Division 3 softball: No. 7 Frontier Regional stuns No. 2 Easthampton in quarterfinals

For the Gazette
Published: 6/10/2019 10:10:50 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The seventh-seeded Frontier Regional softball team came away with an upset, stunning No. 2 Easthampton, 4-3, at Wilby Field on Monday.

The Red Hawks (15-7) advance to the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament semifinals and will face No. 3 Hoosac Valley (17-4), at 3 p.m. Thursday at UMass’ Sortino Field.

“Before the game I told the team, win or lose, that I wanted them to play their best game, so they could walk away knowing that they gave their best,” Frontier coach Gary Deane said. “Easthampton is a fabulous team, so this is an amazing feeling.”

Frontier jumped out in the top of the third inning as Lily Spencer singled and put herself in scoring position by advancing to second on a bad throw from the outfield. Natalie Denkiewicz moved her to third with a sacrifice fly, and Spencer scored after the infield bobbled the ball on the throw.

Easthampton (18-3) answered in the bottom of the third with a leadoff double from Chelsea Indyk. Abby McClaflin followed later in the inning with a towering two-run home run, scoring Indyk and giving the Eagles a 2-1 advantage.

The score remained 2-1 until the top of the sixth when Spencer got things going again with a leadoff single. She moved to second on a passed ball and score on a double from Olivia Deane. Makayla Santos ran for Deane and scored on a double from Denkiewicz, giving the Red Hawks a 3-2 advantage.

“If I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t think at the plate,” said Spencer, who went 4-for-4 with four singles, two runs scored and an RBI. “At the beginning of the season I was thinking too hard and now I focus on my timing and seeing the ball at the plate.”

Frontier got some insurance in the top of the seventh when Olivia Vecellio reached first on an infield single. Spencer followed with her fourth hit and scored Vecellio from first, giving the Red Hawks a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the inning.

The Eagles tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh with a double from Tessa Pond. Pond moved to third base on a single from Indyk. McClaflin scored Pond from third base with a two-out single, but Easthampton fell short, leaving runners on first and second to end the game.

“We overcame a lot of adversity,” Spencer said. “It’s been a struggle just to get in the tournament. Being able to continue on is absolutely insane to all of us, and we’re all so excited.”

Olivia Deane got the win for Frontier with four strikeouts. Spencer and Vecellio both had multiple hit games for the Red Hawks.

Rachael Robinson had a strong pitching performance for the Eagles as she struck out eight. McClaflin and Indyk led the way for Easthampton with two hits each.

“I think the nerves were a factor today,” Easthampton coach Homar Gomez said. “We made some errors on defense which ended up making the difference. ... I appreciate the four years that these seniors have given to the program. They are a part of my family.”

Frontier Regional 4,
Easthampton 3

Frontier              001 002 1 — 4 7 0

Easthampton    002 000 1 — 3 6 5

WP—Deane LP—Robinson

Records: Frontier (15-7) Easthampton (18-3)

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