NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- For Drury senior softball player Heather Morris, Monday's Senior Day game was one she will never forget -- not because of the game itself but because of the the surprise that walked around the dugout during the pregame ceremonies that took place at Francis Millard Softball Field.
After Morris was greeted in the pitching circle by her parents and pictures were taken she took a spot in line with the rest of her teammates; while the final senior was announced a scream came from behind the fence. Cue the tears.
Morris turned around to see her brother, Senior Airman Adam Cottrell, hugging her mother, who let out the scream in shock; she as well didn't know about his return home.
"I was ecstatic, he's my best friend; he's been gone for six months in Afghanistan," Morris said. "Seeing him was such a surprise, I'm so happy that he pulled it off, I didn't know he was coming so it was awesome."
Cottrell had been planning the trip home for about a week and found out about his sister's Senior Day game and wanted to surprise her and his mother. He has been deployed for the last six months in Afghanistan with the Air Force and after his two week trip home he will return to his station in Texas.
"I found out she had a game, so I wanted to surprise her and my mom," Cottrell said. "No one knew about it besides my wife Devan, so we surprised my whole family."
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they fell to Pittsfield 12-0 after five innings once the game got going.
The Generals got an early lead in the first inning with a two run single from Haley Tobin, followed by a bunt from Alex Desroschers bringing Tobin home to go ahead 3-0. In the second Emily Koldys hit a two run double followed by a run from Allie Hunt to go ahead 6-0.
Pittsfield plated four more in the third inning; the Blue Devils had a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth where the score stayed at 10-0.
Their final two runs came in the top of the fifth from Lauren Carnevale and Emma Lacey.
"They're a really good team, it's not like we had a lot of errors, they just hit the ball all over and it's hard to defend that," Drury coach Chad DeGrenier said. "We're young in pitching and they do really well hitting the ball."
Maya Howland pitched two innings for Drury, walking one. Sophomore Allie Brassard took over in the third and struck out one.
"We were just trying to change speeds to see if maybe they would be off balance and start hitting the ball on the ground or hit pop-ups, but that didn't work either."
Seniors Cat Marceau, Hannah Rivard, and Morris each made contact Monday afternoon, Marceau and Morris each got on base.
"They're great kids, great families, they always have the right attitude win or lose," DeGrenier said of his three seniors. "They're just a pleasure, from day one, to today."
Despite the loss, the Blue Devils were in high spirits after the game with the excitement of Morris' brother's return and with only four games remaining on the schedule the hopes for a trip to the Western Massachusetts Tournament are out of the question after falling to a 4-11 record this afternoon, but Morris spoke highly of her team prior to Monday's game.
"We've had some struggles, but we're a great group of girls and we always have fun together," Morris said. "I've been with these girls for four years and I couldn't ask for a better team."
Drury will play and Bennington, Vt.'s, Mount Anthony on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. and Pittsfield, now 15-1, hosts Wahconah Tuesday at 4.