Softball wins MASCAC Championship
By Adam Levine
The number one seeded Framingham State Rams won their MASCAC Championship May 14.
As the number one seed, the Rams hosted the MASCAC championship tournament.
Framingham dominated the tournament from start to finish.
Head Coach Larry Miller said the team “just trusted the process and competed.”
Despite winning each of their three tournament games by mercy-victory, Miller said, “Any one of those games, we don't make a play, we don't make a pitch, we don't get a hit with runners in scoring position - it's a completely different game.
“They trusted the process. They believed in themselves, they believed in each other, and that's how you get the scores,” he added.
FSU Athletic Director Tom Kelly said seeing Rams softball win the MASCAC “never gets old.”
He added, “These kids deserve it. They dominated the tournament and I guess there's no question who the best team in the MASCAC is in softball for sure.”
Framingham faced off against the fourth seeded Westfield State Owls in the MASCAC quarterfinals May 12.
The Rams made quick work of the Owls, commanding an 8-0 five-inning mercy victory.
Framingham’s pitcher, Ally Moran, threw for all five innings, striking out four batters and only allowing three hits.
Framingham’s offense was led by an RBI single from third baseman Makayla Rooney, an RBI single and a two-RBI double from shortstop Camille Desrochers, and a two-run home run and another RBI from outfielder Gwen Carpenter.
Framingham faced off against the second seeded Bridgewater State Bears in the MASCAC semifinals May 13.
Once again, the Rams made quick work of their opponent.
Framingham scored four runs during the bottom of the fifth inning to secure a second 8-0 mercy victory.
Moran led the Rams through another five innings in the circle, striking out three batters, and again, only allowing three hits.
She said, “I really just put the trust in my defense behind me. I’m not really thinking about striking out girls or anything. I'm just trying to get outs.”
Framingham’s first baseman, Kelsey McGuill, and outfielder, Angelina Lynch, led the Rams’ offense.
McGuill contributed a two-RBI triple to score the first two runs for the Rams as well as a solo-home run during the bottom of the fourth inning.
She said, “Everyone had to be on their A-game today. Everyone had to believe.
“Things don't go our way always, but as long as we believe, stay positive, do what we can do - it shows out in the field,” McGuill added.
Framingham’s outfielder, Keely Scotia, crossed the plate for the Rams’ mercy-winning run during the bottom of the fifth inning.
Scotia was on first base when Lynch hit a double to drive in the final runs.
Scotia said, “I just wanted to try to get the last run in and hopefully try to put something together for the team to get that win.”
Moran said the mercy wins are “huge,” adding they “set a statement for the rest of the teams coming in.”
She said, “I think it scares them a little bit. I think it should scare them a little bit because we're rolling.”
Moran said she was looking forward to the championship game. “I feel like at this point, it doesn't really matter. Send them our way and we're going to just do what we can to get it done and win.”
After their loss to the Rams, the Bridgewater Bears fought through the lower bracket to the MASCAC Championship game May 14.
Moran owned the circle again for the Rams. She threw for all five innings of Framingham’s 10-2 five-inning mercy victory over Bridgewater.
Moran struck out two batters and only allowed three hits and one earned run through another five innings.
Her effective performance in the circle earned her the MASCAC Tournament MVP Award.
Moran said winning the award “felt really good,” adding she did not expect to receive it.
She added, “Again, nothing would matter without my defense, obviously. I wouldn't be here being recognized without them.”
Framingham’s bats came alive early in the championship game.
Framingham’s leadoff batter, second baseman Brooke Grassia, walked to start the game.
Rooney followed with a single to third base, which Grassia turned into Framingham’s first run.
Carpenter contributed a two-run home run and gave Framingham an early 3-0 lead after one inning.
This marked Carpenter’s second home run of the tournament and eighth home run of the season.
She said, “I mean, it feels good. But again, you can't do any of it without the rest of the team and everyone did their job.
“Our pitchers did their job, we played good defense, and we put runs on the board - we put a lot of them on there,” she added.
Bridgewater scored two runs during the top of the second inning, to which Framingham responded with another run of their own.
The Rams entered the bottom of the fourth inning with a 4-2 lead over the Bears.
With two outs on the board, Desrochers hit a three-RBI double and Framingham’s scoring picked up again.
Carpenter and catcher Talia Duca followed with an RBI each and the Rams led 9-2.
Framingham held Bridgewater scoreless during their fifth-inning at bat, giving the Rams an opportunity to end the game with a mercy-victory with one run.
With bases loaded and one out, Rooney launched the game-winning RBI down left field, hitting Scotia in for the game-winning run.
Rooney said she stepped into the batter’s box “very anxious.”
She said, “I just had to believe in myself.
“Seeing that ball drop was the best feeling. I'm glad I got to help the team to the win,” Rooney added.
Seniors, Scotia and catcher Zoe Smyth, as well as graduate student Desrochers, are Framingham softball’s three graduates.
Scotia said winning another MASCAC title “feels great.”
Smyth added, “I could cry.
“I actually was really emotional before the game, thinking, ‘This is my last MASCAC.’ And it just ended the way I pictured it and I'm just so happy,” she said.
Desrochers, a two-sport athlete in basketball and softball, now boasts six MASCAC titles between the two teams.
She said winning another MASCAC title was “the only way that I was going to go out.”
Desrochers said, “It's the best feeling in the world. So to have it happen as many times as it did, I'm super lucky and super proud of this group.
“Each one feels better than the last,” she added.
Framingham’s MASCAC Championship earned them a bid to the DIII NCAA Tournament.
Miller said, “I would go to war with anyone with this team.”