Nester Triple Completes Pittsfield Softball Comeback
DALTON, Mass. -- Trailing by one run, down to its last strike, the Pittsfield softball team still believed.
And with one mighty swing, Aoife Nester showed why this Generals team can be believed.
Nester ripped a two-out triple down the right field line on a 2-2 pitch to score two runs and give Pittsfield a 10-9 win over rival Wahconah on Saturday morning at Pine Grove Park.
"I knew I had to hit," Nester said about what was on her mind as she stepped into the box. "I knew that much. I had my whole team behind me, and when they're so loud, I'm like, 'I can do this. I can do this.'
"I don't even know where the ball was. I don't remember hitting it. I just saw it go over the first baseman's head, and I kept running."
Lauren Carnevale and Erin Murphy ran ahead of her from second base and first base, respectively, to cap a three-run rally for Pittsfield and a wild morning of softball.
Emily Koldys, who was touched for seven unearned runs in the first five innings, retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to cap a successful 20 hours for the Generals.
"Wahconah's always been a big one, and we came off Taconic last night, so we needed to refocus," Nester said. "I don't think we thought [Wahconah was] going to show up as much as they did. It was up to us to realize we wanted this -- more than even we thought we did."
Wahconah nearly delivered a knockout blow early.
The first inning was a nightmare for the visitors as Pittsfield loaded the bases with nobody out only to have Allie Borowsky sit down the next three hitters.
Then, in the bottom of the first, Wahconah scored four runs -- three unearned -- to take a 4-0 lead.
"I think they were a little tight at the beginning," Pittsfield coach Greg Marchbanks said. "But we talk about believing and knowing what we're going to do going into a game. That's what we did. They believed.
"They knew they were going to come back. They had no doubt."
And Pittsfield did come back to take the lead with a five-run fourth inning.
Nester (4-for-5) drove in a run with a single to left to tie it, and Sam DeCarlo drew a bases-loaded walk to give Pittsfield a 5-4 lead.
But Wahconah bounced back three in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead.
Allie Downer doubled to right to tie it, and Bridget Lussier drove in a pair to give the hosts a 7-5 lead.
Wahconah stretched its lead to 9-5 in the fifth when Bree Herforth doubled home Sara Trova.
In the top of the sixth, Allie Hunt tripled home a run and scored on Madison Backer's sacrifice fly to make it 9-7.
That set the stage for the winning rally in the seventh.
Mollie DiNicola got things started when she reached on an infield single. She stole second, but Borowski got the next two outs on a fly ball and a come-backer to the circle.
Then Carnevale reached on another infield single, driving in DiNicola. Another infield single put runners on first and second with two out for Nester.
And she did the rest.
"We believe in our team and the way we can play," Marchbanks said. "We're going to have some mistakes, just like any
team. The question is, how do you deal with those failures? That's what we've been working on all year.
"We dealt with it in a good fashion where we were able to come back at the end. Nothing affected us."