Big Defensive Play Secures Semi-final Win for Wahconah
AMHERST, Mass. -- Wahconah freshman catcher Jessica Warren threw out a runner at second base for the final out of the game on Thursday, securing a 6-5 win over Southwick and sending her team to Saturday's Western Massachusetts Division 2 Championship Game.
"I knew I had to be relaxed and keep my compsure," Warren said. "My defense was there to back me up if something went wrong and Chloe [Warren] was there for me and she made a great effort."
Shortstop Chloe Warren tagged out Southwick's Stephanie Devine attempting to steal second for the game's final out.
Allie Borowsky went the distance in the circle for Wahconah, which takes on defending Western Mass champion Hampshire on Saturday for a trip to the state semi-finals.
Wahconah struggled with the bats in the first three innings on Thursday, and it wasn't until the fourth when it began to light things up.
Southwick had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the fourth with an RBI triple from Katelyn Slyvia and a sac fly from Victoria Della Giustina.
Wahconah took over in the fourth inning, and it started with junior Juliane McBain. With one on and no outs, McBain hit a shot to center field bringing in Emily Jordan and earning a triple.
With the bases loaded, Jamie Downer earned a walk, bringing home Ashley Zink to tie it at two. Chloe Warren followed followed with a two-run single to give Wahconah a 4-2 lead.
"I thought we had some decent at-bats early in the game," Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said. "For the fourth inning it kind of all came together, we got some timely hits and it was good to get some runs there."
Wahconah plated two more in the top of the fifth when Jordan scored on a Southwick error and Borowsky supplied an RBI single to make it 6-2.
Southwick added another run to the board in the bottom of the sixth from Makenzie Sullivan to put at 6-3 after six innings.
The Rams retired the side in the order in the top of the seventh thanks to two strikeouts from Emily Lachtara, who had 10 on the afternoon.
They tested Wahconah's defense in the bottom of the inning. Southwick came out and got five straight hits, bringing in two runs to put them down by one, but Jessica Warren was able to close it out.
Borowsky struck out three and made some stellar defensive plays, throwing out multiple runners at first.
"Allie is amazing, she works hard to hit her spots and it gives us a chance to get a lot of ground balls," Belcher said. "We played pretty good defense up until the seventh inning, but Allie is a gamer in that circle. She battles and competes every pitch.
"Jess Warren did a great job behind the plate too; that freshman and sophomore combo did a great job today."
Wahconah (19-3) will face No. 1 seeded Hampshire Regional (18-4) on Saturday at noon at the University of Massachusetts' Sortino Field.