DANVERS — The Danvers softball was able to get plenty of runners on base against Medford Tuesday afternoon, but knocking them in for runs was a whole different story. The Falcons stranded 10 runners overall, seven of them in scoring position, in a 7-2 loss to the Mustangs at Great Oak School.
“We had the baserunners, that’s for sure,” said Danvers coach Colleen Newbury. “We had runners on first and second a couple times, runners on second and third a couple times, but we just couldn’t get the hit. Give credit to Medford, their pitcher was great and they played great defense behind her. It was just one of those days.”
Despite the loss, Danvers got a solid performance on the mound from freshman Lily Eldridge, who tossed a complete game and allowed seven runs on 12 hits with three walks and six strikeouts. On the offensive end, Paige Wodarski went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Alex Marie went 3-for-4 with a double and Kayla Robinson went 2-for-3.
Medford came right out with a threat in the first inning, moving runners to second and third with just one out before Eldridge escaped unscathed. The Falcons then came right back with a threat of their own in the bottom of the first, moving runners to first and second with one out. A single by Wodarski would have scored the first run of the game, but a miscommunication between Brooke Grassia (the runner) and Newbury (who was coaching third base) led to an out at third.
“That was totally my fault, I screwed up reading the play and put her in a bad position,” Newbury said of the play.
The Falcons were able to load up the bases after that, but a groundout ended the rally with no runs.
The Medford made its move. An RBI single from Brenna Forbes (1-for-5) put Medford up 1-0 in the top of the second and the Mustangs never looked back. The third inning saw an RBI double from Kim Scanlon (2-for-4, two RBI) and an RBI single from Dawn Eisnor (2-for-3, two RBI), stretching the lead to 3-0.
Danvers once again moved runners into scoring position in the bottom of the third and the bottom of the fourth, but once again nothing came of those rallies.
In the top of the fifth, an RBI sacrifice fly from Kelsey Harris and an RBI single from Scanlon made it 5-0 Medford, then RBI singles from Carmen Diorio (2-for-4) in the top of the sixth and Eisnor in the top of the seventh made it 7-0.
The Falcons were able to get on the board, albeit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Marie knocked a one-out double to get into scoring position before Wodarski stepped in and launched a ball deep into left-centerfield that rattled around and turned into a two-run inside-the-park home run, making it 7-2. The rally ended there, though, as the next two batters hit easy popouts to end the game.
Now at 13-5 with two games left in the regular season, Danvers is looking to go into the state tournament with a little bit of momentum. Most of the 2017 squad is back after a run to the Division 2 North semifinals last season, and Newbury hopes that these last few regular-season games will do the job of preparing
“The next two games will be against good pitchers, which is exactly what you want heading into the tournament,” Newbury said. “We’re just kind of getting everyone ready for the stretch run now. Things are going good so far, everyone is doing what they need to do, so we just have to keep it going.”
Danvers will take on Essex Tech in a makeup game this afternoon (4) before closing the season against Division 1 powerhouse Central Catholic Thursday.