Northwestern is now in the driver’s seat for a Berkshire League Softball title after a 2-1 win over rival Wamogo Regional Friday. The Highlanders lead by a game with five to go and have beaten the Warriors twice this season.

“Five games left–that’s a lot of games,” Head Coach Stacey Zematis said. “You have a bad game and you’re back in the situation where you’re not in first place. We can celebrate when the 20 games are over.”

Zematis said she could have gone to the pen as starter Kate Matava took Northwestern (13-2) on a wild ride, scattering seven hits and two walks across seven innings. But she didn’t because Matava had the most experience on the staff and she trusted her in a big game situation. Matava allowed one run and got the win. Gina Weingart’s two-run single in the first was enough support for Matava.

”Getting the two runs in the first inning–they just really gave us a lot of confidence in the game and I think it made us play stronger,” Matava said. ”It’s very important for us to be Berkshire League champions. We have six seniors so going out with a bang is just great for us.”

All-state pitcher Cyrena Zemaitis did not yield a single base-runner after a tough top of the first when she walked the first hitter, faced six batters, gave up two hits and allowed two runs. She struck out 10 in the game.

Sam Sylvester scored the only run for the Wamogo (12-3) on a sacrifice fly hit by Caitlyn Maliszewski.

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