Wizards rally to bounce Panthers

JHS softball completes big season


The top-seeded Johnston softball team saw its season come to a close on Monday, when visiting West Warwick pulled off a late 3-1 comeback win to bounce the Panthers from the Division II playoffs.
The Panthers scored first in the fourth inning when Bella Boudreau knocked in Alexia DiLorenzo on a sacrifice fly to go up 1-0. The Wizards wasted no time responding, adding two runs in the top of the fifth then another in the sixth to close the door.
“The top five teams in the division, it’s one or two mistakes, a missed pitch, that’s been the difference and that’s how close the games have been all year long. They made the plays and we didn’t. They made the key plays when they needed them and we did not,” said Johnston coach David Iannuccilli after the loss.
The Panthers will be graduating three seniors – DiLorenzo, Ava Waterman and Arianna Velasquez. All three were four-year players and were key to rebuilding the program.
“Those girls have been with me for four years now, so that’s tough, that’s a tough (senior class) to lose,” Iannuccilli said.
The Panthers will be returning much of its lineup next spring as they hope to bring home a championship, including Haley and Bella Boudreau.
Despite a disappointing finish, the Panthers made history this season as they finished in first place in the division, edging Westerly and Ponaganset in the final week leading up to the postseason. Iannuccilli hopes that this season’s playoff run will help the returners build poise and confidence as they flip the page toward 2025.
“Maturity. Learn from your mistakes, be a bigger person and back your team up. (This team) has improved, it is like night and day (since last year), no one picked us to be number one. That’s an incredible feat for them,” Iannuccilli said. “Did I think we could be number one? I did. But I don’t think they did, I don’t think they had that confidence because they were so young. What they did was a great accomplishment, I’m proud of them.”


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