Boston High School: Kurt DeGrenier

D3 softbal semi: Assabet Valley 3, Mt. Everett 1

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
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AMHERST, Mass. -- Mount Everett was feeling it. After putting together six solid innings of shutout ball, and leading 1-0, the Eagles entered the seventh and final inning of Wednesday’s Division 3 state semifinal a bit giddy knowing they stood on the cusp of earning their first state final appearance in school history.
With their junior hard-throwing pitcher Alicia Bazonski tossing zeros on the scoreboard, conditions seemed ideal for this Berkshire-based school to continue in its history-making quest.


Not so fast.


Central Mass. champ Assabet Valley, who were virtually non-existent at the plate over the first six frames showed some much-needed life in the seventh. The Aztecs were able to push across the tying run in the frame and then added two more in the eighth to claim an improbable 3-1 triumph at UMass.


What the Eagles failed to accomplish in their inability to tack on a couple of more runs during regulation would prove to be their demise. Assabet, a team noted for scratching and clawing until the final out, stuck to the script and the end result is an opportunity to bring home its first state championship. The Aztecs will face St. Mary’s of Lynn for the title on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. from Worcester State University’s Rockwood Field. The Eastern Mass. champs won back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010.


Needing any kind of lift, the Aztecs finally got one in the seventh. Senior Morgan Parmeter led things off by stroking a single to right. After stealing second, Parmeter took third on a Jen Casavant ground out. With Mount Everett’s infield drawn in an attempt to keep Parmeter at third on any ground ball, sophomore Maddie Parmeter, Morgan’s younger sister, ripped a hard single to right to knot game at 1-1.


“Nobody on this team wants to go home," Maddie Parmeter said. “Especially our seniors who didn’t want this to be their last game. I knew my sister was on third base and I wanted to get her home, so I just hit the ball as hard as I could. I think they were expecting bunt so I just pulled back and hit it and was able to get it past them."


Assabet’s dugout, which resembled a morgue over the first six innings, suddenly rose to life. The following inning, the Aztecs stuck the dagger in the backs of the Eagles. With two out, Brittney Lutz reached on an infield single but never stopped running. The senior ended up beating the throw to second putting the go-ahead runner into scoring position.


Lutz later revealed that she thought the ball had gotten away from first baseman Natasha MacLeay and kept on running. MacLeay, after receiving the throw from shortstop Emily Coon, hesitated long enough to allow Lutz to slide into second safely.


A bit discombobulated over the previous events, Bazonski tossed a wild pitch which allowed Lutz to easily take third. Morgan Parmeter next lined a solid single to right to put Assabet ahead. Casavant followed by ripping a hard grounder off the glove of third baseman Sam Hoover and into left field which resulted in a double and plating Parmeter with an insurance run.


In the bottom half of the eighth, Maddie Parmeter (CG, 4 hits, 5 Ks) set the Eagles down in order giving the Aztecs (20-4) their first crack to win a state crown in any sport in school history.


Having last reached the semifinal round back in 1990 when it lost to Hopedale, Mount Everett (21-2) claimed a one-run lead in their half of the third. A one-out double by Brooke Morehouse was proceeded by Chandler DeGrenier’s RBI single.


“Give Assabet the credit because they stayed with it," Eagles coach Kurt DeGrenier said. “They put the ball in play against Alicia [Bazonski] and were taking choppy swings and hitting line drives. We held them off for six innings and then they got us. I’m proud of our girls because they had a great season but today you have to give their pitcher a lot of credit. She wasn’t throwing very hard but was keeping us off-balanced. We didn’t put the ball in play very hard at all against her."


The way Bazonski was hurling, it appeared as though one run might be enough. Bazonski surrendered seven hits and struck out seven.


“That girl is a great pitcher,” Assabet coach Mike O’Brien said. “She spotted the ball well on the outside corners and throws in the lower 60s consistently. For some reason our girls never got down. We were down 1-0 going into the seventh and anyone could’ve folded at that point in time. But the character and integrity of this team is don’t stop fighting until the very last out is recorded. We started to get to (Bazonski) a little late but she’s a real competitor and I give their coaching staff a lot of credit too.”


Wahconah Regional 10, Belchertown 0
Chloe Warren, Gabrielle Lavino, Liz King and Rachel Brennan all had two hits to lead the second-seeded Warriors to a 10-0 thumping of Belchertown in the Western Mass. Division 2 final. Warren also drove in a pair.


The Warriors (21-2) scored five runs in the first inning and added five more in the fifth to put this one away. It also marked Wahconah's 21st straight victory after starting the season 0-2. The Warriors face Central Mass. and defending state champion Grafton here on Thursday in the state semifinal beginning at 3 p.m. The top-seeded Orioles complete their season at 19-5.

West softball: Agawam, Mt. Everett claim titles

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
12:51
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AMHERST, Mass. -- For those who live outside the greater Springfield area, you probably have never heard of Allison Wheeler -- yet.

Wheeler is a freshman pitcher for the Agawam Brownies but certainly does not play like one. At Sunday's Division 1 Western Mass. final, Wheeler, showcasing outstanding movement with all of her pitches, silenced the Longmeadow offense in the form of a 1-0 victory at UMass.

With the win, the fourth-seeded Brownies (17-6) claim their second consecutive district title. They now move on to Wednesday's state semifinal versus Marlborough here beginning at 5 p.m. Last year, Agawam fell to Milford in the semifinal round.

"Allison has really come into her own this season," Brownies coach Kathy Georgina said. "Today she put the ball where she needed to. We had played Longmeadow twice before (earning a split) and we had studied their hitters. We had them all mapped out and Allison put the ball where she needed to so they couldn't hit it. For a freshman, her maturity and composure is truly amazing."

Entering this tilt, all talk focused around two young upstart pitchers who offer little to opposing offenses. Wheeler's counterpart, sophomore Jillian Stockley, also performed well in this one. But Wheeler was a tad better. The right-hander issued a first-inning single and then proceeded to keep the second-seeded Lancers quiet for the remainder of this tilt. She also picked up seven strikeouts. Stockley gave up five hits and fanned eight giving her 225 for the year.

"We just fought the whole way and wanted this so bad," Wheeler said. "My defense made some big plays for me and I owe a lot to my catcher Rielly Wieners. She keeps me calm. I love her and I'm so excited that we get to keep going."

Stockley's lone mistake came in the Brownies first inning. Danielle Stratton led off with a bunt single. Faith Rheault then reached on an error. After a sacrifice bunt from Paige Circosta advanced both runners, Wieners hit a fly to left that was deep enough for Stratton to tag up and score on.

"I think our experience played out in getting that first run," said Georgina. "We came here and weren't nervous. I think they were a little nervous maybe in that first inning and we took advantage of that to get that run across."

From that point forward that would be the only offense put forth by both clubs as Wheeler and Stockley took over and made life difficult in the batter's box. Agawam managed to get two base runners to second in the later innings but Stockley left them stranded there.

"We knew going in we had to get some timely, clutch hits," said Longmeadow coach Steve Marcil, after his team finished at 17-5. "Wheeler pitched very well. We just didn't get a lot of good swings on her. Agawam played a great game. Danielle [Stratton] is probably the mentally-toughest kids I've ever coached. She has a plan for every pitch and every at bat. She's all business. She's just a phenomenal competitor and a great kid."

Mount Everett 3, Turners Falls 0
History says to beat a reigning state power like Turners Falls you need to be as close to perfect as one possibly can. be. The Indians have earned that reputation having won six state championships.

On Sunday, Mount Everett played near-flawless and certainly did enough to thwart the defending two-time Division 3 state champions 3-0 in the Western Mass. final played at UMass.

Much of the credit goes to Eagles hurler Alicia Bazonski. The hard-throwing righty curtailed the Indians' powerful bats throughout. After surrendering two first inning singles, the junior righty issued no more the rest of the way. At one point she set down 13 Indians in a row. Bazonski also registered six strike outs.

"This feels really good," said Bazonski, clutching her team's first district title trophy. "We knew Turners is a really good hitting team so I was just trying to keep them off-balance as much as I could. Fortunately, I was able to."

Mount Everett (22-1), the top seed, advances to Tuesday's state semifinal to be played here against Central Mass. champ Assabet Valley beginning at 5 p.m.
Having lost to the Indians in this game two years ago, Mount Everett, located in Sheffield, finally gained a little payback.

"We've been close a few times at winning this but always fell short," Eagles head coach Kurt DeGrenier said. "We live in a very tiny community so our whole community truly deserves this. Alicia [Bazonski] is the total package. I'm glad we've got her and nobody else does. She never gets rattled and never gives in. Turners has the best team in Western Mass for the last 20 years so beating them today is very special."

Mount Everett jumped ahead 1-0 in their half of the second against Indians ace Dakota Smith-Porter (CG, 4 hits, 2 Ks). Samantha Hoover walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on Emily Coon's bloop single that landed on the foul line beyond third base. On the play, Indians left fielder Amber Caouette bobbled the ball allowing Hoover to sprint home.

While No. 2 Turners Falls (20-3) bats continued to grow listless against Bazonski, the Eagles threatened to add to its lead in the fourth.

Bazonski opened with a walk. With Kayla Krom pinch-running, Hoover laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Krom to second. Alex Hoover then sent a flare to left. Caouette charged the ball, played it on a hop, and fired a laser to Indians catcher Morgan Ozdarski who tagged out Krom. On the play, Hoover took off for second but Ozdarski alertly fired a strike to second baseman Jenna Putala, who placed the tag on a sliding Hoover to end the inning.

In the sixth, the Eagles made amends after scoring a pair. Haley Finn singled. Morgan DeGrenier laid down a bunt. Ozdarski picked it up and threw it into right field. Brittany York, the right fielder, let the ball go past her with Finn crossing the plate. DeGrenier, taking third on the double error, scored moments later on Natasha MacLeay's ground out.

"I felt one run wasn't going to be enough," Bazonski said. "We knew we needed to get some more and we did."

Bazonski retired the Indians in order in the top of the seventh to deny them a chance for a third straight state crown.

"We hit a few balls hard and they made the catches," Turners Falls coach Gary Mullins said. "Their pitcher was tough and we couldn't handle it. We made three errors today and I don't think we've made three errors in over a month."

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