Northampton softball off to 3-0 start following 7-4 win over East Longmeadow

For the Gazette
Thursday, April 12, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — Jenna Subocz was ready to swing with a runner on second in a tied game in the bottom of the sixth.

Northampton’s No. 8 hitter cracked a long fly ball deep into the left-center field gap that drew a chorus of cheers from the Blue Devils’ fans. Anna Connly came around to touch the plate for what proved to be the decisive run in Northampton’s 7-4 victory over East Longmeadow, Wednesday.

“I was just happy that it was a hit,” Subocz said. “I didn’t even realize the significance of it, that it was a game-winning hit. I’m happy every time I get the bat on the ball.”

For the first five innings, pitcher Anna Kerwood was borderline unstoppable. She allowed three baserunners through fifth innings, as the Blue Devils (3-0) jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

However, in the sixth inning, East Longmeadow tagged Kerwood for four runs to take the lead.

“I had complete faith that we were going to come back,” Kerwood said. “Last year, we had a few comebacks and we did lose players from last year. But this year, we spent a lot of time in the cages. We were working really hard on our hitting. Things went our way. Jenna hit the ball great, Jill (McGrath) hit the ball great, and things just really came together.”

Northampton coach Andy Pelis was similarly confident in his team and gave them an inspirational message just prior to the decisive inning.

“I said, let’s see what you have,” Pelis said. “We’re going to be put in situations like this all year. We have to learn how to play in these games. And they did a great job.”

Northampton received production from almost every player in the starting lineup. Eight of the nine starters each had at least one hit, and every RBI came from a different player as well.

“It came from different people, and that’s the great thing about this team,” Pelis said. “We’re getting hits from top to bottom of the order, and that’s what I like to see.”