Pittsfield Pounds Agawam to Reach Sectional Final

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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AMHERST, Mass. -- When the Pittsfield High softball did not overthink, its offense went into overdrive.
The Generals pounded out seven hits and scored six runs in the fifth inning to break open a one-run game and knock off Agawam, 8-1, in the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Division 1 tournament at UMass’ Sortino Field.
Britney Perkett and Erin Murphy each went 3-for-4, and sophomore Abby Santos made the most of her one plate appearance, driving in a pair of runs in the fifth-inning rally.
“She wasn’t thinking,” Pittsfield coach Greg Marchbanks said. “She forgot her batting gloves, went up there and hit the crap out of the ball.
“That’s when we’re the best. When we don’t think and just believe in ourselves, we’re very good.”
Hayley Tobin went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a pair of runs scored.
After Perkett and Natasha Shade each bunted her way on to start the fifth inning, Tobin’s single to right brought the pair home to make it 4-1.
“Hitting is contagious,” Tobin said. “We got the first two girls on with no out, and we felt the momentum shift our way again. … Sometimes, you strand runners, but that inning, we just kept going. We found gaps and scored some runs.”
Hayley’s sister Madison had the big hit in the top of the first inning as sixth-seeded Pittsfield (21-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Perkett led off the inning with a walk, but she was erased when Shade reached on a fielder’s choice. Hayley Tobin and Murphy each singled to load the bases with one out, but Agawam retired Shade at the plate on Tess Lyon’s ground ball to third.
Madison Tobin then ripped a single to left, scoring her sister and Murphy to make it 2-0.
Pittsfield left a runner on in the third after Shade reached on a one-out single, and it left two in the fourth after Lyon led off with a single up the middle.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Agawam (16-6) scored a run on two hits in the bottom of the third.
But that was all that Giuliana Pierce allowed. She scattered five hits and struck out five to earn the win in the circle for PHS.
Pittsfield advances to Saturday’s sectional final, back at Sortino Field, where it will take on top-seeded Minnechaug (22-0), a 1-0 winner over Northampton on Wednesday.
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