TAUNTON, Mass. – There’s no looking back for Megan Cook, this is it.
The Bellingham softball senior pitcher had an upsetting junior year, when she was limited to just five starts on the season due to injury. Entering Sunday’s Division 2 South semifinal, Cook had a chance to lead the Blackhawks to a sectional final for the first time she was along for the ride as an eighth-grader with the squad.
“It’s my last year, I’m going to put it all out on the field,” Cook said.
Cook didn’t have much to leave after spinning a no-hitter against Dighton-Rehoboth in a 5-0 win. She sweated out the finish, walking the bases loaded in the seventh, but spared just enough, reaching back for her seventh strikeout of the game to finish off the Falcons.
“She’s pitching with a lot of confidence now,” Blackhawks coach Dennis Baker said. “I didn’t even know until late in the game that she had a no-hitter going. She was focused on one pitch at a time. But we played great team defense again today and we had timely hitting.”
Engaged in a scoreless game through three-and-a-half, Cook jumpstarted Bellingham’s offense as well. She scored the first run of the game after a one-out double after a wild pitch.
Cook was in control from the beginning in the circle. The Falcons (18-6) only hit five balls out of the infield in their 21 outs.
“Everything was pretty good, my changeup was really effective, just going off speed, catching them off guard,” Cook said.
The Blackhawks (23-1) also got production from the bottom third of its order, with the No. 9 spot accounting for four RBI. Chloe Woodward scored the Blackhawks’ second run of the fourth on a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Julia Caddell.
They also got a three-run home run in the sixth from sophomore outfielder Elaina Chambers, who reentered the game to hit ninth.
“It’s nice because 7-8-9 are putting the bat on the ball and the top of the order is doing what they should right now,” Baker said. “We have a lot of confidence, but I tell you, we were watching Case earlier today and they’re going to be as tough a team as we’ve played this year.”
Bellingham advances to play those Cardinals back at Jack Tripp Field in the sectional final, Monday night at 7 p.m.