EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 10, 2013

Sisters in arms

Central wins first Division 1 North title in five years

LOWELL — Apparently, the sports media have more of an impact on the outcome of sporting events than one might think.

“We weren’t even a team to watch in the newspaper after our regular season,” Central Catholic third baseman Karoline Leavitt said. “I don’t know which one but coach told us in one newspaper we weren’t a team to watch. So that kind of gave us some fire and we knew that we had it in us.”

Leavitt went 3 for 4 with three RBIs to lead No. 4 seeded Central Catholic 10-2 over 10th seed Newton North in the Division 1 North final at Martin Field in Lowell yesterday. It was Central softball’s first North title since 2008.

“We stomped on the two teams the first two games and then Concord(-Carlisle) the other night in 10 innings — that was a huge game for us,” Leavitt said. “And we just used that momentum coming into this game. I’m so excited. This is awesome. I’m so proud of my team. It’s just surreal right now.”

Central will play the winner of the South bracket in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Taunton High School.

The Raiders (20-4) scored a remarkable 40 runs in four North tourney games.

“I thought we needed to hit,” Central coach Stacy Ciccolo said when asked what she believed to be the key to winning the tournament before it began. “I thought that were some good teams in this tournament and we’d probably have to put some runs on the board.”

Central banged out 10 hits with Leavitt leading the way.

Leavitt is from Atkinson. So is Central pitcher and 2012 Eagle-Tribune All-Star Olivia Antczak who hurled 7.0 strong innings.

Antczak said about Leavitt: “I just love her. I’ve known her my whole life. She basically like my partner in crime. She always comes through for us. Whenever there is bases loaded or two people on, I know that she’s going to get the hit.”

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