NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The Greylock Thunder 10-and-under softball team Tuesday outlasted the Berkshire Force for a 25-24 win in the semi-finals of the Berkshire County Softball playoffs at Alcombright Field.
Maliyah Todd came home on a pitch that got to the backstop in the bottom of the fourth to complete a nine-run rally that sent the Thunder into the championship round of the summer travel league’s season-ending tournament.
The Thunder Wednesday will visit the top-seeded Adams-Cheshire-Savoy Swat to decide the league crown.
Tuesday’s semi-final featured patience at the plate and opportunistic base-running as the teams combined for more than 40 walks and most of the runs scored just like Todd’s game-winner.
Another factor in deciding the game: The Force was hamstrung by only having eight players in uniform. By rule, that meant Berkshire had to take an automatic out each time it hit the No. 9 hole in its lineup.
That “phantom” out came into play twice in the second and twice in the fourth.
In the second inning, it meant Berkshire was denied a chance to score the league-maximum of six runs per inning prior to the last inning of the game. And in the fourth, the “score all you can” final inning, it helped limit the Force to just seven runs and a 24-16 lead going to the bottom of the frame.
Both teams scored the maximum of six runs in the first inning.
The Force’s rally was helped by an RBI single from Gi’annah Moses.
In the second, Hailey Lussier singled and scored for Berkshire as it took a 11-6 lead.
Then in the bottom of the second, the Force got a big defensive play to help preserve some of that lead.
Dailonna Martin at second base snared a fly ball and alertly threw to first to double off a runner for a double play. Pitcher Trinitee Mayotte then recorded a strikeout to end the inning with a runner on third base and keep the score 11-10.
Both teams again maxed out on runs in the third to make it 17-16, Berkshire going to the fourth, which was declared the final inning due to the game’s time constraints.
The Force got hits from Mayotte, Moses and Martin in the inning on its way to the 24-16 lead. Moses picked up her second RBI of the night on the way to a 2-for-2 game at the plate.
In addition to the two automatic outs to Berkshire’s lineup, the Thunder got a heads-up play for the inning’s second out. Pitcher Lilliana Arnold raced in to the area behind home plate on an errant throw home from the field and threw to catcher Brixton Moran, who applied the tag to catch Moses attempting to score after her base hit and an error allowed her to get as far as third.
The Thunder did most of its offensive damage in the bottom of the fourth with walks and a couple of hit batters. Marie Fachini, who had an RBI single back in the second, raced to first on a dropped third strike and ended up scoring in the winning rally. Baleigh Tatro drove in a run with an RBI walk, and Bridget Holland singled to drive in two runs.
Arnold and Tatro split pitching duties for the Thunder.
Mayotte, Mariah Thomas and Moses saw time in the circle for the Force.
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