MHS softball crowned Div. One North Sectional Champions

NORTH SECTIONAL CHAMPS: Mayor Gary Christenson, a big supporter of MHS athletics, proudly poses with the MHS girls softball team after the Tornadoes’ impressive win in the North Sectional Championship game. Right, kneeling, is head coach John Furlong and standing, right, is asst. coach Rosalie Esquivel Jones next to MHS Principal Dana Brown. On the left, standing, are Athletic Director Dan Keefe and loyal fan Bob Knox of the Malden D.P.W. (Photo courtesy Paul Hammersley)

The dream season for the Malden High softball team continued on Tuesday night as they had a, 5-4, nine-inning comeback win over Bridgewater-Raynham on Tuesday night at Martin Field in Lowell in the Div. 1 eastern Mass. semifinals.

With the win, the Golden Tornadoes improved to 24-1 and will now play for the state championship on Saturday night. They will play central Mass. champ Milford at Worcester State University at 7 pm.

The Trojans ended the year at 21-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, Melissa Light hit a ball to pitcher Audrey Dolloff who had troubled handling it allowing Emily Moran to score from third and set off a wild celebration.

“It was crazy,” said Malden head coach John Furlong, about the celebration.

The Trojans scored twice of pitcher Kiara Amos in the top of the first inning. They then scored single runs in the four and fifth innings to go up 4-0 as things looked grim for the locals.

However, Malden fought back and plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth.

“We got down four runs and we showed no quit,” stated Furlong.

Light tripled, Emily Hoffman walked and Hannah Calderon singled to score Light. Jessalynne Brown singled to fill the bases and Bridget Furlong smashed a three-run double to tie the game.

Amos got the win going all nine frames. She gave up seven hits and fanned three.

Malden’s offense had nine hits overall.

On Monday night, they beat Acton-Boxboro in the North finals, 3-2, in eight innings, also at Martin Field.

Malden scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to go up 2-0.

With two outs, an error at second allowed Erika Hansen to reach base.  Light then doubled to right field to score Hansen. Rebecca Krigman then singled to left to score Light.

The Colonials, who finished at 17-7 overall, tied it up plating two runs in the top of the third as Michelle Surdan, who tripled, scored on a fielders choice by Ashley Reuther. Reuther then scored on a RBI single by pitcher Sarah Ropiak.

Malden scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth as, with Moran on third and two outs, there was an error in right field on a ball hit by Light allowing the game-winning run to score. Moran singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hansen and got to third on a wild pitch.

The Colonials had five hits overall led by Ropiak and Surdan who both went 2 for 4. Kirsten Pfister had the other hit with a bunt single.

On the mound, Ropiak went all eight innings allowing no earned runs. She gave up five hits, fanned 13 and did not allow a walk.

Amos was the winning pitcher for the Tornadoes going all eight innings. The Providence College bound senior gave up two runs, five hits, no walks and she struck out 12.

“Those were two very strong pitchers,” said Malden head coach John Furlong. “To beat a team like Acton-Boxboro is a stepping stone for our program. That is a great team that they have.”

Last Saturday, also at Martin Field, the Tornadoes shutout Central Catholic, 4-0, in the semifinals.

Amos was the story as she posted her 14th shutout of the season as she struck out eight batters. She also helped her own cause  at bat with a two-run double in the bottom of the first as she was 2 for 3 at the dish.

On June 6, the Tornadoes shutout Framingham, 5-0, at Callahan Park in the quarterfinals.

Amos came up big in this game as well as she pitched a one-hitter and fanned 13. All of Malden runs were unearned as they took advantage of several Flyer mistakes.

Coach Furlong wants as many people as possible out in Worcester on Saturday night.

“You won’t be disappointed,” said Furlong. “I can’t thank the people enough who have come out to our other games.”