Wahconah Walks Off with 10-Inning Win over Taconic

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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DALTON, Mass. -- Jess Duma earned a nine-pitch walk to lead off the 10th inning and raced home on a single to right and an overthrow to give the Wahconah softball team a 5-4 comeback win over Taconic on Friday at Pine Grove Park.
Duma scored a pair of runs and, on defense, hooked up with third baseman Hailey Lenski for a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play to end the top of the ninth.
Lenski had the hit that ended the game, hitting a laser to right field with one out and Duma on first.
The throw to third base got away, allowing Duma to scamper home with the winning run.
“There was just an opportunity for a play and being on first base and knowing Hailey was at bat, I knew something had to happen there,” Duma said. “I was ready for when I knew Lenski or Tori [Partridge] was going to make contact, and it happened.
“I was just paying attention to running. I was looking for coach [Dustin Belcher] on third base, and I knew that whatever happened, I was going to trust.”
The extra-innings walkoff win gave Wahconah its sixth victory in seven games and a 9-2 record going into Saturday’s game at Monument Mountain, where Belcher’s team will attempt to punch its ticket for the Western Massachusetts tournament.
Abby Wells earned the win in the circle, striking out five, and helped her own cause with an inside-the-park two-run home run that broke a 2-2 tie back in the fifth inning.
Duma reached base twice on balls and once on a passed ball. In the top of the eighth, she successfully blocked the plate and took a throw from shortstop Morgan Marauszwski to retire a runner attempting to score from third.
“She’s just so tough,” Belcher said. “I mean, Abby [Wells] gets a lot of the credit, obviously, but Jess is the other half of that, and she’s just so tough back there. Catching three games [Wednesday, Thursday, Friday] in a row was not an easy task for her, and going long here today, 10 innings.
“But just a total team effort today. I’m so proud of these guys.”
Taconic (5-4) jumped on top early with a pair of runs in the top of the first.
Taylar Ostrander led off by reaching on a bunt single and went to third when Anna Bongini hit a single down the first-base line. Wells induced a ground ball to retire Ostrander and leave Bongini at second and Payton O’Connell on first.
Jenyka Ostellino’s single to right loaded the bases, but Wells got another ground ball for the second out.
Finally, Kirstyn Carrigan cashed in with a two-run single to center field that brought home O’Connell and Ostellino.
It stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth, when Kaylee O’Bryan led off with a triple and Duma walked to put runners at the corners. After Mary Lee (four strikeouts) got a flyball out, Lenski bunted O’Bryan home to make it 2-1 and send Duma to third. Julia Trager then drove in the tying run with a single to left.
One inning later, Marauszwski led off with a single, and two batters later, Wells launched a shot to left-center. Since the game was being played on Wahconah’s JV field due to field conditions on the varsity diamond, there was fence, and by the time Taconic’s outfield ran down the ball and got it home, Wells already was there to make it 4-2.
Taconic, which suffered a loss to rival Pittsfield on Wednesday, rallied.
In the top of the sixth, Ostellino (3-for-4) singled, moved up on a groundout and a single by Carrigan and scored on a grounder off the bat of Ellianna Christopher.
In the seventh, facing elimination, Addison Lyon led off with a double to left-center and came home on a double by Ostrander (3-for-4) to tie it, 4-4.
“We didn’t give up,” Taconic coach Jaclyn Candelet said. “It was nice to see. We had a tough game on Wednesday. But the way they bounced back from that and showed up to play -- scored two runs in the first inning, then … we go down 4-2, and they just never gave up.
“We could have just stopped right there and gone home in seven innings. To play a 10-inning ballgame, it’s great.That’s great to see the kids come alive, everything come together. It stinks to lose that way, but it was a great ballgame.”
Taconic will look to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Cumberland, R.I., at the Doyle Complex.
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