Berardi delivers first-round win for Latin

JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. — Tim Holland has been trying for 10 years to grab a first round tournament victory for his Boston Latin softball team.

Thanks to Emily Berardi’s fine day, he can finally end the quest.

Berardi went 3-for-4 with three RBI, and gave up three runs (two earned) in a complete-game effort to give Latin a 5-3 victory over Medford on Friday, in a Division 1 North tournament game at Daisy Field.

“She pitched lights out today, but that shot really took some of the pressure off,” said Holland, whose Wolfpack (16-5) will play the winner of Chelmsford and Beverly-Andover in a North quarterfinal. Time and date are yet to be confirmed.

Holland should be used to this from his senior star. Berardi picked up the Dual County League Large Division MVP award this season. For the past two years, she has been the Wolfpack’s team MVP, and she has appeared on the DCL All-Star team for three years.

“Everybody has their own role on the team, but as far as pitching and leading come it’s important for me to (lead),” said Berardi. “It’s important for me to keep my team in the game.”

Berardi started her day with a towering double in the bottom of the first, which would be a precursor to her third-inning successes. With a runner on first and second with one out, Berardi smacked a 1-1 offering into the left-center gap well past the Mustangs outfielders.

The three-run shot gave the Wolfpack a 3-1 lead and they would grab one more in the inning to take control of the game.

“I was just trying to wait on the ball and wait for a strike,” said Berardi.

On the mound, Berardi started out hot by retiring the first five hitters she faced in order. Medford (15-6) did grab the early 1-0 lead with a RBI single from Kasey Moran in the top of the third inning.

The Mustangs stayed tough against Berardi as they got the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the seventh. But Berardi induced a grounder to third and Lauren O’Shea sprinted to the bag to force out the runner for the final out of the game.

“The No. 4 batter gets up to bat with two outs and runners on, so you have to be careful with what you throw,” explained Berardi.

Berardi only allowed the Mustangs’ 2-through-4 hole hitters to get on base three times in 12 plate appearances. Moran was the only Mustangs’ player to have a multi-hit game with a 3-for-4 showing out of the leadoff spot.

“(Berardi) was the game,” said Mustangs’ head coach Jack Dempsey. “We usually have bunters and slap hitters that beat out throws at first, but the pitcher is one the who made the plays possible. She was very quick getting to the ball.”

Added Holland: “(Medford) made us work for every single out today.”