WEST ROBXURY – Without their coach and facing East Boston for the fifth straight season in the city championship, Latin Academy put together an offensive onslaught for yet another Boston City League crown.
The Dragons ended up with a dominant 17-2 mercy-rule victory over the Jets to make it 17 straight Boston City League titles for Latin Academy Saturday afternoon at West Roxbury Academy.
“It means so much more than I can put into words,” said interim coach Caroline Conroy, who was filling in for Coach Rocco Zizza. “It’s more than just a game for our girls. We are a family and we keep it coming every single year. You can’t ask for anything more.”
The big inning came in the third for Latin Academy (10-13) as the Dragons sent 18 batters to plate with 12 coming around to score.
“In the third inning, we really came together,” Conroy said. “We were all hyping each other up and I think our energy on and off the bench, it really put everything together.”
It was senior captain and first-year varsity player Maeve McCarthy who came up with a bases-loaded single to drive in a pair to make it 8-1. She later came around to score on a ground-rule double for junior Ellie Etemad-Gilbertson that made it 10-1. She later walked again in the inning and came around to score on a bases-loaded walk for senior Avery Dillon to cap the scoring.
“It was shocking,” said MVP McCarthy when she found out she won the award. “It is my first year on varsity officially and I didn’t expect it.”
McCarthy finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored from the leadoff position. Etemad-Gilbertson added one hit, but walked three other times with a pair of runs and two RBI. One of those was intentional with Buzzelle on second in the top of the second inning.
Eighth-grader Ashlyn Brady allowed just two hits and two runs over five frames while striking out six. She retired 11 of the final 12 she faced with the lone batter reaching on a wild pitch after a strikeout.
“She is nasty,” Conroy said about the starter. “She was doing phenomenal on the mound today. She is always phenomenal and is one of our best players and she is really young. She has a lot of time to improve and we love it.”
Brady also hit an inside-the-park home run to lead off the second to make it 3-1. Three batters later, junior Sophia Buzzelle crushed a two-run double to make it 5-1 after two innings.
“Last year, I was on the team and I was nervous, but the girls are so easy to talk to,” Brady said about being in the program with 11 upperclassmen. “It’s just a great experience. Sad that Coach (Zizza) isn’t here, but we did it for him.”
Latin Academy got the scoring started in the first as eighth-grader Claire Hauck laced an RBI single over the drawn-in infield with two outs to score Buzzelle from second. A wild pitch during junior Ella Hamilton’s at-bat scored Etemad-Gilbertson to make it 2-0 after one for the Dragons.
For East Boston (9-11), senior Jordyn Hastings drove in senior Julianna Troville in the top of the second with an RBI single to make it a 2-1 contest. Senior Jaden Pacitta scored the other run on a Brady wild pitch in the top of the fourth.