One team rallied from an eight-run deficit to win, and another saw its comeback fall just short in the final championship games of the Berkshire County Softball Championships on Tuesday night.
In the 16-and-under division, the Berkshire Force trailed, 8-0, early but came back to beat the Greylock Thunder, 12-8, under the lights at the Doyle Complex in Pittsfield.
At Dalton’s American Legion Field, the ACS Swat 10-and-under team jumped out to a 14-2 lead and held on for a 15-14 win over host Dalton.
Ash Lesure held Dalton to two runs over the first two innings in the circle for ACS Swat, allowing her team to build a 12-run lead midway through the third.
She then returned to the circle with a runner on and a two-run lead in the bottom of the sixth and retired three of four batters she faced to preserve the victory.
ACS scored five in the top of the first thanks to three walks, a couple of errors and a two-run single from Emily Raschdorf.
In the second, Dakota Marko and Marya Cappiello each singled in a three-run rally to put the Swat up, 8-0.
Dalton got a pair back when Hanna Talora singled to right to score a pair in the bottom of the second, but ACS maxed out in the third, scoring six while recording just one out.
Lesure hit a two-run triple, and Raschdorf added an RBI single in that rally, which left their team with the biggest lead of the game, 14-2.
Dalton answered with a six-spot of its own in the bottom of the third. Kileigh Sinopoli had the big hit, a two-run single, in that rally.
In the top of the fourth, Nora Moser singled her way on base, stole second and moved up on a wild pitch before Rashdorf (4-for-4 with a double and four RBIs) brought her home with an infield single to make it 15-8.
But the hosts were not done. Dalton scored three in the fourth, which saw Elena Iovieno and Meg O’Bryan each single. It got two more in the fifth on RBIs from Iovieno and O’Bryan to get within two runs at 15-13.
After reliever Lily Hinton pitched her second scoreless inning in the top of the sixth for Dalton, her team went to the bottom of the frame with a chance to tie it.
Sammie Kaley drew a leadoff walk, stole second, moved up on a Skylar Rosier groundout and scored on Sinopoli’s grounder to make it 15-14 with two out.
After Kacie Harte worked a walk and took second base to put the tying run in scoring position, Lesure got the final out of the game on a ground ball to shortstop Rachel Wnuk.
Brianna Clary’s inside-the-park grand slam highlighted an epic comeback for the Berkshire Force, which came out on the winning end against a familiar foe.
“We’ve been back and forth all summer,” Force coach Jim Clary said. “This is the 11th time we’ve played these girls. The states, the regionals, the Dalton Tournament, we played. We ended up coming out on top this time, but that’s a good team to play.”
The Greylock Thunder scored eight runs over the first two innings.
In the first, Abby Lear and Gabby Vincent each singled in a six-run rally. In the second, Anna Dix and Katie Braman each doubled, but Force pitcher Mary Lee was able to limit the damage, allowing just a pair of runs.
Lee (nine strikeouts) allowed just two runners to get into scoring position and stranded four runners the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Berkshire’s offense got on the board in the third when Jenica Ostelino raced home from second on Emma Parkington’s infield single.
The Force exploded for five in the fourth, when Clary launched a ball deep to right center with the bases loaded and chased everyone home to make it an 8-6 game.
“That turned the momentum right around,” Jim Clary said. “That’s my daughter, so I’m really happy for her. She’s been doing that all summer long. She’s been really hitting the ball well, and she’s got the speed to get around the bases.”
In the fifth, four Greylock errors allowed the Force to score six runs on just one hit to take the lead. With Greylock clinging to an 8-7 lead, Kiki Carrington drove in Szofia Lewis, Taylar Ostrander and Evelyn Fuls with a single to give the Force the lead.
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