Pittsfield softball pounds Mount Greylock in home-opener
PITTSFIELD — It may have been postponed a few times, but the defending Western Massachusetts Division I champions took the field at their home under the dome for the first time in 2019 on a gusty Tuesday afternoon. The Pittsfield softball team, which is returning all but three members of the 2018 crew, is picking up where it left off last year, with a 14-0 win over Mount Greylock.
"They've been hungry," coach Greg Marchbanks said. "We keep getting postponed but we keep coming outside and practice in the wind constantly which helps us play in it."
On the mound for the Generals (2-0) was Tess Lyon, who allowed just one hit while striking out four in her four innings of work. Lyon had some help by her defense, specifically the speedy Jordyn Lummus in center field, who had no issue closing in on a handful of fly balls, no matter where the wind took them.
"I am not a strikeout pitcher," Lyon said. "I hit my spots and rely on my defense to do the rest and I trust every single one of them out there. We get out here and practice almost every day in just about every condition so we are used to playing in whatever condition we have to."
The Generals won their first game of the season 12-3 at Westfield and Marchbanks remains impressed with how the senior has looked through two games in her first season as the full-time starter in the circle.
"Last game she came out and hit her spots," Marchbanks said. "She can mix it up and hit her locations and she did that today. If [the ball is] on that outside corner it's a tough pitch to hit.
Patience was key as the Generals came to bat in the bottom of the first. The goal was to make Greylock (2-2) ace Lily Lesieur work. Each of Pittsfield's first four batters saw at least five pitches.
"There are a lot of different ways to win a game and sometimes you just have to be patient and not help a pitcher out," Marchbanks said. "Our core [Natasha Shade, Brianna Clary, Madison Tobin, Sarah McMahon, and Szofia Lewis] is always hitting the ball hard and getting on base. That's continuing from last year and the year before. Those top five [in our lineup] have been playing varsity for three years."
Shade, who ended the afternoon 2 for 3 and scored four runs, started the bottom of the first with a walk. Shade broke for second on a passed ball, however, the senior wisely took a wide turn and made it safely to third base. Clary knocked her in with a single to left field to give Pittsfield the early 1-0 lead.
Later in the first, Lewis, who had a game-high four runs batted in, knocked in another run, as the Generals held a 3-0 lead at the end of one.
"I just try to stay calm and not let the pressure get to me," said Lewis of coming up with runners in scoring position. "I try to focus on keeping my swing loose. We've been working really hard on the tees to make sure we are prepared and our swings are smooth."
The core five caused more damage in the second inning as they generated a two-out rally that engineered six runs for the Generals. Tobin, who went 2 for 3 with two runs batted in, knocked in Lexi Sondrini. McMahon, who had an RBI double in the fourth, worked a walk and Lewis followed it up with a hit that hugged the third-base line that was good for a two-run double.
After pitching four near-perfect innings, Lyon was replaced by sophomore Sophia Groves in the circle. Groves started the inning with a strikeout and retired all three batters she faced with the help of a game-ending double play.
Brodi Rosier reached base on single in the top of the fourth for the Mounties, however, she was stranded there. The loss snapped Greylock's two-game winning streak. The Mounties will look to get back on track Friday when they travel to Monson. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The Generals will voyage to Acton on Thursday for a game with the Colonials. First pitch between Pittsfield and Acton-Boxborough is scheduled for 1 p.m.
"We feel good," Lewis said. "This is a good start and we're building confidence. We are excited for our trip on Thursday."
Greylock 000 00 — 0 1 1
Pittsfield 362 3x — 14 12 0
Lesieur and Rosier. Lyon (4) Groves (1) and Lewis. WP — Lyon. LP — Lesieur. 2B — P: 3 (Tobin, Lewis, McMahon).
Jake Mendel can be reached at Jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, @Jmendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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