Smith Vocational falls to McCann Tech in state vocational softball tournament

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  • Megan Cone, of Smith Voke, hits a single against McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Clara Sinno, top, of Smith Voke, tags Kiera Kupiec, of McCann Tech on a pick attempt at third, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. Kupiec was safe.

  • Sarah Paradee, of Smith Voke, hits a single against McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Smith Voke coach Nelson Lacey talks with his pitcher, Ashley Schabacker, during their loss to McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Meg Goyette, of McCann Tech, pitches to Emily Start, of Smith Voke, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. Start got a hit, but was out at first during this at-bat. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ashley Schabacker, of Smith Voke, pitches to McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Megan Cone, left, of Smith Vocational, eyes a throw to second as Hannah Stack, of McCann Tech, begins a slide into second on a steal, Monday at Northampton High School. Stack was safe. Second baseman Tiana Rivera and umpire Jim Hale look on. The Vikings fell 14-2 in five innings in the semifinals of the small schools state vocational tournament. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Karlie Petlock, of Smith Voke, hits a single against McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ashley Schabacker, of Smith Voke, pitches to McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ashley Schabacker, of Smith Voke, hits a single against McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Megan Cone, right, of Smith Voke, steals home, ahead of a tag by McCann Tech catcher Aubrey Tetlow, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Megan Coke, Smith Voke, catches a hit by Kiera Kupiec, of McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Megan Cone, right, of Smith Voke, slides into second base on a steal against Ayrian Quinones, of McCann Tech, Monday, June 3, 2019 at Northampton High School. Cone was safe. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2019 10:02:42 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A disastrous first two innings ended the Smith Vocational softball team’s run in the Massachusetts Vocational Athletic Directors Association Small School Tournament in the semifinals Monday.

McCann Tech built a 12-run lead and never looked back, winning 14-2 in five innings at Northampton High School.

“It should have been a closer game. McCann is a great team, they’ve got an excellent program, they play in a tougher league than we do, but they didn’t see the best of us,” Smith Vocational coach Nelson Lacey said.

The fourth-seeded Hornets sent their entire lineup to the plate in the first inning and scored four runs. They batted around in the second and tacked on another eight runs.

“My pitcher was off today,” Lacey said. “I think it was a mental thing. This is one of the biggest games she’s pitched in high school.”

Ashley Schabacker, a sophomore, walked nine and struck out five.

The No. 1 seeded Vikings struggled behind her, committing 12 errors.

“This got the best of a lot of my girls,” Lacey said.

McCann Tech leveraged its opportunities with aggressive base running. They stole five bases and benefited from six passed balls.

“I let them go, and the other team’s got to make some plays,” McCann Tech coach Robin Finnegan said. “I try to make the other team play. Kudos to my team for picking up on the mistakes that are out in the field and taking advantage of them.”

The Hornets added two runs on a Kalley Vanuni single in the third before the Vikings settled in. They stayed positive despite the challenging circumstances.

“We like to crack a lot of jokes, make sure everyone’s smiling an laughing,” Smith Vocational junior Megan Cone said. “It’s one of my favorite parts about this team.”

Smith Vocational (17-4) loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Karlie Petlock and Savannah Pierce singled, then after two outs an error put Emily Start at first. Tianna Rivera put the ball in play, and an error brought in the Vikings’ first run of the game. A grounder ended the inning.

“I was happy with the way we played the last three innings,” Lacey said “I wish we could have erased those first two.”

The Vikings entered the bottom of the fifth inning trailing 14-1. The game would end if they couldn’t cut the deficit to under 12.

Megan Cone reached on an error then stole second. She moved to third on a Sarah Paradee single.

Once Cone stood on third she had a one-track mind: steal home. She executed a delayed steal to perfection to bring Smith Vocational within 12.

“I didn’t even pay attention to if Lacey told me to go or not,” she said. “I just went and hoped for the best.”

Two strikeouts and a flyout ended the inning and the game for Smith Vocational. The Vikings motto is to learn whenever they play, whether it’s a win or a loss.

They can put Monday’s lessons to work quickly. Smith Vocational qualified for the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament and will learn its seed Tuesday evening.

“As long as we’re learning something we’re getting better, so hopefully we can take some of those things we could have done better today and apply them in Western Mass and have them make a difference,” Lacey said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.




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