Div. 4 softball: Offense erupts as Hampshire Regional thumps Clinton, books quarterfinal spot (PHOTOS)

Hampshire Regional’s Raegan Dubay (20) blasts an RBI double in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton in the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Raegan Dubay (20) blasts an RBI double in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton in the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Hailey Wodecki (17) smiles heading into home plate after hitting a home run against Clinton in the bottom of the fourth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Hailey Wodecki (17) smiles heading into home plate after hitting a home run against Clinton in the bottom of the fourth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional players celebrate a home run by Hailey Wodecki (17) in the bottom of the fourth inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional players celebrate a home run by Hailey Wodecki (17) in the bottom of the fourth inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional players celebrate a home run by Hailey Wodecki (17) in the bottom of the fourth inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional players celebrate a home run by Hailey Wodecki (17) in the bottom of the fourth inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Raegan Dubay (20) slides into home plate to score against Clinton in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Raegan Dubay (20) slides into home plate to score against Clinton in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) blasts an RBI double against Clinton in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) blasts an RBI double against Clinton in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the fifth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the fifth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the fourth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the fourth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the third inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the third inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the fourth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the fourth inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional baserunner Kalin Dubay (4) slips past the tag from Clinton catcher Emily Johns to score in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional baserunner Kalin Dubay (4) slips past the tag from Clinton catcher Emily Johns to score in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1) pitches against Clinton in the top of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional baserunner Rachael Hickox (7) safely reaches on a bunt ahead of the tag from Clinton first baseman Ava Varakis (14) in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional baserunner Rachael Hickox (7) safely reaches on a bunt ahead of the tag from Clinton first baseman Ava Varakis (14) in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Teagan Charles (14) drives in a run with a double in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton in the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Teagan Charles (14) drives in a run with a double in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton in the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Hailey Wodecki (17) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly against Clinton in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Hailey Wodecki (17) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly against Clinton in the bottom of the second inning during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s Ashley Cortis (9) hits in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s Ashley Cortis (9) hits in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Hampshire Regional’s CC Thayer (10) lines a grounder for a single in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton.

Hampshire Regional’s CC Thayer (10) lines a grounder for a single in the bottom of the second inning against Clinton during the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 06-05-2024 8:00 PM

WESTHAMPTON — When Hampshire Regional freshman pitcher Ryanne Dubay got Clinton’s Ava Varakis to ground out to short to end the top of the first inning, not one player on the Raiders’ roster seemed fazed by its early two-run deficit as the Gaels’ first two batters came around to score.

Having been in the same position plenty of times this season, Hampshire knew all it needed was its powerful bats to come alive.

And come alive they did.

The eighth-seeded Raiders scored two in the bottom of the first to tie the game, and following a 1-2-3 second inning in the circle from Dubay, who struck out the side in order, they erupted for nine runs in home half of the frame to blow the game wide open. Hampshire enjoyed a 15-3 five-inning win over No. 9 Clinton in the MIAA Division 4 Round of 16 on Wednesday afternoon.

“I feel like this has happened quite a few times,” Raiders senior Hailey Wodecki, who reached base three times and drove in four runs, said of the early deficit. “We’ve been working on coming back and not getting down [on ourselves] if we get down in the first inning. Since we’ve been working so hard on that, we decided that we had to stay up and keep going.”

Waiting for Hampshire in the Div. 4 quarterfinals on Saturday? Top-seeded Joseph Case, a team the Raiders need no introduction to.

A year ago, Case knocked off Hampshire 7-2 in the state championship game. The Cardinals experienced a lot of roster turnover since then while the Raiders lost just two seniors. Either way, they both ended up right back in a similar position with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

“They were a good team last year, and obviously this year they’re the No. 1 seed,” Hampshire head coach Brian McGan said of Case. “I don’t know a whole lot. I know they graduated a lot of kids from last year, but they obviously picked up some good replacements. It’s gonna be a good game, I hope. If we play well, and we can keep it close, we got a good chance.”

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Dubay settled down after the first inning, and a lot of it had to do with the run support her offense aided her with.

Teagan Charles ripped an RBI single to bring home Rachael Hickox, and a Raegan Dubay walk tied the game. In the next frame, Kalin Dubay led off with a walk to send it right back to the top of the order with no outs.

Hickox singled, Wodecki drove in Kalin Dubay via a sacrifice fly, then Ashley Cortis (single), Charles (RBI double), Thayer (single), Raegan Dubay (RBI double) and Ryanne Dubay (two-run double) rattled off a game-changing stretch of at-bats to display a crooked number – making it 11-2 in favor of the hosts.

The Hampshire bats had plenty in store on Wednesday.

“We swung the bats well today, and obviously we put a little pressure on [Clinton],” McGan said. “They put it on us in the beginning and then we turned it around, but overall that was probably the best we’ve swung the bats in awhile.”

“We definitely were really motivated,” Charles added. “I think the top of our lineup was on today, which helped us.”

Three different Hampshire hitters (Hickox, Charles and Thayer) reached base four times, the three of them combining for eight runs scored and four RBIs. Wodecki (four RBIs) scored twice, adding a double and a two-run moonshot in the bottom half of the fourth to put to rest any comeback threat after Clinton managed a run in the third, and the trio of Dubay sisters tallied a combined four runs and five RBIs.

“It felt really good, it felt good off the bat,” Wodecki said of her home run. “I knew all I had to do was try to score the people on base so that’s all I tried to do is get my teammates in.”

The Raiders didn’t have a single strikeout at the plate.

“We’ve been practicing a little bit as far as trying to hit good pitches,” McGan said. “We practice it every day and we’ve been doing it since day one. Today they were very patient, and we are a pretty patient group.”

Ryanne Dubay’s final pitching line was five innings, three runs, one walk and six strikeouts on seven hits, most of the damage coming in the first inning. Once she settled in, she was lights out – and Hampshire committed just one error behind her.

“She’s been doing really good,” Charles said. “She’s starting to trust her defense a little bit more which is all we need her to do. She really comes through in these big games and she’s been working really hard.”

With a juggernaut in Joseph Case on the horizon, the Raiders are excited for a chance to avenge their loss in the 2023 state final – especially the seniors who are in the thick of their last postseason run in a Hampshire uniform.

First pitch on Saturday is slated for 2 p.m.

“We’re coming back for revenge,” Wodecki said.

“I’m ready for a redemption game,” Charles added.