Tourney action set to heat up

St. Mary pitcher Noah Parker winds up for a pitch against Dean Tech Friday. (Photo by Chris Putz)

St. Mary pitcher Noah Parker winds up to begin his delivery of a pitch in a regular season game. The Saints open tournament action against Lee Thursday at Bullens Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTFIELD – A quick glance at Thursday’s high school sports schedule would likely earn a super grade simply for attendance figures alone.
The slate of tournament games locally is quite abundant, featuring opening round games by several teams on the (baseball/softball) diamond and a boys’ lacrosse team, as well as a celebrated matchup of two boys’ volleyball teams.
The temperatures will not be the only thing soaring.
First up Thursday is the Gateway baseball team. The 10th-seeded Gators (10-10) travel to Easthampton for a Division III opening round game against the No. 7 Eagles (10-8), beginning at 2 p.m.
At 4 p.m., several local high school sports teams will compete in first round action.
Those games include: No. 4 St. Mary baseball (18-2) vs. No. 13 Lee (8-12) at Bullens Field, No. 9 Southwick baseball (11-9) at No. 8 Hoosac Valley (10-10), No. 7 Southwick softball (15-5) vs. No. 10 Mount Greylock (10-10), No. 9 Westfield Voc-Tech softball (10-8) at No. 8 Renaissance (11-9), and No. 4 Westfield boys’ lacrosse (13-3) vs. No. 13 St. Joe’s (10-8).
At 6:30, No. 3 Westfield (15-3) takes on the second-seeded Lions (16-3) at Ludlow in a fantastic matchup of boys’ volleyball tournament teams in the semis. The Bombers are attempting to earn their first championship berth.
Then at 7, the Westfield baseball team begins defense of its Western Massachusetts Division I title with an opening round game against No. 10 Chicopee Comp (9-11) at Bullens Field. The Bombers (11-9) are seeded seventh.
SOFTBALL NOTES: No. 10 Gateway (9-10) will play a D3 softball tourney game at No. 7 Pioneer Valley Regional (10-10) Friday at 6 p.m. On Saturday, top-seeded Westfield (18-1) will open play against the winner of No. 8 Chicopee/No. 9 Central at home at 4 p.m.

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