On Saturday, May 20, the Newton Country Day School Varsity Softball team (8-4, EIL: 7-2) won Pool A of the Eastern Independent League (EIL) Tournament. The team defeated Dana Hall 12-2 in five innings, and previously undefeated Portsmouth Abbey 10-4. This marked the first time Newton Country Day has captured the tournament title since 2012.
In Game 1, A. Cox ’18 powered the offense, hitting two homeruns in the first three innings. The team also got two hits apiece from S. Cahalane ’19, A. Cox ’19, D. Levine ’17, M. Levine ’19, C. Stoloski ’18, and L. Sullivan ’17.
In Game 2 Newton County Day jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the game stayed tight as Portsmouth Abbey tied it in the third. In the fourth, NCDS scored six runs off of eight hits against Portsmouth’s undefeated pitcher. With clutch hitting from Stoloski (3-4, three runs) and S. Gaines ’20 (3-4, two runs), Newton tacked on three more insurance runs in the final innings. Co-captain and starting pitcher D. Levine ’17 struck out eight batters, including the final hitter, to seal the victory for her team.
“This was one of the hardest working groups I’ve ever coached,” said head coach and EIL Coach of the Year Evan Adair. “We had college-bound athletes who were fine-tuning their skills and new players who were learning the fundamentals for the first time. It’s a true credit to our captains D. Levine and Sullivan that we were able to foster such incredible team chemistry. Learning to play as a team was priority number one. They did that, and they turned a ‘rebuilding year’ into a banner year. I am so proud of these girls -- they are champions in every way.”
Graduating from the team is D. Levine, a four-year veteran who had 15 wins, three saves, and 236 strikeouts for her career. Offensively, she saved her best season for her last, going 21-44 (.477 batting average) with 14 runs, 21 RBI, and seven stolen bases. The league recognized her impressive season by including her on the All-League list and naming her EIL Player of the Year. She was also honored as the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Centerfielder Sullivan, a 3-year starter, who had 43 hits in 86 at-bats over her past two seasons (.500 average), stole over 30 bases and scored 37 runs, is also graduating. At the end of the season, Sullivan was the recipient of the Coaches’ Award, and received an EIL Honorable Mention.
Additional EIL All-League honors went to A. Cox ’18, Cahalane, and L. Reenstierna ’19; Gaines was named Most Improved Player; A. Cox ’19 received an EIL Honorable Mention.