Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
P/sunny
32°
P/sunny
Hi 33° | Lo 8°

Samantha Manitsas leads Belchertown comeback

  • Samantha Manitsas of Belchertown pitches to South Hadley Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Samantha Manitsas of Belchertown pitches to South Hadley Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Erinne Dull of Beclehrtown, left, looks to first after forcing out Tess Gauthier of South Hadley at third on a hit from Delaney Duprat Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Erinne Dull of Beclehrtown, left, looks to first after forcing out Tess Gauthier of South Hadley at third on a hit from Delaney Duprat Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cassandra McClaflin of South Hadley looks to tag out Erica Boileau of Belchertown as she begins a slide into second on a steal Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley. Boileau was safe.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Cassandra McClaflin of South Hadley looks to tag out Erica Boileau of Belchertown as she begins a slide into second on a steal Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley. Boileau was safe.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley pitcher Tess Gauthier catches a hit from Hannah Funk of Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley pitcher Tess Gauthier catches a hit from Hannah Funk of Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Erinne Dull of Belchertown catches a bunt from Nicki Casolari of South Hadley Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Erinne Dull of Belchertown catches a bunt from Nicki Casolari of South Hadley Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Delaney Duprat of South Hadley, right, throws to first after fielding a hit from Tea Spellacy of Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley. Spellacy was safe.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Delaney Duprat of South Hadley, right, throws to first after fielding a hit from Tea Spellacy of Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley. Spellacy was safe.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Tess Gauthier of South Hadley pitches to Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Tess Gauthier of South Hadley pitches to Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Samantha Manitsas of Belchertown pitches to South Hadley Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Erinne Dull of Beclehrtown, left, looks to first after forcing out Tess Gauthier of South Hadley at third on a hit from Delaney Duprat Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Cassandra McClaflin of South Hadley looks to tag out Erica Boileau of Belchertown as she begins a slide into second on a steal Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley. Boileau was safe.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley pitcher Tess Gauthier catches a hit from Hannah Funk of Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Erinne Dull of Belchertown catches a bunt from Nicki Casolari of South Hadley Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Delaney Duprat of South Hadley, right, throws to first after fielding a hit from Tea Spellacy of Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley. Spellacy was safe.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Tess Gauthier of South Hadley pitches to Belchertown Monday at Beech Grounds in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

SOUTH HADLEY — Samantha Manitsas the pitcher settled down quickly enough for Samantha Manitsas the hitter to come through.

After falling behind by six runs early, the Belchertown softball team scored eight unanswered to defeat South Hadley 8-6 at the Beachgrounds on Monday night.

“It’s phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier,” Manitsas of the Orioles (15-4) finishing the season with a perfect 8-0 record in the Suburban League. “We’ve done such a good job. I’m so happy to be with these girls. It’s going to be a great rest of the year. I’m so excited.”

Manitsas’ two-run single was Belchertown’s sixth hit of the sixth inning and tied the score at 6-6.

Evening the score “felt like a lot of stress coming off our shoulders,” Manitsas said. “We knew we had a good chance to win and just kept going.”

Erica Boileau (3-for-4, run), Erin Reed-Coates (triple), Kyra Madden (2-for-4, run) and Emily Silva (4-for-4, two runs) each had hits before Manitsas’ single. Madden and Silva scored on the pitchers’ hit.

Boileau added a second hit in the inning, which saw the Orioles bat 11 times.

“We have been a late-start team every game,” Belchertown coach Matt Stenuis said. “We see a pitcher once or twice and then the bats come alive.”

Téa Spellacy (4-for-4, two runs) then scored the go-ahead run on a Mackenzie Yelle grounder. Dani Racicot — Manitsas’ courtesy runner — then added an insurance run on a wild pitch.

“They put a lot of balls in play and a lot of them went where we weren’t,” South Hadley coach Jessica Nelson said. “We just have to be a little sharper and not get complacent.”

The Tigers (5-12, 3-3) scored one run in the second inning when Merry Kocot (2-for-4, two runs, two RBIs) tripled to right field and scored on a Becca Towne (2-for-4, two RBIs) single.

In the third, South Hadley took advantage of two errors, two hit batters and three hits to score five times for a 6-0 lead.

Kocot’s two-run single was the big blow and the junior scored on a Towne single.

Manitsas took control from there with four scoreless to close out the game.

“She’s a gamer,” Stenuis said. “She came back and settled down.”

She allowed four earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

“I was probably too hot. We got in (to the dugout) after (the third inning ended) and I was able to cool down and relax,” Mantisas said. “That’s what changed. I felt good after that.”

Belchertown got two back in the fifth when Silva, Flink and Spellacy opened the frame with three straight hits. Silva scored on Spellacy’s hit, but Flink was thrown out at the plate on the play. Spellacy then scored on a Manitsas sacrifice fly.

The comeback “took working together as a team,” Silva said. “We’re always cheering, never giving up. We are always there for each other.”

Tess Gauthier was charged with the loss for the Tigers. She walked four and struck out five.

South Hadley can still qualify for the postseason. By winning at Chicopee (8-10, 5-2) Wednesday night and at Holyoke (1-16, 1-5) Friday, the Tigers will finish tied with the Pacers for second in the league.

“I don’t think they are the kind of team or people that would give up because of their schedule,” said Nelson, whose Division 2 team has 16 D-1 teams on its schedule. “They know they can hang with these teams, beat these teams. They are natural competitors.”

South Hadley lost to Chicopee 6-5 on May 10 and beat the Purple Knights 12-9 on May 15.

“We are a team that fights for everything that we have. There is no game, no play that has been handed to us. We have to fight for everything and they know it coming in. We are going to keep fighting.”

Jim Pignatiello can be reached at jpignatiello@gazettenet.com.

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.