By Patty Ames
FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham U-14 Softball team capped off an undefeated season Friday night with a decisive win over Marlborough for the championship. Playing in the Twin Valley Girls Softball League, No. 1 Framingham posted a 10-0 regular season record and beat Medfield in the playoffs to face No. 2 Marlborough in the finals at Baldelli Field in Marlborough.
Coming in as the No. 1 team, Framingham earned home field status. Marlborough scored a run in the first inning on a solid double and great base running—including a steal of home. Framingham held them to just one run as Julia Matz struck out three batters to end their first.
Framingham wasted no time getting on the board, thanks to a lead-off double by Giana (Gigi) Patruno, who quickly stole third and was knocked in by a blooper to right by Kayla Goodridge. Subsequent hits from Sarah Spalti, Julia Matz (double), Eden Manning, and Hannah Hoffman ran the score up to 5-1 to close out the first inning. From then on, Framingham dominated the game with their hitting and base running. Every member of the team either found a way on to base or helped move a runner to scoring position.
While Framingham’s bats were hot, the other story of the night was the spectacular performance from their pitcher, Julia Matz. Matz, who has been stellar all year, saved the best for last by striking out 12 batters during the game and had zero walks.
Marlborough came out strong in the 5th inning with an impressive out of the park home run—earning the hitter high-fives from the Framingham players as she rounded the bases. Marlborough then singled and doubled off Framingham to bring the score to 17-3 but that is where it ended. A fly ball to right and excellent catch by Ella Blaine closed the game and sealed the win.
Head Coaches John Blaine and Pat Manning, who have worked with several of these girls since they were 5 years old, reflected on the game, the season, and this team.
Said Blaine: “A team that all other Framingham Girls Softball teams will be measured against, and rightfully so. A perfect ending to a perfect season. We got better as the year want on and played our best game all year in the last game of the season. They will be forever champions and they deserve it. They work hard in practice, support each other and show great enthusiasm for the game and their teammates.”
Coach Manning agreed and added: “The U-14 Framingham Flyers Team so well represented themselves and their City tonight by playing a hard-nosed game right out of the gate. One of the best things about this team is that they respect themselves and other teams, never ever acting negatively towards the other team no matter what the score is. Great character with this team was the backbone that helped them achieve the Championship. They closed out the season the way they wanted—with a victory.”
Members of the 2019 U-14 TVL Championship team are: Sally Ames, Brooke Anderson, Ella Blaine, Kayla Goodridge, Hannah Hoffman, Jillian Moloney, Jonna Maloney, Eden Manning, Julia Matz, Lily Novak, Olivia Palmer, Giana Patruno, Sarah Spalti, and Amber Welch
Head coaches are John Blaine and Pat Manning; Assistant Coaches are Ken Goodridge and Mike Welch
Photos by Rich & Patty Ames