NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The McCann Tech softball team’s defense started out like gangbusters on Friday when catcher Aubrey Tetlow threw out a runner trying to steal second in a scoreless top of the first inning.
It was all downhill from there in a 9-7 loss to Sabis.
The Hornets competed at least one error in each of the next six innings -- eight errors for the game that led to six unearned runs against pitcher Meg Goyette as the Bulldogs avenged an early season 1-0 loss in Springfield, snapped McCann Tech’s five-game winning streak and ruined Senior Day on Hodges Cross Road.
“The thing is, I really do hate Senior Day because the girls’ minds are really not in it all the time,” McCann Tech coach Robin Finnegan said. “But our defense let us down today. Over the weekend, we’ve got to improve it so we can bounce back on Monday.”
Monday is the beginning of the first of two post-season tournaments for the Hornets.
McCann Tech is seeded second in the State Vocational Small School Division’s field of four teams. The Hornets host Nashoba Tech on Monday at 1 p.m. for a shot at the State Voc title game.
On June 5, the Hornets (15-4) find out when and where they will open play in the Western Mass sectional of the MIAA Division 3 state tournament.
Finnegan had hoped for a win on Friday against Western Mass D2-bound Sabis to improve the Hornets’ seed in the sectional. But after a quick start, the Hornets let the Bulldogs take control of the game.
McCann Tech followed the momentum of a strong top half of the first by scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame.
Kiera Kupiec got things started with a bunt single, and she raced all the way around to score on Aimee Dowling’s double to left-center.
After a fly ball out, Ayrian Quinones doubled to center field to drive in Dowling and give the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
Sabis responded with an unearned run in the second and two earned runs in the third thanks to RBI singles from Amanda Odom and Jada Ficarra.
Two McCann Tech errors opened the door for five Sabis runs in the fourth as the visitors stretched their lead to 8-2.
The Hornets responded with four in the bottom of the fourth. Tetlow’s RBI double was the big hit in that rally.
The teams then traded runs in the fifth and sixth to get the score to 9-7.
In the bottom of the seventh, McCann Tech threatened to tie it up with a two-out rally. First, Madi DeGrenier reached on an error to bring up the top of the order. Then Kupiec reached on an error and Dowling drew a walk.
But with the bases loaded, Hailey Miller’s drive deep to right field was caught to end the game.
“Sometimes, you have a letdown,” Finnegan said of Friday’s loss. “We played Smith Academy, it was a big game for us, and then we had a letdown.”
The win against Smith Academy assured the Hornets at least a share of the Bi-County West Championship. They clinched it outright on Thursday without playing a game when Smith Academy lost to Hopkins Academy.
“I think that was a big thing, too for the kids,” Finnegan said. “You tell them this information, and they’re like, ‘Oh, we got this.
“They’ve just got to learn to fight. And we fought back a little bit. … Sabis is a good team. I give them credit. They hit the ball. Their pitcher [Jayden Dow] threw strikes. Good luck to them in the tournament. We’ll rebound. We’re doing alright.”