The Sports Watch for July 18 - 23
The Fastest Three Minutes in Weston Sports.
It's Sunday, and you know what that means. It's time for the Sports Watch, the fastest three minutes in Weston Sports coming your way right now:
We start at the Bay State Games, where a handful of Weston residents recently competed in fencing, including: Regina O'Brien, Madison Douglas, Sivana Barron, Violet Michel, Ericka Berman, Cassandra Xavier, Lindsey Curtin, Duncan O'Brien, Alex Schneller, Robert Barron and Graeme Mills.
Sivana Barron placed third in the women’s sabre competition, and Robert Barron took third in the men's group.
Onto American Legion baseball, where Weston (6-12) fell to Billerica, 11-6, and Natick, 8-5. The locals were scheduled to close out the season at Lexington. Here are the complete District 5 Zone 5B standings:
Finally, a special feature this week:
Ariana Vasquez remembers playing tee ball in front of her grandparent’s house in San Francisco at age five. That’s where she started to get her good eye at the plate. Fast forward to this past spring, and as a sophomore at Weston High, Vasquez, a softball standout, led the Dual County League Small Division in hitting, batting a whopping .586 with three home runs (including a grand slam), a gazillion doubles, and 26 RBIs. She also made town history when she hit the first home run, a solo shot to left-center, over the new Weston fence in the season opener.
Can she do more?
“I think I can, I know I have more in me,” she said in a recent interview with Patch. “I can’t be picky [with pitches], just get what they give you.”
Of course, Vasquez, a first-team DCL All-Star, doesn’t always have a choice. As teams get to know her, they know not to give her anything good to hit. She was even intentionally walked three times during the 2011 campaign.
She said smiling, “I think after every home run.”
But there’s something to be said for being selective at the plate, too. Vasquez, a lefty, who bats third in the order, struck out just once this season, while walking 14 times.
"She hit in the No. 3 spot all year and made an impact immediately as a lefty power hitter," Weston softball coach Kelly Harrington said.
But she is not just known for her hitting. As Weston’s hard-throwing pitching ace (she has thrown up to 59 miles per hour, exceptional by softball standards), Vasquez tossed every inning of every game this season, leading the Wildcats into the state tourney’s Division 3 North Sectionals.
"On the mound, she kept us in every game we played," Harrington said. "She is a vocal leader and a go-to person offensively and defensively. She plays softball year round and I look forward to seeing her continue to improve over the next two years."
While she still has two more years at Weston, Vasquez already has eyes on playing for a Division 1 school after she graduates. Georgetown University, Boston College, and Harvard University, to name a few, have already shown interest. She has been to camps for all three.
She also has trained in the prestigious program, Planet Fast Pitch, in Uxbridge, which focuses on both hitting and pitching. Vasquez will be entering her third year with the program this winter.
Vasquez has run the tournament gamut this summer, playing in local competitions in Gloucester, Fitchburg, and Plainville, as well as in the College Showcase Tournament in Middletown, Connecticut. She is currently playing in a national tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, and when she gets back, will be competing in a competition in Dracut.
All of her summer tournament play revolves around her participation with the Concord travel team, which includes the coach and many players from Concord-Carlisle High School. Vasquez jests that it gives them a heads-up on her talents, when they face her during high school games. Both Weston and Concord-Carlisle play in the DCL Small Division.
“Yeah, [they] know what and where to pitch to you,” Vasquez said with a playful grin.
Vasquez and her family moved to Weston when she was 12. Though she had played both soccer and softball in earlier years, she knew the latter was her sport.
“I had more drive in it, was more motivated, and had a better time playing it,” she said. “I felt like it was my sport overall. I knew I could be good at it.”