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TMHS Softball Team Takes Div. 2 North Title With 7-0 Romp Over Swampscott

Jun 12, 2016 07:10PM ● By Rick Spencer

Junior centerfielder Marissa Doherty slides under the tag for Tewksbury's third run against against Swampscott.

For the most part, pitchers are more effective when they have several days of rest in between starts.
Not so for Tewksbury High junior pitcher Adrianna Favreau, who saved one of her best outings of the season for the big stage on Sunday. Pitching on just two day's rest and throwing for the fourth time in just six days, Favreau struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits in leading the TMHS softball team to a 7-0 shut out victory over Swampscott in the MIAA Division 2 North Sectional Championship game at Lowell's Martin Field.
In was the second North Sectional title in the past three years for coach Leo "Doc" DiRocco's Lady Redmen, who ran Swampscott ragged on the base paths in this one-sided romp.
"My arm was killing me," reported Favreau, who had to get treatment from the TMHS athletic training staff before the game. "I was like crying in pain before the bus but (the treatment) helped a lot.
"It was just good because I’ve been struggling a little bit in the other games, but I’ve got my defense behind me which helps a lot."
Favreau's teammates must have sensed that their star pitcher was not feeling up to par as they wasted no time in building her a comfortable lead. Tewksbury's all-out hustle on the base paths was the difference maker in this game, as the Redmen took the extra base at every opportunity and coaxed a flustered Swampscott team into committing five errors in the game.
TMHS took advantage of Swampscott's jittery play early on, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a base hit. Senior third baseman Kirsten Dick and junior outfielder Teagan Trant both drew walks, and moved up when senior shortstop Nora Butler was hit by a pitch. Junior outfielder Erica Whynot plated both runners with sharp grounder to the Swampscott second baseman, who overthrew her catcher allowing two runs to score.
Junior centerfielder Marissa Doherty made it 3-0 in the bottom of the second with a hustling trip around the basepaths that featured head-first slides into both first and second base. Doherty beat out an infield hit to reach base, stole second and came home on Kirsten Dick's clutch two-out single, sliding under the Swampscott catcher's tag at home plate.
"I call her the little engine that cranks us up," DiRocco said of Doherty. "She flies on the bases. She dove into first, dove into second. She was flying today.
"It was a crucial run," DiRocco added. "We can beat you in a few ways."
Taking the extra base is nothing new for Doherty, who had two hits, drove in a run and scored a run on Sunday.
"We're always talking about being aggressive on the basepaths," Doherty said. "Any base counts. If we can get one, that might shake them up a little bit and then we’ll get the next one. Then that gets it rolling and we get the next one."
Swampscott came completely unraveled in the third inning, committing four errors as the hustling Redmen forced the Big Blue to toss the ball around the infield in desperation. Doherty and junior second baseman Frankie Cocca each had RBI singles in that inning, as Butler, junior left fielder Erika Whynot, senior first baseman Nicole Petherbridge and Cocca all scored in the third, stretching the lead to 7-0.
Favreau appreciated the early cushion.
"It definitely helps out a lot," she said. "It just takes so much pressure off me if we get some runs in the first couple of innings. That helps me out so I’m a lot less nervous out there."
DiRocco labeled Sunday's performance one of Favreau's best.
"This was her fourth game under a lot of pressure in (less than) seven days," DiRocco said. "But she’s strong as hell. I knew when she was a freshman she was a stud."
So the Redmen move on to the Division 2 state semi-final game Tuesday night in Taunton. Tewksbury will face Abington, which won the Division 2 South sectional championship on Sunday with a 7-3 win over Fairhaven.
Abington was the fifth seed in the  South Sectional, notching an 18-4 regular season record on its way to the South Shore League championship, before winning four straight state tournament games to get to the D-2 semi-finals.
The Redmen last made it to the state semi-finals in 2014, where they were edged by eventual state champion Bellingham, 3-2.
Doherty and her teammates hope that Sunday's post-game trophy celebration won't be the last one of the season.
"It (winning the sectional tile) feels awesome, especially being able to do it twice," Doherty said. "But freshman year we didn’t make it past the semi's, so we definitely want to do that too."

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