NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- NORTH ADAMS, Mass - The McCann Tech softball team cruised to a 17-0 victory over the Smith Vocational Vikings on Sunday afternoon in a Western Mass Quarterfinal at McCann Tech.
Megan Goyette tossed a complete-game shutout and the offense pounded out 10 hits in support behind her to lead the way. The Hornets (17-5) took control from the start and never let up until the contest was over, winning their fifth straight game and second consecutive victory over the Vikings.
“I was a little more nervous than they were; I get nervous every game,” Hornets head coach Robin Finnegan said. “As a coach, you never know what to expect with teenage girls. But all year long, with the exception of a couple of games, they have always come to play. I’m just proud of them. When we scored a couple of runs, my stomach kind of eased up, but I just don’t even know what to say about this team. We haven’t practiced that much because of all the weather, but they just show up, they do their thing and I am just so proud of them.”
Goyette certainly showed up ready to play on Sunday. The senior right-hander located all of the pitches in her arsenal right away, and she pounded the zone and attacked the Vikings all game long. Goyette scattered four hits and did not issue any walks, while piling up 10 strikeouts.
“I started off by using all of my pitches, and I just stuck with that the entire game,” Goyette said. “I have six of them, so I was always moving the ball around. I don’t like to them to get used to what I was throwing. It’s a good feeling where everything is working. I don’t have too many days where every pitch is working, but today was definitely a day I was on.”
From the start of the action right to the last pitch, Goyette was in control of the action. The veteran hurler flashed just enough moxy to intimidate the Viking hitters, who never knew what was coming but could count on it coming through the zone. Of the 80 total pitches thrown, 60 of them went for strikes.
Yet even though the Vikings saw plenty of pitches to hit, very few found any holes in the defense. Goyette dictated what was going to happen, and the script she wrote concluded with a big Hornets’ victory.
“I think it’s good to have confidence,” Goyette said. “I like having control and getting them nervous, and it’s a good feeling when I can do that.”
Smith Vocational (17-5) opened the game by connecting for half of its offensive production from the first two batters, which put immediate pressure on McCann. Megan Cone plunked a lead-off single to left and Sarah Paradee followed with a base hit to right that resulted in both runners in scoring position due to a throwing error. But Goyette struck out the next three hitters to erase that threat with ease.
“It’s different when runners are on base, because I know it is what I have to do,” Goyette said. “I had my best pitches then and I used them wisely.”
Goyette certainly had her best stuff when it mattered the most. The Vikings only managed one other scoring threat, when Cassidy Colarusso and Ashley Schabucker connected for back-to-back singles with one out in the fourth, and again Goyette did it herself by striking out the next two batters. Cone reached on an error on the last out in the fifth, and Goyette picked up her final strikeout to end the game.
“I can’t say enough about Megan, and Aubrey Tetlow as the catcher,” Finnegan said. “They call their own pitchers, and I trust them enough to do that. Megan has pitched virtually every single game, every single inning in four years, with the exception of a couple here-and-there to give her some rest. She has got over 400 strikeouts and she is not overpowering, but it is just location, location, location. The work ethic that those two put in, and how well they work together, it goes to them.”
After clearing the first round unblemished, McCann took the lead right away with all the runs it needed in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Hannah Stack led with an impressive at bat, working the count on nine pitches before drawing a walk that let her immediately apply the pressure. Tetlow dropped down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error, and Stack alertly took third base when she saw it was uncovered. That left Sarah Fortini in position for a sac-fly RBI to left that drove in Stack with the deciding run.
“It was really important to come out strong and get motivated to get more runs,” Stack said.
A throwing error later in the first allowed Tetlow to also score for a 2-0 advantage.
The Hornets erupted for two big innings that broke things wide open and left no doubt that they would be moving on to the next round. They batted around twice, sending 11 hitters to the plate in the second and another 11 batters in the fourth.
McCann loaded up the bases to start the second, on its way to a six-run frame. Mya Daigneault led off with a double to center, and Kiera Kupiec and Stark both walked. Fortini delivered another sac-fly RBI, before Kalley Vanuni walked to reload the bases. Ayrian Quinones smashed the cover off by splitting the right-center gap for a double that cleared the bases to plate all three base runners. Hailey Miller then followed by reaching on an error, and another error allowed both runners to score.
The Hornets poured it on the fourth by scoring nine runs to put things to bed. Miller supplied another RBI, Goyette had two hits to finish 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Quinones chipped in another RBI single and Fortini provided the big blast with an RBI triple.
The third-seeded Hornets (16-5) advance to Wednesday's sectional semi-final against Mount Everett at UMass-Amherst.