GLOUCESTER— It is a well-known expression in softball that walks kill. The Gloucester girl's softball team found this out first-hand in a 13-0 mercy-rule defeat against NEC rival Danvers Tuesday at Burnham's Field. Gloucester provided 10 free-bases via walks, which enabled the Falcons to jump out to a big lead from the start.
Danvers compiled a 3-0 lead in the first and never looked back. Two of the first three hitters in the line-up reached by walks, which set-up a 2-RBI double by sophomore Devyn Downs. Downs later came home to score on a passed ball to cap the three-run first.
The Fishermen put-up their best effort in the bottom-half of the first, as Tess Benson started off the game with a single. Benson moved to second on a Katie Munroe sac-bunt, however, remained stranded, as Danvers' pitcher Kendall Meehan retired Keri Brewer and Claire Pleuler to end the inning.
The Falcons busted the game open in the second inning, scoring four more runs that were aided by Gloucester free passes.
Gloucester Coach John Nicastro took no credit away from Danvers despite the extensive number of free-bases.
"Danvers had a few timely hits so you have to tip your cap to them" Nicastro said. "They played small-ball in the middle-innings to take a big lead and we couldn't overcome the large number of walks we had in the first three innings."
Catcher Samantha DiBella put the Falcons in mercy-rule territory in the fourth, hitting a towering triple to left-field to clear the bases for a 3-RBI triple. Like the earlier innings, two of the three girls that scored reached base by walk.
Even with the ten walks and the offense only able to muster three hits, Nicastro took some positives from the game.
"We are progressing" he said. "We really didn't make that many errors so that type of stuff is getting better."
Nicastro also cited the play of pitcher Katie Russo, who came in for three-innings of relief after recently being called-up from the junior varsity.
"In her first game ever pitching varsity, she came in and did a good job" Nicastro said. "She only let-up two earned runs in her three-innings and overall she was a bright spot today."
Catcher Tess Benson, third baseman Casey Oliver and pinch-hitter Darien Foley combined for the three Fisherman hits on the day, while second baseman Emily Caisse made a nice defensive snag going into the outfield in the early innings.