With the midpoint of the local high school softball season having recently come and gone, it seems as good a time as any to take a step back and size up the three squads in the area.
There have been some bright spots on the diamond for these squads, to be sure. Taken as a whole, though, this is shaping up to be a softball season Cape Ann will look to forget.
The good news, though, is that the future appears bright for Rockport, Gloucester and Manchester Essex with a ton of young players gaining quality experience.
Just don’t expect that experience to pay dividends just yet.
After winning the Cape Ann League Small division and reaching the Division 3 North semifinals last season, the Vikings’ expectations were predictably high coming into this year’s campaign.
While the Vikings find themselves very much in the mix at the season’s midpoint, the first half was a bit of a disappointment. Rockport entered the season already having to fill holes left by graduation, and recent injuries to pitcher Jessica Collins (likely out for the year) and first baseman Kayla Parisi (should return this week) have only made things tougher.
The Vikings sit at 4-6 through 10 games, but still very much in position to make a return to the state tourney.
SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: It’s hard to overlook some of Rockport’s lopsided wins this season, as three of their wins — coming against East Boston twice and Manchester Essex — have been by a combined 66-0, but it was a tighter game last week that’s been Rockport’s highest point on the year.
In the Vikings’ second game since the injuries to Collins and Parisi, Rockport hosted Pentucket in a game the Vikings really needed a win out of.
They found a way. Despite notching just three base-hits, all infield singles, the Vikings were able to scrape out three runs and Hannah Lorden was excellent on the mound and held the Sachems to just two runs.