Tribe shoots for 10 straight titles
Frontier 5/1/13. Turners Falls pitcher #15 Dakota Smith-Porter, starts her delivery to the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning.
photo by J. Anthony Roberts
Frontier 4/19/13. Frontier's #8 Caitlin Sullivan, turns on a waist high fastball to drive in a run in the bottom of the 4th inning.
photo by J. Anthony Roberts
Frontier 4/19/13. Frontier's pitcher #18 Krystel Enko, starts her wind up to the plate in the top of the 1st inning.
photo by J. Athony Roberts
Turners Falls High School’s drive for double digits begins this week.
The Indians, who are chasing their 10th consecutive sectional title, were one of four area teams who learned their fate Tuesday at Northampton High School during the annual Western Massachusetts Softball Tournament Committee seed meeting.
Turners (18-2) earned the second seed in the Division III field, which will include 10 teams. Mt. Everett Regional School (19-1), which has won 18 straight games behind veteran hurler Alicia Bazonski, garnered the top seed. Both teams earned a first-round bye.
Turners could very likely face a familiar foe in the quarterfinals — Pioneer Valley Regional School (10-10), which needed to win its final regular-season game just to qualify for the postseason, was seeded seventh and drew a first-round home game against 10th-seeded Gateway Regional High School (9-10) Friday night, either at 6 or 7. A final determination on the game time will be made this morning.
If Pioneer wins, however, head coach Joel Cole said his squad will likely go to Turners on Saturday night for a quarterfinal matchup of longtime Franklin County League rivals.
Turners head coach Gary Mullins wasn’t surprised with his seed.
“I certainly thought we were going to be a 2,” said the veteran mentor, whose teams have qualified for 31 consecutive sectional tourneys. “The kids are ready to play.”
Mullins wasn’t completely enamored with the ideas of yet another third-game scenario if the Indians and Panthers meet.
“Third-game scenarios drive me crazy,” he admitted. “I’m not a big fan of them. I’ve been involved in so many of them that wacky things can happen.”
In Division II, Frontier Regional School drew the sixth seed in the 11-team field and already faces that third-game scenario. The Red Hawks (14-6) will go up against FCL rival and 11th seed Athol High School (11-9) Thursday at 4 at Zabek Field in South Deerfield.
“I wasn’t sure where we were going to land, but it’s nice to have a home game, definitely,” said Frontier head coach Carrie Fydenkevez. “There’s always this talk of where you’re going to get seeded, but it doesn’t matter in the long run. You just have to play the game.”
The winner of the Frontier-Athol game will advance to the quarterfinals at third-seeded Palmer High School.
Fydenkevez was relieved about her draw.
“I don’t want to overlook anyone because it’s one game at a time, but I’m glad we’re not in the same bracket with Hampshire,” she said, referring to their FCL rival and the defending WMass champion. “We made some physical and mental errors against (No. 2 seed) Wahconah (Monday). We need to play tight, clean games in the tournament. You can’t make mistakes against tournament teams, (because) they’ll make you pay.”
Semifinal and championship games will return to UMass’ Sortino Field. Semifinal games will be played on Tuesday, as well as June 5 and June 6, and all three WMass finals are scheduled to be played on June 8.