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Green Wave rips Frontier, wins HL crown

It was everything Greenfield High School baseball coach Tom Suchanek could have hoped for on Monday.

The Green Wave got a strong pitching performance from Garrett Hudson and piled up 15 hits on offense en route to winning the Hampshire League crown with a 10-1 victory over Frontier Regional School in front of a large crowd at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.

The teams entered the regular-season finale tied atop the HL standings at 12-3 overall, but Greenfield ace Hudson outdueled Frontier stud Peter Watroba to help the Wave earn its first league title since 2009. Frontier was the reigning HL champions. Both teams will learn their postseason fates tonight at 5 at Northampton High School during the WMass Seed Meeting.

But before either team could look ahead to the postseason, both clubs had this game to sort out the HL champion. Greenfield (16-4 overall, 13-3 HL) took command of things early, plating four runs in the second inning off Watroba, and Hudson didn’t need any more support. The Green Wave junior, who has combined with senior hurler Mike Duclos to form the best pitching tandem in the league this season, allowed just four hits and one walk over seven innings against the Red Hawks, striking out 12 in the process.

“He pitched very well,” Suchanek said. “He fell behind in the count on more guys than normal, but he came back and got outs. He only walked the one.

“No question that Mike and Garrett have carried us this year,” Suchanek continued about his pitching. “Our third guys have pitched pretty well too, but we haven’t given them much run support.”

The other major factor in the Green Wave’s win was from the bottom of the batting order, where the Green Wave’s final four hitters piled up seven hits and three RBIs. Josh Brandl finished with three hits, including a double, and one RBI, while Jourdan York-Welcome singled and plated a pair of runs. Luke Toritto collected one hit, and Kevin Luippold added a pair.

With the bottom of the order getting on base, it gave Green Wave leadoff hitter Jake Elwell opportunities to drive runs in and he took full advantage going 4-for-4 at the dish with two doubles and three RBIs. Greenfield also scored three of its runs on wild pitches.

“The guys are excited, this was one of the team’s goals at the beginning of the season,” Suchanek said. “It was a great day to play, we had a great crowd there, and we got the hitting and pitching we were looking for. This is the time of year you want to be playing your best ball and hopefully we have some momentum heading into the tournament.”

Watroba struck out one and did not walk a batter in five innings of work for Frontier. Jared Allis doubled for Frontier (14-6, 12-4), while Niko Ames singled, drove in a run and stole a base.

Softball

Wahconah 4, Frontier 3 — Gabby Lavinio hit her 12th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie and lift Wahconah Regional High School to a 4-3 independent softball victory over Frontier Regional School Monday afternoon in Dalton.

Lavinio’s solo shot off Frontier starter Krystal Enko dropped the Red Hawks to 14-6 to end the regular season. Frontier had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning when Cassidy Stankowski hit a two-out triple, but she was stranded there by Wahconah pitcher Becca Grunow, who finished with five strikeouts and no walks in six innings of eight-hit ball.

Enko finished with six strikeouts and one walk over six innings, giving up six hits. Wahconah took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run single by Bizzy King, but Frontier came back to plate three runs in the top of the fourth. Caitlin Sullivan hit a two-run triple for the Red Hawks in the frame, while McKayla Poissant (three hits) added an RBI single.

Frontier will learn its seed in the WMass Division II tournament tonight at 5 at Northampton High School during the WMass Seeding Meeting.

St. Bernard’s 10, Athol 9 (9) — St. Bernard’s High School scored three times in the top of the ninth inning and Athol High School was only able to answer with two runs in the bottom of the frame as the Bernardians edged the Red Raiders, 10-9, in independent softball play Monday in Athol.

Michelle Staples hit for the cycle and drove in three runs for St. Bernard’s, while winning pitcher Danielle Martin (five strikeouts, one walk) finished with three hits and two RBIs.

Julia Salmond hit a solo home run for the Red Raiders in the bottom of the sixth inning but Athol still trailed St. Bernard’s 6-3 heading into the seventh inning. Staples launched a solo home run in the top of the seventh, and Athol found itself down four in the bottom. Guerin blasted a home run in the seventh to tie the score, and Athol actually had a chance to win the game when Salmond tripled, but she was stranded to push the game into extra innings.

Salmond finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle as part of a four-hit, four-RBI day at the plate. Guerin finished with three RBIs, and Liz Arpide registered two hits and two RBIs. Trisha Hazen suffered the loss, striking out seven and walking four.

Athol (11-9 overall) will find out its seed in the WMass Division II tournament today at 5.

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