NORTH ADAMS — It didn’t matter how many times the Falcons set their sights on the lead, the Hornets always had an answer.
It was a high scoring affair at McCann Technical School as the softball team took down Smith Academy 16-12 on Thursday afternoon.
The Hornets are shaking off rust due to a nearly two-year layoff, but the bats are oiled up and in midseason form. Emily Glasier, Alyse Koloc, Madison Clark and Emma Moser each had at least three hits on the day.
“I haven’t played in two years so coming in for this last year, it has been a bit crazy getting back into the swing of things,” Koloc said. “Throwing and hitting the ball, being sore, it’s definitely been a ride.”
A trend quickly became apparent in the first inning. Smith scored two runs and McCann responded with a pair in the bottom half of the frame.
Each team turned up the heat in the third. The Falcons pounced for five runs, but it wasn’t enough to bury the Hornets, who answered with seven runs.
“The attitude was up the whole time,” said Sue LeClair, first-year coach of McCann Tech. “I was impressed with their answer, that is for sure.”
Trailing 7-2, Koloc wore a pitch on her uniform and took first base. Sarah Fortini singled and Clark followed with another to load the bases.
The Hornets were threatening and yet had their backs against the wall with two outs. Kyrsten Gazaille-Adams kept the inning alive with a single, scoring Koloc.
Singles from Glasier and Emma Desormeaux had the Hornets humming and Moser kicked the doors down with a two-run double.
Once the dust settled, the two-out rally became a seven-run hit parade. The Falcons knotted the game at nine with two runs in the top of the fifth, but an RBI double from Koloc in the bottom-half kept the Hornets in front.
Following a five-run sixth from McCann, Smith Academy had enough gas in the tank to take one more shot at the lead in the top of the seventh.
Sophomore Hannah Tatro retired the first batter with a strikeout and Clark caught a pop-up, leaving the Falcons with one out. Taking a page from McCann’s book, Smith strung together three hits, scoring a pair of runs to draw the visitors within four with a runner on.
With Tatro playing in her third game at the varsity level, Koloc, who was behind the plate, went out to gas up the sophomore in the circle.
“She was a little stressed,” Koloc said. “I just told her to calm down, she’s done this 1,000 times and knew what she was doing.
“I like being a senior, talking to the younger kids. I have that experience and Hannah is a really good pitcher, it is nice to see a sophomore throwing like this.”
The pep-talk worked, a grounder to the right side of the infield ended the game. Tatro struck out eight and walked two batters in her seven innings in the circle.
“I coached Hannah when she younger so she is not new to me,” LeClair said. “We have a great relationship already and are working together to fine-tune those mechanics.”
The Hornets made a handful of game-changing plays in the field, too. Glasier showcased her range with an over-the-shoulder catch on the outfield grass to end the fourth inning. In the sixth, Caitlin Nicol hauled in a ball that was drifting down the first-base line.
Nicol’s catch was vital as she followed the grab by throwing the ball back to first, doubling up the runner. The two outs changed the game as Smith Academy’s Amanda Novak shot a double in the following at-bat, which did no damage due to the bases-clearing double play.
The Hornets will look for their third-straight win on Monday at Putnam. While McCann is looking to pile on the wins, the goal of the 2021 season is two-fold.
“I want us to be a family, play together and make sure we’re communicating,” Koloc said. “The wins are nice, but it is great to have a team that is a family.”
Smith 205 021 2 — 12 15 4
McCann 207 115 x — 16 12 2
Amanda Novak and Elena Baranoski. Hannah Tatro and Alyse Koloc. W — Tatro. L — Novak. 2B — SA 4 (Baianoski 2, Novak, Avonna Wickles); MT 3 (Koloc 2, Moser).