Mounties Prevail In Battle Of Cousins

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ADAMS, Mass. — In a battle of family bragging rights, neither Heather or Caroline Tomkowicz would give an inch. 

The two cousins and dueling pitchers for the Mount Greylock and Hoosac Valley softball teams went toe-to-toe on Friday afternoon, tossing seven scoreless innings before the Mounties eventually broke through with three runs in the top of the eighth. That would be the only runs scored in a game in which both teams combined for just six hits, giving Greylock a 3-0 extra-inning win on the road. 

While it was the second time this year that the Mounties (8-2) defeated the Hurricanes (2-7) in extra innings, the real story of the game was the battle of the Tomkowiczs inside the circle. Both Heather and Caroline allowed just five base runners combined through the first seven innings, with no base runner getting past second base. Heather ended up getting the win, however, allowing just two hits and one walk the entire game. She struck out a season-high 12 batters in eight scoreless innings, lowering her season ERA to just 1.96. 

"Heather was solid on the mound for us," Greylock head coach June Blake said. "She is doing a great job of mixing things up and staying ahead of batters. It was just another good game between us and Hoosac, and both pitchers did a great job on the mound. In a game where base runners were scarce, we were able to capitalize on two walks and two base hits to score three runs in the top of the eighth." 

Caroline was equally impressive, allowing just two base runners total through the first seven innings of play. She only allowed two hits and zero walks in regulation but ran into trouble in the fateful eighth. Mounties freshman Miranda Voller reached on an error to start the inning and eventually made it to third base on another Hoosac miscue. A passed ball allowed her to score three pitches later, and Greylock kept the pressure on by drawing back-to-back walks. It was the first two base on balls Caroline allowed all game, and it cost her when senior Caitie Benoit blooped a bases-loaded single in the next at bat to score a pair of insurance runs. 

Although she was charged with the loss, Friday's performance capped off an amazing week for Caroline. The sophomore pitcher won her first two starts of her career, which were also the 'Canes first two victories of the season, throwing 21 consecutive scoreless innings and allowing just seven hits combined in three contests. 

"Caroline did a great job on the mound," Hoosac head coach Morgan Shafer said. "We battled in the cold and snow for a second time this year, only to lose in extra innings again. It was so cold it seemed that the bats just weren't getting hits on either side. We made two errors in the eighth, which allowed them score first and not just one run but three. Up to that point, we were playing some great softball under some brutal conditions." 

The Mounties next play at Wahconah at 4:15 p.m. on Monday, while the Hurricanes host Monument Mountain at the same time on Tuesday.  

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