Saugus’ Lily Ventre went 4-for-4 with seven RBI in her first game back from injury Tuesday afternoon against Swampscott. (Item Photo: Jakob Menendez)

Fast start propels Saugus softball past Swampscott

SWAMPSCOTT — The Saugus softball team jumped out to a fast start and never looked back Tuesday afternoon, rolling to an 18-3 win in five innings over Swampscott in a Northeastern Conference bout at Forest Avenue Park. 

The win also officially qualifies Saugus for a state tournament spot, something coach Steve Almquist wasn't anticipating with his young team.

"With a young team like we have, you're hoping you're just going to win five games, let alone 10," said Almquist. "It's truly a credit to the girls, the talent they have and the hard work they've put in this year."

Helping lead the way in that win was Saugus freshman catcher Lily Ventre, who returned to play for the first time since the third game of the season after missing the last 13 games to rehab an injury. Ventre didn't waste any time getting back in the swing of things — literally — and dominated at the plate by going 4-for-4 with two doubles and an eye-popping seven RBI. 

"It was really great to have her back in the lineup," Almquist said of Ventre. "She's a difference-maker out there." 

Ava Rogers and Devany Millerick each went 2-for-4 with two RBI to help contribute offensively for Saugus, while Kaitlyn Pugh added a hit and two RBI as well. Gianna Costa had two hits and one RBI, while Fallon Millerick went 1-for-3 with a double.

Fallon Millerick also picked up the win in the circle for the Sachems, going all five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with four strikeouts. 

For Swampscott, Nicolette Fraser went 2-for-3 with two triples and one RBI to lead the way, while Cece O'Connor went 1-for-2 with a double and one RBI. Hannah Burns (1-for-2) had the only other hit for the Big Blue. 

Jocelyn Spickard took the loss for Swampscott in the circle, going all five innings and striking out five. 

The hitting started early for Saugus and it never stopped, as the Sachems recorded 16 total hits in the victory. Saugus took a 6-0 lead after the first half inning, and the Sachems extended that lead to 14-1 by the time the third inning was over. After four more runs for Saugus in the top of the fifth inning, the Big Blue responded with RBI hits from O'Connor and Fraser to make it an 18-3 game.

Swampscott (6-7) is right back in action Wednesday (4) with a home game against Masconomet.

Saugus (10-6) is off until Friday (4), when it will hold its Senior Day for a rematch with Swampscott at Belmonte Middle School.

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