Show of Force: Berkshire teams faring well in Babe Ruth Softball regionals
PITTSFIELD -- It's been a hectic weekend for Cat Record and her Berkshire Force 16-Under softball teammates.
Record was the starting pitcher in all three of the Force's wins in the Babe Ruth New England Regional Softball Championship over the past two days. The Force (3-0) is now in the seeded portion of the 16-U tournament, playing at 4 p.m. today at the Doyle Complex.
On Friday night, Record fired a two-hitter as the Force defeated the Eastern Mass. champion Lynn Lightning 12-0 in a contest shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
Aoife Nester had three hits, including a triple and three RBI to lead Berkshire. Record had three hits, Allie Hunt had a double and a triple and Amanda Ely and Kirsten McNeice each had two hits for the winners.
"The last two games, we have just been pounding the ball," said Force 16-U coach Jim Clary.
Friday was a good day for all three Berkshire teams. The 10-U team defeated Gorham, Maine, 15-0 in four innings Friday morning to end pool play. Catcher Madison Tobin had a triple and threw out three baserunners, while Jordyn Lummus had a single and a home run. Sara Williams had a double and Addison Lyon picked up the win.
In the first round of seeded play, Berkshire edged Rochester, N.H., 10-9. Alyssa Mercier and Williams each smacked RBI singles in the fifth inning to carry the Force to the win. Berkshire trailed, 7-0, at one point. Tobin had a single and a double and Kirstyn Carrigan picked up the win. Szosia Lewis and Kayley Linn also had hits.
Berkshire plays Litchfield in the semifinals this morning at 8:30.
The 12-Us split their two games Friday, winning the final game of pool play by beating Franklin County, Maine, 12-2. Juliana Pierce was the winning pitcher, allowing one hit, striking out 10 and walking four. Britney Perkett had three hits, including a double, while Ashley Santos also had three hits.
Gabby DiMassimo, Brianne Clary and Pierce each had a pair of singles.
In the first round of seeded play, Berkshire lost, 2-0 to Burlington. Pierce threw a three-hitter and struck out 10, but Berkshire's Hayley Tobin had the only hit for Berkshire.
"Juliana was great, but in the second game, we really struggled at the plate," said Berkshire 12-U coach Mark Pierson. "We'll have to come out stronger [today]."
The 12-Us will come back to play Londonderry, N.H. today at 1:30 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.
Friday, Record said she will be ready to pitch today, although this is her fourth start in three games.
"My pitch count hasn't been too high," she said. "Our defense is so good that there are innings when I don't worry about strikeouts. I just let them hit it and my teammates take over."
Record also praised her catcher, Aoife Nester of Pittsfield.
"She's good," said Record. "Sometimes, she signals for a low pitch and I totally cross her up and throw her a high one."
"And I catch it anyway," interjected Nester, who was standing next to Record.
"She does," said Record, laughing. "She still catches it."
The team has only been together a month, but shortstop Allie Hunt, another PHS star, said the team chemistry has been good from the start.
"We came together pretty quickly," she said. "We work pretty well together."
Hunt and Mount Greylock third baseman Miranda Voller have been a lethal combination defensively for the opposing teams, said Force 16-U coach Jim Clary.
"I've gotten a lot of compliments from coaches of the other teams about them," said Clary. "I think they're the best left side in this tournament."
"I thought we worked well together from the start," said Voller. "I think we've been pretty good so far."
"She is so good," said Hunt of Voller. "She doesn't make mistakes."
Nester said the Force are confident of success today.
"Yes, I think we are," she said. "But we can't get too far ahead of ourselves."
"She means we can't get overconfident," said Hunt. "When we start to get overconfident, we get in trouble."
"I've been confident of my girls since the tournament started," said Clary. "I think we have a very good chance to win this."
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