Northside’s 16 Inch Softball Team Takes On Payton
By Maya Gorman
On Oct. 1, the Northside 16-inch softball team faced off against Payton for the first round of the city championships. Hopes were high as the team started off the game. “I know we’re going to win this one,” said Captain Daniel O’Connor, Adv. 901. This was an important game that would determine if Northside stayed in the playoffs.
D. O’Connor said the team’s biggest strength was “repeated practice of our positions, which has made us all individually better. But, at the same time, we have learned to work off one another’s strengths.”
The first three innings were melodramatic. Hits from Nathan Beale-Delvecchio, Adv. 107, and Garner Hasler, Adv. 010, to center field in the first three innings got Northside on base.
Defensive plays made by D. O’Connor at shortstop and Nick Colegrove, Adv. 903, at short center, limited Payton to one run in the first inning. This would be the first of many critical defensive plays made by the Mustangs. D. O’Connor fielded a hard ground ball and threw to first base for the second out of the first inning and Colegrove made the third the same way.
D. O’Connor took a line drive with his hands, and made the first out of the second inning. Valuable catches by outfielders Liam O’Connor, Adv. 004, in center, and Hasler in left, saw the end of the second inning. Another well-fielded grounder by Colegrove made the first out of the third inning, while a well-handled grounder to D. O’Connor and a first-rate catch by Colegrove brought the inning to an end.
Northside’s fourth-inning started off with Hasler sending the ball into the left field and making it safe on first. Next up was D. O’Connor, whose double to left led Hasler to score, making the score 1-1 tied. Noah Hughes, Adv. 100, then hit a single, bringing D. O’Connor home. By the end of the fourth inning, Northside was ahead by a score of 2-1.
At the top of the fifth inning, L. O’Connor sent the ball to left field and became the only Northside player to reach the bases that inning. In the bottom of the fifth, right fielder Beale-Delvecchio caught the first out, while a double play by D. O’Connor ended the inning.
In the sixth inning, a roller by Beale-Delvecchio caused the Mustangs to score, bringing Hughes back home. A line drive by Jack Vasilopoulos, Adv. 006, to shortstop was missed, leaving Vasilopoulos at first, while Beale-Delvecchio advanced to second and Jake Trick, Adv. 006, scored. This left the score at 4-1 Mustangs as they prepared to field. Polished catches by D. O’Connor at short, Beale-Delvecchio in right and L. O’Connor in center end the sixth inning.
L. O’Connor clobbered the ball to center at the beginning of the seventh and was safe at first. A huge hit by Hasler (to the gap in the right field) allowed L. O’Connor to score, leaving Northside with a score of 5-1. D. O’Connor and Hughes flew out to end the inning. As Payton began its final inning, a catch by center fielder L. O’Connor led to the first out. At shortstop, D. O'Connor swept up a grounder to second base, producing the second out. Despite Northside’s efforts, Payton scored one more run, leaving the final score at 5-2 in favor of Northside. With this win, Northside hoped to continue their successful playoff season.