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Bears take control in BL softball

POSTED April 25, 2016
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

            WOODBURY –  What do the numbers tell you in April? Maybe more than you think in Berkshire League softball circles.

            Sure, the calendar says it’s early and we’re just about halfway through the season leaving a lot of games left to be played. But after Monday afternoon, Title-Town is sniffing another crown. Yep, even in April.

            Title-Town answers to the name Thomaston, the defending BL softball, basketball and field hockey champions. In a battle for first place, the Bears upended Nonnewaug, 7-1, for their 30th straight BL win dating back to 2014.

            The victory puts the Bears (9-0 BL, 9-1 overall) two games ahead of Wamogo (8-2) and two games in the loss column ahead of Nonnewaug (6-2) and Northwestern (5-2) and it is very hard to figure them losing more than two games the rest of the way. In all honesty, it is kind of hard to see them losing more than one game. And yeah, they could run the table. Again.

            Some funny things would have to happen, very funny things for somebody else to move the king off the throne. That’s the big picture. In the small picture, the Bears aren’t thinking about that kind of grand scenario. Just the next day and the next game.

            “We don’t talk about standings or the end of the season thing,” said Thomaston coach Kelly Finlay. “We know it’s one game at a time against good competition.”

            ‘We’re getting better each day,” said Morgan Sanson. “Today wasn’t necessarily our best day but we just worry about ourselves, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is.”

            Despite the final score, this one was hardly easy. But like in most cases the Bears find ways and one of their consistent ways is the irrepressible Sanson. The senior lefty scattered four hits while striking out 12, more than enough for the Bears to get their offense going.

            Locked in a 1-1 battle going into the fifth inning and struggling to find the big hit, leaving seven runners on, the Bears finally broke through. Alexa Milius got it started when she lined a one-out double off of third baseman Arianna Laracuente’s glove.

            Sanson then muscled a soft single up the middle to plate Milius for a 2-1 lead. Sam Brostek followed with a single to right field and the ensuing throw to third went out of play, allowing Sanson to score. Brotek then made it 4-1 when she scored on Nicole Schaefer’s ground out.

            That was all Sanson needed. She pitched no-hit ball the rest of the way, allowing just two baserunners, both on walks. The Bears plated two more runs in the sixth on another Sanson RBI single and a wild pitch and completed the scoring in the seventh when Danielle Genest scored Kaitlyn Root (3-for-3) wth a single.

            “We’ve been hitting decent but we have a tendency to leave a lot of runners on,” said Finlay. “But, we’ve been working really, really hard on our hitting and it will come around.”

            For Nonnewaug there was a bit of the what-if in the loss. Two errors led to the Bears’ first run. Another error led to a run in the fifth inning and wild pitch accounted for another Thomaston run. the Chiefs also had a runner thrown out trying to steal home on a ball that Schaefer retrieved behind the plate and tagged the runner sliding home.

            “A lot of people will look at the paper and think Thomaston did to us what it has done to every other team in the league,” said Chiefs coach Kat Parlato. “Our problem is that we just don’t play seven innings. We just kind of handed some things to Thomaston. When you are competitive you have to step up the moment and we didn’t. And you have to get over the intimidation factor with Thomaston.”

            Nonnewaug scored its only run in the fourth inning when Heather Abramovich whacked a triple to right field and scored on an error one batter later.

And so the relentless Thomaston Express moves on in a game that spoke volumes even in late April. It’s later than you think, the Thomaston Bears said so Monday.  

Thomaston      001 032 1—7 10 2

Nonnewaug     000 100 0—1 4 4

Morgan Sanson and Nicole Schaefer; Victoria Heavens, Pam Schork (6) and Allly Codianna; Sanson 12 strikeouts; Sanson 2 hits, 2 RBI, Kaitlyn Root 3 hits.

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