Puppolo Excels in Circle, at Plate in All-Star Game Win
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Hoosac Valley High School graduate Madi Puppolo Monday made her third and final appearance in the Berkshire County High School Softball All-Star Game.
And she definitely left her mark.
Puppolo struck out eight batters in five innings of work and ripped a solo home run to lead the Home Team to a 5-3 win over the Visiting Team at the Doyle Complex.
Pittsfield's Mia Alfonso also homered for the hosts, who got two innings of work in the circle from Lee's Katelyn Clark.
"It feels nice," Puppolo said. "That's only my third home run in my entire life, so it felt good to go out like that.
"I just knew it was my pitch. It's kind of hard to describe. Because when you're up there, you're not looking for location or anyting. It's kind of just, you're zoned in, you find one that you want, and you go with it and see where it goes."
Puppolo, who is going to Herkimer College in New York in September to play softball for perennial National Junior College Athletic Association contenders, was recognized before Monday's game as the winner of the Sportsmanship Award for the Berkshire County North Division.
Drury High senior Caroline Cellana was recognized by the county's umpires with the South Division Sportsmanship Award.
The All-Star Game that followed blended players from the North and South Divisions on each lineup, with Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher managing the visitors and Monument Mountain coach Scott Annand orchestrating the hosts.
Mount Greylock's Jordyn Codding led off the game with a single up the middle, but Puppolo retired the next three -- two on strikeouts -- to keep the game scoreless.
She then led off the Home half of the first with a home run to left center.
The Home Team scored the rest of its runs in the second inning.
Pittsfield's Lexi Sondrini got things started by reaching on an infield single. Monument Mountain's Elee Hull worked a one-out walk to put runners at first and second for Mount Everett's Emma Goewey, who singled to right to drive in Sondrini.
Alfonso then crushed a three-run homer to give the Home Team a 5-0 lead.
Visiting Team pitchers Kami Sweet of Mount Greylock and Kaylee O'Bryan of Wahconah closed the door from there, allowing just one more base-runner -- on a single by Hoosac Valley's Rylie Bishop in the fourth.
The visitors got their offense in gear in the third.
Lee's Kylie Joyce started things with a leadoff walk, and her Mount Greylock teammate Brodi Rosier moved her over with a bunt single.
O'Bryan then drove in a run, and Lee's Kamryn Renata hit an infield single to drive in Rodier and make it 5-2.
In the fourth, Drury's Brooke Bishop hit a leadoff single for the visitors. She was erased on a fielder's choice that left one on with two out for Wahconah's Morgan Marauszwski, who hit a triple to center to get her team within two runs.
The Visiting Team threatened to come all the way back in the top of the seventh. O'Bryan led off with a single, and Lee's Kamryn Renata worked a one-out walk to put runners at first and second.
But Puppolo retired the last two hitters on strikeouts to secure the win.
"I just wanted to go out there, have fun, play with all the people I've grown up playing with and just do what I came here to do and rep [the uniform] proud," Puppolo said.