LITCHFIELD — On a windy day at Wamogo High School, a pair of home runs by Wamogo’s Mackenzie Harnett and Lewis Mills’ Mary-Kate Cormier threatened to steal the spotlight from Cormier’s and Sam Sylvester’s spectacular pitching in a key Berkshire League softball matchup Thursday afternoon.
Instead, Wamogo’s clutch hitting and aggressive base running captured a 3-2 come-from-behind win late in the game.
“It was a great pitcher’s duel, but it came down to the teams performing,” said Wamogo coach Dave Silvester, whose 8-2 Warriors (8-1 BL) suffered their first league loss Tuesday in an 11-2 wipeout by undefeated Northwestern.
Meanwhile, the Spartans (5-4; 5-3 BL), playing with a lineup full of juniors and freshmen, prowled behind the leaders with previous league losses only to Thomaston and Wamogo.
Thursday, pitchers Cormier and Sylvester showed up at the top of their games.
Cormier allowed just four Warrior hits with seven strikeouts; Sylvester, a sophomore on a team almost as young as Mills, scattered nine hits among six strikeouts. Neither pitcher gave up a walk.
Thanks to pitching and defensive prowess, early home runs shaped the game until the sixth inning.
Cormier struck out the first two batters in a one-two-three first inning, then watched a solo shot by Harnett fly over the left field fence in the second.
“It was my first home run. I’ve been in kind of a slump,” Harnett grinned.
Sylvester got out of the first two innings with strikeouts stranding three Mills base runners, then allowed a leadoff hit by freshman Hailey Gorack (2-for-4). Two outs later, Cormier struck back with a two-run homer over the centerfield fence.
The 2-1 Mills lead stayed put for the next three innings, thanks to an inning-ending double play by the Warriors in the top of the fourth and Cormier’s mastery through the fifth.
By the bottom of the sixth, the Spartans were poised for a huge win when Cormier, nursing a two-hitter, got fly-outs to centerfield by the first two Wamogo batters.
The Warriors didn’t think so.
Sylvester dropped a catchable high fly into short left field, scrambling to second for a double in the confusion. Caitlyn Maliszewski hammered a fly to right center. Spartan Caitlyn Curran made great catches all day but dove just short on this one.
Sylvester rounded third, heading home for the tie. Maliszewski pulled in at second for another double.
Even so, a pop fly by Wheeler had a 3-3 written all over it. Instead, it popped out of the fielder’s glove with Maliszewski already half-way home from third for the win.
“This kind of win definitely improved our confidence,” smiled Sylvester.
“We’re all about having each other’s backs,” Wheeler said.
Curran and Amber Madore joined Gorack with two hits apiece for the Spartans.
“It was a good game. The girls played hard,” said Mills coach Dave Bohmer.
Wamogo 3, Lewis Mills 2
Lewis Mills 002 000 0 — 2 9 1
Wamogo 010 002 X — 3 4 2
WP: Samantha Sylvester. LP: Mary-Kate Cormier. HR: LM — Cormier. W — Mackenzie Harnett.
Records: Lewis Mills 5-4; 5-3 Berkshire League. Wamogo 8-2; 7-1 Berkshire League.