Softball roundup: Hannah Gilbert, Franklin Tech hold off Frontier for 15th win

Franklin Tech pitcher Hannah Gilbert throws against Hopkins Academy earlier this season in Hadley.

Franklin Tech pitcher Hannah Gilbert throws against Hopkins Academy earlier this season in Hadley. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 05-13-2024 9:02 PM

TURNERS FALLS — With just one game left until the Western Mass. tournament gets underway, Monday’s contest between the Franklin Tech and Frontier softball teams was a good way for both squads to prepare for the type of competition they’ll be seeing in the postseason. 

The Eagles jumped on the Redhawks early, scoring one run in the first inning and three in the second to take a 4-0 lead. Hannah Gilbert did the rest, limiting a tough Frontier lineup to two runs, with Franklin Tech walking away with a 5-2 victory at Nancy Gifford Field. 

“It was a regular season game but we tried treating it like a postseason game,” Eagles coach Joe Gamache said. “We know that’s a talented team who will be playing postseason softball. We’re going to be playing postseason softball where we’ll see teams like this and have to beat teams like this. We wanted to have a focused mindset.”

Gilbert limited the Redhawks (9-8) to five hits, striking out 11. Frontier seventh grader Raine Wonsey was impressive in the circle as well, going the distance, striking out three and scattering nine hits. 

“Hannah Gilbert pitched a great game,” Redhawks coach Gary Deane said. “That’s the kind of pitcher we want to see heading into the postseason. That was a good game. We’re ready for the tournament.” 

Franklin Tech (15-2) got on the board in the first after Kait Trudeau doubled and Giilbert scored her with a base hit. 

The Eagles offense kept their foot on the gas in the second. Jenna Petrowicz singled, Lilly Ross walked before Gilbert came to the plate and singled to left. Petrowicz beat the throw home, then the throw to get Ross made it to the outfield which also allowed Ross to score. Kylee Gamache then smashed a double to drive in Gilbert, giving Tech a 4-0 lead. 

“Hannah gave us a great pitching performance,” Joe Gamache said. “Defensively we made some plays behind her. We got some timely hits and that was the difference in the game.” 

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Frontier got one back in the third. Delaney Fifield kicked things off with a single and Skyler Steele blasted a double to the fence to score Fifield. Sophia Pinardi singled Steele in to cut the lead to 4-2 going into the bottom of the third. 

Tech tacked on its final run in the fifth. Gianna DiSciullo walked, moved over following a Petrowicz single and scored on a wild pitch to put the Eagles ahead, 5-2. 

Gilbert went 4-for-4 at the plate while Gamache tallied a pair of hits including the double in the win. Steele cracked two doubles, putting the freshman at 98 career hits, while Hailey Hutkoski added a base hit for Frontier. 

Deane noted he was impressed with how the Redhawks defense played, noting they’ve been a strong unit throughout the season. 

“We have a really good defense,” Deane said. “We’re not a strikeout team. The ball goes in play and we do a really good job in the field today.” 

Frontier hosts Taconic on Wednesday to close out its regular season while Franklin Tech hosts Pioneer on Wednesday to finish up its regular season slate. 

Pioneer 26, Athol 13 — Kelly Baird lit it up at the plate for the Panthers, cracking two doubles, two home runs, a single and six RBIs in a Franklin County League East win over the Bears on Monday in Athol. 

Natalie Johnson doubled to drive in a run, Avery Johnson, Laylah Goulston and Allie Clary all recorded a pair of hits and RBIs, Jacobi Tyminski tallied four hits and four RBIs, Maggie Tsipenyuk had two hits and an RBI while Roslynn Moore finished with a hit and an RBI for Pioneer. 

Jenna Bonenfant cracked two doubles and a single, Jaylynn Chapalonis and Ally Robertson each doubled while Celia Fox hit safely for Athol. 

Greenfield 4, Agawam 1 — Make it 10 wins in a row for the Green Wave, which pulled away with a road victory over the Brownies behind three hits, one a triple, and two RBIs from MacKenzie Paulin. 

Ellis Benitez cracked two hits, Ivy Rae and Anna Bucala each singled while Gloria McDonald and Meghan Collins drove in runs for Greenfield. Paulin struck out seven and scattered four hits in the win. 

Hopkins 16, Mahar 1 (5) — Dakota Cleveland recorded a pair of hits in the Senators’ Franklin County League East loss to the Golden Hawks in Hadley Monday. 

Avery Savage, MacKenzie Matthews and Alivia Patch hit safely for Mahar.