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Terryville holds off Thomaston, 7-6. Moves into Class S softball finals.

POSTED June 06, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Stratford: Just when the stories were half written and the Terryville celebration simply a formality, something strange happened at DeLuca Field in Stratford during the Class S semi-finals between Thomaston and the Kangaroos.

Up 7-2 in the top of the seventh with a world class pitcher named Jamie Bridge just three outs away from taking her team to the finals against Oxford later this week, it seemed only a matter of three little outs.

But oh, how those last three can be the hardest.

The Golden Bears refused to go quietly into the night, scoring four runs on two bunts that plated a pair even though each rolled maybe a total of ten feet up the first base line.

7-6 with two out in the top of the seventh was perhaps more like some though this one would play out.

Bridge though, struck out the last of her 14 batters and the ‘Roos are on to the finals.

“I had all the confidence in the world in Jamie.” Terryville coach Stephanie Konopaske said. “I’m never comfortable with any lead but we got the job done.”

A six-run bottom of the second by the Kangaroos shocked the Bears early but Thomaston fought back with single runs in the third and fourth innings but Bridge was still racking up the K’s when she needed them.

Coming into the game, Thomaston head coach Gene Torrence thought his team had a good plan of attack and his team took after the talented Bridge right off the bat.

Alexa Torrence lined a shot that was caught for the first out but the mold had been cast.

“We wanted to come out and be aggressive with our at bats, looking to go to the right side.” Torrence said. “We wanted to use her strength to our advantage.”

Karley Conway stuck with the game plan and looped a double down the first base line to put the Bears in business.

Abby Hulburt did the same with a flair over first that put runners on second and third with one out.

In their last meeting, the Kangaroos and Bridge won 1-0 in 13 inning with Bridge striking out an astounding 28 batters in the game.

Runs would certainly be at a premium so taking advantage of early opportunities would seem to be critical but that’s why Jamie Bridge is who she is.

The senior flame thrower struck out the next two batters and left the mound without giving up a run.

Hurlbert was herself pretty special in the last game, striking out 16 in the 13-inning battle and got off to a strong start with help from her right fielder.

After Jenn Luba led off the bottom of the first with a line drive off Bear second baseman Shannon April’s glove for hit, Angel Katiewicz lined a shot to right that was grabbed by Erin O’Neill who threw behind the runner at first for the double play.

Bridge settled down in the second, striking out two of three in the frame, leading to an inning that featured as many errors as hits and a half a dozen errors, something Torrence wasn’t counting on.

“If you would have told me that we would have had as many errors as they had hits at that point, I would not have believed you.” Torrence said. “Our defense has been amazing.”

About everything that could go wrong in the frame did, from the three errors to a misplayed fly ball that went for a double to a ball that should not have been cut off on it’s way to the plate and before it was over, the home team was up 6-0.

Still, the Bears listened to their coaches and tried to stick to the plan of attacking Bridge and got two back to make it a 6-2 score.

The Kangaroos would tack on another in the bottom of the sixth, a run that would truly prove necessary in the long run.

At 7-2 and in need of just three outs, it seemed in the bag for the Kangaroos but in true Berkshire League rival style, Thomaston rallied for those four runs but simply ran out of outs and Terryville will represent the BL in the finals against Oxford.

The two teams tied for the regular season title with 16-3 marks. Terryville beat Thomaston twice during the regular season and put a ribbon on things Tuesday night in Stratford. They are the best team in the Berkshire League and have a chance to be the best in Class S with one more win in 2013.

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