On Monday, May 6, the Bromfield girls varsity softball team lost 7-4 against Gardner High School. The girls played a lively game at bat and in the field. As head Coach Bob Miller remarked, “I think the girls did fantastic.”
The team has been up against some difficulties this season. They have not had a consistent practice field, and this game was held “at home” at Pirone Park in Ayer, a field the girls hadn’t played on before. In addition, junior Captain Phillipa Harvey, who is shortstop for the team, has been battling an upper body injury and could not play this game. Despite this, she played an active role in cheering and coaching the girls.
Bromfield was in the field first, and sophomore pitcher Michelle Mazzu had an impressive first inning. On the fifth batter, Mazzu made a double play with a catch and a throw to third. She then struck out the sixth batter, making three outs by herself.
During the bottom of the inning, the girls made consistent contact with the ball. They rotated through the entire batting order, and sophomore Emily Douglas, Mazzu, and sophomore catcher Elizabeth Cohen made it back home. Bromfield led the game 3-1 after the first inning.
On the fourth pitch of the second inning, the batter hit the ball to Mazzu’s right knee, and she fell to the ground. Despite the initial shock, Mazzu quickly snatched and threw the ball to first in time to get the runner out. The game was paused for a minute or so as she recovered, but in no time she was back on her feet, pitching strong.
The Gardner Wildcats stole two runs in the fourth inning despite Cohen’s pretenses to throw to third. At shortstop, Douglas put an end to the Wildcats’ runs with a throw to second just in time for an out; senior Katelyn Adams caught the ball for an out in right field; and Mazzu struck the last batter out. During the bottom of the inning, eighth-grader Kathleen Mazzu made two steals while Adams was at bat, and successfully ran home.
The game was called after the sixth inning since Bromfield had rented the field only until 5:30 p.m. The girls ended the game with cheering and singing to celebrate their performance and Adams’ birthday.
Miller had positive comments about the girls’ playing: “We had the lead for some of the game… We got some clutch fielding and we got some good hitting and base-running as well.”
Miller also pointed out some standout performances. “I think that Michelle Mazzu pitched a very, very strong game. She was ahead of the hitters a lot… She struck out five batters. That’s pretty impressive.” In addition to Mazzu, he talked about Douglas’ game, “I want to mention specifically Emily Douglas, who played shortstop for the first time this season filling in for Phillipa Harvey… She played excellent… Shortstop is a very critical position, and she was put into that with hardly having practiced that at all. And so each time the ball would go to her, I would say, ‘Come on, get that ball, you’re going to get it,’ and I would see her get it and take her time and make a nice throw.”
The team lost 17-3 against Murdock on Thursday, May 9. They were scheduled to play against North Middlesex Regional High School home on Monday, May 20.
Sophia Zhou is a Bromfield freshman.