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Three local teams a win from WMass finals

  • Greenfield’s Samantha Smith, shown belting a triple in Monday’s win over Athol, is a big bat for the Green Wave. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield’s Audrey Bresciano is a steady Green Wave presence at the hot corner. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier was in a celebratory mood following Monday’s 3-2 quarterfinal win over Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Turners Falls’ baserunner Sienna Dillensneider scores in the Thunder’s lopsided quarterfinal win over Ware Monday and figures to supply offensive production going forward. Recorder Staff/Dan Little



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

After a spring season full of twists and turns, three local high school programs remain as the Western Massachusetts baseball and softball tournaments enter semifinal rounds today and Thursday.

Teams have played their final home games of the season, with semifinals and finals hosted on neutral sites. Here’s a closer look at the three upcoming semifinal contests.

Today

Softball

No. 1 Turners Falls vs. No. 4 Mount Greylock, 5 p.m. (WMass Div. III semifinals, Sortino Field)

After rolling to a 16-0 victory over Ware High School in Sunday night’s quarterfinal round, top-seeded Turners Falls High School (18-3) continues its pursuit of a fifth consecutive sectional title today at 5 when it tangles with fourth-seeded Mount Greylock Regional School (13-8) at Sortino Field on the campus of UMass.

Certainly not a stranger to games at UMass, Turners is the only non-Berkshire County team remaining in the Division III field. In the 3 p.m. semifinal today, No. 2 Mount Everett Regional School meets third-seeded McCann Technical School.

The Thunder last played Greylock in the 2015 quarterfinals, a 5-1 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex. Turners hasn’t lost in the sectional tournament since 2013, when it fell in the finals to Mount Everett.

To reach the semifinals, Greylock edged Smith Academy, 6-5, in Monday’s quarterfinal round. The Mounties played a pair of area teams this spring, picking up wins over Frontier Regional School (9-8) and Mohawk Trail Regional High School (5-0).

Baseball

No. 2 Frontier vs. No. 3 Monument Mountain, 7 p.m. (WMass Div. III semifinals, Vets Field, Greenfield)

After escaping Monday’s quarterfinal with a walk-off, come-from-behind, 3-2 win over No. 10 Greenfield High School, second-seeded Frontier Regional School aims for a spot in the WMass Division III finals for the second time in three years when it meets Monument Mountain Regional High School tonight at 7 p.m.

The Red Hawks (20-1) won’t have to travel far, as Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield will play host to both Division III semis, beginning with No. 1 Taconic High School and No. 12 Easthampton High School at 4 p.m.

Frontier defeated a Berkshire school the last time it was in the semifinals, when it beat Hoosac Valley High School, 8-2, in 2016 before falling to Wahconah Regional High School in the WMass finals.

Greenfield nearly derailed Frontier’s WMass title journey on Monday. The Green Wave scored twice in the top of the first inning and held a lead all the way until the bottom of the seventh. Trailing 2-1, the Red Hawks scored twice, including a walk-off hit by Kiernan Freeman, to snag a 3-2 victory and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Monument (17-4) beat No. 6 Southwick-Tolland Regional High School, 6-1, in Monday’s quarterfinal round to advance to this evening’s game.

Thursday

Softball

No. 1 Greenfield vs. No. 5 Hampshire, 5 p.m. (WMass Division II semis, Sortino Field)

Like Frontier, the Greenfield softball team got everything it could handle from a local foe in the quarterfinal round Monday night. The top-seeded Green Wave finally broke through against No. 8 Athol High School late to earn a 3-1 win and advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive season.

Greenfield (17-2) fell to Turners Falls in a disappointing 8-0 loss in last year’s Division III semifinal, though the teams are now in different divisions.

Thursday’s semifinal will be a difficult one, as fifth-seeded Hampshire Regional High School (11-8) is the defending Division II champion. The Red Raiders’ eight losses this spring are deceiving, as they play in the Valley Wheel with Division I postseason squads Northampton High School and East Longmeadow High School. Northampton is playing in Saturday’s Division I title game.

Hampshire thwarted a potential Greenfield rematch with Easthampton High School, as the Raiders blanked the fourth-seeded Eagles, 7-0, on the road in Monday’s quarterfinal.

Greenfield and Hampshire last met in 2013, when Hampshire swept the regular-season series with victories of 12-0 and 13-2. The squads haven’t met in the postseason since 2009, when Hampshire edged Greenfield, 7-5, in the WMass Division II championship game. Greenfield’s current assistant coach Taylor Lively was the pitcher in that title contest.