Softball team loses 2 straight as bats go quietBy Jay Turner
After a string of recent victories, the Canton High varsity softball team came back to earth last week, falling to Davenport Division leader Oliver Ames 5-1 on Wednesday and second-place Stoughton 6-1 on Friday.
The back-to-back losses brought the Bulldogs’ overall record to 3-6 with eight games to go; however, the girls have already clinched a postseason spot due to its record against other Division 2 schools.
Needless to say, head coach Ed Amico was not thinking too much about the playoffs after last week’s performances. He was far more concerned with instilling good habits so that the team can remain competitive throughout the remainder of the season.
According to Amico, the common denominator against both OA and Stoughton was the lack of hitting, especially with runners on base. He stressed that the players, particularly the ones with previous varsity experience, “need to set the example and get back to basics.”
“Singles, doubles, bunting, hit and runs win games. Swinging for the fences or losing focus just gets 10 players left on base,” said Amico, referring specifically to the game against the Tigers.
Even in defeat the team still had its moments, however, including a phenomenal defensive play by junior Julia Murphy that robbed OA’s best hitter of a homerun and ended a bases-loaded threat. Murphy, who is normally the team’s starting shortstop but got the start in center field, had to reach over the fence to make the highlight-reel catch.
Offensive highlights against the Tigers were few and far between, with Olivia Murphy, Cady Kelly, Bethany Kelly, and Sam Devane accounting for the Bulldogs’ only hits.
The Canton bats were just as quiet against the Black Knights as the girls combined for just three total hits while stranding six runners on base. The lone bright spots were Angelina Salcedo (two hits) and senior captain Cady Kelly, who Amico described as the team’s most consistent hitter.
While disappointed with the team’s struggles at the plate, Amico said he fully expects the girls to snap out of their funk and play better down the stretch. He has also been very impressed with the continued improvement of the defense.
“We have been switching some folks around,” he said, “but they are answering the call, making fewer errors every game and keeping us in the game.”
The Bulldogs were due to jump right back into action this week with three difficult games in three days, including away games Monday and Tuesday against Attleboro and defending state champion King Philip, as well as a home game against Franklin on Wednesday.
“As we enter the second half of the season,” said Amico, “it is time for the veterans to step up, the team to continue to focus on the basics and fundamentals, and start stringing some hits together.”
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