In what has become a common occurrence each summer, the East Boston Waves travel softball team finished another year winning the 18-Under Massachusetts championship.
The team’s fourth title in the last five years, this one was the result of the team going undefeated with a 16-0 record in the top 18 ‘A’; Division.
The 22-team league, consisting of teams throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, was as usual competitive and especially challenging given the amount of travel involved.
The Waves, most of whom have been playing together for nine years, faced a difficult schedule in addition to their home games at Constitution Beach. The team traveled to take on the best players in cities such as Concord, Bedford, Triton, Pentucket, and Seabrook (N.H.) while emerging undefeated for the second time in four years.
The Waves would need every one of those victories to hold off second-place Newton and Natick, each finishing with only two losses.
The team received contributions from every player, with each stepping up to ensure a championship season.
In a huge matchup versus previously undefeated Newton, Serena Gilbride pitched a two-hitter and Alexandra Santostefano had four hits in a 12-1 victory.
The following week the Waves traveled to Natick to take on another undefeated team. The team got home runs from the Theriault sisters, McKenzie and Madison, as well another from Jessica Martin, as the Waves cruised to a 15-1 win.
During the final week of the season, the team was involved in two close games. Avery Badger’s seventh-inning triple set the stage for a Theresa Forbes walkoff single as the Waves outlasted a gritty New Bedford team, 7-6.
In the season finale, the Waves traveled to take on a two-loss Marblehead team before an enthusiastic crowd hoping to play spoilers in East Boston’s season. But Briana Meroli, Morgan Vigeant, and Bella Perrotti had huge hits in a three-run fourth inning while Gilbride held the fort on the mound in a 3-1 Waves’ victory, concluding an undefeated championship season for the team under the leadership of manager Dr. Robert Gilbride.