Warriors survive late Raider run

  • Lindsey LeBlanc, of Athol High School, comes out of the circle to make a catch against Mohawk Trail, Tuesday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Lindsey LeBlanc, of Athol High School,  takes a cut against Mohawk Trail, Tuesday in Athol.  FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Haley Bigwood (left), of Athol High School makes the catch before applying the tag on Grace Ward, of Mohawk Trail, Tuesday in Athol. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Haley Bigwood, of Athol, connects on one of her three hits against Mohawk Trail, Tuesday in Athol.  FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Sadey Lehtomaki, of Athol High School, makes contact against Mohawk Trail, Tuesday in Athol. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/21/2019 9:12:52 PM

ATHOL — Caitlin Johnston and Isis Moon both homered for the Mohawk Trail Regional softball team in a 7-6 Franklin County League win over Athol High School on Tuesday.

Johnston’s three-run blast gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead in the first inning. 

“I thought that was huge,” Johnston said. “We are progressively working together as we go through. We have come together.”

Moon’s shot was a two-run homer in the fourth, and the Warriors (9-9 overall, 4-7 FCL) needed every inch of insurance as the Red Raiders made a push in the bottom half of the seventh.

“We just don’t give up,” Mohawk coach Katelyn Gaffigan said. “We keep persevering. If we make a bad play, just move on to the next one. It’s nice when a good chunk of our order comes alive.”

Mohawk moved within one win of earning a playoff spot. 

“We’ve been in a slump the last few games,” Gaffigan said. “We came out hitting today which is nice.”

The Red Raiders (8-7, 3-7) had 10 hits, but left seven on base.

“I don’t know what it is,” Athol coach Sharon Chauvette said. “We are up one game and we’re down. We are not consistent with our level of play. It’s disappointing because we are a good team.”

The Red Raiders need two more wins in their last five games to secure a playoff spot.

“Our fielding wasn’t the greatest today,” Chauvette said. “We usually play better defense than that. The hitting is coming along.”

Athol’s Sadey Lehtomaki continued a recent power surge with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first.

Reily Polana powered her first varsity home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 6-3.

Johnston made some nice plays at shortstop for the Warriors including a diving catch in the bottom of the fourth. Third baseman Ashley Reynolds was a vacuum for the Warriors defensively.

“From elementary school,” Johnston began. “We have always been right next to each other.”

Johnston went 2-for-4 with four RBIs while Reynolds added two hits and one RBI.

Nola Bloomer picked up the win in the circle for Mohawk. giving up three earned runs with six strikeouts in seven innings.

Lindsey LeBlanc struck out three and gave up five earned runs for the Red Raiders.

Mohawk’s Mya Lesieur led off the game with double before Raegan Dupree drew a walk.

This brought Johnston to the plate, and she gave the Warriors the 3-0 lead with one swing of the bat.

Haley Bigwood limited the first inning damage with a diving catch at shortstop before picking off Grace Ward at home plate after she had tagged up and tried for another run.

Bigwood went 3-for-4 with three singles.

Lehtomaki’s two-run homer cut the Mohawk lead to 3-2 in the first inning.

Moon’s two-run homer and a sacrifice fly by Lesieur upped the lead to 6-2.

Reynolds hit an RBI single in the top of the seventh, giving Mohawk a 7-3 cushion.

In the bottom half of the seventh, the Red Raiders made a run but just fell short.

LeBlanc and Rozlyn Nelson had RBI hits in the seventh for Athol.

Mohawk 7, Athol 6

Mohawk ................. 300 300 1 — 7  9  3

Athol ......................  200 001 3 — 6  10  3

Hits: (M) Lesieur 2, Johnston 2, Ward, Roccio, Moon, Reynolds 2 (A) St. Cyr, LeBlanc 3, Bigwood 3, Lehtomaki, Nelson, Polana .

2B: (M) Lesieur, Reynolds

HR: (M) Moon, Johnston. (A) Lehtomaki, Polana.

RBI: (M) Lesieur, Johnston, Moon, Reynolds. (A) Lehtomaki 2, Nelson 2, Polana, LeBlanc

WP:  Bloomer 7ip, 6k, 2bb).

LP:  LeBlanc (7ip, 3k, 1bb).

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