High Schools: Turners Falls softball slugs past Frontier

  • Turners Falls’ Jade Tyler puts the game away with her second home run in the top of the seventh against Frontier in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls’ Jade Tyler puts the game away with her second home run in the top of the seventh against Frontier in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls’ Taylor Murphy connects for a base hit in the top of the seventh against Frontier in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Charlotte Doulette runs home after belting a home run against Turners Falls in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Olivia Deane pitches against Turners Falls in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls’ Olivia Whittier makes a diving catch at first base for the out against Frontier in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young tracks down a fly ball for the out against Frontier in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Lucia Doulette takes second as Turners Falls’ Taylor Murphy collects the throw in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Olivia Deane pitches against Turners Falls in South Deerfield on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 6/11/2021 9:05:18 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — One big inning at the plate from Turners Falls and a trio of late home runs proved to be the difference on Friday in a softball game between the Thunder and Frontier. 

Turners took an early 4-0 lead, with Holly Myers smashing a solo shot in the top of the fourth to put the Thunder up, 5-0. The Redhawks tallied a pair of runs themselves in the fourth but Jade Tyler made her presence felt from that point on. 

The senior smashed a solo home run in the top of the fifth then added a two-run shot in the top of the seventh — her 11th and 12th of the season in just 12 games — to help propel Turners to a 9-2 Franklin County League victory. 

The win also seals up the FCL title for the Thunder (12-0, 11-0). 

“She has been really awesome,” Turners coach Gary Mullins said of Tyler. “If we had a 20-game schedule she would take the school home run record and run with it. She’s a great hitter. I don’t know anyone who’s hitting and pitching as well as she is.” 

In the circle, Tyler went the distance and surrendered just four hits and giving up just one walk. She had four strikeouts in the game, with Frontier (7-5, 6-5 FCL) consistently putting the ball in play, but the Thunder defense behind her consistently making plays. 

One big play cam in the bottom of the second, with second baseman Taylor Murphy fielding a ground ball, tagging out Redhawk Charlotte Doulette who was running to second before 

tossing to first to throw out Delaney Fifield before she reached first. 

“Taylor is a player,” Mullins said. “She’s a really good defensive player. You watch her field, for a tall kid, her glove is always down nice and low. She’s so solid.”

Turners got out to a quick start, with Olivia Whittier getting things going with a leadoff single in the first. Tyler drew a walk and Julianna Rode hit a single to load the bases for Madison Liimatainen. The eighth-grader reached on a fielders choice error, bringing Whittier in to score. 

Paige Sulda — who was courtesy running for Tyler — scored on a passed ball before Myers cracked a single to put the Thunder up, 3-0. Liimatainen stole home on a passed ball to put Turners up, 4-0, before Frontier had gotten to the plate. 

“Any time you can get early runs like that — that’s the great part of being the visiting team — if you can get some in the first inning it gives your defense a chance to take a breath,” Mullins said. “Fortunately, it helped us a little bit. It really helps getting the early runs. They’re a good offense.” 

Following Myers’ home run in the top of the fourth, the Redhawks responded with a deep shot of their own. 

Lucia Doulette reached first with a single and Charlotte Doulette crushed a home run on the very next at bat to cut the Thunder lead to 5-2. 

Macy Ring cracked a single in the sixth, but it would be the lone hit Tyler gave up after Doulette’s homer. 

“It was a really good game,” Frontier coach Gary Deane said. “It was one of the better games we’ve played. Offensively, we only had four strikeouts in seven innings. We were hitting the ball. We’re in the right spot at this time of year going into the tournament.”

Tyler’s home run in the fifth put Turners up, 6-2. The top of the Thunder order came to the plate in the seventh with Whittier once again getting a rally started, this time with a double. Murphy brought her home with a single and Tyler hit a high bomb that just made it over the fence to give Turners a 9-2 cushion going into the bottom of the seventh. 

Olivia Deane went the distance in the circle for Frontier, striking out three and doing a great job of keeping the powerful Thunder lineup at bay for the majority of the game. 

Both teams close out the regular season on Tuesday, with Turners taking on Mahar and the Redhawks traveling to Athol to take on the Bears. 

With Frontier’s final three games being Greenfield, the Thunder and Athol, it couldn’t have asked for better teams to prepare it for the postseason. 

“It’s the way you want it,” Deane said. “It’s tough to swallow because we had a good record before but in terms of the games and the talent we’re playing, our skills are increasing. We’re in the right spot. It’s not a long season so everybody had to cut corners to get here quicker than usual. I was happy with them tonight.” 

Softball

Franklin Tech 24, Amherst 2 — The hits came early and often for the Eagles on Friday in Amherst. 

Keira Stevens crushed a three-run homer in the third inning and Faith Smith followed it up with a two-run blast in the fourth as Franklin Tech cruised past the Hurricanes, 24-2, in a Tri-County North showdown. 

Lilly Ross picked up the win in the circle for the Eagles (12-2, 10-0), striking out nine in four innings of work. Kaitlin Trudeau struck out a pair in relief. 

Ross and Trudeau each had four hits at the plate — one of Ross’ hits a triple — with Ross knocking in three runs  and Trudeau adding an RBI. Mackenzie Martel had a trio of hits and three RBIs, Faith Smith recorded three hits and two RBIs, Kendra Campbell hit a triple and knocked in a run and Lauren Ross doubled and knocked in a pair of runs in the win. 

Baseball

Franklin Tech 4, Athol 2 — It was a pitchers’ duel between the Eagles and Bears on Friday in Athol. 

Joe Boyden, Alex Sulda and Nate Sciandra combined for seven strikeouts and gave up a total of just six hits for Franklin Tech while Noah Pottinger surrendered a mere four hits in six and two-thirds innings of work on the hill, but it was the Eagles who came out with a 4-2 independent win. 

Boyden got the start on the mound for Franklin Tech — being called upon for his first start of the season with it being the Eagles’ third game in three days — and impressed, giving up four hits and striking out two in three innings of work. 

Gavin Rubio had a pair of hits and four steals for the Eagles (9-7), scoring on a hit-and-run in the fourth inning. Ty Sadoski smacking a double, Sciandra added a hit and an RBI and Cayden Lehtomaki drove in a pair of runs for Tech. 

Connor Mahony had two hits for Athol (5-7), with Pottinger and Keegan Lutz hitting doubles. Jack Bonenfant and Noah Wein also had hits for the Bears, with Pottinger and Bonenfant driving in the lone two runs in the loss. 

Belchertown 8, Greenfield 2 — Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Green Wave committed a few too many errors which allowed the Orioles to tack five more runs on the board, ultimately leading to an 8-2 Hampshire League West loss for Greenfield on Friday in Belchertown. 

David Carey had an RBI single while Drew Conant had the lone other hit for the Green Wave (7-6, 4-6 HLW). 

Brody Baird had a pair of strikeouts on the mound for Greenfield. 

Boys volleyball

Athol 3, East Longmeadow 1 — Holden Girouard dished out 23 assists to go along with five aces and three kills as the Bears earned a 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 25-15 PVIAC East win on the road against the Spartans on Friday.

Luke Inniss led the way with eight kills and three aces for Athol (6-4, 6-3).  Colin Mason also tallied eight kills and added an ace, with Devin Maxwell recording three aces and three kills and Raymond Castine knotching five aces and three kills in the win. 


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