BY GENE NARDI
On Thursday, Feb. 26, the Wellington High School varsity softball squad hosted Spanish River High School in a non-district contest and defeated the Sharks 4-0.
The Wolverines (7-2) played an aggressive game defensively to shut out Spanish River.
The Sharks, on occasion, would place the ball well when at bat, but a relentless outfield made it impossible for Spanish River to get on the board.
“Defensively, excellent all the way around; we didn’t have an error made,” said Wellington coach Mark Boretti of the Wolverine defense.
Wellington commanded a 2-0 lead by the bottom of the fourth inning. Spanish River continued to struggle in the fifth inning. Wellington catcher Toni Pancione demonstrated why she’s among the best in the county when she dove from behind the plate to get underneath a fly ball and reeled it in for the out to maintain the shutout going into the later innings.
In the sixth inning, Pancione struck again, this time on offense. She met the ball at the plate and blasted a line drive into the outfield for an RBI double to propel the Wolverines to a 3-0 lead.
The Sharks managed some solid hitting, but a stingy Wellington defense denied them any chances.
Marissa Atkinson kept the Spanish River defense off balance when she stole second and third base late in the sixth inning, and was eventually driven in for the 4-0 lead.
Spanish River then locked it up on the defensive side by keeping the Wolverines from adding to their tally, but could not muster any runs due mostly to Wellington’s accurate outfield and precision infield play. Wellington’s four runs would be all they needed to close out the game with the victory.
“The outfield in the last couple games was suspect, but tonight they made some very good plays and kept some runs off the board,” Boretti said. “It’s a nice win; we just have to get the hitting machine going.”
ABOVE: Toni Pancione, catcher for the Wolverines, gets a base hit.