the team since she was in seventh grade. “It’s awesome. It gives us a lot of confidence, to let us know that we can do this. We’re in this.”
Arlington 13, Reading 6 — Senior first baseman Casey Smith went 3 for 3 with four RBIs for the Spy Ponders (3-1)
Arlington Catholic 16, Archbishop Williams 2 — Senior Lexi Morris led the Cougars (5-2) with a grand slam and six RBIs. Sophomore Maddie Smith was 3 for 3 with three RBIs.
Austin Prep 9, Matignon 4 — Senior right fielder Alex Santostefano went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored for the No. 14 Cougars (4-2).
Braintree 4, Walpole 3 — Junior Meghan Duffy went 2-for-3 and scored the go-ahead run for the Wamps (8-1).
Case 12, Seekonk 2 — Senior Madyson Medeiros led the Cardinals (5-2) with seven RBIs.
Dennis-Yarmouth 1, Marshfield 0 — Senior Julia Kent homered to center field in the bottom of the third to score lone run for the Dolphins (6-1). Defensively, junior Abby Hicks struck out five and allowed just four hits.
Everett 21, Lynn English 0 — Freshman Celeste Fuccillo hurled a one-hitter for the Crimson Tide in a five-inning blanking of the Bulldogs in Northeast Conference play.
Hopkinton 22, Westwood 10 — Junior Jillian Ceddia hit a grand slam and a home run, recording eight RBIs to lead the Hillers (6-1). Sophomore Tara Kester added a homer and three RBIs.
Lynn Classical 24, Malden 0 — The Rams(2-1) got outstanding offensive performances from senior second baseman Kayla Morril (5-for-6, 4 RBIs) and junior outfielder Kiara Edmonds (4-for-5, 5 RBIs).
Medfield 11, Holliston 0 — Senior Alana Potts threw a two-hitter, striking out 12 for the Warriors (5-1).
Needham 21, Weymouth 1 — Bergan Licht went 3-for-3 with two singles, a home run and 4 RBIs in the win for the Rockets (1-4).
Newton North 8, Natick 3 — Senior Mia Bueno and junior Ciarra Gillen had identical days at the plate for the Tigers (7-0), each going 2-for-4 with two RBIs apiece.
North Reading 10, Triton 7 — Senior Emma Valade had a strong day at the plate for the Hornets (4-1), hitting two home runs and driving in three runs. Sophomore pitcher Shea Hanson contributed two RBIs while also going the distance for the victory.
Norton 7, Dedham 0 — Senior Meg Vegnani (five innings) and junior Sofia Knopf (two innings) combined for 12 strikeouts on the mound for the Lancers (3-1).
Norwood 12, Ashland 0 — Freshman catcher Caeli Reed went 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs and a home run and senior Amanda Olbrys earned the win, striking out 10 for the Mustangs(3-0).
Saugus 8, Beverly 6 — Seniors Alessia Salzillo (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) and Ashley Shaw (1-for-3, double, 2 RBIs) led the Sachems (3-2) to a win over the Panthers (3-2).
St. Mary’s 2, Cardinal Spellman 1 — Angelia Pepe had 11 strikeouts and allowed two hits for the Spartans (5-1).
Apponequet 3, Somerset Berkley 0 — Senior pitcher Brady Ouelette earned the complete-game victory for the Lakers (5-0) with nine strikeouts.
Attleboro 3, King Philip 2 — In a 12-inning marathon that required two days to complete, Troy Van Vliet hit a walkoff sacrifice fly to score captain Robby Furtado for the Bombardiers (5-3).
Belmont Hill 1, St. Sebastian’s 0 — Senior Jake McCosker earned the win on the mound, throwing a two-hitter while striking out six in a complete game. His RBI double scored the game’s lone run.
Catholic Memorial 3, BC High 0 — Junior Michael Gemma struck out 12 as the Knights (4-2) blanked the No. 3 Eagles (7-2).
Chelmsford 5, Methuen 4 — Carl Erickson produced three key hits and knocked in four runs as the Lions (5-1) pulled out the nine-inning win. Jack Beauchesne earned the win with three innings of one-hit relief, striking out two.
Dexter Southfield 8, Cushing 1 — Senior Josh Richardson earned the victory for Dexter Southfield (7-5), tallying 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Juniors Daniel Donato (2 RBIs) and John McElaney (1 RBI) each went 2 for 3 at the plate.
Dover-Sherborn 5, Medway 4 — Junior Carter Eaton struck out four in the complete game effort for the Raiders (1-4).
Duxbury 4, North Quincy 3 — Jack Murphy plated the go-ahead run with a gap shot to right-center, lifting the Dragons to the come-from-behind win.
Hingham 4, Scituate 3 — Senior Jack Clougherty earned the win for the Harbormen (3-2), going the distance and striking out six, and junior Joe Sullivan sparked a rally with his two-run single to help erase an early 3-0 deficit.
Lincoln-Sudbury 7, Newton South 1 — Sophomore Jesse McCullough went 3 for 4 with a run scored and two RBIs for No. 12 Warriors (5-2).
Lynn Classical 13, Malden 0 — senior Brett Bucklin yielded one hit over five innings with three strikeouts and was 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two RBIs for the Rams (3-1).
Marshfield 4, Dennis-Yarmouth 3 — Senior righthander Ted Nelson fired six shutout innings with six strikeouts on four hits and senior shortstop T Joyce was 2 for 3 with three RBIs for the Rams (1-5).
Mashpee 8, Falmouth 7 — In the first ever regular season matchup between the neighboring cities, the Falcons (4-2) won in walk-off, extra-innings fashion. Junior Zach Rogers’ bases-loaded, infield hit in the bottom of the eighth forced a fielder’s error on the throw home and scored the game-tying and game-winning runs. Eighth grade shortstop Colton Colleran added three hits out of the lead-off spot.
Middlesex 3, Lawrence Academy 1 — Juniors Kevin Campbell and Cole Cleary both homered for the Zebras (3-2) in a win over the Spartans (3-2). Cleary earned the win for Middlesex.
Milton 14, Boston International 2 — Senior Jack Lang earned the win on the hill, striking out nine in five innings pitched for the Wildcats (5-1).
Newton North 5, Natick 4 — Senior Kenny Schechter struck out 10 over six frames and allowed no earned runs for the No. 9 Tigers (4-2) in the win over the Redhawks (5-1).
Nobles 9, BB&N 1 — Senior Jack Schwartz pitched a two-hitter and struck out five for the Bulldogs (3-3) and senior second baseman Owen Fitzhugh went 3 for 4 with two doubles.
North Attleborough 5, Milford 3 — Senior Jake Palmer went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored for the Red Rocketeers (2-5).
Norwell 3, Rockland 2 — Senior pitcher Ryan Hohmann struck out 14 in a complete-game effort and notched the go-ahead RBI with a seventh-inning single. Seniors Sean Coffey, Brendan Hynes and Bobby Foley had two hits apiece.
Phillips Andover 11, Pingree 1 — Princeton-bound senior Jackson Emus and sophomore Jack Penny collected three hits apiece for the Big Blue (6-0).
Saugus 3, Beverly 1 — Senior Todd Tringale threw a complete game and struck out six in the win for the Sachems (4-1) over the Panthers (3-1). Junior Jack Devereaux went 3-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.
St. John’s Prep 1, Malden Catholic 0 — Junior center fielder Rich Williams provided the game’s only run with sacrifice fly for the Eagles (5-1).
Waltham 13, Cambridge 7 — Sophomore Jaden Fitzgerald went 4 for 5 with 4 RBIs and a run scored to lead the host Hawks (4-3) to the Dual County League win.
Wellesley 5, Brookline 3 — Henry Weycker spun a gem, striking out 13 in six innings and Justin Lindquist eared the save for No. 13 Raiders (3-2). Holt Fletcher went 2 for 3 with a two-run homer and three runs scored for Wellesley.
St. Sebastian’s 9, Belmont Hill 7 — In a battle of unbeatens, the Arrows took control of the Independent School League standings with the win in Belmont.
St. Seb’s (9-0, 6-0) received two goals and three assists from Cornell commit Brian Piatelli, who carried the load offensively with Michael Swirbalus neutralized by Belmont Hill defenseman Blake Brookes.
‘‘The fact of the matter is, we need to have games where Brian Piatelli steps up, or Jake Cusack steps up, or a middie steps up, and that’s what happened today,’’ said St. Seb’s coach Adam White.
The loss dropped Belmont Hill to 6-1 (5-1 ISL).
Freshman Jack Rideout provided ample possession for the Arrows, winning 15 of his 19 draws in the faceoff-X.
Dover-Sherborn 12, Westwood 5 — Timothy Polk had two goals and three assists for the Raiders in a Tri-Valley League win over the Wolverines.
North Reading 20, Lowell Catholic 4 — Senior Sean Fagen facilitated an overwhelming Hornet attack with three goals and eight assists, classmates Jay Schille (5 goals, 2 assists) and Mike Sheridan (6 goals, 3 assists) led the scoring, and junior goalie Thomas Hill won his first game in net for North Reading (4-5).
Northeast 10, Mystic Valley 4 — Junior Aidan Willox (4 goals) and senior captain Jacob Spadafora (3 goals) paced the Golden Knights (3-2).
Roxbury Latin 15, St. George’s 6 — Sophomore attack man Bobby O’Brady tallied five goals in the win.
Shawsheen 9, Essex Tech 7 — Freshman midfielder Dylan Timmons (3 goals, 1 assist) led the scoring for the Rams (7-1).
Wayland 11, Minnechaug 6 — Breaking the program’s career points mark set by his older brother, Jimmy, senior captain Michael Lampert tallied one goal and five assists in the win over the Falcons.
Whitman-Hanson 18, Hull 8 — Ryan Downing had five goal and two assists to help the Panthers avenge a loss to the Pirates from last week in non-league play.
Apponequet 19, Dighton-Rehoboth 4 — Senior Abi Moynihan recorded six goals for the Lakers (5-0).
Archbishop Williams 8, Bishop Fenwick 5 — Sophomore Mel McClay scored her 100th career goals for the Bishops (6-1).Seniors Kayleen Sickorez and Haley Reed each had two goals a piece as well.
Bourne 16, Greater New Bedford 1 — Ten players scored for the Canalmen in a rout over the Bears in South Coast Conference play. Keily O’Connor (four goals, assist) and Taylor McCarthy (goal, four assists) each had five points to help Bourne (3-4, 1-3) snap a four-game losing streak.
Reading 19, Ipswich 13 — Cayla Greenleaf had five goals for the Rockets, while Annie Gillis (three goals, four assists) and Haley O’Connor (four goals, two assists) helped in the nonleague win over the Tigers.
Worcester Academy 13, Waring 10 — Junior goalie Meg Buxton tallied 14 saves for the Rams (4-3).
Austin Prep 4, Wakefield 1 — Freshman Aidan Connors battled back from a first-set loss with back-to-back 6-0 wins for the Cougars (4-0).
Ursuline 5, Mt. Alvernia 0 — Playing in her 100th career match, senior captain Alessia Cahoon swept her match at first singles, 6-0, 6-0, for the Bears (4-0).
Weymouth 3, Needham 2 — Senior Lily Peters earned a decisive No. 1 singles matchup for the Wildcats (3-2), winning the first two sets 6-0 and 6-1, respectively.
Cardinal Spellman 86, St. Mary’s 41 — Junior Jayden Germana won four events for the Cardinals (4-0-1). Germana claimed victory in the 100m sprint, 200m sprint, triple jump, and long jump.
Newton South 89, Lincoln-Sudbury 56 — Junior Danny Collins cleared 6 feet, 7 inches in the high jump and the 4 x 100 relay team of Michael DeFranco, Justin Lezy, Amos Trinidad, Jonathan Ikini completed their race in 44.2 seconds for the Lions in a Dual County League meet.
Thayer 80, Roxbury Latin 65 — Tommy Gaffey won the 3,000 meters and Eric Auguste picked up his first career win in the 300-meter hurdles for the Tigers.
Needham 76, Weymouth 60 — Despite the Rockets’ victory, Weymouth senior captain Moye Aboli set a school record in the 200m sprint with a time of 26.0 seconds.
Acton-Boxborough 3, Cambridge 0 — Seniors Phil Cai and Jacob Sayers led the No. 8 Colonials (6-3) past the No. 12 Falcons (4-4) in a Dual County League match at A-B. Sayers tallied 10 kills and three of A-B’s nine aces and Cai had seven kills and 10 of the team’s 34 digs. Senior setter Roland Jiang dished out 29 assists. The Colonials have won five of their last six.
Brookline 3, Wellesley 0 — Eric Chabon delivered 15 kills and three aces as the Warriors (4-2) swept the Bay State Conference match at home.
Lawrence 3, Lowell 0 — The No. 13 Lancers move to 5-2 with a win over the No. 17 Red Raiders (4-1) behind 16 kills and 5 blocks for outside hitter Delfy Soler.
Lincoln-Sudbury 3, Newton South 2 — Senior Logan Scholfield had 16 service points, 5 kills, and an ace to clinch the match for the Warriors in the 25-27, 25-13, 35-25, 25-23, 15-8 win over the Lions in DCL play. Senior Jack Hawk had 28 digs and senior Brennan Rotar added 15 kills for L-S (5-3, 3-3).
Needham 3, Natick 0 — Junior outside hitter Jack Klein tallied 14 kills for the No. 5 Rockets (7-1).
Jake Levin reported from Belmont Hill. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email email@example.com.