Nester's walk-off homer lifts Pittsfield softball past Greylock
PITTSFIELD -- Redemption was the word of the day for Pittsfield High School senior catcher Aoife Nester on Tuesday.
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning against Mount Greylock, Nester misjudged a pop-up and took the ball off the forehead. The miscue extended the inning and the Mounties rallied for two runs to tie the game.
Visibly upset after the inning, Nester re grouped and smacked a two-run walk-off home run to center field, giving Pittsfield a 11-9 win.
"To get hit, and then hit the ball is very nice," Nester said. "I was ahead of the first pitch, and then I waited back on the second pitch and it worked."
The winning hit was the final comeback effort of a back-and-forth affair and capped off a big offensive day for Nester, who finished 4 for 5 with three RBI.
The Mounties jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first two innings. Greylock's 2-4 hitters -- Olivia DiNicola, Meredith Dezieck and Kendal Frye -- all had RBI hits in the second. They each finished with two hits.
Despite the early deficit, Pittsfield kept fighting to cut into the lead.
A two-run third-inning made it 6-4, then Pittsfield's defense stepped up to help starting pitcher Emily Koldys in the top of the fourth.
Tiffany Robinson snagged a line drive at first base for the first out. After a base hit and sacrifice bunt, Koldys walked the next two batters and Hailey Guest stepped to the plate with a chance to open up the game for Greylock. But after a lengthy at-bat that included several foul balls, she grounded out to shortstop Allie Hunt, who made a charging stop on the play.
Pittsfield's defense made just enough plays to allow the Generals to hang around, but Greylock coach June Blake said her team left too many runners on base.
"We had a lot of opportunities early on in the game," she said. "We left a few baserunners on throughout the first part of the game. I think we could have executed better in those situations, but that's what it comes down to -- making big plays defensively and getting the big hits."
Pittsfield threatened in the fourth, but Hunt flew out to deep center with two on to end the inning. She finally helped Pittsfield break through in the sixth, however, with a two-run double that tied the game 7-7. Hunt them scored on a throwing error before Madison Backer's RBI single stretched Pittsfield's lead to 9-7.
In the seventh, Greylock scored twice with two outs on RBI walks to tie the game again, setting up Nester's walk-off in the bottom of the inning.
"That was our real first test of the year, to see if we can deal with adversity," Pittsfield coach Greg Marchbanks said. "They showed that they're going to keep calm, keep their composure and chip away."
Greylock 240 001 2 -- 9 13 2
Pittsfield 112 005 2 -- 11 13 3
Sam Joy and Kendal Frye. Emily Koldys and Aoife Nester. W -- Koldys. L. Joy. 2B -- Greylock 2 (Olivia DiNicola, Kendal Frye); Pittsfield (Hunt); 3B -- Pittsfield (Hunt); HR -- Pittsfield (Nester).
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