Opening salvo

Gateway’s Lily Waters (3) crosses home plate for one of seven first-inning runs Monday against Commerce at Marshall Roy Field in Springfield. (Photo by Chris Putz)

SPRINGFIELD – The Gateway Regional High School softball team knocked back their opponent on the road in a season opener, and had a blast doing it.
Donna Viel and Lily Waters went a combined 7-for-9 from the plate, and Audrey Gamble recorded 10 strikeouts as Gateway blasted Commerce 13-1 in a mercy-shortened six-inning game Monday at Marshall Roy Field.
“It was good to come out strong,” said Gateway softball coach Matt Bonenfant, whose Gators also opened the 2016 season in similar fashion. “It was good to come out strong. We hit the ball hard, and despite being our first time on a dirt infield, played solid defensively.”
Gamble silenced Commerce, scattering four hits and striking out three.
Gateway’s offense belted 13 hits, and took advantage of seven Commerce errors.

Bombers tame Lions
Westfield def. Ludlow, 25-13, 23-25, 25-18, 25-11

Javier Santos (10 kills, 1 block), Shane Kiendzior (15 kills, 7 digs), Luis Castro (23 assists), and Ryan Murray (9 kills, 4 blocks) fueled Westfield’s third straight victory to begin the 2018 regular season.

Falcons swoop past Bombers
Minnechaug 15, Westfield 4

Kylie Buchanan led Westfield with two goals. Hannah Jarvis and Jordan Kowalski had one goal apiece for the Bombers.
Westfield goalie Liz Clarke finished with 11 saves.
“This was definitely a wake-up call for us,” Westfield coach Paul Fenwick said. “Learn from this, reload.”

Brownies shut out Bombers
Agawam 5, Westfield 0

Hayley Moniz struck out eight batters, and collected two base knocks at the plate for Westfield. She yielded five runs over seven innings.

Rams win thriller
Southwick 9, Easthampton 3 (8 inn.)

Southwick exploded for six runs in extra innings to earn a season-opening victory at Nonotuck Park.
Southwick pitcher Nikki Willey scattered five hits, struck out seven batters, and walked two in a complete game.
T. Pellac (3-for-4) and Gillian Ensigm (2 hits) each scored two runs for the Rams, and McKenna Leary had two hits and a run.

Indians clip Saints
Turners Falls 3 – Saint Mary’s 2

After two weather cancellations, St. Mary’s finally graced the court Monday. The Saints made a strong showing but ran out of gas against a quality opponent.
In singles play, Saint Mary’s Jessica Crosby continued her strong play from last season.
Crosby’s games were very relaxed and she mixed her shots well on her way to defeating Turners Falls’ Carlie Kretchmar, winning in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.
Saint Mary’s Alexis Shedd played a long two-set match against Turners Falls’ Amber Taylor. Taylor won in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Shedd returned shot after shot in extended rallies against Taylor but couldn’t overtake her.
Saint Marys’ Erin Olearcek played her first match as a singles player against Turners Falls’ Amber Taylor. Olearcek dropped the first set to Taylor 6-1, but rebounded in the second set playing Taylor to a tie breaker, coming up just short in a 7-6 loss.
In doubles play, Saint Mary’s Maura O’Neal and Gina Mulvenna lost a tough match against Turners Falls’ Rachel Tucker and Izzy Farrick.
These teams played exciting early sets to start the match with Turners Falls taking the first set 6-1, only to be rocked back on their heals in the second set with O’Neal and Mulvenna taking the second set 6-1. The match went the distance with Turners Falls winning by taking the third set, 6-4.
Saint Mary’s Abigal Shannahan and Mary Turbolski won their first doubles match against Turners Falls’ Maria Labelle and Ceci Wood, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-3. Shannahan and Turbolski worked their special brand of strategy well against Turners.
St. Mary’s head coach Frank Crosby said he his was pleased with the way the duo communicated and stayed on top of their match. – Frank Crosby contributed to this report

Saints edge Green Wave
St. Mary 3, Greenfield 2

Kevin Lu and Joe Wilcox led St. Mary to victory with a 6-2, 6-2 over Greenfield’s Anjou Kong-Stryker and Jacob Frank at first doubles. The Saints won at third singles and second doubles by forfeit due to insufficient number of players for the Green Wave.
St. Mary’s No. 1 and 2 singles players’ Jared Rusin and Dominick Nomakeo each lost in 3-set tiebreakers.

Gators win opener
Gateway 6, Pioneer Valley Christian 1

Gateway pitcher Ryan Orr struck out 12 batters and scattered six hits in a complete game effort.
Brett Bonenfant (3-for-4, 2 runs), Anthony Piquiette (2-4, RBI), Nathaniel Bushor (2-4, run), and Wyatt Heeter (1-for-3) each collected hits for the Gators.

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