English softball defeats Tech in slugfest

English's Heather Holey hit two home runs in Friday's win. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — In an absolute slugfest between the English and Tech softball teams at McManus Field Friday afternoon, it was the Bulldogs who came out on top in a 18-16 win thanks to a five-run seventh inning. The win is the first victory and seven-inning game for English in over a year.

“It was a thrilling win for sure,” said first-year English coach Ashley Aldred. “This win really showed our girls’ resilience. Last year we didn’t play a single seven-inning game, so for them to be able to do that out of the gate is really promising. Once we start to get the little things squared away, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

The Bulldogs were led by the offensive outputs of Elena Sierra and Julianna Perry, who had three RBI each. Heather Holey hit two home runs and had two RBI, while Sofia Texeria, Aprile Gutierez and Janessa Lopez also notched two RBI apiece. Gealina Chicon and Julia Chen each had one RBI.

“It was great to see us adjust at the plate after the first couple of innings,” said Aldred. “Obviously to be able to score 18 runs in our first game is great for us, so hopefully we can keep that momentum going.”

For Tech, Adrianna Torres led the way with five RBI. Theresa Mastropietro added three RBI, while Ariella Long and Aleida Torres each had one RBI.

“Everybody played really well, especially since we haven’t really been outside too much this early in the year,” said Tech coach Beth Mercaldi. “But both teams played great and both teams hit great. Every time we’d go on a run, they’d come right back. It was a great game.”

It was a quick start for the Tigers, who jumped out to a lead in the bottom of the first inning. It started with a RBI single from Adrianna Torres, then Aleida Torres notched a RBI groundout. After another run came in on a passed ball, Tech led 3-0.

English responded right away, grabbing two runs on a two-run home run from Perry to make it 3-2 in the top of the second inning.

Over the next two innings, it looked like Tech was going to take over. The Tigers put together a five-run inning in the bottom of the second thanks in part to a three-run double for Adrianna Torres, jumping ahead 8-2. English got one run back in the top of the third on a RBI from Gutierez, but then Tech added three runs of its own in the bottom of the third to make it 11-3.

That’s when English turned things around.

Thanks to RBI hits from Chen, Holey and Lopez in the top of the fourth, the Bulldogs put together a five-run inning of their own to cut the deficit down to 11-8.

The score remained there until the top of the sixth, when English jumped ahead for the first time. It started with a solo homer from Holey, then Gutierez and Perry added RBI hits. Add in a two-run double from Sierra, and the Bulldogs took a 13-11 lead.

Tech didn’t go down quietly. In the bottom of the sixth, Mastropietro got things going with a two-run double to tie the score before the Tigers went ahead thanks to RBI singles from Long and Adrianna Torres. Tech added another run on a passed ball, and the Tigers grabbed a 16-13 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Lopez smacked a RBI double, Chicon drove in a run, Texeria launched a two-run home run and Sierra knocked a RBI single to put the Bulldogs back in front 18-15.

Tech got one back in the bottom of the seventh, but English sealed the deal.

Tech (1-3) has a full week off during school vacation and will return to action April 23 against Minuteman.

English (1-0) hosts Somerville Monday morning (10).

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