Pittsfield Reaches Western Mass Title Game

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The first time the Pittsfield softball team played Easthampton, the Eagles rallied in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 walkoff win.
In Friday’s rematch, the Generals had a chance to answer Easthampton’s rally, and they seized the opportunity immediately.
Pittsfield scored five runs in the bottom of the first to take a 5-4 lead and went on to a 7-5 win in the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Class B tournament.
Pittsfield (13-6) moves on to the regional final against top-seeded Hampshire on a date and time to be announced.
No. 3 Easthampton got a two-run triple from Jessica Cloutier in its four-run rally to start the game.
Pittsfield answered with three straight hits to start the bottom of the first.
Mia Arpante and Amanda Pou each singled ahead of Paxton Ebling’s RBI ground-rule double to left-center.
Bella MacDonald drove in Pou with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0, and Ebling came home on a wild pitch to get Pittsfield within a run.
Neveah Lopez, who had reached on a wild pitch, and Kamryn Renata reached base with one out ahead of Mia DeJesus, who drove in both with a single to right field to give Pittsfield the lead at 5-4.
“It was super important,” Pou, Pittsfield’s starting pitcher, said of answering Easthampton right away. “I think [the top of the first] was pretty rough for me, mentally. But I have a team I can definitely trust. I’ve played with them for years.
“I think that’s really important for me.”
Pittsfield’s offense and defense had Pou’s back on Friday.
After exploding for five in their first at-bat, the Generals tacked on a run in the second when Lopez reached on an error and ended up scoring on a wild pitch, and in the fifth, when Ella Bassi drew a walk, moved up on a pair of wild pitches and scored on an RBI groundout from Ebling (2-for-3, two RBIs).
Defensively, the Generals made all the plays they had to make.
“All year, we’ve been struggling with errors, and today we came pretty close to a clean game,” Pittsfield coach Brian MacDonald said. “One error, we can accept that. The last few games we’ve had a couple of errors, and we can’t accept that.
“That’s what was helping us lose games, and not doing it helped us win this game today.”
For one stretch, it looked like Pou might not need any support.
In the third and the fourth, she struck out the side on her way to 10 Ks against three walks.
Her coach said the rough first inning in the circle motivated Pou.
“She got mad,” MacDonald said. “She’s resilient. She has a lot of fight in her – on defense, on the mound and in the box. She’s great all the way around. And she’s one of the best cheerers on the team. She’s just a great kid.”
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