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After putting together one of the most consistent pitching seasons in recent memory, St. Mary’s junior Lily Newhall has been named the 2021 Item Player of the Year for softball.
Newhall did it all for the Spartans this year, starting on the mound as the team’s ace. She threw 143 innings and racked up a 19-3 record that included three shutout victories. This season she allowed 32 earned runs on 114 hits, 32 walks and five hit batters. Newhall finished the year with an incredible 183 strikeouts — by far the most on the North Shore.
A CCL All-Star selection, Newhall also got it done at the plate. Despite an 0-for-11 start, Newhall finished the year with a .367 batting average, .448 on-base percentage and a .591 slugging percentage. Newhall had 18 hits, including a home run and five extra base hits while knocking in 11 RBI.
There were also six players who were named to the 2021 All-Item Team for softball in Alyssa Grossi (St. Mary’s), Marina DiBiasio; Brooke Warren (Lynn Classical); Abby Bettencourt (Peabody); Chloe Shapleigh (Lynnfield); and Lauren Donovan (Marblehead).
Grossi batted .485 on the year with a .571 on-base percentage and an eye-popping .911 slugging percentage. The CCL all-star laced six home runs and nine doubles on her way to racking up a North Shore-leading 31 RBI, while also stealing six bases.
DiBiasio was one of the toughest outs in the area in 2021, batting .385 for the season with an on-base percentage of .426 and a .564 slugging percentage — good enough to be named a CCL all-star. She notched a home run, had 19 RBI and stole eight bases while only striking out five times all year.
Warren was one of the senior leaders for Classical, getting the job done on the mound and at the plate. Warren started every one of the Rams’ 13 games this spring, striking out 88 batters and putting up an ERA of 2.70. She also had a solid year at the plate, batting an even .400 and anchoring the middle of the order.
Bettencourt — who was named the Northeastern Conference Player of the Year — contributed all over the field for Peabody, but her main weapon was her pitching arm. The clear ace of the Tanners’ staff, Bettencourt put up an ERA of 1.25 in 79 2/3 innings pitched. Her 107 strikeouts helped lead Peabody to the NEC North title, and her peak came in the opening round of the Division 1 North tournament when she threw a perfect game in a 6-0 win over Haverhill. She also got the job done with the bat, becoming one of the Tanners’ most reliable hitters over the course of the year with a batting average of .484 and 20 RBI.
Shapleigh, who played shortstop for the Pioneers, led her team in hitting with a batting average of .630. She also led the team in runs scored (25), RBI (22) and home runs (four). A Cape Ann League first-team all-star, Shapleigh will be off to Endicott College this fall as a two-sport athlete in softball and hockey.
Donovan was one of the top pitchers on the North Shore this year, striking out 120 batters in 90 innings of work and putting up an ERA of 2.25 — earning NEC all-conference honors.
Also earning 2021 Item All-Star Team selections for softball are Brooke Moloney (St. Mary’s); Izzy Faessler, Abby Fila, Mekayla Poisson (Lynn Classical); Kelsey McNeil (Lynn English); Mia Mercurio (Bishop Fenwick); Reilly Ganter (Lynnfield); Jolie Quintana, Ashleigh Maude (Marblehead); Emma Bloom, Isabel Bettencourt, Avery Grieco, Logan Lomasney (Peabody); Adrianna Fusco, Nina Cassinello (Revere); Cassadi O’Leary, Skylar Sverker (Salem); Leah Ventre, Lily Ventre, Cat Schena (Saugus); Nicolette Fraser, Riley Scanlon (Swampscott); Sofia Vitale and Izzy Mahoney (Winthrop).