Despite a few raindrops in the fourth inning, all of the thunder at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School on Tuesday afternoon was coming from the home team’s aluminum bats.
The Colonials gave the visiting Golden Warriors of Andover a 10-0 trouncing, giving them a berth in the Division 1 North Sectional Softball Semifinals.
Although Andover put runners into scoring position twice, Acton-Boxborough had very little trouble dissecting the Warriors’ pitching, most notably in the fourth inning.
There they sent 12 batters to the plate, punctuated a series of at-bats that brought consecutive RBI singles from Sarah Ropiak, Hannah Graney and Nicole Geoffrion and a grand slam from Lindsay Chen.
On the mound, Ropiak was equally dominant, allowing only three hits while striking out 10 Andover batters over seven innings of work.
And yet, Acton-Boxborough head coach Mary Matthews believed that her team’s early runs in the first and second was the critical moment in this victory.
“With Sarah being a dominant pitcher and us having a strong defense but struggling to score runs earlier in the season, the most important thing is for us to score some runs early and get our momentum going,” said Matthews. “I think we’d be fine winning 1-0.”
Matthews believes her star pitcher is perhaps one of the top three in the state right now, and there were no arguments from Andover head coach Steve Tisbert, who said this result was actually closer than a scrimmage the Golden Warriors had against the Colonials earlier in the year.
“(Ropiak’s) probably the best pitcher we faced all year, they hit the ball well, they’ve got a very good club,” said Tisbert. “We’re still a little bit young, and we’ll be okay in the future.”
The Colonials move on to face Newton North on the road at a date to be determined. Newton narrowly defeated Chelmsford later in the day with an 8-7 extra innings victory.