Gloucester: 2019 Softball
Season accolades: Division 2 Eastern Mass. champs... Division 2 North champs... Northeastern Conference North champs... Most wins in program history... NEC MVP Sydney McKay... NEC Coach of the Year John Nicastro.
The skinny: Head coach John Nicastro and company not only put together the greatest season in Gloucester softball history this past spring, they put together the most successful season in GHS girls sports history, becoming the first MIAA girls sports team to reach the state finals. The Fishermen were simply dominant in every facet of the game with an elite starting pitcher, incredible defense at every position and a relentless batting order that could swing the bat and use their speed to beat teams with small ball. The team finished up the regular season at 17-3, good for a second straight NEC title and the No. 2 seed in Division 2 North. From there, the Fishermen ran a gauntlet of elite opponents, starting with a 1-0 win over NEC rival, and conference runner-up, Danvers in the sectional quarterfinals. Gloucester reached the Division 2 North Finals with an 8-0 win over Whittier Tech and clinched the program's first ever sectional championship with a 14-6 win over Triton in extra innings. Gloucester followed that up with a dramatic, 3-2 win over Norton in the Division 2 State Semifinals before dropping a 4-1 contest against Hudson in a well played state final.
On the diamond, Gloucester had All-Star caliber players all over the field. NEC North MVP and pitcher Sydney McKay led the way as she set the program's career (58) and single season (21) wins record, with an ERA hovering around two. McKay's repertoire was so deep that hitters had no idea what was coming next. Senior outfielder Tracy Wood and senior catcher Liz Schuster were All Conference selections as both were important run producers in the middle of the lineup and defensive standouts. Senior outfielder Jemima Grow was an All-Star performer as she was as consistent as it gets defensively and a reliable offensive player with a lot of speed. Junior Maddie Machado was a conference All-Star after a breakout season at the plate that saw her lead the team in hitting during the postseason.
Sophomore shortstop Ella Marshall was also a conference All-Star and a highly important two way player that consistently got on base at the top of the lineup and was incredibly reliable at a position that saw a lot of action.