AYER – On the heels of a tough opening day loss to Maynard, the Ayer-Shirley Regional girls’ softball team bounced back on Friday afternoon. After just four hits against the Tigers, the Panthers brought the offense with them against the visiting Stags of Tahanto Regional. Ayer-Shirley pounded out 12 hits as the Panthers notched a 10-6 victory at Pirone Park. The Panthers improve to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in Mid Wach D. The Stags suffer their first loss of the season and drop to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in Mid Wach D. “I thought we played really well today. Our pitching was solid and we hit really well up and down the lineup and our baserunning was solid as well,” said Panthers head coach Mitch Magnette after Friday’s win. “In addition, we played some good defense behind our pitcher so I’m happy in all phases of the game today.” Panthers’ pitcher Devin Delyani went the distance for the winners, tossing a complete game while striking out four Tahanto batters. Leading the Ayer-Shirley offense on Friday were Gabby Sweeney and Chloe Woodward. Sweeney went 3 for 3 with three runs while Woodward was 3 for 4 with a home run and a triple. “I thought we played nasty today, compared to how we came out and played in the Maynard game. It’s great to get our first win,” said Woodward after the game Friday. “The hustle and communication were there today and we hit the ball really well. Devin pitched really well in the circle too.” Delyani was solid with the bat as well, helping her own cause. Delyani singled, doubled, and stole a base to help propel the Panthers. The hosts set the tone early on, plating four runs in the first inning before adding single runs in the second and third innings to take a commanding 6-0 lead after three complete innings. Tahanto cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth with three runs before the home team got those runs right back with three runs in the bottom half of the fourth to make it 9-3. The Stags plated single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Ayer-Shirley advantage. “We set the tone offensively early on with those runs in the first few innings,” said Magnette. “It was great to be able to generate some runs after the struggled to be able to do that against Maynard in our first game.” Abby Bidinger and Olivia Lozoraitis each went 3-for-4 for the Stags. Ayer-Shirley returns to action on Wednesday afternoon when the Wildcats of Gardner High come to town. The Ayer-Shirley Regional baseball team is off to a 2-0 start to the young season following a 7-4 victory over Tahanto Friday at McLaughlin Park in Leominster. Cam Marshall went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and James Churchill added two hits and drove in two runs to lead the host Panthers, who opened the season with a 1-0 win over Maynard on April 5 in Maynard. On Friday afternoon, Ayer-Shirley starting pitcher Zach Cebellero picked up the win on the hill for the Panthers. The Panthers will look to improve to 3-0 when they travel to the Bromfield School on April 13.
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