MARBLEHEAD — Wednesday was the Charlotte Plakans show at the Marblehead Middle School.
Plakans, the junior pitcher for the Magicians’ softball team, delivered a commanding performance in her team’s 7-1 win over Malden. She had a commanding fastball that many of the Golden Tornado hitters couldn’t touch. She struck out 10 Malden hitters, and had only one tough inning.
And if that wasn’t enough, Plakans hit a 2-run homer, and knocked in two more runs.
“She’s been doing this all season,” said coach Johnny Gold, “and it’s a lot of fun to watch.”
With Peabody’s loss Wednesday to Gloucester — its first of the season — and provided neither team loses another game beforehand, the May 30 game between the one-loss Magicians and the Tanners stands to end up as the softball event of the season.
On the other side of the scale, Malden is suffering through 3-10 season. And Wednesday, several Golden Tornado starters were not in the lineup, which caused some defensive lapses in the first inning, when Marblehead scored two runs.
“Yeah, we had a tough start,” said coach Julie Fox, “but it got better.
“As a matter of fact, I thought we played a good game.”
Plakans didn’t allow a base hit until the fifth inning, when she allowed two of Malden’s three hits.
After Plakans retired Malden in order in the top of the first, both Mercedes Pelletier and Sophie Vener reached on errors, with both runners moving up a base on a pair of ill-advised throws after the play on Vener.
Plakans scored Pelletier on an infield hit to shortstop, and Sammy Treff’s sacrifice fly to left brought Vener, and the Magicians led, 2-0, after an inning.
Malden pitcher Ashlyn Fitzpatrick settled down to retire the side in order in the second, but the Magicians were back for more an inning later. Vener led off with a walk, and then Plakans followed with a towering home run over the left-center field fence. Then, she went out and struck out the side in the third — and got two out of three out in the fourth the same way.
The Golden Tornados scored their only run in the fifth. With one out, Sarah Whitehouse singled, and Taylor Bozzi followed with a double to left-center that knocked in the run. Bozzi tried for third, however, but was thrown out on a perfect 8-4-5 relay from Hannah Garthe to Madi Ernst to Treff.
“I thought both teams played very good defense,” said Gold. “They had their struggles early, but they settled down.”
The Magicians answered that, however, with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Once again, Plakans was central to the rally. Pelletier led off with a single, swiped second and scored on Plakans’ base hit. Plakans took second on a throw to the plate trying to nail Pelletier, and her courtesy runner (Rachael Saulnier) scored moments later on Treff’s single.
Marblehead scored its final run in the sixth when Garthe reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an error.