Photo Gallery | Westfield at Pittsfield softball
PITTSFIELD — When a team is playing well, it can create its own luck by executing the little parts of the game that don't show up in the box score.
For the Pittsfield softball team, its heads-up, aggressive play earned the Generals their 10th win in a row, beating Westfield 4-1 on Saturday. The win clinches a Western Massachusetts tournament berth.
On the first pitch of the game, Westfield's Haley Moniz drove the ball deep into the outfield, but as she rounded second, she stumbled and a quick relay got her out at third. The play snatched the momentum away from the Bombers and gave pitcher Emily Koldys time to regroup.
"That was huge," Koldys said of getting Moniz out at third. "I was nervous because that was the first pitch of the game, and I was like 'is that how the game is going to go?' But getting [the ball] in quick and getting the tag was huge."
The Bombers made solid contact on Koldys, but they could not get the key hit to drive in runs.
In the fourth, Brit Kowalski drew a leadoff walk. Grace Barnes singled and Nikki Clemente reached base with a bunt single, loading the bases. Koldys remained poised, however, getting three straight outs to keep the visitors off the scoreboard. Kowalski plated Westfield's lone run in the fifth on a RBI single.
"It's something we want to capitalize on," Westfield coach Mary Seid said of leaving the bases loaded. "This team has worked really hard to develop, and one of the things that will come with time as we continue to develop is that ability to come through in the clutch."
The Bombers out-hit the Generals 9-7, but Pittsfield's run-producers came through when called upon.
Britney Perkett did good job at the leadoff spot, setting the table for Pittsfield's power bats. She reached base three times, all via bunt, scoring two runs and stealing two bases. Hayley Tobin drove her in with a RBI single in the first. Allie Hunt's triple deep into center field scored Perkett in fifth. Tobin drove in Hunt with a ground out in that inning as well.
Pittsfield coach Greg Marchbanks said he wants his team's speed to force the opposition to make a play to get them out. Perkett embodies that philosophy, turning bunts into singles, stealing bases and going first to third on base hits. The sophomore isn't a natural left-handed slap hitter, but time in practice and during the summer with the Berkshire Force allowed her to perfect her technique.
"I practice a lot on bunting," Perkett said. "Once I get the bunt down it really gets us going. I'll get the bunt down, and [Erin] Murphy will hit me in, or Allie will hit me in. It works every time."
Beating a quality Westfield team not only gave the Generals a win over a solid Division I opponent, but facing Moniz provided plenty of looks at a spin pitcher. With two upcoming games against Wahconah's Allie Borowsky, also a spin pitcher, Pittsfield could be locked in at the plate.
"Each game we want to keep building," Marchbanks said. "With the variety of the types of teams we play in our league and out of our league, it gets us prepared for different things. ... It's good to get all of it, instead of preparing for something that's not as fast all the time."
Haley Moniz and Brit Kowalski. Emily Koldys and Hayley Tobin. W — Koldys. L — Moniz. 2B — W 1 (Moniz). 3B — P 1 (Allie Hunt).
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252