Turners Falls Holds Off Mount Everett in Semifinal
AMHERST, Mass. -- The Mount Everett softball team went down swinging on Wednesday in the Western Mass Division 3 softball semi-finals.
The Eagles used three straight singles to load the bases with one out in the top of the seventh inning and bring the tying run to the plate against second-seeded Turners Falls.
But TF ace Mackenzie Phillips got the next hitter to fly out to second and the final out on a swinging strikeout to secure a 4-0 win and a berth in Saturday's sectional final against Monson.
"You've got to steal their championship from them," Mount Everett coach Kurt DeGrenier said of Turners Falls. "I know they're the No. 2 seed, but they're the team to beat in the tournament."
Last year, TF won the Western Mass title, clobbering Monson, 10-1, in the semi-finals along the way. This year, Turners beat the Mustangs 6-0; TF's only loss was a 1-0 decision at Hampshire, the top seed in the Division 2 tournament.
On Wednedsay, Turners (22-1) scored two in the first inning to take control of the game. Mackenzie Salls led off the inning with a double, moved up a groundout and scored on Amber Caouette's single to get things started. Caouette was erased on a fielder's choice, but the runner who replaced her tole second and came home on a two-base error, one of just two miscues committed by the Eagles.
The other error produced a run in the fourth, when Gabrielle Arzuaga led off with a single, moved into scoring position on Nicole John's single and scored when Jordyn Fiske singled on a ball that was misplayed in the outfield.
Turners Falls added an insurance run in the sixth. Again, it was Arzuaga looming large. She led off with a double, and the courtesy runner who ran for the TF catcher moved up on a ground ball and a John sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Mount Everett sophomore Chandler DeGrenier allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out two in the loss.
Phillips struck out five and surrendered six hits.
"I couldn't be prouder of our girls, coming back after losing Alicia [Bazonski] after five years," Kurt DeGrenier said, referring to the Eagles graduate who now plays for Division I UNC-Greensboro. "Chandler kept us in every game.
"Against a team like this, you've got to get the timely hit. And we had opportunites. Scoring position, I think, three times. Bases loaded at the end.
"We have a lot of young girls. This is good for them."
Mount Everett graduates just two players from Wednesday's lineup: third baseman Samantha Hoover and second baseman Sarah Toomey.