Marlborough High teams continue Memorial Day mastery of Hudson High
Marlborough - The Marlborough High baseball and softball teams continued their recent mastery over rival Hudson High on Memorial Day May 26, the baseball team winning, 1-0, the softball team, 4-3.
For the baseball team it's the seventh win over the 1999 and 2002 Division 2 state champions in the last nine years. For the softball team it's the second victory in the last three seasons.
The Panthers baseball team won thanks to a standout performance by starting pitcher Jeff Mula.
The senior didn't allow a hit for the first four innings and finished with a two-hitter, allowing just a fifth-inning double and a seventh-inning single. The right-hander was economical, too, needing just 86 pitches to record the complete game victory.
"That was the best game I've ever pitched in high school," Mula said. "A two-hitter on Memorial Day – you can't beat that."
Marlborough first baseman Wes Russell provided all the run support Mula would need in the third inning, his double to left-center field driving in teammate David Monti, who had reached base just in front of Russell, thanks to a Hudson error.
Russell also singled in the sixth and was the only Panther to record more than one hit of hard-luck loser Mike Wood, who allowed just three hits and struck out six in a 76-pitch, route-going performance.
"I tip my hat to the pitching performances on both sides," Hudson High coach Brian Davis said. "It was outstanding. This was the first time all season we've been shut down and shut out. Mula pitched a terrific game."
The victory allowed Marlborough to enter the Division 1 tournament with a 10-10 mark. Hudson headed to the Division 2 tournament with a 13-8 record.
In the softball game between the two schools, Marlborough rallied for a pair of fifth-inning runs to turn a one-run Hudson lead into a one-run Marlborough victory.
Shortstop Jessie Bryant led the Panthers to the victory, lacing a two-run double down the left-field line off Kaitlin Andrews, the ace who pitched the Hawks to the Division 2 state title a year ago.
The Panthers' game-winning rally began when Danielle Winske reached on an error to begin the fifth inning. Kelsie Bryant followed with a bunt single, which moved Winske to second. Winske went to third and Bryant to second when the next batter, Kelsey Rudzinsky executed a sacrifice bunt to near perfection.
That left things in junior Jessie Bryant's hands.
"I figured they would pitch me inside because that what they did my first two at-bats," Jessie Bryant said. "With the count 3-1, I knew the pitch was going to be a strike. I guessed inside and I was right, and I was able to get around on it and get it past the third baseman and down the left-field line."
Jessie Bryant's heroics left the game in Panther pitcher Megan Montesion's hands, and she didn't disappoint, shutting the Hawks down over the final two frames to ensure the win.
The win allowed Marlborough to head to its third straight Central Mass. Division 1 Tournament appearance with a 17-3 mark, after 21 straight years of not qualifying. Hudson heads off to defend its state crown in the Division 2 tournament with a 19-3 record.
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