What a great scene it was on the field at Glendale Park in Everett as Derek Dana joined other parents and Ram fans in taking photographs of the newly crowned NEC champion Lynn Classical softball team.
It shows that those who have played the game at the highest level – Derek played professional baseball in the San Francisco Giants organization and at Division 1 UMass Amherst – and coached and played on state championship teams (at St. Mary’s) – appreciate the memories and magnitude of winning a league championship on the final day of the season.
Derek was at Glendale to watch his daughter, Maddie, Classical’s starting catcher and a captain, and her teammates play Everett with an NEC title on the line.
And Maddie Dana, who will play softball at Bridgewater State University (and thus join her dad in the ranks of college athletics), was determined to make it a memorable day for any one wearing Green and Gold, including super supporter Rob Smith, who wisely brought his own chair to the game and sat to the right of the backstop.
Maddie had a nifty putout on a twisting foul pop-up and made a difficult chance look easy when when she pounced on a bunt and threw a strike to first baseman Amanda Wilkins. She also had a basehit.
Maddie also formed one half of the family battery that was brilliant in the biggest game of the year. Maddie’s cousin is sophomore pitcher Brooke Warren, who hurled a five-hitter with five strikeouts in a 5-0 win in a game that started at 5 p.m. with a game-time temperature of 55 degrees. A high-five to Brooke for that!
Maddie, who had graduated one day earlier with the Class of 2019, had sought another championship before she heads off to college.
“We went out with a boom and that’s awesome, that’s all we wanted as seniors, especially being at the same field where we won it [a title] as sophomores,” said Maddie. “It’s an awesome feeling and I’m glad I got to do it with this group of girls.”
Maddie credited outfielders Ciara Collins and Kiara Edmonds (“Both had awesome catches out in right field and left field,” she said) for their defensive contributions.
Speaking about cousin Brooke, Maddie was profuse in her praise.
“Brooke was stellar on the mound, she had a great game,” said Maddie. “She hit her spots really well, Her curveballs were looking great today and she really went the distance for us after having four games straight.”
Athletic Director Bill Devin, a college baseball player of note himself at North Adams State, said Maddie has been instrumental in the success of the softball team during her career.
“Maddie is an outstanding leader who has earned the respect and admiration of all of her teammates,” said Devin. “Her parents should be very proud of not only what she accomplished in our athletic program, but what she achieved as an exemplary student and class officer at Lynn Classical. I wish her continued success at Bridgewater.”