FARMINGDALE — When Sacopee Valley rebounded from an early five-run deficit by scoring its first four runs without the benefit of a single base hit, the Hawks believed the real onslaught was yet to come.

They were right.

No. 3 Sacopee Valley batted around on three separate occasions Saturday, scoring a season-high 18 runs in an 18-11 win over No. 2 Hall-Dale in a Class C South softball semifinal. The breakout afternoon, led by a seven-RBI day from junior Allie Black, set up a rematch against top-seed Madison in the regional final on Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College.

Black went 3 for 4 with a two-run triple, a sacrifice fly and two runs scored. It was the biggest day of her career, and the shortstop said it wasn’t even close.

“This is probably my best game all season,” Black said. “I just had the right mindset, and I really wanted to bring my team to victory. We really wanted to go to St. Joe’s again this year.”

“She was key for us today,” Sacopee Valley coach Brian Hink said. “Key at the plate and making defensive plays. She really anchors our infield. I’m really proud of her.”

Black’s effort was emblematic of the entire contest for Sacopee (14-4). The Hawks pounded out 13 hits and drew nine walks against a pair of overwhelmed Hall-Dale pitchers, scoring four times in the third inning, six times in the fourth and three more in the fifth — all before pulling away with a five-spot in the top of the seventh.

While there were bright spots throughout the lineup for Hall-Dale, like Alyssa Bonenfant’s 4 for 4 day with four runs scored or Emma Soule’s 2 for 5 effort with three RBIs, the Bulldogs simply could not match what Sacopee’s offense produced from start to finish.

The Hawks were patient at the plate, bullish inside the strike zone and aggressive on the base paths. Even after generating only one baserunner (via a walk) through the first two innings, they still believed a breakout was coming.

The second time through the order against Hall-Dale starter Sarah Benner, it arrived.

“We just kept the momentum up,” Black said. “We kept our heads straight. Not a single moment in my mind did I think that (we wouldn’t score runs).”

Two Hall-Dale errors and three of Benner’s seven walks in the third inning got things rolling for the Hawks, who scored four times without getting a hit to make it a 5-4 Bulldog lead. In the fourth, Sacopee came to life by pounding out five hits en route to a 10-5 lead it would never relinquish.

Hall-Dale tried to chip away with three in the sixth —with Iris Ireland delivering a two-run double to left — and two more in the seventh, but the deficit was simply too much to overcome.

“I knew we’d score runs,” Hink said. “I think the playoff excitement in the first two innings, we were overexcited at the plate and not being as disciplined as we normally are. We just had to tell the girls to settle down and let their at-bats do what was given.

“We just sent it.”

Sacopee’s Riley Vacchiano went 3 for 6 with three runs out of the leadoff spot for the Hawks. Gabby Jamerson-Martin was 0 for 1, but she walked four times and scored four times.


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