STANDISH – It had already been established that the Georges Valley Bucs can hit the softball.

So, the Telstar Rebels knew they either had to silence the Buc bats or make more noise with their own.

The defending state champs couldn’t do either Wednesday. The Bucs outslugged the Rebels 10-3 to claim the first Western C championship for Georges Valley.

“Today was their day,” said Telstar coach Jim Lunney. “That’s a good team. Their pitcher threw well, and we labored a little bit today.”

Georges Valley (16-2) used a decisive six-run third inning to turn the tide. The Bucs produced three hits but took advantage of two errors and poor decision-making by the Rebels in the field. Telstar (16-1) was also hindered by a pair of safe calls at second and third when runners appeared to be out. Those helped the Bucs extend the inning and the damage. It gave the Bucs significant momentum, and Telstar never recovered.

“That just kind of gave us the boost to keep going and playing hard after that,” said Georges Valley pitcher Danielle Frye. “That was what we needed to push through and win the game.”

The Bucs produced nine hits, getting a pair each from Danielle Leavitt, Ashley Geel and Aley Watts. Opponents had only mustered 49 hits off Telstar ace Candace Hall all season, but the Bucs had a quarter of those with 12 in two games. Georges Valley has 28 runs in three playoff games.

“We know we’re good hitters, but we can’t think that,” said Watts, the Bucs shortstop. “We have to push every single time and strive for our best.”

Telstar couldn’t answer that firepower. Frye held the Rebels to just two hits, a single by Josie Reiss to lead off the first and a Megan Smith single in the fourth.

“Things didn’t go our way,” said Lunney, who graduates just two seniors. “They hit the ball and put the ball in play. When we needed to make plays, we didn’t. We didn’t get the hits we needed.”

The Rebels got the first run when Reiss scored on an Abby Hutchins fielder’s choice in the first. Telstar cruised through the first two innings as Hall put down six of the seven batters she faced. In the third, everything unraveled.

Bethany Snow singled and Desiree Smith walked to start the trouble. Leavitt singled in Snow. After an out, an error on a Hall hit scored Smith. After Brittany Worcester walked, Watts delivered the crushing blow. Her hard single was misplayed in the outfield and cleared the bases, a 2-1 lead was now 5-1.

“I knew I needed to hit it,” said Watts. “I had popped up the first time. I knew I had to hit that and get them in.”

Watts came in on another error for the 6-1 lead.

“We needed to be a little cleaner in the field,” said Lunney. “We gave them a few runs early on. If we could have gotten out of that inning when we should have gotten out of that inning, it would have been 2-1.”

The Rebels had a prime chance to answer in the bottom of the third. Reiss reached on an error and Whitney Mills walked.

“We had our No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters, and we needed a hit out of them, and we didn’t get it,” said Lunney. “That would have made it 6-3 or 6-4. Who knows what happens from there.”

Instead, Frye struck out Hutchins, Joseline Belanger and Vicki Rice to end the threat. Telstar’s only threat the rest of the game came when Reiss and Hutchins walked and scored on an error in the fifth.

“We needed to get the strikeouts,” said Frye, who struck out six total. “I knew I needed to get those strikeouts. Under pressure our whole team does well. I think we’re able to handle pressure pretty well.”

Georges Valley, which has no seniors, made it 8-1 in the fourth on RBI from Geel and Hall. After Telstar’s runs in the fifth, Geel homered in the sixth, and Worcester scored on an error in the seventh.

“I told them we’re going to live with this,” said Lunney. “We’re 17-2 (with the MVC championship). We had an excellent year. They’ve got a bunch of kids back. We’ve got a bunch of kids back. So we might bump into each other again.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.