WESTFIELD – They hail from a small high school and they are just halfway through their first season in more than a decade, but the St. Mary Saints junior varsity softball team is taking more than just baby steps in its renewed infancy.
St. Mary’s won its ninth straight game, a 26-2 rout of Central in five innings Wednesday, to stay undefeated this season.
“Four of them have played softball and the rest haven’t played since seven- or eight-years-old, but they’re athletes,” said St. Mary’s softball co-coach Scott Hutkoski, who is sharing coaching duties with Mike Kosinski in this inaugural season, of sorts. “Any girl can go play any position out there and that’s a big plus.”
St. Mary’s junior pitcher Anna Kosinski proved to be a dual threat against Central. Kosinski (4 Ks) tossed three scoreless innings, allowing no hits and just one walk, before turning the ball over to Amelia Willenborg, who forced several ground ball outs in two innings of relief.
All nine players in St. Mary’s lineup collected a hit.
Kosinski hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and later tripled. Paige Hutkoski drove in two runs on a long single for St. Mary’s. Willenborg and fellow Saints’ Audrey Burke, Kaylee Hamel, and Mara Downie collected two hits apiece; Lauren Campbell, Ally Goodreau, and Emma Goodreau each had a hit.
“From day one at the first practice until now, they have all improved,” coach Hutkoski said. “They all come to practice, they listen, and they want to learn. If they make mistakes in games, at practice the next day, they correct (them).”
St. Mary’s JV unit is comprised of three juniors (Kosinski, Hamel, Abby Shanahan), two sophomores (Downie, Campbell), two freshmen (Burke, Ally Goodreau), an eighth grader (Willenborg), and two seventh graders (Hutkoski, Emma Goodreau).
Shanahan was absent from Wednesday’s game.
“We want to build this program,” coach Hutkoski said. “We have a good group of girls and we all want to go in the right direction.”
St. Mary’s has seven more games left in the season. After that? “Hopefully, next year we can go varsity,” coach Hutkoski said.
Tigers rally again, fall just short
Sci-Tech 4, Westfield Technical Academy 3
Westfield Technical Academy (6-2) nearly rallied for a mind-blowing fifth comeback victory, storming back from a 4-0 deficit but falling just short.
Sci-Tech junior pitcher Carlos Pena tossed a one-hitter. He struck out 17.
Brody Zabielski broke up Pena’s no-hit bid with Westfield Tech’s lone hit of the game. He also had an RBI.
Zabielski also had a solid game on the mound, scattering six hits over seven complete innings. He struck out eight batters and walked none.
Bombers bounce back
Westfield 6, East Longmeadow 3
Westfield rallied from a 3-1 deficit by scoring five unanswered runs on the road.
Baley Collier went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI to lead Westfield. Bombers’ Paul Shibley went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI.
Westfield pitcher Brian Strange provided 4 1/3 scoreless innings with six Ks. Spencer Cloutier (2 Ks) held East Longmeadow scoreless over the final two innings to pick up the save.
Lis, Rams blank Saints
Southwick 6, St. Mary’s 0
Southwick pitcher Josh Lis threw a one-hit shutout, striking out nine batters and walking just two.
Lis also received solid offense from Garrity (2-for-5), Wynglarz (2-for-4, triple), and Burnett (double).
Jack Lamirande had St. Mary’s only hit, a double.
Bombers battle past Blue Devils
Westfield 5, Northampton 2
Carly James (2 runs, RBI), Emma LaPoint (2 RBIs, run), Carina Franco (run), and Diana Daly (RBI) had two hits apiece to lead Westfield.
Westfield pitcher Erin Gour scattered three hits in a complete game effort. She struck out three batters and walked four.
Gour worked out of a seventh-inning jam with the bases loaded. Gour fielded a bunt and fired home for the first out of the inning. Westfield’s catcher, LaPoint threw out a batter at first base for the second out. Gour then forced a ground out to second base for the final out of the game.
Olearcek wins thriller
Frontier 3, St. Mary’s 2
Erin Olearcek was the lone singles victor for St. Mary’s, defeating Frontier’s Coleman Hartner at the third spot.
Olearcek started out slow in the first set, quickly falling behind 3-0. She settled down just as quickly though, starting the next game off with two blistering ace serves that Hartner could only watch sail by.
Olearcek won the next five games to move ahead of Hartner. Hartner mounted a brief comeback, taking the next game before Olearcek took the next one to win the set.
Olearcek continued her march to victory in the second set, mixing her shots and serving strong to take the set 6-2 and win the match in straight sets.
St. Mary’s second doubles pair, Caroline Leahy and Catherine Seklecki downed Frontier’s Harrison and Madaline Powers, 6-3, 6-4.