BY GENE NARDI
On Thursday, Feb. 5, the Wellington High School varsity softball team hosted rival Royal Palm Beach High School in a non-district match-up and shut out the Wildcats 8-0 to remain unbeaten at 2-0 on the season. Royal Palm Beach fell to 1-1 on the season after a season-opening win against William T. Dwyer High School.
The first inning went scoreless, but by the start of the third inning, the Wolverines drove in two runs to take the lead. In the bottom of the third, Mary Rodriguez hit a rocket out to left field that cleared the fence for a home run, increasing the Wellington advantage to 3-0.
The home run sparked a Wellington offensive frenzy, as the team managed to get the bases loaded with just one out, but Royal Palm Beach’s defense stepped up to shut down any chances of Wellington adding to its tally.
Royal Palm Beach continued to challenge Wellington defensively into the fifth inning and put together some success at the plate, but could not convert the hits into runs, as the Wolverine defense responded swiftly.
Bailey Cain had hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Wolverines after an earlier score to extend Wellington’s lead to 6-0 going into the sixth inning.
Wellington catcher Toni Pancione deflated the Wildcats with another two-run double in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach for Royal Palm Beach, pushing the Wolverine lead to 8-0.
The Wildcats threatened twice to put runs on the board, but a stingy Wellington defense denied the comeback.
Pancione and Cain both were credited with a double and two RBIs.
ABOVE: Avery Binnix of Wellington attempts to lay down a bunt.