Softball: Bats come alive as Granby pulls away from Smith Academy 21-8 (PHOTOS)

Granby catcher Scarlett LaRose (12) tags out Smith Academy baserunner Alexa Jagodzinski (4) at home plate in the top of the first inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby catcher Scarlett LaRose (12) tags out Smith Academy baserunner Alexa Jagodzinski (4) at home plate in the top of the first inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Smith Academy pitcher Sophia Jagodzinski (10) throws against Granby in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy pitcher Sophia Jagodzinski (10) throws against Granby in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby second baseman Kaitlyn Curran (3) fields a grounder for an out against Smith Academy in the top of the third inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby second baseman Kaitlyn Curran (3) fields a grounder for an out against Smith Academy in the top of the third inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby pitcher Mabel Carillon (4) throws against Smith Academy in the top of the third inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby pitcher Mabel Carillon (4) throws against Smith Academy in the top of the third inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby’s Jordyn Placzek (15) hits an RBI double against Smith Academy in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby’s Jordyn Placzek (15) hits an RBI double against Smith Academy in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby’s Cassie Flaherty (6) celebrates after scoring against Smith Academy in the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby’s Cassie Flaherty (6) celebrates after scoring against Smith Academy in the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Smith Academy baserunner Caitlin Graves (15) crosses home plate to score against Granby in the top of the first inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy baserunner Caitlin Graves (15) crosses home plate to score against Granby in the top of the first inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Smith Academy second baseman Anna Scagel (11) tosses to Emilia Neves (7) for an out at first against Granby in the bottom of the first inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy second baseman Anna Scagel (11) tosses to Emilia Neves (7) for an out at first against Granby in the bottom of the first inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby baserunner Cassie Flaherty (6) safely steals third base ahead of the tag from Smith Academy’s Alexa Jagodzinski (4) in the bottom of the first inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby baserunner Cassie Flaherty (6) safely steals third base ahead of the tag from Smith Academy’s Alexa Jagodzinski (4) in the bottom of the first inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby pitcher Mabel Carillon (4) throws to first base for an out against Smith Academy in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby pitcher Mabel Carillon (4) throws to first base for an out against Smith Academy in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby baserunner  Sydney Chateauneuf (2) scores against Smith Academy in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby baserunner Sydney Chateauneuf (2) scores against Smith Academy in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Smith Academy catcher Marissa Belina (12) tags out Granby baserunner Jordyn Placzek (15) after a dropped third strike in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy catcher Marissa Belina (12) tags out Granby baserunner Jordyn Placzek (15) after a dropped third strike in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Granby baserunner  Sydney Chateauneuf (2) sprints home to score against Smith Academy in the bottom of the second inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby baserunner Sydney Chateauneuf (2) sprints home to score against Smith Academy in the bottom of the second inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Granby’s Cassie Flaherty (6) drives in two runs with a single against Smith Academy in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby’s Cassie Flaherty (6) drives in two runs with a single against Smith Academy in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Granby’s Jordyn Placzek (15) blasts a triple to bring in three runs against Smith Academy in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby’s Jordyn Placzek (15) blasts a triple to bring in three runs against Smith Academy in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Granby pitcher MabelCarillon (4) throws against Smith Academy in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Granby pitcher MabelCarillon (4) throws against Smith Academy in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Smith Academy pitcher Sophia Jagodzinski (10) throws against Granby in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy pitcher Sophia Jagodzinski (10) throws against Granby in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Smith Academy’s Alexa Jagodzinski (4) hits an RBI double against Granby in the top of the fifth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy’s Alexa Jagodzinski (4) hits an RBI double against Granby in the top of the fifth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Smith Academy’s Alexa Jagodzinski (4) sprints home to score against Granby in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy’s Alexa Jagodzinski (4) sprints home to score against Granby in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

Smith Academy’s Emilia Neves (7) drives in two runs with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning against Granby on Wednesday in Granby.

Smith Academy’s Emilia Neves (7) drives in two runs with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning against Granby on Wednesday in Granby. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE—Dan Little

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

Staff Writer

Published: 04-10-2024 8:56 PM

GRANBY – After an even first few frames, the Granby softball team’s bats came to life late against Smith Academy. The Rams captured a 21-8 victory under a consistent drizzle on Wednesday afternoon.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, Granby’s Jordyn Placzek smashed a three-run triple through the left-center gap to end the game by run rule. Through four games, the Rams are 3-1.

“We’ve got a lot of girls hitting the ball hard,” Rams head coach Mike Afflitto said. “We talk about having quality at-bats – sometimes you have a quality at-bat that won’t lead to a hit, but did you hit it hard? We’re making a lot of hard contact. We see it in games, we see it in practice.”

Leadoff hitter Kaitlyn Curran reached base four times (three singles and a fielder’s choice) and came around to score all four times. That set the tone for the Rams at the plate, Afflitto said.

No. 2 hitter Mabel Carillon notched four singles, drove in four runners and scored four times. She also pitched five innings. No. 3 hitter Cassie Flaherty scored three times and drove in three runs while cleanup hitter Placzek drove in four. No. 7 hitter Quinn Cook came around to score three times and No. 9 hitter Sophia Gagnon scored on all four of her at-bats.

In all, every Granby starter reached base at least once and all but one scored at least once. 

“Everyone contributed today,” Gagnon said. “And everyone has contributed all season.”

Afflitto agreed.

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“We’re starting to see that we have a good bit of depth,” Afflitto said. “Which, as I tell the girls, is a good problem to have.”

For Smith Academy, Caitlin Graves, Emma Tisdell and Sophia Jagodzinski scored twice each. Alexa Jagodzinski and Meghan Bell each scored once and recorded one RBI, and Emilia Neves drove in two. The Falcons stayed with Granby for most of it – they scored one or two runs in each of the game’s five innings – but couldn’t keep up with the Rams’ 11 combined runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

The two teams face off again in just six days at Smith Academy, and Falcons head coach Moira Pitrat said they’ll be working in practice to prepare for that rematch.

“We were hitting the ball really well, we were just hitting it to them a little too much,” Pitrat said. “We were aggressive on the bases when we got on, which is great to see, we’ve just got to make some smarter infield choices and I think we’re in a much closer spot with them.”

The Rams are looking to keep making improvements all over the diamond as they head into the middle of their schedule. They have a game against Ware on Friday and matchups against Smith Academy and Holyoke next week.

“It’s just that continuous improvement piece,” Afflitto said. “When we face some of those bigger arms that we know are coming, can we execute, can we grind out those tough at-bats and have some success? We’d like to see what we can do come the end of the season, if we have the opportunity to make the postseason.”