SHEFFIELD — The Mount Everett softball team did not play a flawless game in Monday's Western Mass. Division III quarterfinal against Greenfield.
The Eagles made several baserunning blunders and didn't play perfectly on defense, but when a team's pitcher is doing as well in the circle as Chandler DeGrenier has so far this postseason, it's easy to see why the squad keeps advancing.
Third-seeded Mount Everett did just that, as the Sheffield school defeated No. 6 Greenfield 2-0. DeGrenier allowed no earned runs and scattered three hits over seven innings.
That's off a performance in the first round in which she pitched a perfect game in a five-inning win over Westfield Tech.
"I think our warmup routine is a lot better," DeGrenier said of her pitching lately. "I'm definitely more focused now come tournament time. You can't let up out there because one hit could be the game."
Mount Everett (18-3) will face off with No. 2 Turners Falls on Thursday at UMass. The Indians defeated the Eagles in last season's semifinal round en route a state championship win.
"We'll get the pitching machine going, live batting and get the bats going again," Mount Everett coach Kurt DeGrenier said. "Because we were hitting real well. A win's a win, but we've got to clean it up."
Because while Chandler DeGrenier pitched well, Greenfield pitcher Olivia Joy also turned in a strong performance. Joy allowed only one hit and one earned run in a complete-game effort for the Green Wave (14-6).
But Greenfield's mistakes cost it, as the Green Wave committed four errors in the field and had some baserunning mistakes, as well.
"We're young," Greenfield coach Rian Lovett said. "We have four freshman out there. A lot of the time this year, when we have made mistakes, it's been mental errors.
"They're mistakes that shouldn't be made, and unfortunately it showed today. It's not what you want to happen, but hopefully it's a learning experience."
Mount Everett scored its first run in the second inning, when Chandler DeGrenier walked with one out. Lauren Edwards ran for the pitcher and, after a second out, stole second.
Madison Ullrich then registered the team's only hit of the game, and infield single to the right side. When she beat the throw to first, Edwards made the turn at third, beating the throw home and giving the home team a 1-0 advantage.
The Eagles then doubled their lead in the fifth. Following two outs, Ullrich reached second after an error was made on a fly ball to the outfield.
Ullrich went to steal third and the throw got away on the attempt, followed by her running home. That throw sailed by the catcher, allowing Ullrich to give her squad an insurance run.
That was more than enough for Chandler DeGrenier.
"Chandler must be hard to figure out for people," Kurt DeGrenier said. "She keeps us in every game. In two years, she has 36 wins. So she's where she needs to be."
Olivia Joy and Leah Wallner. Chandler DeGrenier and Morgan DeGrenier. W — Chandler DeGrenier. L — Joy.