It was a battle between the St. Mary’s Spartans and the Lynn Classical Rams during the championship game of this year’s Holland Tournament, but the Spartans triumphed over the Rams 9-4.
The Spartans’ Samantha Kiley had an impressive game, striking out four and walking five. Backed by solid defense and clutch hits from her teammates, she came out with the win. Mackenzie Coppinger held her own with two strikeouts and two walks in 4 innings when she was relieved by Katie Cuozzo who finished the game for the Rams.
“It’s pitching and defense that have been winning games. Sam was putting the ball in the strike zone, and the field was making the plays,” said Colleen Newbury, head coach of the Spartans.
The first two innings started off well for both teams with no runs scored, but the St. Mary’s bats started to come alive in the third. An overthrow from Hannah Byrne put leadoff batter Maria Nazzaro on first. Brittany Hanscom’s sacrifice bunt moved Nazzaro to second before Erin McAndrews pounded a hard grounder to Classical’s third baseman Jennie Erekson to put runners on first and third. A single from Ariel LaRosa scored Nazzaro. Catcher Katie Collins came to the plate and was walked to load the bases before Kristina Burri lined a double into left field to score two more runs. A passed ball scored two more for the Spartans before the Rams could make the last two outs.
“The Spartans are a solid team. We’ve been playing well, but it’s good to taste a loss like this before we go into a tournament,” said Classical coach Chris Warren.
It looked like Classical was making a come-back in the fourth inning after Fallon Gaudet was walked by Kiley when Byrne lined a two-run shot over the left field fence to put the Rams on the board. However, Spartans answered with an impressive double play to nab Jenny Garrity and Chelsey Bartlett. Coppinger grounded out to McAndrews for the final out that inning.
“We turned a great 5-4-3 (third to second to first) double play, and that was a big momentum changer after Byrne’s homerun,” said Newbury.
Nazzaro, McAndrews, Collins and Burri all had hits in the fourth to bring the score to 9-2. Katie Cuozzo was brought in with two outs get the third out. Byrne scored on a passed ball in the sixth to make the score 9-3.
Classical scored one more in the seventh inning when Bartlett walked with bases loaded. However, Kiley struck out Garrity with the bases loaded to ensure the Spartans the win.
“The offense working with the defense is what produces a win, and that’s what we had going for us today,” said Newbury.
In the consolation game held earlier that day, the Lynn English Bulldogs beat the Swampscott Big Blue 4-0.
The John Holland Scholarship winners were Cara Crowley of Lynn English, Jenny Garrity of Lynn Classical, Courtney Fletcher of Swampscott and Kristina Burri of St. Mary’s.
The Holland Tournament All-Stars were Briana Holmes, Kristina Burri, Ariel LaRosa, and Katie Collins of St. Mary’s, Moe Bradley and Kellie Birchmore of Swampscott, Hannah Byrne, Jennie Erekson and Chelsey Bartlett of Lynn Classical and Cara Crowley, Sam Earp, Val Fiaccaprile and Tiffany Drown of Lynn English. Drown was also awarded the Ginny Dandreo Outstanding Tournament Pitcher award.