MIAA tourneys: MacKenzie Paulin throws no-hitter, belts two HRs as Greenfield knocks off Murdock in Div. 5 opener (PHOTOS)

Greenfield’s Ivy Rae heads for third base during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s Ivy Rae heads for third base during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin high-fives head coach Ray Dodge rounding third base after hitting a home run during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin high-fives head coach Ray Dodge rounding third base after hitting a home run during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin (5) fields a ground ball and throws out a Murdock runner during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin (5) fields a ground ball and throws out a Murdock runner during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Greenfield’s Ivy Rae is safe at third base after a tag on the helmet against Murdock during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s Ivy Rae is safe at third base after a tag on the helmet against Murdock during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin delivers a pitch during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s MacKenzie Paulin delivers a pitch during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Greenfield’s Ellis Benitez (23) puts the ball in play during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s Ellis Benitez (23) puts the ball in play during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Greenfield’s Carly Blanchard (7) high-fives head coach Ray Dodge rounding third base after hitting a home run during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield’s Carly Blanchard (7) high-fives head coach Ray Dodge rounding third base after hitting a home run during the Green Wave’s 13-0 win over Murdock in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 32 on Monday at Vets Field in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 06-03-2024 8:45 PM

GREENFIELD — After a slow start in its MIAA Div. 5 Round of 32 contest, the Greenfield softball team found its footing on Monday against 32nd-seeded Murdock. 

The defending back-to-back state champion Green Wave led 2-0 after three innings, but top-seeded Greenfield wasn’t going to be quiet at the plate for long. 

Carly Blanchard kicked off the fourth inning with a solo home run and the onslaught continued from there, with the Green Wave putting eight runs up to take a commanding 10-0 lead. 

MacKenzie Paulin drilled a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth — her second homer of the game — to end the contest, as Greenfield advanced to the Round of 16 with a 13-0 triumph at Vets Field. 

The Green Wave (21-1) advanced to host No. 17 Monson in the Round of 16 on Wednesday at 6 p.m. – the Mustangs coming off a 7-3 win over Hopkins. 

“It was a slow start,” Green Wave coach Ray Dodge said. “We’ve been gearing up for faster pitching and this wasn’t it. We had to gear down a little bit. They know what’s in front of them. They know if they don’t show up one day, that’s it.” 

With the way Paulin was pitching, not much offense was needed. 

The junior threw a five-inning no-hitter on Monday, walking just one and striking out 11 to go along with a 4-for-4, two home run, six RBI day at the plate. 

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“The last at bat and with runners on second and third, it was a little intense out there,” Paulin said. “I felt really good at the plate today and definitely on the mound too.” 

Ivy Rae kicked off the scoring for Greenfield in the second. Carly Blanchard singled, worked her way to third and Rae cracked a base hit to drive her home, giving the Green Wave the opening lead. 

Paulin helped herself in the third, blasting a solo home run over the fence in centerfield that gave Greenfield a 2-0 edge. 

After Blanchard’s home run in the fourth, Ellis Benitez followed with a single, stole a pair of bases and Rae knocked her in with a base hit to add to the Green Wave lead. 

Anna Bucala later singled to score Rae, Paulin drilled a single that drove Grace Laurie and Bucala in before Blanchard, batting for the second time in the inning, bashed a double that scored Flynn and Paulin, giving Greenfield its 10-0 lead after four. 

“As usual, Kenz was great,” Dodge said. “We did a good job adjusting the second time through, slowing our swings down and timing the pitching. That’s always nice.” 

Sophia Rotkiewicz and Bucala singled in the bottom of the fifth before Paulin drove a shot that sailed over the left field pole to close out the game. 

“It’s always exciting starting off the tournament like this,” Paulin said. “[Catcher] Ainslee Flynn and I work well together and she did a great job behind the plate. It’s exciting and we’re looking forward to what’s next.” 

Track

MSTCA West Heptathlon/Decathlon

Day 1 of the MSTCA West Heptathlon/Decathlon took place on Monday at Frontier, with numerous local athletes competing. 

On the girls side, Pioneer’s Louise Flagollet won the high jump (5 feet, 3 inches) while Mahar’s Stellina Moore tied for second (4-9). 

Frontier’s Hannah Davis placed third in the 100-meter hurdles (17.12 seconds) while Pioneer’s Sahanah Heilman placed fifth (17.53).

Moore (eighth, 22-1.75), Mohawk Trail’s Heidi Helenek (ninth, 21-7.25) and Mahar’s Kathryn McGinnis (10th, 21-6) placed in the top 10 in the shot put while Frontier’s Rylan Waskiewicz (sixth, 27.67), Louise Flagollet (seventh, 27.94) and Frontier’s Nicole Plasse (ninth, 28.03) placed in the top 10 in the 200. 

On the boys side, Frontier’s Jack Storm won the 100 (11.61) while teammate Adrien Pazmandy placed fifth (11.89). Redhawk Luke Howard placed eighth in the javelin (115-0). 

Mohawk Trail’s Chay Mojallali (sixth, 40-2.25) and Storm (seventh, 39-8) placed in the top 10 in the triple jump, Frontier’s Alex Schreiber (second, 114-0), Mojallali (103-7) and Pazmandy (10th, 78-9) earned top 10 finishes in the discus while Pazmandy (fifth, 54.73) and Redhawk Aidan Valderrama (seventh, 54.94) finished in the top 10 in the 400. 

The final day of competition is Tuesday back at Frontier.

Weekend results

Baseball

No. 11 Ware 16, No. 22 Turners 4 — Ware raced ahead 12-1 after three innings to pull away with a victory over the Thunder in Ware on Sunday in the MIAA Div. 5 Round of 32.

Turners closed its season with a 13-6 record. 

Cam Burnett and Alex Quezada each singled and doubled, with Burnett driving in a run. Derek Wissmann knocked two hits and drove in two runs, Dylen Richardson tallied two hits and an RBI, Kainen Stevens cracked two hits while Jackson Cogswell tripled for Turners. 

No. 32 Cape Cod RVT 4, No. 33 Athol 3 — The MIAA Div. 5 prelim between Cape Cod Tech and Athol resumed in the third inning on Sunday from a game suspended on Thursday. 

Tied 2-2 in the top of the third with bases loaded for Athol, the Bears took a 3-2 lead but Cape Cod stormed back to go ahead in the fifth and Athol was unable to get the tying run across, with the Bears falling on Sunday. 

 Athol closed out its season with an 11-8 record. 

“This group showed much improvement since last year and from March,” Bears coach Josh Talbot said. “We are disappointed to see it end and would love to have another opportunity to compete together. This is a great group of people and we hope to be back stronger in 2025.” 

Logan Cormier struck out seven while Noah Wein added four strikeouts for Athol. Ethan Heuer had the Bears’ lone hit and drove in a run while Eli Wein drove in a run in the loss.