Antonucci, Prescott star for red-hot Bay State Brats

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Belmont's Nicole Antonucci lays down a bunt during her Bay State Brats 16U softball team's 2-0 victory over the NH Comets Blue in the 2015 Nor'Easter Classic at Belmont High School on Saturday. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
July 29, 2015
BELMONT – It's been a magical summer for the Bay State Brats 16U softball team. Playing up a division at the 2015 Nor'Easter Classic last weekend, the squad more than held their own.

Moving up to play in the 18U division for the second tournament this summer, the Brats had the second-best run differential of any 18U and won Group B with a perfect 3-0 record in pool play during action held at Belmont High School.

Belmont High School stars Megan Prescott and Nicole Antonucci are both on the roster, with Prescott, a rising senior at BHS, pitching the second of three pool play games for the Brats, an 8-2 win over the Vermont Rockets. Antonucci, a rising junior, drew the start at third base.

Franklin High School left-hander Hailey Haskins started the opener for the Brats, as the club beat the NH Comets Blue, 2-0, at Belmont High School on Saturday.

Haskins went all seven innings, allowing five hits while striking out two and not walking a batter in the complete game shutout.

It was a well-played game against the Comets, with Haskins and Becca Shatney, a First-Team All-State selection from Hopkinton, matching zeroes until the bottom of the fifth. Brats catcher Emily Carbonneau reached on a fielder's choice with two outs, and Brittany Mota singled to right field. Carbonneau kept running to third thanks to an error by the right fielder, and the Comets allowed her to ultimately score on the play thanks to another error, this time an overthrow of third base, to put the Brats on top, 1-0.

The Salem-based team tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Molly Hamel led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and stole second. After Antonucci put the pressure on when she reached on a bunt single, Hamel would scamper home on a wild pitch, doubling Bay State's lead to 2-0.

That would be plenty for Haskins, who located her pitches well and got the Comets 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh to secure the shutout and get the tournament off to a fine start for the Brats.

Prescott came on as a courtesy runner in the first for Carbonneau and stole second base, and she also pitch hit in the fourth inning. In addition to some outstanding defense at third base, Antonucci went 1-for-3 at the dish, though one of those outs was a questionable call where she bunted safely for another hit but was determined out as the umpires claimed the ball had hit her along the run to first base.

The Brats closed out the perfect 3-0 mark in pool play with an 8-2 win over the New England Diamond Gems, earning the number two seed in single elimination bracket play on Sunday. They beat East Coast Drama Black in the Round of 16 before falling in the quarterfinals to cap a 4-1 weekend overall.

The Brats were scheduled to continue their busy summer with a trip to the ASA Eastern Nationals in Sterling, Virginia, competing in the 16U division from July 29-Aug. 2. They are managed by Bo Durso, and his coaching staff includes Belmont High School head coach Bill Clary, Caitlin Clary, Chelsea Durso, Brenna Morrissey and Ian Davis.

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