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Hawks win wild one, 9-8

  • Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's pitcher No.14 McKayla Poissant, fires a fastball to the plate in the top of the 2nd inning.<br/>photo by J. Anthony Roberts

    Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's pitcher No.14 McKayla Poissant, fires a fastball to the plate in the top of the 2nd inning.
    photo by J. Anthony Roberts

  • Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's pitcher No.14 McKayla Poissant, starts her windup as she get set to deliver the heat to the plate in the top of the 1st inning.<br/>photo by J. Anthony Roberts

    Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's pitcher No.14 McKayla Poissant, starts her windup as she get set to deliver the heat to the plate in the top of the 1st inning.
    photo by J. Anthony Roberts

  • Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's 1st baseman No.17 Cassidy Cieslak, is ready to receive the throw to 1st as Wahconah's No.22  Jull McBain races up the line to get to the bag first in the top of the 2nd inning.<br/>photo by J. Anthony Roberts

    Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's 1st baseman No.17 Cassidy Cieslak, is ready to receive the throw to 1st as Wahconah's No.22 Jull McBain races up the line to get to the bag first in the top of the 2nd inning.
    photo by J. Anthony Roberts

  • Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's pitcher No.14 McKayla Poissant, fires a fastball to the plate in the top of the 2nd inning.<br/>photo by J. Anthony Roberts
  • Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's pitcher No.14 McKayla Poissant, starts her windup as she get set to deliver the heat to the plate in the top of the 1st inning.<br/>photo by J. Anthony Roberts
  • Frontier 5/30/14. Frontier's 1st baseman No.17 Cassidy Cieslak, is ready to receive the throw to 1st as Wahconah's No.22  Jull McBain races up the line to get to the bag first in the top of the 2nd inning.<br/>photo by J. Anthony Roberts

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Friday’s Western Massachusetts Division II Softball Tournament quarterfinal featured a number of timely hits, but none was bigger than Sarah Toomey’s one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Frontier Regional School junior lined a base hit to right field with the bases loaded to plate the game-winning run and the third-seeded Red Hawks came back from a one-run deficit to post a 9-8 win over sixth-seeded Wahconah Regional High School in a wet and sloppy battle at Zabek Field.

The game was played through various levels of rain, with the heaviest downpours occurring in the middle innings before the sun began to shine through late in game, including when it went into the bottom of the seventh. Frontier had just watched a two-run lead evaporate into an 8-7 deficit and the Hawks were down to their final three outs of the season.

The hosts had plans other than just folding up, as Ally Hamelin led off the bottom of the seventh with a four-pitch walk. Courtney Newsome followed with a single to center, and Cassidy Ciesluk hit a grounder to third that Wahconah third baseman Maddie Kowalczyk fielded and tried to race to third base to get the lead runner, but Hamelin beat her to the bag to load the bases with nobody out. Mae Fydenkevez tied the game up when she belted a high fly ball to deep center for a sacrifice fly. Hannah Adams followed with a grounder to second that was bobbled for an error, allowing the Red Hawks to reload the bases, and bring up Toomey, who lined the second pitch she saw into right field to plate the game-winning run.

“I got up there hoping I could get a hit, hoping I would come through,” Toomey said with a big smile after the hit. “I waited, got my pitch and just went with it.”

The game started off slowly as neither team scored a run through the first 3 1/ 2 innings, although once the offense started, it took off.

Frontier plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth as it took advantage of two errors and an RBI fielder’s choice from Ciesluk.

Wahconah came right back in the fifth inning to take the lead with five runs. Bree Herforth opened the inning with a single and Chloe Warren and Jamie Downer worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. From there, some sloppiness by the Red Hawks came back to bite them, as one run scored on an error, two scored on passed balls, and single runs came in on an RBI single from Emily Jordan and a fielder’s choice by Juli McBain.

Frontier threatened to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fifth, as it loaded the bases with nobody out, but Wahconah pitcher Allie Borowsky got out of the jam unscathed. She would not be so lucky in the bottom of the sixth inning, however, as Frontier scored four times during the heaviest rains of the game. Frontier had two on with two outs when McKayla Poissant smoked a line drive right back at Borowsky, who got a glove on it to knock the ball down. Borowsky tried to throw over to first for the out, but the ball was wide of the bag and allowed a run to score.

More importantly, it extended the inning and — as can be the case — the extra out really hurt when Caitlin Sullivan followed with a three-run home run to deep center. It was the first career homer for Sullivan and it could not have come at a better time as it put Frontier up 7-5.

“I was trying not to stress too much and overthink it,” she said of her approach.

Wahconah was not done and managed to come back in the top of the seventh to score three times. A walk to Bridget Lussier and back-to-back singles by Jordan and Borowsky loaded the bases with nobody out. Frontier pitcher Poissant got McBain to ground into a fielder’s choice to get the first out of the inning at home, but Sara Trova followed with a two-run single to deep right-center to tie the game. Herforth then hit a come-backer to Poissant, and when the Frontier pitcher threw over to first base for the second out of the inning, McBain came home to score the go-ahead run.

Frontier advanced to the semifinals Tuesday afternoon at 3 at Sortino Field on the campus of UMass, where it will face No. 7 seed Palmer High School, which upset No. 2 Belchertown High School, 12-9, in the other quarterfinal on Friday.

Poissant finished with seven strikeouts and six walks in the win. Borowsky struck out two and walked three.

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