Last Saturday turned out to be a very successful one for Coach Kelly Boerger and the North Adams Lady Devils softball team. The Lady Devils hosted a home doubleheader with the Northwest Lady Mohawks and swept both games, taking the first 5-3 and the nightcap 7-5. The two wins improved North Adams to 3-3 on the spring.
As will happen quite often in 2014, the Lady Devils relied on the right arm of sophomore Jade Spriggs, who pitched two seven inning complete game victories on Saturday.
In the first game, Northwest took an early 1-0 lead but the Lady Devils tied it with a run in their half of the second on an RBI single by Hannah Whited. The Lady Mohawks jumped back in front with a pair of third inning scores, but North Adams answered with one in their portion of the third and tied the game again in the fourth on an RBI ground out off the bat of catcher Caitlin Young.
Spriggs allowed nothing the rest of the way, at one point retiring 11 batters in a row, and the North Adams offense won the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, one coming home on a Young two-bagger and the other on a passed ball.
The Lady Devils got a nice defensive play in the top of the seventh when right fielder Haley Crews gunned down a runner at the plate, helping to preserve the 5-3 victory.
Spriggs scattered three hits and struck out six in the win and Young provided the big bat with a pair of doubles.
As they had in the opener, the Lady Mohawks took an early lead, scoring two times in the top of the first. Two more Northwest runs in the third put the Lady Devils in a 4-0 hole, but they started the comeback with a pair in their half of the third.
The combination of a double by Kylee Applegate, a single by Taylor Whited, a fielder’s choice, and a base hit by Kylie Branch produced two runs to slice the Northwest lead in half.
An unearned run in the fourth put Northwest up 5-2 but that just set up the North Adams rally that put them in front for good in the bottom half of the inning.
With one out, Kaitlyn Dunseith singled, Anslee Creech reached on an error, Applegate singled home a run, a Spriggs base hit brought home two more, and a bunt by Branch produced the run that gave North Adams a 6-5 advantage.
With Spriggs mowing down the final eight hitters she faced, the Lady Devils pushed across an insurance run on a Northwest error to make the final score 7-5 and give the home team a doubleheader sweep.
Getting her second complete game of the afternoon, Spriggs allowed the Lady Mohawks just five hits and struck out four. The Lady Devils also got just five hits, two of them by Kylee Applegate, but managed to turn those hits into enough runs to secure a win.
“Our youth and inexperience had cost us the two previous games with Fairfield and Lynchburg, so it was good to get these two today,” said Coach Boerger. “These are things that we will continue to work on as the season progresses and I am confident that our team will overcome them.”
Boerger had special praise for her freshman catcher.
“Caitlin Young is really finding her stride at the plate, going 5 for 13 with two doubles over our last four games. Our bunting is improving which was a weapon that we used to help win the second game today.”
The Lady Devils were back in action on Wednesday, where they dropped an 11-5 decision to Eastern in 11 innings, falling to 3-4 on the year. The North Adams girls will play host to Peebles next Tuesday afternoon.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.