The Wellington High School girls varsity softball team ended its 2022 season with a 6-4 regional final loss to Park Vista High School on Saturday, May 21, but the memories created by this year’s squad are positive and many.
“We were truly a team all year and more like family as we endured so much from the beginning of the season to the end,” head coach Mark Boretti said. “So many players contributed all season, and it seemed to be a different hero each game.”
The Wolverines had a very strong start to this year’s season, opening with a nine-game winning streak. One of those wins was a 3-2 come-from-behind victory at home against Miami’s Doral Academy, which is nationally ranked.
“Doral Academy was ranked No. 2 in the country at the time,” said Boretti, who just finished his 13th year at the helm of the Wolverines’ varsity softball program.
During that nine-game stretch, Wellington scored 97 runs and gave up 28 runs.
Overall, Wellington compiled a 22-4 record. The Wolverines were the “best in the west,” as they were undefeated in their six games played against Seminole Ridge, Royal Palm Beach and Palm Beach Central high schools. They also won all three games against longtime rival Palm Beach Gardens High School. Two of those triumphs against Gardens were in the Class 7A, District 11 tournament final on May 5 and in the Class 7A, Quadrant 3 semifinal on May 17.
The district championship win against Gardens gave the team its sixth district softball title in school history. The other titles were won in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Like many high school athletic teams, senior leadership played a big role in Wellington’s success on the softball diamond.
According to Boretti, his four seniors — Gabby Mack, Emma Brinkman, Morea Hodge and Cheyenne Holman — were the heart and soul of the team.
“Gabby Mack was a top two or three player in Palm Beach County, Emma Brinkman stepped up big by taking over third base, center fielder Morea Hodge came through big in the playoffs, and Cheyenne Holman was a team player throughout the year,” Boretti said.
At least two of those seniors will be playing college softball. Mack is committed to the University of Tampa, while Hodge is headed north to play for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Despite the departure of four seniors, Boretti is delighted about the foundation of next year’s team. He will have seven returning starters in Kylie McCann, Kelsie Riggan, Jordan White, Kaylee Riles, Kaitlyn Campbell, Erynn Lowe and Tori Payne. Three additional players — Angelina Mangini, Emma Johnson and Shaelin Pagan — saw plenty of playing time this season as reserves.
Statistically, Wellington’s leading hitter was Campbell, who had a .429 batting average. Payne and Mack were close behind with .420 batting averages. Payne slugged five home runs, while Mack had four round-trippers on the season. On the mound, White compiled a 14-2 won-loss record.