DeGrenier Pitches Mount Everett Past Drury
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Followers of high school softball in Berkshire County will not soon forget Alicia Bazonski.
But they can forget the idea that Mount Everett will drop off significantly since her graduation.
Eagles pitcher Chandler DeGrenier took a perfect game into the sixth inning and came out with an 11-1 win over Drury on Thursday afternoon at Francis Millard Field.
True, DeGrenier is not yet the dominating force that Bazonski was before leaving the Berkshires to play Division I college softball at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
But give DeGrenier time. She's only a sophomore.
And give the Eagles credit for being deeper than their graduated superstar.
"We're a very good defensive team," Mount Everett coach Kurt DeGrenier said after Thursday's win. "I've got nine travel team softball players who are on the field now. And I think they all have a little something to prove.
"Everybody was wondering where we were going to be without Alicia. So they had something to prove. ... There's a lot of questions from everybody, including classmates at school and the press: 'How are we going to replace Alicia?' And I think we're going to replace her with good defense. Chandler has grit and is a competitor, and every division we've ever gone to, she keeps us in the game."
On Thursday, she recorded eight strikeouts to help keep Drury out of the game. She also got error free defense behind her.
The perfect game bid was broken when Ingrid Oleson was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth. Three batters later, Alli Brassard dropped a two-out single into short center field.
In the seventh, Jenevieve Gavazzi led off with an infield single. She moved up on Madi Tarsa's base hit to left and went to third on a groundout to short. Gavazzi then scored Drury's run when Maya Howland grounded out to third.
The Eagles (2-0), meanwhile, plated the first two hitters of the game to take an early lead. Gwendolyn Carpenter led off the game with a walk, and Morgan DeGrenier followed with a single to left. Carpenter eventually scored on a ground ball, and DeGrenier came in on a wild pitch for the only runs Mount Everett would need.
They tacked on insurance with three-run innings in the third and fourth to take a commanding 8-0 lead that looked even bigger with Chandler DeGrenier dealing from the circle.
Sarah Toomey and Samantha Hoover had big days at the plate for the Eagles. Toomey was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a double. Hoover was 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored.
"We hit the ball well," Kurt DeGrenier said. "Even last year with Alicia, we weren't going to win without scoring any runs."
On the other side of the field, first-year Drury coach Chad DeGrenier said that wins will come, but for now he is focused on seeing improvement each day.
"We're young, and we're definitely a developmental team right now," DeGrenier said. "But they're good kids, and they're working hard. We'll get better every day."
Chad DeGrenier is Kurt's brother, adding to the family atmosphere on the diamond on Thursday. Chad coaches two of his daughters: Mount Everett's battery of Chandler and Morgan.
"I've known Chandler had it in her," Kurt DeGrenier said. "She's my daughter, so it's been, I don't know, seven or eight years of her pitching competitive travel softball and waiting her turn.
"Stepping into Alicia's shoes -- it's big shoes to fill. But Chandler keeps batters off balance and keeps us in games."
Mount Everett travels to Pioneer on Friday. Drury hosts Mount Greylock on Tuesday.