WMass softball: Late Mohawk Trail rally sinks Gateway

  • Granby’s Madison Seaha pitches against Franklin Tech during a WMass Div. 3 first round contest in Turners Falls Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Granby shortstop Briana Sosa tries to haul in a pop up during her team’s game against Franklin Tech on Friday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Reports
Published: 6/18/2021 9:41:26 PM

Visiting Mohawk Trail scored eight runs in the top of the seventh inning, breaking a 4-4 tie and lifting the Warriors to a 12-6 victory over Gateway Regional in a Western Mass. Div. 3 first round softball game Friday in Huntington.

No. 5 Gateway led 3-0 into the fifth inning.

Nicole Hannigan was 2-for-3 with two doubles to pace the Gators. Ariana Marchese drove in two runs while Hannigan also tallied an RBI.

Pioneer 7, Hopkins 2 — It was a disappointing end to the season for Hopkins Academy, which had its postseason run come to a close behind a 7-2 loss to No. 13 Pioneer Valley Regional in the opening round of the Western Mass. Division 3 softball tournament on Friday.

The fourth-seeded Golden Hawks came out strong as pitcher Kaelyn Zakaitis kept the Panthers scoreless through two innings, throwing three strikeouts and not allowing a single hit.

Controversy arose between the second and third innings when Hopkins Academy coach Paula Cristoforo called a timeout to alert the umpire that the game balls Pioneer was using to pitch with were not the agreed upon brand prior to the start of the game.

“The home team supplies game balls,” Cristoforo said. “I supplied game balls to them, the same ones we use, and part way through the game I saw they were using different balls, so I wanted the game under protest because I was concerned that it gave a different advantage to them.”

Panthers coach Tina Riddell strongly refuted the claims, showing the umpires that the balls her side were using were acceptable under MIAA guidelines.

“We’ve been using these other balls which are lighter,” Panthers coach Tina Riddell said. “All of a sudden they pull out these Worth balls that nobody’s ever used.”

Hopkins scored the opening run of the game in the third inning, as Taylor Barry brought Lily Ellia home with a single in her second at bat.

The tide quickly turned however, as Pioneer came out firing on all cylinders in the fourth inning. After a strong start to the game, Zakaitis struggled to connect with catcher Sara Beauchamp, and the Panthers pushed five runs across in the frame to snatch control.

The momentum died down in the final two innings with the Panthers extending their lead to six before the Golden Hawks scored their second and final run of the evening in the bottom of the seventh to account for the 7-2 final.

Despite a tough loss, Cristoforo was proud of her side’s resiliency and is already looking ahead to next season where she feels her team will come back even stronger.

“I think we played really well,” Cristoforo said. “We had one tough inning where we sort of fell apart for a little while but I’m really proud of every girl out there. I think we gave 150 percent. I think we’re a really good team and have enormous potential. We are very young, two seniors only, so the future looks really bright for Hopkins softball.” 

Franklin Tech 13, Granby 1 (5) — The 15th-seeded Rams ran into an aggressive Franklin Tech side, which scored in every inning en route to a 13-1 victory in five innings in the Div. 3 opening round in Turners Falls.

The second-seeded Eagles led 7-0 after two innings.

Granby pushed its lone run across in the top of the fifth. Sienna Hill stole third base and scored on an overthrow. The Rams left the bases loaded in the inning, and Franklin Tech pushed three across in the home half to secure the run-ruled win.

Mabel Carillon had two hits to lead the Granby offensive attack. Hill, Emma Klekotka, Madison Seaha, Lauren Parker and Cassie Flaherty all had hits.

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