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City softball teams ready for state tournament

Posted by Justin Rice  May 29, 2013 02:01 PM

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A day after pitching Latin Academy to its sixth straight city softball championship on Memorial Day, Sydney McGrath was watching baseballs fly over a nearly 25-foot fence in Tuesday’s baseball city championship between Boston English and Latin Academy.

While the balls were flying off the bats in English’s 4-3 victory at Madison Park Tuesday, the same could not be said for East Boston’s team in Monday’s softball championship game. McGrath pitched her first perfect game to lead her team to a 25-0 victory shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.

Now McGrath is looking to take a curtain call in the Division 3 North state tournament, where her squad has fallen to eventual state champ St. Mary’s the last few years.

In order to get to a meeting with St. Mary’s this year, No. 16 Latin Academy (13-9) will have to get past No. 17 North Shore Tech at 4 p.m. Saturday at Clemente Field. Then it would have to beat No. 1 Shawsheen (20-0) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Shawsheen.

"They are a great team offensively, defensively -- they have amazing pitching, too,” McGrath said. “They are probably one of the best in the state. To beat them would be surreal, to know that we came that far to beat a team like that.

"I have 100 percent faith in my team, but beating them would be the best thing to come out of senior year.”

McGrath is not looking past North Shore Tech, though.

“I just actually kind of scouted them online,” she said. “I think it will be a good match. They seem to be good. All teams in the state tournament are good. I think it will be a tight game, but if we bring everything we brought in the [city tournament], I think we’ll have no problem.”

Also in Division 3 North, No. 22 East Boston (10-10) will look to rebound when it meets No. 11 Northeast Metro (12-6) on the road at 4 p.m. Thursday.

“We have to understand that that Latin Academy team is the best team in the city and the girl who threw the perfect game is a great pitcher,” said East Boston coach Thomas Elliot. “It’s best to go against the best. It brings out the best in you.

"Even though we did not win that game or get a hit or score a run, we still had to play good softball against Latin Academy.

“Playing teams like that gets you ready for the state tournament. Now our kids know everything to expect. It only helps you.”

No. 12 O’Bryant (12-6) will be looking to rebound from a 21-0 loss to Latin Academy in the city championship semifinals. O’Bryant will play No. 21 Greater Lowell at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Madison Park.

“I think we’ll be fine," said O’Bryant coach Bridget Ryan. "My starting pitcher [Naya Shedd] got sick, my backup pitcher was away for the weekend, and I had to ask a young eighth-grader to step up [in the city semis]. She did great at pitching. We’ll rebound. We’re just hoping to play great and advance in states.”

No. 3 Burke (12-3) will play the winner of the game at 4 p.m. between No. 14 Notre Dame Academy (13-7) and No. 19 Dorchester (8-7) Thursday at Notre Dame Academy.

No. 15 New Mission (9-5) will play No. 18 Mystic Valley at 3:30 p.m. at Ross Field in Hyde Park Thursday.

After this postseason run, McGrath, who plans to play for Catholic University next year, will hand the reins to her sister Olivia McGrath, an eighth-grader who one-hit O’Bryant in the city semifinals.

“Olivia is definitely going to be successful if she continues on,” Sydney McGrath said. “She’s going to be in high school next year and I think she is already phenomenal. I have 100 percent faith in her and her career and her future.

“It’s great to know that I’m going to go to college next year, and I most likely will never play softball with her again. It’s just great to be on the same team as her and watching her progress through fall and winter workouts we did together and now see her success. It’s awesome to be her big sister.”

But, of course, she also had to one-up little sis with a perfect game in the city playoffs.

“I’m the big sister,” she said. “That’s what I have to do.”

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public School athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.