HUDSON — The Hudson Hawks soundly defeated the Westborough Rangers on Friday night, securing a mercy rule 15-3 victory.
The Hawks quickly took the lead early in the game and never slowed down.
The Hudson offense was relentless. Though the Hawks separated themselves from Westborough in the first, scoring one run, the true damage was done in the second inning, which featured five hits, seven runs, a home run by first baseman Samantha Collette and plate appearances by every member of the starting lineup.
The Hawks would add three in the third, two in the fifth, and two in the sixth to end the game via the mercy rule. Livi Sousa, the team’s junior second baseman, went 4-4 with three doubles, one triple and two RBIs.
“I’m pretty happy with my performance,” Sousa told the Community Advocate. “I also think that everyone else did a really great job. Those hits alone can’t give us a mercy [rule win], so everyone else did really well, and they hit really well too.”
Laura Bowen, Hudson’s head coach, said the team’s offense was sharp.
“We’ve been hitting pretty well these last couple of weeks, so that definitely helps take pressure off our pitcher, and it sets the tone of the game. We’re seeing the ball well – I like that we’re having quality at-bats,” she said.
The Hawks’ defense and pitching were also phenomenal. Freshman pitcher Taylor Attaway went the distance, limiting the Rangers’ offense – which had scored 13 runs in their previous matchup at Algonquin – to three runs on six hits.
“She goes out there, and she gives you everything she has,” Bowen said of Attaway. “She has a great defense behind her. She’s kept us in every single game she’s pitched.”
Attaway pointed to her teammates as the primary reason for her success.
“I think the team behind me is a lot of the reason we’re doing so well this year,” she said. “They cheer me up; we all work so well together.”
Sousa and Bowen also spoke of the importance of the team.
“We like to pump each other up when we’re down. Even though we ‘mercied’ them today, we’re in that position sometimes, and we always manage to get back. I think it’s a team effort every time,” Sousa said.
“We pride ourselves on team chemistry. The girls – they’re all friends, and they enjoy being around each other. Having positive energy on the bench and having a fun environment definitely helps you go out there and play more relaxed, which leads to hopefully playing better,” Bowen explained.
Westborough didn’t go down without a fight. An impressive double by Ella Antonelli drove across two runs for the Rangers in the fifth. Julia Mills’s sacrifice fly drove in Westborough’s third run of the afternoon.
With the loss, Westborough falls to 5-5 and heads into a critical stretch of its season. Over the next week, the team will play a stretch of three games in three days against teams with roughly the same record as the Rangers.
After two straight losses in late April, Hudson collects its fourth-straight win and improves to 9-2. The Hawks will face undefeated Wachusett on Monday before facing a competitive Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School team on Tuesday.
“Winning is contagious; the energy can kind of go from game to game. [We’ll] just continue to work on the small details of our hitting,” Bowen said.
“My schedule is tough, and I do that for a reason: I want to play the best teams in the area. No game is easy… Hopefully, we can continue into next week; we have a few big games. It was nice to sweep the week after a tough [previous] week,” she added.
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