College Roundup: Booska, other locals shine at next level

  • Cody Booska tees off on N. 2 at the 2017 4-Ball tournament at Country Club of Greenfield on July 27. recorder file photo/Paul Franz

  • Mackenzie Phillips goes into her delivery for the WPI softball team this spring. The former Turners Falls star picked up her first three wins of the season in the pitching circle last weekend. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/WPI ATHLETICS

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

It was a good week for Cody Booska.

The Turners Falls native was named the Sun Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week for the week ending Saturday. A senior on the Johnson & Wales University Miami men’s golf team, Booska led the No. 8-ranked Wildcats to a fourth-place finish at last week’s Roadrunner Classic in Rocky Face, Geo.,

In a field that featured 11 teams ranked in the latest NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, Booska carded a 1-over-par 217 (71-74-72) to tie for fourth among 64 total athletes. His fourth-place finish and tournament stroke average of 72.3 tied the senior’s season-best tournament finish of fourth, accomplished at the Sand Shark Classic (March 5-6). Sitting at 1-over after the first two rounds, Booska finished Day 3 with a tournament-best round of even-par 72 during a day that saw no team score bellow 18-over. On the year, Booska has totaled a stroke average of 72.59 with three Top-5 finishes. Booska is currently ranked No. 23 in the nation individually by GolfStat.

Booska and the Wildcats now turn their attention to the 2018 Sun Conference Men’s Golf Championships beginning Sunday at the Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club. The three-day event will crown the 2018 TSC Champion and award an automatic berth to the NAIA National Tournament.

Phillips firing at WPI

It was a breakthrough weekend in the pitching circle for Mackenzie Phillips.

The Worcester Polytechnic Institute sophomore hurler from Gill picked up her first three wins of the season, as the Engineers went 6-0 in games against Clark, Coast Guard and Smith College to improve to 23-7 on the season.

Phillips, a 2016 graduate of Turners Falls High School, tossed five shutout innings in a 7-0 win over Clark on Thursday, and followed that with 6⅓ innings of one-run ball in WPI’s 8-3 victory Friday over Coast Guard. Back in WMass to play Smith College on Saturday, Phillips scattered four hits in four innings to earn win No. 3 of the weekend, an 11-1 thumping.

In her three appearances over the six games, Phillips struck out 11 and allowed nine hits over 15⅓ innings. She allowed just two earned runs in that span, improving her record in the circle to 3-1 in 11 total appearances (eight starts). Her ERA sits at 3.25 entering today’s doubleheader against UMass-Dartmouth.

Smith-Porter wins pair

Montague’s Dakota Smith-Porter, another Turners Falls High School alum, went 2-1 in the pitching circle over the weekend to help the Worcester State University softball team improve to 10-9 on the year.

The senior pitcher struck out four over seven innings in Worcester’s 3-1 win over Framingham State on Saturday, making it two consecutive pitching victories against the club as she also earned the decision in Game 1 of the doubleheader.

Entering today’s games against Clark, Smith-Porter has a 4-5 record with a 4.59 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

Scoville smacks first hit

Northfield’s Jess Scoville picked up her first collegiate hit on Friday, as the Westfield State University freshman smacked a triple in the Owls’ loss to Salem State. Scoville graduated from Pioneer Valley Regional School last spring after helping the Panthers to a WMass semifinal appearance.

The Westfield State squad, coached by familiar Colleen Bannister along with assistants Kristin Ouellette and Angelica Perfido, also features Frontier Regional School alum Sarah Meunier. The Deerfield native, who is an Owls freshman, has an RBI in four plate appearances this spring.

Westfield State is 7-13 overall entering today’s doubleheader against Springfield College.

Ortiz’s top-10 finishes

Leverett’s Owen Ortiz, who starred for the co-operative Franklin County Technical School track & field program and graduated from Turners Falls High School last spring, notched a pair of top-10 finishes in Saturday’s 2018 Jerry Gravel Classic in Westfield.

The Westfield State freshman finished eighth in the triple jump (40 feet, 9¾ inches) and ninth in the long jump (20-3) as the Owls took home first place as a team in their annual event on their home track.

The Owls are back in action this weekend in a meet at Springfield College.