Pittsfield softball team piles up the runs in win over Hoosac Valley
PITTSFIELD — The unbeaten Pittsfield softball team has a lineup filled with talented hitters. Unfortunately for its opposition, the Generals have talented hitters coming off the bench as well.
Pittsfield showed its depth as Szofia Lewis entered the game as a reserve and drove in the winning run in a 13-1 mercy-rule shortened win over Hoosac Valley on Monday.
Lewis' first at bat came with runners in scoring position and no outs in the sixth. The sophomore battled with Hoosac pitcher Rylynn Witek, fouling off several two-strike pitches before driving a fastball up the middle, just past the Hoosac shortstop. Pitcher Giuliana Pierce crossed home plate for the run, putting Pittsfield up 12, enacting the mercy rule.
"I just try to stay patient and not get into my own head," Lewis said of her approach at the plate. "I knew what I had to do, and I just wanted to be there for my team at the time that they needed me.
"My coach has me watch the first pitch because I have tendency to swing at the first pitch I see. So I had to make sure not to do that this time. Before each pitch I took a deep breath and reset myself so I would swing at the next good pitch that I saw."
Not many teams have the type of power Lewis displays as a fourth outfielder. Pittsfield coach Greg Marchbanks said she's only beginning to show what she's capable of.
"She's a good player. She could probably be starting for any team out there, she's that good," he said. "She's working her way in, she's playing and she's doing good things. That's nice to have on the bench. When you can go to other people and they produce also."
Brianna Clary started Pittsfield's final inning with a double into shallow left field. Tess Lyon reached on an error, and Pierce followed with a two-run double. Pierce advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming home on Lewis' single. Pierce had a strong all-around game. She held Hoosac to just one run on three hits while striking out eight. The Assumption College-bound senior was stellar at the plate as well going 3 for 3 with two doubles and a home run.
The homer put the Generals up 9-0 in the third. Pierce drove a high-lofting ball that carried and carried over the left-center field wall.
Pierce's first hit of the game dealt the final blow in a seven-run second.
Sarah McMahon started the rally with a single, Jordyn Lummus reached on a walk and Britney Perkett loaded the bases with an infield single. Natasha Shade plated McMahon with a walk. Hayley and Madison Tobin followed with RBI singles. Hayley Tobin's RBI gave her 100 for her career. Clary drove in another run with a walk, and Lyon plated two with a single.
Pittsfield's win sets up a tough test against St. Peter Marion of Worcester on Friday. Pierce said focusing on things they can control allows them stay in the moment and not get caught looking ahead.
"We don't want to be satisfied with what we're doing, we always want to get better," she said. "We talk about playing our game and I think that's really important for us to remember. Coming out strong and staying up, not playing to the level of whoever we're playing, but doing what we know how to do and get it done like we can."
The mercy-rule loss is a tough way to start a four-game week for Hoosac. Coach Mike Ameen said he's hoping his players respond well to the lopsided outcome.
"I try to tell them it's not how you play, it's how people respond," he said. "We came out, if you look at the game individually we had a bad second inning. We scored a run in the third inning and we responded pretty well. ... Overall, I thought after the second inning we played better.
"How are you going to respond? How you going to react to this? Hopefully it will help us by seeing they don't like to lose. You go on a winning streak and you're winning, and all of a sudden you lose and they say 'wait a minute, I don't like this feeling.'"
Hoosac 000 100 — 1 3 2
Pittsfield 170 113 — 13 13 1
Logan Stansfield (5), Rylynn Witek (1) and Riley Bishop. Giuliana Pierce and Hayley Tobin. WP — Pierce. LP — Stansfield. 2B — P 3 (Pierce 2, Brianna Clary). HR — P (Pierce).
Akeem Glaspie can be reached at email@example.com, at @TheAkeemGlaspie on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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