Photo Gallery | Berkshire County All-Star Softball
PITTSFIELD — Under a glorious strawberry moon, Berkshire County's best high school softball players took one final bow.
"These girls are so impressive. Just being able to have one game with them is amazing," Pittsfield's Allie Hunt said after the annual Berkshire County High School All-Star Game.
The North beat the South 9-0 in the game, played at the Doyle Complex. But for the 23 young women who played in the game, it was about being out there with the other All-Stars.
"It was fun. I liked it a lot. I used to go to school at Mount Everett, so I knew all the girls. It wasn't that hard playing with them," said Monument Mountain's Emily Shaw, who said it was also a good time playing with and against rivals.
"It's interesting to see the makeup of each team and who came from each team," she said.
Most of the teams in the Berkshire County League had at least one representative on it.
Two players, Wahconah's Kayla Kowalczyk and Mount Everett's Morgan DeGrenier, received the Berkshire County Board of Softball Umpires sportsmanship awards. Kowalczyk received the Joe Harrison Award for the North, while DeGrenier got the Don Little Award for the South.
Taconic's Ashley Keegan went the distance and got the win for the North All-Stars. Keegan held the South Stars to four hits, struck out six, and only allowed one hitter — Drury's Maya Howland — to reach third.
For Keegan, it was like taking the field with her summer team behind her.
"I'm pretty much playing with my teammates that I've played with in the summer for the past, however many years," said Keegan. "Going against kids from different teams, each player has their own challenge when they step up to the plate.
"I just tried to stay focused and know how each player did during the regular season."
Keegan took turns pitching to Pittsfield's Hayley Tobin and Mount Greylock's Olivia DiNicola.
On the other side of the field, Chandler DeGrenier of Mount Everett and Howland split the work. DeGrenier pitched four innings and Howland pitched three. It was one of Howland's innings where the North erupted.
In a game where all 12 North players and 11 South players hit, the North sent 11 to the plate in a six-run, five-hit fourth inning.
After an easy third, Howland walked Taconic's Kailey Bell on four pitches to open the top of the fourth inning. It is a baseball/softball axiom of some note that leadoff walks usually turn out bad for the team on defense. Because after Pittsfield's Erin Murphy bunted Bell to second, Hunt singled Bell to third. Keegan followed with an RBI single, breaking the scoreless tie. Tobin then hit a 2-1 pitch to right, plating Hunt and Keegan. A wild pitch and RBI singles by Janee Walker of Taconic and Kowalczyk, made it 6-0.
The North tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to account for the 9-0 final.
In the South seventh, Mount Everett's Gwendolyn Carpenter reached on an error. After Olivia Mazzeo of St. Joseph struck out, Morgan DeGrenier grounded into a double play. Hunt and Wahconah's Chloe Warren, who alternated between second and shortstop, turned the double play to end the game.
"It was kind of a throwback to my freshman year," said Warren, who played second base as a freshman for the Warriors. "We both just wanted get out there and have fun.
"[The double play] was a great way to end the game."
Hunt, Keegan, Tobin and Walker each went 2 for 3. Keegan, Tobin and Walker each drove in two runs for the North.
"They have a lot good girls over there" in the North dugout, said Chandler DeGrenier, "so you don't really get a break. Everyone can kill the ball.
"It was nice to play against some of the seniors over there one last time. We've been playing in Berkshire County since we were U-10. To see them play one last time was pretty nice."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.