Led by University of Tampa commit Gabby Mack, the Wellington High School girls varsity softball team is off to a torrid 7-0 start to begin the season.
The Wolverines are doing what is necessary to win their games. They are getting timely hitting, hitting for power, playing strong defense and getting great pitching.
Through their first seven games, the team has scored 74 runs and allowed only 16. In only one game did the opposition score more than three runs. That was the team’s 11-7 win on March 8 at South Fork. The key to that win was a nine-run sixth-inning rally by Wellington to take the lead and keep it.
Other big rallies by Wellington took place in the game against Coral Reef on March 4. Trailing 3-2 going into the bottom of the sixth, Wellington rallied with three runs to take a 5-3 lead. Coral Reef had no response, and Wellington walked away as winners.
The most competitive game to date was Wellington’s home win against the Doral Academy Firebirds from Miami on March 11. In that game, Wellington trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning. In the fifth and sixth innings, the game changed. Wellington scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, and one run in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good, securing a 3-2 victory.
Wellington head softball coach Mark Boretti is delighted at his squad’s level of play through the first seven games of the season.
“It has been a true team effort this season,” Boretti said. “The seniors are leading the way, and they are getting great support from the underclassmen. This has been a fun team to watch play, and I’m enjoying it.”
There are many statistical leaders for Wellington this season. Five girls are batting .500 or better. Leading the way at a .545 clip is freshman Erynn Lowe. Mack is second at .529. Three other girls — freshman Shaelin Pagan, junior Kaitlyn Campbell and freshman Cheyenne Holman — are all batting .500. Five other players — junior Kylie McCann, junior Jordan White, freshman Emma Johnson, senior Emma Brinkmann and sophomore Angelina Mangini — are batting at least .400. Through Wellington’s first seven games, the overall team batting average is an even .400.
In the power and production categories, Mack, who plays first base, is tied for first or second in nearly every offensive category. She is tied for second in runs scored (9), tied for first in hits (9), tied for first in walks (5), tied for first in RBIs (8), second in doubles (3) and first in home runs (2).
In the all-important pitching category, Brinkmann and White are both 3-0 on the season. Brinkmann’s earned run average is a stingy 0.70, while White’s earned run average is an impressive 1.38. In terms of strikeouts, Brinkmann has secured 13 while White has 26. Victoria Payne has the other victory for the team.
The team has 12 stolen bases through the first seven games. Senior Morea Hodge leads the team with three steals.
In addition to the strong play by Mack, Boretti has been particularly impressed by the play of Brinkman and Hodge.
“Emma’s performance has been a big plus for the team, and Morea is having an outstanding season,” Boretti said.
Looking ahead, Wellington will be tested when it plays a number of local rivals in the coming weeks — Palm Beach Central on March 31, Palm Beach Gardens on April 5, Park Vista on April 12 and Jupiter on April 21.