Martha’s Vineyard started off the season with three straight non-league victories against teams they had to beat, a good thing considering what lay ahead.
The Vineyarders began play in the Eastern Athletic Conference, one of the state’s best, with games April 9 and April 11 against Bishop Stang and Bishop Feehan, ranked 6th and 18th respectively on Boston.com. The results were ugly as the Purple suffered losses of 18-3 and 26-0.
The next two games, played Saturday at Cambridge Rindge and Latin and Monday at home against Falmouth, were winnable non-league contests against teams the Vineyarders swept in four games last season.
The Vineyarders were competitive in both games but lost 12-7 and 12-4 largely because of walks and errors. The Purple had 13 walks and four errors against Cambridge, coupled with eight walks and six errors against Falmouth.
On a positive note, the eight walks issued against Falmouth was the lowest total thus far for sophomore pitcher Jessica Sonia. Several Vineyarders also performed well at the plate. Against Cambridge, Mariah Duarte was 3 for 3 and belted a home run. Miranda Tokarz was 3 for 4 with a double and a triple; Emily Turney went 3 for 4 with a double; and Julia Sauter was 2 for 3.
Turney and Duarte were the most productive against Falmouth. Emily had a hit with three runs scored, while Mariah was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Following the rough four-game stretch, Coach Herman lauded Miranda Tokarz, Shelby Lavin, and Mariah Duarte. “Miranda is having an all-star year so far,” he said. “She’s been so strong behind the plate and her offense is starting to kick in. She’s playing like a three-year starter. Shelby has had her best performance at third base, which hopefully will make us better defensively. Mariah is playing some great outfield for us. She had a great diving catch against Bishop Feehan.”
The girls hit the road for games against Somerset Berkley, Bourne, and Coyle Cassidy, before returning home May 2 (3:15 pm) to play Bishop Stang.