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The Berkshire Force 16U travel team celebrates its Dalton CRA Softball Tournament title on Sunday.
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Mia Alfonso hit a home run and a triple in Sunday's win.
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Kiki Carrigan struck out six while allowing no earned runs.

Berkshire Force 16s Beat Greylock Thunder for CRA Tourney Title

By Stephen Sports
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DALTON, Mass. -- Sunday was graduation day at Pine Grove Park.
Not the cap-and-gown and valedictory address variety. But it was a day for goodbyes for some members of the Berkshire Force travel softball program, which played its last 16-and-under tournament of the season.
And went out in style.
Mia Alfonso went 3-for-3 with a home run, a triple and four RBIs, and Kiki Carrigan struck out six while allowing just three hits and pitching the Force to a 10-1 win over the Greylock Thunder in the championship game of the 10th annual Dalton CRA Softball Tournament.
Alfonso, a rising sophomore at Pittsfield High, is one of the younger players on the team with a couple of more years at the 16U level ahead of her.
Jenyka Ostellino, a rising senior at Taconic, was one of upperclassmen who wore the program’s teal uniforms for a final time.
“It was a big deal,” she said. “I wanted to win. I wanted it so bad. And the whole team did. We all wanted it for each other, and especially the younger girls.
“We have a couple of girls who are technically supposed to be on the 14s. And we had a pep talk before, and we all wanted to win this, but [the younger players] said they wanted to win it for us.
“We just wanted to leave it all on the field.”
Ostellino, who homered for the Force in pool play on Saturday, did her biggest damage in the field in Sunday’s final, throwing out a runner stealing and popping up to snag two foul balls -- one up against the backstop.
She also reached base on an error and scored from first on Szofia Lewis’ three-run double in the bottom of the first.
That double capped a four-run rally that erased an early 1-0 deficit.
Kaylee Tatro scored the early run for the Thunder. She pounded a two-out triple to left-center and came home when Alyssa Mercier reached on an error.
But that unearned run was all Carrigan allowed.
The Thunder threatened in the top of the fourth.
Greylock pitcher Crash Bird led off with a single, and courtesy runner Bree Shurtleff moved to second when Ellie Harnick singled to left. But Ostellino threw out Shurtleff attempting to steal third for the second out, and Carrigan got a swinging third strike to end the inning.
After Mia Potash hit an RBI double and Alfonso hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, Greylock came to bat in the fifth needing to score to stay alive.
But Carrigan retired the side in order, getting a foul pop to Ostellino, a grounder to Alfonso at short and a strikeout to end the game and let the celebration begin.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Force 16s coach Jason Carrigan said. “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs with injuries, and the girls battled. We played good, we played bad, but there was something about this week. You just felt it.
“You just felt they were going to do it this weekend.”
Potash went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs and scored three times, and Madalyne Creamer went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt, and Laynie Burke bunted her way on base and scored a run.
“We have a lot of really good hitters,” Jason Carrigan said. “Older girls like Kiki [Carrigan], Jenyka [Ostellino], Szofia Lewis. They started in 8U. There’s no more Force for them. So it was important for them that they finished this strong.”
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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Equestrian Center to Host Horse Show Benefiting Berkshire Humane Society

Benefit horse show

After 25 years of hosting the Berkshire Humane Society Horse Show, Overmeade Farm has passed the reins to the Berkshire Equestrian Center in Richmond. Through the support of the Hart Family and Overmeade Farm, the horse show has raised more than $250,000 during the lifetime of the event. Berkshire Humane Society is excited to begin a new partnership with Berkshire Equestrian Center.

This event is recognized by the Western New England Professional Horseman's Association. Riders participate in hunter and equitation classes, both on the flat and over fences. The show offers riders of all ages and skills an opportunity to compete while helping raise critical funds that support the programs and services of Berkshire Humane Society. BHS has provided care to thousands of homeless animals over the past 27 years, and the horse show is one event that makes this lifesaving work possible.

Divisions to be held include: Short/Long Stirrup, Baby Green Hunter, Low/Adult Hunter, Novice Hunter, Pre-Children’s/Adult Equitation, Junior/Amateur Hunter, Children’s Equitation, Pony Hunter, Children’s Hunter Horse, Modified Junior Equitation, Junior Equitation, Adult Equitation, among others.

"We are so excited that the horse show has returned," said John Perreault, executive director for BHS. "This event is a great way for people of all ages to combine their love of horses and their compassion for all companion animals. We cannot thank Overmeade Farm and Berkshire Equestrian Center enough for their support. The Hart Family has made this event what it is today, and we’re thankful that Sarah Hogue at Berkshire Equestrian Center wants to continue this summer tradition that celebrates horses and helps homeless pets."

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