THOMASTON >> Thomaston’s softball team put themselves in firm control of the Berkshire League with a 3-2 win over second-place Northwestern Wednesday afternoon.
The Golden Bears (14-0; 13-0 BL) are defending league and Class S Champions.
Northwestern (11-4; 11-3 BL) is a perennial Berkshire League softball power, but runs out of direct chances at Thomaston with this game.
Nonnewaug, with three BL losses, plays the Bears once more. Nevertless, asking for help from two other teams in Thomaston’s remaining five games is asking a lot.
“We woke up too late,” said Northwestern coach Stacey Zematis after Wednesday’s game.
The Highlanders went three innings without a hit against Thomaston pitcher Morgan Sanson (7 innings, 1 earned run, 4 hits, 9 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hit batters), despite a walk and a hit batter in the second.
Thomaston coach Kelly Finlay thought her team started slow against Northwestern’s Monica Swartley (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks), but in this clash of normally hard-hitting teams, every hit was precious.
By the time Northwestern had their first hit, the Bears had three runs on the board.
Gabrielle Hulbert started it with a double to left field in the first inning, then stole third. Two batters later, Alexa Milius lined a single to left for the game’s first run.
Next inning, Thomaston’s Sam Brostek lined a ball off the top of a Highlander’s glove. Danielle Genest singled her to second. Julia Romaniello (2-for-3, triple) singled Brostek home. Genest followed on the heels of an error, 3-0.
Northwestern held the Bears to three more hits in the game, including a triple and single from Romaniello and Sanson in the fifth inning, coming up empty on a double steal attempt.
The Highlanders got their bats going in the fourth, beginning with a Thomaston error putting Kelsi Hodgkin on first.
With one out, Gina Weingart lined an RBI double to left center field.
With two outs, Michaela Cisowski doubled to right. Weingart raced home, 3-2.
“Northwestern is always a great hitting team,” said Sanson.
“Our whole lineup is strong,” said Thomaston’s Romaniello.
Wednesday, both offenses went home frustrated.
“Our defense was good except for that one inning,” said Coach Zematis.
“Our defense stepped up when they had to,” said Coach Finlay.
The Highlander D had its finest moment on Romaniello and Sanson’s attempted double steal in the fifth from third and first.
In a set play executed perfectly, catcher Katie Wald fired to second baseman Hodgkin charging in. Hodgkin threw back to Wald in time to catch the fleet-footed Romaniello at the plate.
Thomaston second baseman Genest had the Bears’ play of the game in the final inning, knocking down a hot lead-off grounder by Julia Petrarca, then firing from her knees in time to get the out at first.
Shepaug, 8-4, gets the next crack at the Bears, Friday in Washington Depot.
The Highlanders go against cross-town Winsted rival Gilbert (3-10) at Walker Field.
Thomaston 3, Northwestern 2
At Thomaston High School
Northwestern 000 200 0 – 2 4 2
Thomaston 120 000 0 – 3 7 1
WP: Morgan Sanson. LP: Monica Swartley. 3B: T – Julia Romaniello. 2B: NW – Gina Weingart; Michaela Cisowski. T – Gabrielle Hulbert.
Records: Northwestern 11-4 (11-3 Berkshire League); Thomaston 14-0 (13-0 Berkshire League).