Softball: Offense erupts as Hampshire Regional thumps East Longmeadow 15-3 to get back in win column

By BRADYN COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 04-22-2024 8:56 PM

EAST LONGMEADOW — The Hampshire Regional softball team snapped its two-game losing streak as the Raiders rolled past East Longmeadow 15-3 Monday afternoon at Birchland Park Middle School.

It was the combination of Hampshire's elite offense and brick wall of a defense that run-ruled the Spartans in five quick innings.

The Raiders (5-2) wasted no time hopping into the driver's seat as they put up a 6-0 lead in the first two innings courtesy of RBIs from Hailey Wodecki, Ashley Cortis (2), Teagan Charles, Layce Mancuso, and Rachael Hickox.

“It's always nice because it gives you that little momentum,” said Hampshire Regional coach Brian McGan of the early lead. “It makes the pitcher relax a little more instead of trying to fight from behind all the time. It kind of relaxes the team as far as defensive wise and gives you that little edge.”

Entering the top of the third inning, the Spartans quickly got two outs and nearly put a stop to the strong Hampshire offense. The Raiders responded with a scoring spree, racking up seven runs in the inning via the bats of Chelsea Vanasse, Kalin Dubay, Rachael Hickox, Hailey Wodecki, Ashley Cortis, Teagan Charles, and Grace Samson. Hampshire found itself holding a commanding 13-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third.

East Longmeadow chipped away with three runs in the frame, heading into the fourth inning down 13-3.

“I've been trying to instill that when it happens, you gotta forget it,” said McGan. “This game is about failure so you gotta learn how to fail and be successful at the same time. That's pretty much the message that I've been trying to get to them, if you fail, you have to turn around and succeed – that's the hard and cruel part about this game.”

The Raiders had no problem forgetting about the tough inning as Charles doubled on a line drive to left field, allowing Kalin Dubay and Wodecki to score and extend the lead 15-2 in the top of the fourth.

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Responding to the East Longmeadow scoring efforts was Ryanne Dubay, who pitched the entirety of Monday’s game. Dubay forced a 1-2-3 inning as she struck out two batters in a row and entrusted Wodecki with a ground ball to second base for the third out ending the fourth inning.

“I just try to stay as calm as I can out on the mound,” said Ryanne Dubay. “If we hiccup, I try to tell myself it's OK and get it back next time or get it back whatever you can. That's what I was trying to do today and make sure all my pitches were on point.”

Neither team scored in the fifth and the Raiders headed back to Westhampton with the 15-3 win.

“We swung the bats well and played defense for the most part – besides that one inning we had a little hiccup,” said McGan. “We've been doing that the last two games which put us in our two-loss situation, but they turned it around and started playing better defense and riding pitches good and I think we did an overall good job.”

The Raiders will face off against West Springfield (2-7) back home on Wednesday at 4 p.m.