High schools: Hopkins Academy softball eliminated by Monson in Round of 32

Hopkins junior Maggie Potter rips a double during the fourth inning of the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley.

Hopkins junior Maggie Potter rips a double during the fourth inning of the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/GARRETT COTE

Hopkins freshman pitcher Cassie Dion delivers a pitch during the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley.

Hopkins freshman pitcher Cassie Dion delivers a pitch during the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/GARRETT COTE

Hopkins sophomore Alayna Bailey tiptoes the out-of-play line to make a catch in foul territory during the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley.

Hopkins sophomore Alayna Bailey tiptoes the out-of-play line to make a catch in foul territory during the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/GARRETT COTE

Hopkins sophomore Lily Ellia looks at a ball below her knees during the fifth inning of the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley.

Hopkins sophomore Lily Ellia looks at a ball below her knees during the fifth inning of the Golden Hawks’ 7-3 loss against Monson in the Division 5 Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon in Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/GARRETT COTE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 06-01-2024 7:54 PM

Modified: 06-02-2024 7:28 PM


HADLEY — It’s not often a young team can take an early punch in a playoff game and bounce back, but that’s exactly what the No. 16 Hopkins Academy softball team did in its MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 contest with No. 17 Monson on Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Hawks trailed 2-0 after the Mustangs grabbed a pair of early runs in the top of the first inning, but they wasted no time getting right back into the mix – answering with two runs of their own.

Hopkins’ offense fizzled out however, as it put up just one run the rest of the way and ultimately fell 7-3 to Monson in the two teams’ third meeting of the season. The Mustangs will play at No. 1 Greenfield early next week, while the Hawks have ended their season with an impressive 14-7 record despite having just one senior.

“I’m very proud of how much I’ve seen them grow throughout the year,” Hopkins head coach Lindsey Lord said. “Playing a team for the third time, a team that we kicked out of [the] Western Mass. [tournament] by one run, now they kick us out of states, we played three good games against them. At the end, we just couldn’t put it all together today. Too many hits that couldn’t find a spot. But I’m very proud of them and they played well all year long.”

Lily Ellia led off the bottom of the first with a single followed by a Cassidi Mushenski walk. Two batters later, after Ellia was thrown out at third, Alayna Bailey earned a free pass to put runners on first and second. Mushenski came around to score on a an RBI knock from Maggie Potter, then a passed ball allowed Bailey to slide home safely – tying it at two apiece.

Potter, a junior, finished 2-for-2 including the RBI single, a double and a walk – reaching base in all three of her trips to the plate. 

“Maggie definitely brought a lot to the table today,” Lord said. “She was a nice, consistent player that we needed today for sure. We had a lot of players make solid contact and hit the ball hard. Even if they didn’t get on base, you can’t ask for much more.”

Hopkins went scoreless over the next four innings while Monson added one run in the third and one in the fifth to re-gain its two-run advantage.

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    The Hawks’ bats weren’t quiet, they just struggled to find the gaps in the Mustangs’ defense. Hopkins only struck out six times , a  nd  they hit the ball hard on several occasions – including a sixth-inning triple from Bailey. The sophomore scored from third on a throwing error on that same play, bringing Hopkins back within 4-3.

But Monson tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh, and the Golden Hawks went down in order to end the game. The loss marked Mushenski’s final high school game as the lone senior of the bunch.

Her mark on the Hopkins program won’t be overlooked, according to her head coach.

“Mush has been a great player for us,” Lord said. “We’re going to be missing her at third base next year. She’s a great captain and she’s been great this season. She’s done a good job of bringing everybody up and showing the younger players the ropes, keeping them at the level we expect our players to be at. She’s left a good legacy.”

In the circle for Hopkins, Cassie Dion pitched a complete game, striking out eight Mustangs batters on eight hits and no walks.

Dion is only a freshman and has already reached the 200-strikeout milestone. Her future – along with the rest of her teammates – is certainly bright. 

“Cassidy’s been holding the fort down all year, and I think she’s getting stronger and better,” Lord said. “She’s going to get better every year. I’m excited for the future with this team.”

Mushenski finished 1-for-3 with a single, walk and run, Ellia tallied a hit, Bailey scored twice and Olivia Earle recorded a single as well to help Hopkins’ offensive attack.

Div. 5 prelim

No. 29 Gateway 18, No. 36 English High 1 (5) — The Gators’ offense poured it on in their Division 5 preliminary bout with English High on Saturday, winning in five innings to advance to the Round of 32.

Gateway is now set for a trip to No. 4 Georgetown on Monday afternoon, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.

Div. 2 prelim

No. 28 Milford 13, No. 37 Amherst 1 — A dozen runs was the difference on Saturday, with the ‘Canes falling short in the preliminary round of Division 2 to close the book on 2024.

Amherst finishes the season 10-11.

Div. 3 prelim

No. 18 Wilmington 21, No. 47 Belchertown 3 (5) — After winning four of their last five games of the regular season, the Orioles ran out of steam in the Division 3 preliminary round on the road against Wilmington.

Belchertown managed three runs, but it wasn’t enough to hang with Wilmington’s juggernaut offense on Saturday. The O’s wrap up 2024 with an 11-7 record.

Div. 4 Round of 32

No. 8 Hampshire 11, No. 25 Wahconah 0 — The Raiders are back in the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year, and they did it in dominant fashion at home over the Warriors on Saturday.

Hailey Wodecki went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run, a two-run single and an RBI double as part of a monster six-RBI day to lead the way. Ryanne Dubay gave up only four hits and fanned a dozen batters in a commanding, complete-game shutout in the circle.

Hampshire will host again in the next round, this time the winner of Monday’s game between No. 9 Clinton and No. 24 Ayer Shirley at a date and time to be announced.

Baseball

Div. 4 Round of 32

No. 10 East Bridgewater 4, No. 23 Frontier 1 — The Redhawks hung tough with a top 10 team in Division 4, but they didn’t have the offensive firepower to steal one on the road as their season has come to an end.

Frontier wrapped up this spring with a strong record of 14-6.

Tyler Cusson tossed a complete game, striking out two while scattering five hits with no walks. Rosco Palmer had two of Frontier’s five hits, including a double, and scored a run while Ben Caron tripled and drove in the visitors’ lone run.

Div. 4 prelim

No. 33 South Hadley 2, No. 32 Winthrop 0 — The Tigers called upon ace Matt Drobiak to toss a gem, and toss a gem he did – surgically maneuvering through Winthrop’s lineup in a complete-game shutout. Drobiak struck out four and scattered just three hits in the win.

He also added two hits at the dish, as did Logan Carpenter (run, RBI). Gavin Carpenter also recorded a hit for South Hadley, which will head to No. 1 Lynnfield on Monday at 3 p.m.

Div. 5 Round of 32

No. 9 Hopkins 6, No. 24 West Boylston 5 – The Golden Hawks are into the Round of 16, slipping past West Boylston in a one-run contest on Sunday in Hadley.

Hopkins (12-9) will travel to No. 8 Drury in the Round of 16.

Div. 5 prelim

No. 23 Bourne 10, No. 42 Gateway 0 – The Gators saw their season come to an end with a 10-0 loss on the road in Bourne on Sunday.

Gateway finished its 2024 campaign with a 6-7 overall record. Bourne will play at No. 10 Westport in the Round of 32 on Monday.

Girls lacrosse

Div. 2 Round of 32

No. 1 Notre Dame Hingham 17, No. 33 Northampton 1 – The Blue Devils were unable to keep pace with the top seed in the field in a season-ending loss on the road in Hingham on Saturday.

Northampton finished its season 13-8 overall.

Div. 4 Round of 32

No. 11 Nipmuc 21, No. 22 Belchertown 6 – The Orioles were unable to keep pace with the high-powered Warriors in a season-ending loss on Sunday in Upton.

Belchertown finished 10-9 overall, and Nipmuch advanced for a matchup with either Lunenburg or Manchester Essex in the Round of 16.

No. 9 Hamilton-Wenham 21, No. 24 South Hadley 10 – The Generals built a 15-3 halftime lead and kept the Tigers at arm’s length en route to a tourney victory on Sunday in Gloucester.

South Hadley, which had a four-game winning streak snapped, finished its season 8-12 overall.

Boys volleyball

Div. 2 Round of 32

No. 8 West Springfield 3, No. 25 Holyoke 0 — An all-western Massachusetts Round of 32 match went to the Terriers on Saturday morning, as they earned a sweep over the Purple Knights to send them into the Sweet 16.

Set scores were 25-21, 25-20, 25-18.

Holyoke finishes the season 13-7 and as the second-highest seeded Gazette-area team in the state tournament.

Youth sports

Baseball

Northampton 3, Wilbraham 3 (13U) — The time limit was reached on Saturday afternoon, as the Blue Devils ended in a 3-3 tie with Wilbraham trying to avenge their only loss of the season.

Dylan Lawrence-Riddell surrendered four hits and three runs (one earned) over six innings, striking out eight and walking four on the mound for Northampton. Oliver Yau scored the first run for the Blue Devils, tagging up to score on a sacrifice fly from Alex Visentin-Laing.

Miller Cobrich, Tait Kennedy, Lawrence-Riddell and Yau each collected one hit for Northampton while Iggy Piotrowski scored two runs.