The following was submitted by the Westford Over-30 Softball League. To submit your own content, e-mail [email protected]
Heading into the mid-season break, the Nashoba Valley Veterinary Mustangs sit undefeated at 14-0 having scored 307 runs, accumulating exactly 100 more runs than the second place 8-4 Floral Arts team. The Mustangs defense is just as strong allowing only 80 runs over those same 14 games. Second place thru fifth place are all teams with eight wins represented by Short Cuts Landscaping, Willis Tent, and Burtons Grill falling in behind Floral. Six teams make the playoffs and Pro Sports Therapy, after two big wins, currently sits in sixth place at 5-9. Drew Farms, Healy Oil and CSA Graphics make up the bottom three spots but all are well within reach of a playoff spot with a strong second half.
The Mustangs began another week of games with a run rule win over Healy Oil. Mark Cusano went 4-4, with two grand slams, 10 RBI total, including the second straight walkoff salami for the Mustangs to reach the run rule victory. Paul Selfrige and Mike Kennedy each went 3-4, while Paul Liguori notched another win on the mound. Jack Erickson threw out a runner at 3B from LF to bolster the outstanding Mustang defense. Bruce Wilhelm started Healy going early with a two run shot over center field and Wayne Meadows tried to pitch around the Mustang batters but the Mustang offense just overpowered the Healy defense.
Willis Tent 13 – Floral Arts 9
Willis Tent beat Floral Arts 13-9 on Wednesday night. Both teams battled throughout the game, but Willis’ big sixth inning put them ahead for good. Floral got a good pitching performance from Simon Tripp. Jeff Moore went 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBI, Mark Chambers hit a solo home run, and Roger Whittlesey knocked in two with a double. Chad Kirby played a solid right field and knocked in a run. Contributing to the Willis win were Andrew Metters with a 4 for 4 night, two singles and two doubles, John Mangiaratti going 3 for3 with three singles and a base on balls, Brian Gallardo 3 for 4 with two singles and homerun, Rick Devanna 3 for 4 with two singles and a homerun. Dennis Kane and Justin Swanson each contributed to the effort with a homerun. Willis also got excellent pitching from veteran Paul Duato.
Burtons Grill 25 – Drew Farms 22
Posting a score often seen in football rather than softball, Burtons outlasted a very tough Drews squad 25-22 over seven innings and nearly two hours. The high scoring affair was highlighted by a rare homerun, two swinging strikeouts, a 22 run inning, and a near triple play. In an important game for two teams in the middle of the pack, Burtons went above .500 standing at 8-7 going into the holiday break. Burtons rising star Raghu Mantena hit a two run blast off of Drews starter Mark Kost to open the scoring and contributed four RBI on the night. Mantena also made several great catches in right field to end some rallies. Burtons season homerun leader Dave Batchelder hit for the cycle, knocking in five RBI. Eric Cataline 5-5 and four RBI, Luke Boulanger went 3-4 with four RBI, Tim Scott 3-5, two RBI, and three runs scored, John Geary 3-4, three runs scored and two RBI and Jerod Colley 4-5 and a great pitching effort to close out the seventh. Peter Morano had several key hits and a blown tire due to excessive speed rounding first. Drews competed every inning including responding with 12 runs in the bottom of an inning where Burtons posted 10 thus quickly narrowing an 18-2 lead and making it a game again. Offensive standouts for Drews included Pat Pawlak with a homerun, Rich Ragu with a three run homerun, and solid hitting by Blake Buxton and Joe Welch. Outstanding catches in the outfield by Tim Scott and Brian Collamore for Burtons, and a nice grab by Jason Lenicheck at third, put the win in Burton’s column.
Healy Oil 23 – CSA Graphics 19