One Bad Inning Does In Mount Greylock in Western Mass Semis
AMHERST, Mass. -- To a large extent, the Mount Greylock softball team Wednesday was able to put its one bad inning behind it.
Unfortunately for the Mounties, the mountain was just too tall to climb.
Defending champion Turners Falls scored nine times in the second inning en route to a 10-3 win over Mount Greylock in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-finals.
The top-seeded Thunder (20-2) advance to Saturday morning’s sectional final on Sortino Field against No. 3 McCann Tech (17-5), which beat Mount Everett in Wednesday’s nightcap.
In the opener, Jade Tyler drove in three runs at the plate and struck out eight in the circle to give Turners a shot at a sixth straight sectional crown.
The Thunder did most of its damage in the second inning, which it entered with a 1-0 lead thanks to Tyler’s RBI groundout to plate Taylor Murphy (3-for-4, triple) in the bottom of the first.
Mount Greylock committed a pair of errors and allowed a runner to score from third when a pitch got to the backstop in the second as Turners scored nine runs -- four unearned -- on six hits.
“I told them to just forget about that last inning, it didn’t happen,” Mount Greylock coach June Blake said of her approach after Turners batted around. “All right, go and play our softball.
“And I really liked the way we played the game after that. We played our type of softball, and we battled.”
Mount Greylock sophomore Lily Lesieur settled down after falling behind, giving up just two more hits the rest of the way.
“That’s huge for her,” Blake said of the experience for the hurler. “For her to be so composed after that inning, and I just felt like we picked it up behind her defensively.”
One of the hits Turners got after the second was a one-out Lexi Lacey triple in the fifth.
Lesieur got the next hitter to ground to third, and Taylor Cornell fielded the ball cleanly, looked the runner back and fired to senior Sam Trybus at first. Trybus then relayed home to catcher Brodi Rosier, an eighth-grader, who got the tag down on Lacey to complete a double play.
Cornell also factored heavily into a three-run top of the fifth for the Mounties.
Emma Newberry got things started by reaching on an error. She then came all the way around to score when Cornell connected for an RBI triple to right-center.
Cornell scored on a fielder’s choice that turned into a Little League home run when Kamryn Swett raced around the bases to take advantage of a throwing error and make it 10-3.
That was all that Tyler allowed, though. She sat down the next eight hitters to protect that margin and send the Thunder to yet another sectional final.
Mount Greylock finishes the year 11-10 with a second straight appearance in the Western Mass semi-finals, where it lost to Turners Falls in 2018. Blake’s teams have posted at least one tournament win each of the last three seasons; the Mounties graduate three players from that run: Trybus, Marley Buffis and Kat Hoffstedt.
“I’m really proud of these kids, and I’m proud of our senior class,” Blake said. “Our first goal every year is to make the tournament, and last year we were able to get in and get here. It was nice to get there for that last group, so they could experience it and carry it into this year.
“They loved it, and they were like, ‘You know what? We can do it.’ It’s a great program builder when you’re able to get here and let these kids experience. They go work in the off-season and get ready to go for the next season.”