Softball: Turners edges Tech, Greenfield’s Paulin notches 100th hit, Mahar win first game since 2019

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin joined the 100-hit club after reaching the milestone during the Green Wave’s win over Taconic on Thursday.

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin joined the 100-hit club after reaching the milestone during the Green Wave’s win over Taconic on Thursday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 04-25-2024 8:36 PM

The expectation going into Thursday’s Powertown showdown between undefeated Turners Falls and Franklin Tech was that runs were going to be at a premium.

That was certainly the case.

Turners Falls ace Madi Liimatainen struck out 16 and allowed just one hit with no walks, tossing a complete-game shutout to lift the visiting Thunder to a 1-0 independent softball victory at Nancy Gifford Field.

Franklin Tech star Hannah Gilbert also allowed just one hit, and struck out 12 to go with three walks in a complete-game effort.

“It was a great regular season softball game,” Franklin Tech coach Joe Gamache said. “These are the ones that hopefully help prepare you for the postseason. Area-wise we’re kind of blessed we have three of the top pitchers in the region and all of Western Mass. (Liimatainen, Gilbert and Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin). Two of them went toe-to-toe today and left it all out there.”

Turners (8-0) scored the game’s only run in the top of the first inning. With two outs and no one on, Holly Myers reached via a catcher’s interference. Courtesy runner McKenzie Stafford moved up to second and third on wild pitches, and the Thunder eventually loaded the bases with back-to-back walks.  Stafford was able to scamper home on a passed ball, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead that wound up holding throughout the contest.

Madisyn Dietz had the only hit for the Thunder – a fourth-inning single – while Gilbert also singled for the lone Tech (7-1) hit of the afternoon.

Tech’s defense turned a nice double play in the sixth inning, when a line shot was snagged by third baseman Kyra Goodell and fired across the diamond to first base.

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Turners stays on the road to play at Frontier on Friday while Tech hosts Athol back on its home field.

Mohawk Trail 16, Pioneer 3 (5) – A seven-run fourth inning was more than enough to help the Warriors put away a five-inning Franklin County League East win on Thursday in Northfield.

Riley Giard and Abby Moffatt each scored three times for Mohawk Trail, which scored three in the first, four in the second, five in the third, seven in the fourth and four more in the fifth to capture the run-ruled win. Abi Dobias, Addie Loomis, Moffatt and Maddie Cosentino had hits.

Giard struck out seven in five innings in the circle for the visitors.

Pioneer’s Kelly Baird and Jacobia Tyminski each had RBI triples in the fifth inning. Baird finished with two hits and a pair of RBIs while Laylah Goulston, Avery Johnson and Erin Killay all had a hit.

Mahar 22, Hampden Charter East 8 (6) – A win five years in the making.

The Senators finally kicked the door down on Thursday, snagging their first victory since 2019 via a 22-8 win in Chicopee.

“They were very excited,” Mahar coach Jim Cleveland said of his club. “It was a very good team win. We’ve been close. We’ve played six games and I’d say four of them we were leading at one point. It’s been coming but it’s just teaching the kids how to win.”

Mahar scored four in the first and nine in the second. Laura McGinnis struck out 10 in the circle for the Sens, while Dakota Cleveland was 3-for-4 with three runs and a two-run home run. Avery Savage and Alivia Patch (triple) also had three hits in the win for Mahar (1-5).

Greenfield 18, Taconic 1 – MacKenzie Paulin belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning for the 100th hit of her varsity career, guiding the Green Wave to a dominant victory on Thursday at Vets Field.

Greenfield (4-1) then received a home run from Carly Blanchard, who finished 4-for-4 with five RBIs in the win.

Paulin got the win and struck out 8 while allowing just one earned run, her first of the year. The teams play again on Friday in Pittsfield.