SHEFFIELD -- With a 13-day layoff between the end of the regular season and the squad’s first playoff game, there was a chance that the Mount Everett softball team might have been a little rusty on Monday afternoon against Pathfinder High School.
But with Eagles pitcher Alicia Bazonski on her game, that chance dwindled to almost nothing.
Bazonski fired a one-hitter and struck out 15 as the Eagles won their quarterfinal match over the Pioneers, 6-0.
Mount Everett advances to the Western Mass. Division III semifinals against the winner of the Franklin County Tech-Granby game, slated for today. The semifinal game will be Friday at 3 p.m. at the University of Massachusetts softball complex. The finals are scheduled for Saturday at UMass.
"I was a little nervous," said Bazonski after the contest. "We’d had such a long layoff."
"Coach [Kurt DeGrenier] is always talking about peaking at the right time," said Eagle shortstop Claire Tomich, who had two hits on the day. "We were okay today, but I think we can play even better, which is good."
"We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game today," said DeGrenier, acknowledging that the layoff may have muted the Eagles’ bats. "So we played small ball, took the extra base and manufactured some runs. We can hit better than we hit today."
Bazonski allowed only a first-inning opposite field triple to Pathfinder pitcher Jenna Maska. Other than that hit, though, she allowed only one ball out of the infield the rest of the way. She did not walk a batter and struck out the side in the first, second and fourth innings.
Bazonski was also instrumental in the Eagles’ first run. Sam Hoover walked in the first inning and stole second. After Tomich struck out, Bazonski drilled a line shot up the middle to score Hoover.
In the third, Tomich bashed a double into center field and scored on another Bazonski single. Bazonski went to second base on the throw, and to third on an infield out by Deseraye Conaway. She scored the Eagles’ third run on a wild pitch.
In the fifth, Tomich singled, stole second base and scored on Conaway’s base hit. Hailey Finn and Sam Hoover had RBI in the sixth for the Eagles.
Pathfinder had its best shot in the sixth. A pair of Eagle errors gave the visitors runners at first and second with one out. But Bazonski struck out Pathfinder’s Elizabeth Corduer, and Mount Everett catcher Ashley Babcock threw out Pathfinder’s Kara Schlesinger trying to steal third on the same play to end the inning.
Maska, a left-hander who has thrown two no-hitters for the Pioneers this year, and had at least six other games in which she struck out 12 or more batters, pitched a good game for the visitors, allowing only eight hits. But she also walked five and threw six wild pitches.
Tomich, Bazonski and Conaway all had two hits for the winners.
Pathfinder 000 000 0--0 1 2
Everett 102 012 x--6 8 2
Alicia Bazonski and Ashley Babcock. Jenna Maska and Dominique Manqute. W--Bazonski. L--Maska. 2B--Everett 1 (Claire Tomich). 3B--Pioneer 1 (Maska).