NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The biggest challenge faced by McCann Tech softball pitcher Megan Goyette in Monday’s State Vocational semi-final may have been playing the waiting game as she sat through three long innings from her offense.
But even that did not really bother the junior fireballer in a 12-strikeout, five-inning, 17-0 no-hitter over Nashoba Tech.
“It’s not too bad,” she said of the delay. “I mean, I know what I have to do, so I don’t really let things affect me if I can.”
Goyette accomplished her Monday mission, picking up her first career no-hitter and sending the Hornets (16-4) on to the State Vocational Small School Division Championship Game against either Bristol County and Old Colony, who meet Wednesday afternoon in the other state semi-final.
Second-seeded McCann Tech jumped on top with four unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kiera Kupiec led off by being hit by a pitch and scored all the way from first when Aimee Dowling reached on a sacrifice bunt that led to a three-base throwing error.
Hailey Miller drove in Dowling with a ground ball, and the Hornets had a 2-0 lead before Nashoba earned its second out.
Ayrian Quinones walked and came all the way around on another error, this one sending Aubrey Tetlow to third, where she scored on a wild pitch.
McCann picked up four more in the second. This time, a two-run single by Goyette keyed the rally.
In the third, the Hornets put the game away with eight runs. Miller (2-for-3, three RBIs) belted a two-run, inside-the-park home run, chasing Dowling around the bases to make it 12-0 at the time.
“She crushes the ball,” McCann Tech coach Robin Finnegan said of the sophomore outfielder, who is hitting .411 with 22 RBIs. “She scares me sometimes, but she crushes the ball. I have to remind her every now and then not to fly open because she’s looking for a home run every single time.
“She’s always been a hitter. She played baseball for a number of years, and I converted her to softball.”
While Miller was leading an 11-hit attack, Goyette kept mowing down the Vikings.
Just a two-out error in the top of the first stood between the McCann Tech junior and a perfect game. She struck out the side in that first inning and again in the top of the fifth to close the game.
“I wasn’t positive [I had a no-hitter],” she said. “I kind of knew, but I wasn’t positive. So that didn’t really put much pressure on.
“Today, I threw mostly my fastball and curve ball. Those were working. I threw a little bit of drop.”
Goyette said McCann’s schedule -- anchored by Bi-County West opponents with independent games against the likes of Drury and Mount Greylock -- helped prepare the squad for days like Monday.
“It prepares us a lot, especially hitting-wise, because we do face teams with harder defense and harder pitchers,” she said. “We didn’t know what to expect, so we practiced hard for this game.”
Finnegan worked them pretty hard after an eight-error performance the last time out, a Senior Day loss to league foe Sabis.
“They step it up when they have to,” Finnegan said. “I told them that I don’t know anything about [Nashoba]. They could be a Turners Falls for all I know. I said, ‘You guys have to come and be ready to play.’ I mentioned the last game when we weren’t focused.
“I said, ‘If anything, bear down on defense for Megan. She busts her butt out there, and we have to bear down on them.’ … We made the plays we had to make, and we hit the ball.”