Murphy powers Thunder

  • Turners Falls’ Alyson Murphy hits a two-run home run for her 100th career hit in the bottom of the fifth inning against Greenfield at the Bourdeau Fields Complex Monday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls cheers for Alyson Murphy as she crosses the plate after hiting a two-run home run for her 100th career hit in the bottom of the fifth inning against Greenfield at the Bourdeau Fields Complex Monday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Cassidhe Wozniak throws to first for an out against Greenfield in the top of the fifth inning Monday night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Audrey Bresciano fields a grounder at third base for an out against Turners Falls in the bottom of the second inning Monday night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls second baseman Taylor Murphy, right, throws to first baseman Lexi Lacey for an out against Greenfield in the top of the fourth inning at the Bourdeau Fields Complex Monday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Audrey Bresciano singles in the top of the second inning against Turners Falls at the Bourdeau Fields Complex Monday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Olivia Whittier singles in the bottom of the second inning against Greenfield at the Bourdeau Fields Complex Monday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Taylor Murphy forces out Greenfield baserunner Audrey Bresciano at second base before throwing to first in the top of the fourth inning Monday night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 5/20/2019 10:58:36 PM

TURNERS FALLS — One Aly Murphy swing of the bat Monday night guaranteed the Franklin County League title will reside exclusively in the Powertown this season.

The Turners Falls High School catcher blasted a two-out, two-strike pitch over the left field fence with a runner on base in the bottom of the fifth inning, breaking a scoreless tie and vaulting the Thunder to an eventual 3-0 victory over Greenfield in a battle of the top two teams in the FCL at the Bourdeau Fields Complex. The victory capped a season sweep of the Green Wave and secured the league title outright after the teams shared top honors a year ago.

“We didn’t want to share it,” Turners head coach Gary Mullins said of the FCL crown. “Greenfield came out and wanted to battle tonight. They didn’t want to go down easily. But we wanted to go out and do the job.” 

Murphy certainly did her part. With two outs in the fifth and Cassidhe Wozniak on first base after reaching on an infield single, the junior battled Greenfield hurler Olivia Joy in what wound up being quite a back-and-forth. With two strikes, Murphy managed to check her swing, with first base umpire Adam Frenier confirming she did not go around upon a check from Greenfield catcher Kelsey Richardson. On the very next pitch, Murphy drilled a bomb that easily cleared the left-field fence, staking the Thunder to a 2-0 lead.

“She was hitting us on outside pitches all night,” Murphy explained of Joy, who bounced back nicely from the teams’ last meeting — a 14-1 Turners victory — with nine strikeouts and just one walk. “She left that pitch a little too close to the middle.”

Other than that one pitch, Greenfield coach Rian Lovett liked the way her senior threw the ball against a powerful Turners lineup.

“Liv threw a great game, she seems to be getting stronger as the year goes on,” Lovett said. “She made a mistake on a pitch and Aly made her pay. That’s what good hitters are going to do.”

The home run was the 100th career hit of Murphy’s career, and she’s been an offensive force of late, prompting Mullins to slide her up the batting order. The long ball in general has been an important part of the Turners repertoire, with Murphy’s shot being the team’s 20th this season. It was her third of the year.

“Great at-bat,” Mullins said of Murphy’s homer. “She battled, battled, battled. We sincerely work on (home runs). I know it sounds silly, but we want to hit home runs. We’re looking to hit the ball hard every time.”

Turners improved to 16-0 overall, 11-0 in the league with just one FCL contest remaining. The Thunder will look to complete an undefeated league slate tonight on the road at Pioneer (6 p.m.).

“It feels really good to actually claim that title,” said Murphy. “We’ve worked so hard for that opportunity. Everyone on this team deserves it.”

Greenfield (11-4, 8-2) set out to prove the teams’ first meeting at Vets Field earlier this month was an aberration. Joy set the tone early, wiggling out of trouble with runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings with strikeouts. Turners threatened in the bottom of the fourth, when Hailey Bogusz tripled with one out and the game still scoreless. But the senior right-hander buckled down, getting a strikeout and a fly out to end the frame and keep things scoreless.

“I saw my kids a little nervous early in  the game, to be honest,” said Mullins. “We struck out on some outside pitches, the kids got a little uneasy. And that made me a little nervous as well.”

Greenfield threatened to take the lead in the top of the fifth. Gianna Conte doubled to left-center field with two outs, but Turners pitcher Jade Tyler handled the situation well. The sophomore struck out Racquel Provost to keep the Wave off the board.

“She’s going to give us her best effort, we know that,” said Mullins of Tyler, who struck out six and didn’t walk a batter in seven innings.

Murphy’s home run changed the complexion of the game, and the Powertown tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Juliana Rode reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs, and scored on the second of back-to-back Green Wave errors to make it a 3-0 game.

Raegan Hickey doubled and took third on a groundout in the top of the seventh, but Greenfield was unable to get on the board. Tyler sealed the deal when she got pinch hitter Nikki Miner to line out to Olivia Whittier in center field for the game’s final out.

While Turners has just the lone FCL game tonight remaining, there are several interesting independent challenges awaiting. The Thunder play the likes of Wachusett, Minnechaug and Hampshire before the postseason begins.

“I still think we have better softball to come,” Murphy said of her squad’s performance to date.

Turners had a 5-4 edge in hits. 

Greenfield takes to the road today for an independent game agains t South Hadley.

Turners 3, Greenfield 0

Greenfield ............... 000 000 0 — 0  4  3

Turners ...................  000 021 x — 3  5  0

Hits: (G) Lavoine, Hickey, Bresciano, Conte. (TF) Wozniak, T. Murphy, A. Murphy, Whittier, Bogusz.

2B: (G) Hickey, Conte.

3B: (TF) Bogusz.

HR: (TF) A. Murphy.

RBI: (TF) A. Murphy 2.

WP: Tyler (7ip, 6k, 0bb).

LP: Joy (6ip, 9k, 1bb).




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