avery vale cruz pitches

Wahconah softball and Avery Vale Cruz picked up a road win at Mount Greylock on Wednesday.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Wahconah softball ran its record to 17-1 with a 6-1 victory on the road Wednesday against Mount Greylock as both teams tune-up for what could be a pair of long postseason runs.

Wahconah took the lead with a two-run fourth and never looked back while Greylock scratched out a single run in the seventh, spoiling a shutout bid for hurler Avery Vale-Cruz. Ella Quinto, with three hits on the day, broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single to center scoring pinch-runner Lexi Choquette with what represented the winning run.

Vale-Cruz led off the fourth inning by lining a shot to left field for a base hit. Greylock left fielder Mia Filiault did well to keep the play in front of her as the Wahconah-dual threat was held to a single. After a fielder’s choice grounder by Casey Wilson knocked Vale-Cruz off the bases, Choquette entered as a runner for Wilson. Taylor Hickey reached on an error. Quinto’s single scored Choquette while Hickey and Quinto each moved up a base on a throw home.

Olivia Iovieno reached via a bunt single, with neither runner advancing as neither was forced and a play at home was probable. A shallow popup to center was run down by second baseman Madi Barber as the runner at third, Hickey, raced home on the sacrifice fly.

Wahconah padded the lead in the fifth with two more runs. Dani Barry opened with a leadoff walk and was erased when Vale-Cruz grounded into a fielder's choice. Casey blooped a single down the line in right moving Vale-Cruz to second. Hickey added an infield single to first, loading the bases. Quinto ripped a two-run single plating Vale-Cruz and Wilson for the four-run advantage. Iovieno added an infield single with the runner on third again forced to hold. After a popup for out number two, Elena Iovieno laced a base hit to left driving in Hickey.

The Warriors added a single run in the seventh. Quinto missed a home run by inches and was the victim of an unfavorable bounce and was held to a single. Coach Dustin Belcher again went to the bench for more speed with Louis Carkuff in to run. Pinch-hitter Ainsleigh Sullivan singled to right. Olivia Iovieno returned to pinch-run for Sullivan. Olivia Wehner walked before Elena Iovieno delivered a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Greylock’s Emma Newberry walked with one out. She scored from first on a line-drive double to the power alley in left by Kami Sweet. Greylock managed just two hits on the game. The other was a long double crushed by A.J. Pelkey in the fourth inning,

“I thought we’d get our bats on the ball a little better than we did, but she’s a good pitcher, a step above what we’ve seen this year,” Greylock coach Mark Pierson said. “Not just the pitching, their defense too. They’re a very good team. They swung the bats well, too. So we’ve just got to get ready for the next one. We just need to go over all the stuff we’ve been working on earlier in the year, the fundamentals. Then we should be ready (for the postseason); we should have a pretty high seed.”

Greylock is 10-6 overall and 5-3 in Berkshire County play. They finish up the regular season Friday at home against Hoosac Valley (10-4, 2-0 league).

Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said, “That’s kind of been the key for us, getting the bats going. The second half of the year, different bats getting timely hits. Obviously, we look at where we are and we are always chasing being better. We need to trust what we do at the plate and we can get better. We’re going to have some tough competition in the western part of the state (in the tournament) so we need to be ready.”

Wahconah’s only loss this season was against Turner’s Falls back on May 2. They have since avenged their lone loss with a 1-0 win over Turner’s on May 5. The Warriors are fresh off back-to-back shutouts of Pittsfield, 7-0, and Taconic, 8-0 and are riding an eight-game winning streak overall.

Both teams will know their tournament seedings within the next few days with games beginning early next week.