ME Softball Keeps Return Season Going With Tourney Win


For the first time in four years, the Manchester Essex softball team was able to not only play in an MIAA tournament game, they also picked up a victory to move on to the next round.

The Hornets beat Rising Tide Charter by a score of 22-10 in the Preliminary Round of the Div. 4 Tournament on June 3; Manchester Essex – a 30-seed in the tourney - was slated to play three-seed Clinton on June 5 in the Round of 32.  The tournament win was a milestone for a team that didn’t even have enough players to field a team at this time in 2022.

“It feels so great to get this win in the tourney and move on, and the girls were so excited after the game,” explains ME softball coach Frank Sarro.  “We realize a lot of teams didn't make it to this point and we're still playing.  We had our challenges with a wet field and a wet ball tonight with all the rain we had and overcame that.”

Rising Tide Charter cut Manchester Essex’s 10-3 lead to 10-9 late in the game, and took advantage of a nine-run fifth inning to pull out the victory.

“I'm proud of the way the girls took back control of this game and ultimately finished it by walking it off in the fifth with Abby Taron delivering the hit to end it,” says Sarro.  “We established ourselves as being in the top half of Div. 4.”

Anna Gardner had a day to remember, striking out 10 Rising Tide batters and helping her own cause by going 3-for-3 at the plate and scoring three runs.

“Anna Gardner did a great job on the mound picking up 10 strikeouts while working with a slick ball with all the rain we had,” said Sarro.

Abby Aiello and Celia Mann both went 2-for-3, with Aiello driving in a pair of runs and Mann scoring five runs all by herself. Kyra Levasseur (1-for-3) an Abby Taron (1-for-2) had two RBIs apiece, and Katie Crompton was aggressive on the basepaths, helping her to score three runs for the Hornets. The Hornets’ starting catcher was also impressive in her playoff debut.

“Cami Friedrich was excellent behind the plate catching tonight,” said Sarro.  “It was not an easy night to be a catcher.”

Manchester Essex began preparing for a tough foe in third-seeded Clinton on the following Monday.

“I expect a team that does everything well and has great pitching,” explains Sarro.  “I expect them to have a deep lineup. We’ll have to defend well and battle every at bat.  We have to play with confidence.”

BOXOUT: ME Baseball, Tennis Teams Find Success Early in Tournament

By Jason Brisbois

Local teams went six-for-six during their initial forays into the MIAA Div. 4 Tournament.

The 30-seeded Manchester Essex baseball team defeated 35-seed New Mission by a 13-8 score on June 3, helping the team advance to the Div. 4 Round of 32 and a matchup with three-seed Seekonk on June 5, along with fellow 30-seed Manchester Essex softball, which beat Rising Tide Charter in the preliminary round to advance (see our story on the softball team for more).  Both local lacrosse teams also advanced after the first round (see story above).

Both local tennis teams were able to make a successful opening salvo in the Div. 4 tournament.  The second-seeded Manchester Essex girls tennis squad got the tournament started off on the right foot with a 5-0 win over Quabbin Regional on June 3, and they advance to play 18th-seeded Wareham on June 7 in the Round of 16.  The eighth-seeded Manchester Essex boys tennis team also moved on to the Sweet 16 after they defeated West Bridgewater by a 5-0 score on May 30 in the Round of 32.  The Hornets were scheduled to face ninth-seeded Monomoy at Endicott College on June 6 (4 p.m.)

For the girls’ tennis team, the result was never really in doubt, with almost every Hornet player winning their respective matches either by a 6-0 or 6-1 score.

“Just played to the level we've been playing at and everyone played solidly across the board,” explained ME girls tennis coach Barrett Alston.  “Obviously nice to get that first win, had to deal with some weather and anxiety about getting the match in.  We are all excited to try to make a run in the tournament.”

Wareham is a known commodity for the Hornets, with the Vikings eliminating Manchester Essex from the tournament in the state semifinals in 2022.

“Should definitely be a good, competitive match,” says Alston.

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