Berkshire Force Runs to Second Win in World Series Play
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A runner on third base with no one aboard behind her is not supposed to score on a walk.
Unless she plays for the Berkshire Force.
"We do that a lot," Berkshire's Allison Hunt said Thursday after doing just that in an 8-1 win over St. Charles Parish, La., in the 16-and-under Babe Ruth Softball World Series.
"We always try to look for the extra, second base after we walk. And then as soon as they throw, we take off to get another run."
The Force was fantastic on the basepaths, putting pressure on the visitors every chance they got.
Hunt led a 10-hit attack with a 2-for-3 day at the plate and a couple of stolen bases. Pitcher Emily Koldys scattered six hits and struck out three against no walks to get Berkshire to 2-0 in pool play at the 15-team national championship.
Berkshire stole six bases in all and manufactured at least four of their runs with aggressive play on the basepaths.
In the second inning, an infield single with runners on first and second turned into two runs when Erin Murphy bluffed St. Charles into throwing to third, inciting the first of two errors on the play to let her and Jillian Campbell.
In the third, Hunt came home when Koldys took second following a two-out walk.
In the fourth, Kacey Sondrini got caught in a rundown leading off third base and stayed alive long enough for the defense to make an errant throw, allowing her to come home.
"We've been known for our aggressive baserunning," Force coach Jim Clary said. "We start with the girls when they're 10-years-old, teaching them aggressive baserunning. And we bring it to this level.
"Most of the time, the girls are doing it on their own. We've been teaching them all year long how to take the extra base when you can. And we usually do a pretty good job of it."
Berkshire also showed again on Thursday it can do a pretty good job in the field. The Force has committed just one error through the first two games, and against St. Charles, it made none, allowing Koldys to strand five runners -- four of them left in scoring position.
"[The defense] does and excellent job, honestly," Koldys said. "I can always trust them. When the other team hits it, I'm not like, 'Oh my God, please let them catch it.' I know they're going to catch it and make the play.
"When there's a runner on either second or third, I just say, 'Pitch strikes, pitch your game. The defense will do the work. And I won't have to worry about it.' And that's just what I did today."
On Friday, Berkshire has two games at the Gerald S. Doyle Memorial Park. At 3 p.m., Berkshire takes on Fern Creek, Ky. At 8:15, the Force will face Hoquiam, Wash., in the finale of pool play.
Fern Creek, the Ohio Valley regional champion, is 2-0 like the Force in Pool B. Hoquiam is 1-1.
Fern Creek goes into Friday with wins over Hoquiam (14-0) and West Volusia (9-5). Hoquiam beat St. Charles Parish, 10-7, earlier on Thursday.
After Friday evening's conclusion of pool play, all 15 teams will be seeded for a double-elimination tournament that will conclude next week.
More photos to come from this game.
Tags: Babe Ruth, softball, world series,