ST. ALBANS — Comet Maren McGinn started strong in the circle on Friday afternoon, getting three quick outs in the first inning of the D1 quarterfinal. McGinn helped herself with a first-inning, three-run home run to deep center, putting the Comets up 3-0.
"The home run set the tone for the game and helped me settle in," said McGinn.
Molly Smith followed with a triple to the outfield fence, Kylie Neveau drove in Smith, Makenna Hughes ripped an RBI triple, and Mackenzie Moore drove in the inning's final run, putting BFA up 5-0.
North Country got a runner on base in the second inning, but strong Comet defense kept them off the scoreboard.
Taylor Baldwin got things started for BFA in the second with a first-pitch, line-drive double, followed by a Caitlyn Dasaro's triple; Smith's infield single scored Dasaro for the Comets' seventh run.
The Falcons made some noise in the third inning, scoring three and reducing the Comets lead to 7-3.
McGinn settled things down in the fourth inning, striking out all three Falcons. In the bottom of the inning, Kylie Neveau plated Smith giving BFA an 8-3 lead.
The Falcons threatened again in the top of the fifth, but a slick double play turned by Neveau ended the inning.
Taylor Baldwin drove in Mackenzie Moore for the Comet's ninth run in the bottom of the fifth. Comet Ruby Dasaro shut down an early threat in the sixth inning, making a nice running catch for the first out; Caitlyn Dasaro's running catch made the second out, but North Country did manage to score one run.
McKenna Hughes drove in the Comets' tenth run with a sac fly. North Country threatened in the top of the seventh, putting two runners on, but a diving catch by Ruby Dasaro shut down the threat, and the Comets went on to earn the 10-4 win.
"North Country is a good-hitting team, and we weren't taking them lightly," said Comet coach Bert Berthiaume.
"Maren is a veteran (in the circle.) She never gets rattled; she's a perfect leader for the team."
BFA's pitching effort was solid, and so was their offense.
"That's part of our strength this year; we can hurt you 1 through 9. On any given day, we can hit from any spot, and that's an advantage for us," said Berthiaume.
The Comets will host in-county D1 rival MVU on Tuesday at 4:30.
"I respect MVU's coaches and their program, and we'll have our work cut out for us on Tuesday," said Berthiaume.