Drury Finishes Strong With Win Over PittsfieldPITTSFIELD, Mass. — It's been an up-and-down season for the Drury softball team this year, but the Blue Devils certainly ended it on a high note on Wednesday, using a triple by eighth-grader Arianna Hilchey and Pittsfield throwing error in the top of the seventh inning to pull out a 3-2 win on the road.
The victory over the team with the best record in Berkshire County ends a streaky regular season for Mary Ann Maroni's club. Drury (12-6) started the year strong, winning nine out of its first 10 games. The Blue Devils then dropped four games in a row, only to close out the year by winning three out of their last four, the last victory coming against a Generals' team that came into Wednesday's contest with a 15-3 record.
Hilchey played a big role in Drury's latest win, driving a shot into the gap in left-center field for a triple in the seventh. Sophomore Emily Moulton then grounded out to second base, but the Pittsfield infielder got a little greedy and tried to double Hilchey off at third. The ball got away and rolled into dead-ball territory, allowing Hilchey to score and give the Blue Devils a 3-1 lead.
"She had been hitting the ball sharply all day except it was to someone," Maroni said of Hilchey's day at the plate. "On the play at third base, however, Hilchey dove back to the bag and either dislocated or broke her pinky finger. She scored on the play, though, and did not complain about an awful looking, very painful finger until she crossed the plate. Unfortunately, her availability for the postseason is undetermined now."
The hosts nearly came back to tie the game in the seventh thanks to consecutive walks by Drury starter Cat Record to start the inning. One of those runners would score on an RBI groundout, but Record got Paige Lovellette to hit a line drive to sophomore Jordan Vanuni, who caught the ball in left field and fired home to throw out Alyssa Rozier trying to score from third base.
That ended the game and gave Record her 12th win of the season. The sophomore hurler allowed two earned runs on five hits, striking out three and walking three in a complete-game effort.
"This was a very exciting, fluky and perhaps costly game," Maroni said. "It was exciting because of course we beat a very good Pittsfield team on a close game on their home field. It was fluky because we had a composite bat break on a hit, a photographer was hit in the head with a foul ball and another foul ball smashed a windshield of a car that was parked 75-100 feet away.
"Arianna's injury could be costly, but it was a nice win to take into the postseason."
The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead on Generals' starter Sarah Rayner in the top of the second inning. Junior Laryssa LaPointe reached base on a dropped third strike before advancing on a single by Iacuessa. Senior Lyndsey DeGrenier then drove her home on one of Drury's six hits in the game.
The visitors scored again in the top of the fifth, using a base hit by Record, a sacrifice by Hilchey and an RBI single by Moulton to go ahead 2-0. Rozier got Pittsfield on the board with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame, but it wasn't enough to avoid a rare loss for Rayner.
Drury will now await its seed in the Division 2 Western Mass. tournament, which will be announced early next week.