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Chieftains’ Offense Heats Up in Win

May 15, 2019

MARLBORO — Adjustments matter. And so does being selective in what pitches you swing at.

After having difficulty in swinging the bats against Marlboro pitcher Julia Barnes, the Nashoba Regional softball team made some adjustments with two outs in the fifth. And thanks to that, the Chieftains scored five runs in the final three innings en route to a 6-2 win over the Panthers on Tuesday.

The win lifts Nashoba to 9-5 overall, with a chance to clinch a postseason berth against Shepherd Hill Regional on Friday. Marlboro is now 5-8.

The Chieftains had led 1-0 when they came to bat in the fifth, the lone run scored in the top of the second. Nashoba had four hits and had a few Marlboro errors to help it, but the Route 117ers had difficulty in getting runners in.

“We struggle with slower pitching,” said Nashoba coach Tina Seabury. “We’re just coming off a quick pitcher at St. Peter-Marian, so we were adjusting, but we have to learn to make those adjustments a little quicker. We can’t sit back and think everyone’s going to be as fast as the top pitchers in the league.

“We also have to be selective and not chase everything that comes our way.”

But that changed with two outs and a runner on first.

Madeline Arsenault singled into the hole at short, moving Audrey Arsenault to second.

Two pitches later, Ally Gruca drove a triple to right, plating both to give Nashoba some insurance, and the eventual winning run.

“Ally’s been a great hitter for us all year, and adjusting — she doesn’t need to hit a home run all the time,” Seabury said. “She is a power hitter, and we just want her to get a hit in the gap.”

Abby Crowell followed with a run-scoring single to left.

Nashoba added two more runs in the top of the sixth, doing so with two outs.

After a bases-loaded, fielder’s choice grounder erased a runner at the plate, a fielding error off the bat of Madeline Arsenault brought in both Emily Bussiere and Audrey Arsenault.

In the home half of the sixth, Marlboro scored its only runs on a two-run, one-out, inside-the-park home run by shortstop Abby Larson, who did the same against Leominster two weeks ago.

The lead was plenty for Nashoba fireballer Katelyn Hollister, who struck out 11 — one of which thanks to a heads-up appeal of a ball-four check swing by Madeline Arsenault, Hollister’s battery-mate — Panthers, with four caught admiring the called third strike a little too long.

She yielded four hits, walking one.

“Katelyn worked really hard over the offseason, mixing in some junk pitches as well as her fastball,” Seabury said. “We’re focusing on not getting too deep (in counts), and using her junk pitches to throw batters off-balance.”

MARLBORO — Adjustments matter. And so does being selective in what pitches you swing at.

After having difficulty in swinging the bats against Marlboro pitcher Julia Barnes, the Nashoba Regional softball team made some adjustments with two outs in the fifth. And thanks to that, the Chieftains scored five runs in the final three innings en route to a 6-2 win over the Panthers on Tuesday.

The win lifts Nashoba to 9-5 overall, with a chance to clinch a postseason berth against Shepherd Hill Regional on Friday. Marlboro is now 5-8.

The Chieftains had led 1-0 when they came to bat in the fifth, the lone run scored in the top of the second. Nashoba had four hits and had a few Marlboro errors to help it, but the Route 117ers had difficulty in getting runners in.

“We struggle with slower pitching,” said Nashoba coach Tina Seabury. “We’re just coming off a quick pitcher at St. Peter-Marian, so we were adjusting, but we have to learn to make those adjustments a little quicker. We can’t sit back and think everyone’s going to be as fast as the top pitchers in the league.

“We also have to be selective and not chase everything that comes our way.”

But that changed with two outs and a runner on first.

Madeline Arsenault singled into the hole at short, moving Audrey Arsenault to second.

Two pitches later, Ally Gruca drove a triple to right, plating both to give Nashoba some insurance, and the eventual winning run.

“Ally’s been a great hitter for us all year, and adjusting — she doesn’t need to hit a home run all the time,” Seabury said. “She is a power hitter, and we just want her to get a hit in the gap.”

Abby Crowell followed with a run-scoring single to left.

Nashoba added two more runs in the top of the sixth, doing so with two outs.

After a bases-loaded, fielder’s choice grounder erased a runner at the plate, a fielding error off the bat of Madeline Arsenault brought in both Emily Bussiere and Audrey Arsenault.

In the home half of the sixth, Marlboro scored its only runs on a two-run, one-out, inside-the-park home run by shortstop Abby Larson, who did the same against Leominster two weeks ago.

The lead was plenty for Nashoba fireballer Katelyn Hollister, who struck out 11 — one of which thanks to a heads-up appeal of a ball-four check swing by Madeline Arsenault, Hollister’s battery-mate — Panthers, with four caught admiring the called third strike a little too long.

She yielded four hits, walking one.

“Katelyn worked really hard over the offseason, mixing in some junk pitches as well as her fastball,” Seabury said. “We’re focusing on not getting too deep (in counts), and using her junk pitches to throw batters off-balance.”

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