ADAMS — It may have taken two days, but the Hoosac Valley softball team is headed to the Western Mass. Division III semifinals.
The Hurricanes were able to beat Putnam 12-0 in five innings on Wednesday afternoon to advance. The game was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but was postponed one day after being rained out in the middle of the second inning.
On the mound for fourth-seeded Hoosac was junior Kali Puppolo, who pitched all five innings for the Hurricanes (13-7). The rainout seemed to have no effect on her as she only allowed one hit and didn't allow a baserunner in four out of the five innings.
Hoosac was able to get off to a quick start on Tuesday as they were able to use aggressive baserunning, combined with a couple errors by No. 5 Putnam, to get off to a quick 2-0 lead.
"We were too timid out there," Putnam coach Bruce Earl said. "[Hoosac] was extremely aggressive on the bases and it allowed them to get a quick lead."
When the game resumed on Wednesday, Hoosac already had the two-run cushion going into the bottom of the second inning. While there wasn't any rain, there was some lightning on the basepaths.
Haley Adelt started the inning with a single and then Gabby Vincent was able to make it to first on a bunt-single. Alyssa Pause was then able to reach on an error, allowing Vincent to score. The Hurricanes would go on to score four more runs off of Putnam pitcher Elicia Vazquez.
While the Hurricanes scored the aforementioned four runs in the frame, Hoosac only had one extra-base hit in the inning. They relied on stealing bases and taking advantage of errors by the Beavers.
"I told the girls to be aggressive and look for things [on the bases]," Hoosac coach Mike Ameen said. "If they wait for me, it is often too late."
Pause quickly became the spark-plug for the Hurricanes. Hoosac scored eight of their 12 runs when Pause led off an inning. She ended the day scoring four runs and was always trying to advance on the basepaths, stealing multiple bases throughout the game.
"My job is to get on base and be loud," Pause said. "When I am on base, coach expects me to cause trouble."
The entire Hoosac offense was able to keep the pressure on Putnam and they did it with speed, not power. With only three extra-base hits, the Hurricanes relied on smart base running, as eight different players scored at least one run.
The Beavers had trouble making contact against Puppolo, but they weren't going to blame the 24-hour delay for their lack of rhythm.
"We just couldn't hit the ball," Earl said, "When we don't hit the ball, we can't put pressure on the other team."
Hoosac will face top-seeded Monson at UMass today in the D-III semifinals. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Elicia Vasquez. Kali Puppolo and Alyssa Pause. W — Puppolo. L — Vasquez. 2B — HV 1 (Jasmyne Forrest). 3B — HV 3 (Puppolo, Gabby Vincent, Kelsey Wehrle.)