THOMASTON >> Thomaston’s softball team blew Lewis Mills out of a tie for first place in the Berkshire League in a 14-0 shocker at Thomaston High School Saturday afternoon.
“We weren’t ready to play today and they were,” said Spartan coach Dave Bohmer after the Golden Bears (3-1) piled 13 singles on top of six Mills errors for the blow-out.
“I would never have guessed it,” said Thomaston co-coach Kelly Finlay.
Thomaston’s pitcher, sophomore Morgan Sanson (7 strikeouts, 5 walks), held the Spartans (4-1) to just three hits while batting in five runs herself.
“It was nice having a good D behind me,” she said. “They gave me a lot of confidence.”
The game was an important turnaround for the Bears after disappointing themselves Thursday in a 10-6 loss to league-leading Northwestern (4-0).
“It didn’t seem like we came to play against Northwestern,” said co-coach Gene Torrence. “In a lot of ways, we have a young team. We told them, ‘That’s not the way we play at Thomaston.’”
“(Thursday), they came out aggressive and we didn’t,” said Finlay. “Today, we came out aggressive.”
“The Northwestern game fueled us,” said Sanson. “We knew it was not our best. We wanted to just forget it and move on.”
Several of the Bears, including Sanson, were key parts of Thomaston’s state champion basketball team this winter.
They know how to be aggressive.
“We could probably interchange our philosophy with (basketball coach Bob McMahon’s),” said Torrence. “Some people don’t like practice. We thrive in it.”
“Since it was Good Friday, our practice was optional yesterday, but a lot of kids came and put in extra swings,” said Finlay, an assistant coach on the basketball team.
Saturday, Thomaston’s flow began in the top of the first and never quit.
Sanson was off the mound to field the first out, then gave up a walk and an infield hit to Gina Daniele.
With one out, runners on first and second, she bore down for her first strikeout of the day, then grabbed another comebacker for the third out.
In the bottom of the inning, the Bears were off and running; the Spartans weren’t.
Mills senior pitcher Amy Powers’ (8 earned runs, 13 hits, 9 strikeouts, 2 walks) struck out Thomaston leadoff hitter Julia Romaniello (2 runs). The ball dropped in the dirt. Romaniello sprinted to first; the throw went wild.
Two hits later — from Nina Barone (3-for-5, 2 RBI, 3 runs) and Erin O’Neill (3-for-4, RBI, 2 runs) — Romaniello was home with the first Thomston run.
Sanson singled in the second. Then a walk and a two-run error rang up the third and fourth.
“It was ugly,” said Mills coach Bohmer
The slide, a day after his Spartans beat a very good Oxford team 1-0, was just beginning with the 4-0 Thomaston lead in the first.
The Spartan defense gave up four more unearned runs.
Thomaston’s Sanson and her defense breezed through every obstacle unscathed.
A Spartan leadoff hitter reached first on an error in the top of the third. Catcher Nicole Schaefer, a sophomore, threw her out trying for second. Then Sanson left Alyssa Halpin on third after a one-out double and steal, with a strikeout and ground-out.
A leadoff Mills walk in the fourth? Right fielder Romaniello, another sophomore, doubled her off first base on a fly ball.
Spartan pinch runner/right fielder Julia Mazon wilted on second in the sixth, then made it to third in the seventh before she was stranded again.
Nothing worked for the Spartans. Everything did for the Golden Bears.
Barone, Abby Hurlbert (2-for-4, 3 runs) and O’Neill hit safely in the bottom of the second inning. Sanson’s fielder’s choice scored one run. A Spartan error scored two more.
Abby Hurlbert’s pop-up turned into a single thanks to the sun in the fourth inning. She reached third on a steal and a wild pitch. Sanson’s sacrifice fly brought her home.
Ahead 8-0, the Bears almost reached the mercy-rule 15-run spread in the fifth.
Romaniello, Barone, O’Neill, Sanson and Gabby Hurlbert (RBI) pounded out hits for four runs. Two Mills errors pushed across two more.
Thomaston may have needed a game like Thursday’s against Northwestern to give the Bears a push.
Chances are, Saturday’s game will do the same for Mills.
“Pay it forward,” laughed Coach Torrence.
Thomaston 14, Lewis Mills 0
Lewis Mills 000 000 0—0 3 6
Thomaston 430 160 x—14 13 2
WP: Morgan Sanson. LP: Amy Powers. 2B: LM—Alyssa Halpin.
Records: Lewis Mills 4-1; Thomaston 3-1.