Bopp helps Marlborough top Algonquin in rain-soaked softball game


Bopp helps Marlborough top Algonquin in rain-soaked softball game
Marlborough softball’s Shauna Bopp delivers the pitch. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough’s Shauna Bopp came to play on Wednesday afternoon.

On April 24, the Marlborough Panthers and Algonquin Titans met at Marlborough’s turf field for an afternoon softball matchup. While Algonquin kept the game close until the final out, Bopp’s pitching proved to be the difference as the Panthers defeated the Titans 5-2 to move to 5-3 on the season. 

Bopp retired the first 14 Algonquin batters and had a perfect opening 4.2 innings. In that span, the Marlborough junior retired batters in just about every way, striking out two – one looking, one swinging – while earning seven flyouts and five groundouts. Bopp also got it done at the plate, slapping a single into the outfield in the second inning. 

“She’s super important. Both of our pitchers can hit and play the field. We get them in our lineup no matter what. Shauna is a cool cucumber. She always stays composed in moments like that. She’s like a silent leader for the girls,” Marlborough Head Coach Michaella DaSilva told the Community Advocate after the game. 

After Algonquin pitcher Emily Ruiz held off the Panthers in the first two innings, Marlborough’s offense got rolling. After opening the third inning with two walks, sophomore Erin Seder’s bases-clearing double put the Panthers ahead 2-0. The next batter, Catherine Seay, would add another run with her RBI single.

Seder (2-4, 3RBI) and Seay (2-4, HR, 2 RBI) drove in every Marlborough run. In the fifth inning, Seay’s inside-the-park home run scored the Panthers’ fourth run. In the sixth inning, Seder’s RBI single gave her team an important insurance run.

“[Seder] swings hard. Her and Katherine really hack and it shows. They bring in a lot of runs for us,” DaSilva said. 

Although the Algonquin offense was silent over the first half of the game, the team’s bats woke up. Three straight hits – a single from Ruiz, a double from Hannah Dunleavy and another single from Jessilyn Baez –  pushed two runs across the plate in the top half of the fifth inning. 

The Titans tried to pick up where they left off the next inning, but their plans were complicated by an uninvited guest: the rain. While the rain didn’t compromise the Marlborough High School turf playing surface, it also didn’t help the pitchers, who couldn’t get the perfect grip on the damp ball. After about 15 minutes of pouring rain, the sun (somewhat) re-emerged, and the game was back on. 

“We did a really good job of playing a lot cleaner than we have defensively… For Shauna to go from the rain delay, then to go out there while it was still raining and have the ball be wet she didn’t have a walk the whole game, and then she had two after that. It’s tough; mentally, it’s tough. But, I think she did a really great job and finished the game out,” DaSilva said. 

Bopp pitched all seven innings for the Panthers. 

Algonquin threatened once more in the sixth, and after two back-to-back seventh-inning singles, the tying run came to plate. The next three batters all made weak contact, flying out, grounding out and flying out to end the game. 

“It was a great game. We left a lot of runners on base, but it was a very competitive softball game. We were in it until the very end. I think both sides played really good defense today and both pitchers did a good job. The timely hitting was key today. We just didn’t have enough runners on base,” Algonquin Head Coach Kristen Morcone said. 

And while Wednesday’s result wasn’t what she had hoped for, she’s looking forward to what lies ahead with her team.

“I’m very excited. We definitely turned a corner from last year, and our team has come so far. I have a lot of confidence. I have 19 girls who can be huge contributors every day and we’re in a lot more softball games this year. I’m excited for the future,” she said.

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