The Lynn Senior Little League Softball All-Stars couldn’t have asked for a better start to their East Regional Tournament run.
Lynn won both of its games over the weekend, defeating Connecticut 7-1 Saturday and blanking host Worcester with a 7-0 victory Sunday at Vernon Hill Park.
“We’re 2-0 and sitting at the top of our bracket right now,” Lynn manager Chad Wilkins said. “Runs against is one of the tiebreakers. As of right now we only have one run against. That’s huge because tiebreakers can play a big role in these tournaments. We’re in a good spot as of now.”
Saturday’s game was all about making the most of opportunities. Lynn took advantage of three Connecticut errors in the second inning and cashed them in for five runs in the frame. Of Lynn’s seven runs, four were unearned.
“You have to take advantage of those mistakes,” Wilkins said. “You get to this level and nerves set in a lot with each team. The team that can take advantage of those mistakes comes out on top. That’s exactly what we did. It was great to get that first win off our shoulders.”
Starting pitcher Lily Newhall fanned 12 over five dominant innings. Newhall allowed just one run on one hit and walked four. Ava Foglietta pitched the final two innings in relief and fanned three while allowing one hit.
“Lily was dominant for five innings,” Wilkins said. “She just got a little tired. We were outside a lot Saturday. We had opening ceremonies in the morning. We thought it was the best move to take her out and put Ava in for a couple innings.”
Julia Nickolau carried Lynn’s offense with two hits and a run scored.
“Julia went 2-for-4,” Wilkins said. “She’s our leadoff hitter. She always makes good contact. She’s a solid hitter. She’s very fast, which makes her a good leadoff hitter.”
Newhall (run), Reese Brinkler (two runs), Gianna Coito (run), Kaelyn Jennings (run), Riley Mannion and Emely Rodriguez each had one hit.
Newhall tossed seven shutout innings in Sunday’s win over Worcester. She tallied nine strikeouts, allowed three hits and walked one.
“Lily was constantly pounding the strike zone and kept hitters off balance,” Wilkins said. “Her changeup was working Sunday. She hit her spots. They never had a solid hit off her.”
Coito (3-for-4) and Mannion (2-for-3, two runs) lifted the offense. Newhall (run), Jennings, Abby Fila, Anna Fringuelli (run), and Amanda Wilkins (run) collected one hit each.
“After putting one win under our belt, the girls were a lot less nervous and much more comfortable,” Wilkins said. “They came loose and played well. Pitching and defense have been phenomenal over the first two games. We’ve had timely hits but our pitching has been great and our defense has been outstanding.”
Lynn (2-0) has already surpassed last summer’s regional-round win total (the Lynners went 1-3 in 2018). Lynn’s back on the diamond bright and early Monday morning (9) when it takes on Rhode Island at Worcester State’s Rockwood Field. Rhode Island’s 1-1 in the pool play tournament after Saturday’s 11-10 win over Worcester and Sunday’s 13-12 loss to Connecticut.