Turners Falls Pulls Away from Mount Greylock in Semi-Finals
AMHERST, Mass. -- The Mount Greylock softball team knew going into Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-final that the deck was stacked against it.
Add to that a couple of early blows, and it would have been easy for the Mounties to fold up the tents down 3-0 to the four-time defending sectional champs from Turners Falls.
Instead, Mount Greylock rallied to tie the game before ultimately bowing out in a 12-3 decision that sent Turners to a rematch of 2017’s sectional final against Mount Everett.
“We came back in that next inning and scored three runs to tie it,” Mount Greylock coach June Blake said. “It was great. It really just shows what kind of character these guys are made of back here [in the Mounties’ dugout]. There’s a ton of character. And they said, ‘You know, we’re going to battle.’ “
For more than a decade, it’s been an uphill battle for any team taking on Turners Falls in the Western Mass tournament. The recently rechristened Thunder has won 13 of the last 14 sectional titles.
And the tournament’s top seed escaped an early scoring opportunity for the Mounties in the first inning on Wednesday.
Fourth-seeded Mount Greylock (13-9) loaded the bases with one out before Turners Falls freshman Jade Tyler was able to close the door. She struck out one batter and got the next to fly back to the circle to strand three.
That was the first blow to the Mounties.
The second came in the bottom of the second, when the Thunder brought the thunder, hitting back-to-back home runs to build a 3-0 advantage. First, Wade hammered a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers for a two-run shot. Then senior Peyton Emery homered to the same spot.
Mount Greylock turned around and answered with three in the third, taking advantage of a couple of Turners Falls errors.
Kayla Cerveira reached on a one-out error and moved up when Lily Lesieur reached on a bunt. Jordyn Codding then singled to right to drive in Cerveira and send Lesieur to third. Taylor Cornell singled up the middle to score Lesieur, and Codding came home on an error to tie it.
Turners Falls (19-3) rallied for a run in the bottom of the third to retake the lead, but Lesieur got the last two outs with the bases loaded to limit the damage.
Unfortunately for Mount Greylock’s upset hopes, Turners Falls tacked on four in the fourth to take an 8-3 lead, and it scored four more in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Although Mount Greylock bid farewell to four seniors on Wednesday, it welcomes back in 2019 many of the key pieces from this year’s playoff run, including pitcher Lesieur and catcher Codding, both freshmen.
Lesieur already showed this year how tough she is, coming back from a broken bone in her wrist midseason to go to the circle in both Mount Greylock’s playoff games.
“She’s just a fierce competitor,” Blake said. “When she went down and got hurt, no one was more disappointed than she was. She was bound and determined to come back. After the five-game layoff, she came back against Smith Acadmey [in the quarter-finals] and shook everything off, got the rust off a little bit and threw a pretty good game.
“She threw well today. When she’s on the mound, she’s pressing every pitch. She’s just a competitor, and it’s going to be great for her to be a part of this program for the next three years.”
VIDEO: @athleticsmg Mount Greylock’s Jordyn Codding gets the RBI single as Kayla Cerveira avoids the tag at the plate in Wednesday’s Western Mass semi-final loss to Turners Falls.