BRATTLEBORO -- Maddy Derosia celebrated her 17th birthday on Wednesday. And she was kind enough to include friends Meg Wasko and Cate Rooney and cousin Lily Derosia in the festivities.
Granted, the birthday girl is the starting shortstop for the Brattleboro softball team and chose to mark her special day by going 4-for-4 with seven RBIs in a 12-3 win over Keene, N.H. -- a squad that partially consists of her beloved friends and cousin. Maddy Derosia knows her friends through the Brattleboro Heat softball team, so she said it was a little strange staring down Wasko, who started in the pitcher's circle for the Blackbirds, at Sawyer Field
"It can be awkward, but it's fun because I've played summer softball with them so I know how they play," Derosia said after helping her Colonels improve to 9-5 on the season. "I think we could have done better, but it was still a good game."
BUHS had sophomore Hannah Wilson in the pitcher's circle. Wasko split time with Lindsey Buyer and each recorded two Ks for Keene.
Wilson, who hurled a complete game and struck out three, got into a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first inning and Keene's Lily Derosia put her team in the lead by slapping a base hit to center field to bring home Courtney Jessup and Steph Varno. In the bottom half of the frame, Maddy Derosia tied it up with a triple that scored catcher Mckinlie Carpenter and Daisy Giroux, a center fielder who played third base in the absence of Siera Butler.
The Blackbirds' Melanie Jackson walked to begin the second inning. She made it to third base and attempted to score when the bases were loaded, Maddy Derosia gunned her out at the plate on a ground ball to her at shortstop. The inning ended on a fly ball to left field and the score remained tied. It was one of a handful of jams that worked out in the Colonels' favor.
"We got out of a lot of tough situations and worked through them, but there's things we need to improve on," Derosia said, citing constant communication as an example.
Alex Derosia, Maddy's sister, broke the tie in the bottom of the second by driving home Samantha Harrison and Casey Manning. Carpenter later loaded the bases and Giroux walked in a run before Maddy Derosia cleared the bases with a double before scoring herself on a ground ball to the pitcher. BUHS coach Kelly Markol said that active bats were key to getting the Colonels on top Wednesday, just as it has been all season.
"I thought we hit the ball real well, we strung hits together. Maddy Derosia and Sam Harrison ripped the ball today -- they both made solid contact, but as a whole we did. And it's fun to see us hit the ball. We have to hit the ball to win -- there's no doubt about it, because we're going to give up some runs," she said, adding that Wilson is still learning the finer points of the game. "She hung tough. She gets into a situation where she walks a few batters and then she throws some strikes."
Keene's Ryley Wilkes walked in the top of the fourth inning but was later tagged out in a run-down following a swinging bunt by teammate Lydia Chakalos. In the bottom of the fourth, Maddy Derosia scored Giroux on a double and then drove in another run two innings later. Derosia scored on a hit by Harrison in the sixth.
Wilson gave up one run in the top of seventh before stopping the damage and sealing the victory.
Markol told the Reformer the Colonels have just two games remaining in the regular season. BUHS is scheduled to host Springfield at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
"It's that time of year where you have to get better every game," she said. "You can't struggle and you can't make mistakes."
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.