ROCKPORT — The Whittier Tech softball team came into Monday’s Division 3 North Quarterfinal tilt with Rockport knowing it needed to jump out of the gates quickly and take a lead against a good offensive team.
In Saturday’s Division 3 North First Round tilt with Lynnfield, the fourth seeded Vikings won thanks to a 17 hit offensive barrage, so an early lead was a must for the fifth seeded Wildcats.
Early on in Monday’s contest, Whittier Tech did exactly what it set out to do as it took a four run lead before the Vikings could even come up to bat. That four run top of the first inning ended up being the difference as the Wildcats hit their way into the sectional semifinals with a 9-5 win at Rockport High School.
The Vikings finish up the season at 14-6 while the Wildcats (16-6) move on to face No. 8 St. Mary’s in the semifinals.
“I told the girls ‘we have to jump out quick,’” Whittier head coach Cheryl Begin said. “We made it clear that we had to come up with big at bats and we had to come out hard and fast.”
Rockport nearly got out of the first inning unscathed as it had two outs with two runners on in the frame before Whittier rattled off three straight hits.
Ashley Wilson made it 1-0 with an RBI single to left and Katrina Gallagher followed with an RBI single of her own to make it 2-0. Lena Faranna then came up with the biggest hit of the inning, a two run triple to the gap in left center plating both Wilson and Gallagher to make it 4-0 through just one half inning.
“They were able to get on the board right away and that was the biggest difference,” Vikings head coach Dianne Parisi said. “The ball dropped in the right places for them and it didn’t for us. (Whittier) is a good team, we knew we would have to fight until the end and we did but the ball fell their way.”