By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE April 24, 2001 In the annual Sullivan County Softball Officials Tournament, 51 runners crossed the plate as four teams battled it out for the championship trophy.
The tourney was played Saturday at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds softball field and was captured in easy fashion by Monticello, which won its two games by a combined 22-1.
The officials tourney provides an on-field clinic for umpires and gives local ballplayers some added time on the diamond.
This year, winning teams sent 42 players across the plate, while the losers had a combined tally of nine runs. Three of the four games didnt make it past the fifth inning, as officials invoked the 10-run rule as several teams built up leads of ten runs or more by the fifth inning.
In the opening round, Liberty edged Tri-Valley 7-6, while Monticello pounded Eldred 12-1.
In the consolation game, the Lady Bears of Tri-Valley crushed Eldreds Lady Jackets 13-2.
In the championship game, it was a walk in the park for the Monticello Lady Panthers as they blanked the Lady Indians of Liberty 10-0.
Were very thankful for good playing weather, said Lady Bears softball coach Mary Feusner, organizer of the popular softball tourney.
Weve all been freezing and dealing with winds, she said of the abominable early season weather.
Her take on this years tourney? As usual, we had good competition, said Feusner. Its a good way to kick off going into divisional play.
First Frame Sets Tone
In the championship game against the Liberty Lady Indians, the Lady Panthers of Monticello earned their first trophy as tourney winners.
They entered the tourney in 1998, taking second place honors; made it to the consolation game in 99; and in extra innings, were runner-ups last year.
In the opening frame of the championship game, Monticello jumped out to a 4-0 and never looked back on the way to a 10-0 victory. Sam Lynch grounded out, followed by a walk to Megan Drobysh. Cindy Jessup reached on an error. A double up the gap by Kim Donohue scored Drobysh and Jessup. A hit to the outfield by Shannon Dietrich resulted in a defense error which sent Donohue across the plate. Jessica Konefals single scored Dietrich.
In the third inning, the scoring resumed with walks served up to Jessup, Konefal and Kristie Beamer. A grounder by Lynch set in motion a couple of errors by Liberty which equaled four runs for Monticello.
In the fifth, Shannon Dietrich walked followed by a single by Konefal. A two RBI single by Beamer scored Dietrich and Konefal to close out the scoring at 10-0.
I thought the tournament was good for the kids because the more games they play, the better it is for them, said John Wilhelm, coach of the Lady Indians softball team.
Wilhelm was pleased with the overall performance of his junior hurler Sara Crescitelli, a newcomer to the mound.
The other day, we let her pitch a few innings against Livingston Manor, and were pretty happy what what we saw, he said. In her game against Monticello, Sara did pretty well and deserves better than she got.
According to Monticello softball helmsman Ed Kaufmann, TV coach Feusner, runs an excellent tournament
[and] the competition is pretty much equal.
Its a community event, and everyone is involved in backing the girls regardless of the outcome, he added.
We had a big first inning, and that set the tone of the game, said Kaufmann. Weve been talking about scoring early and then being able to play defense, and thats what we did today.
Analey Dietrich hurled enough heat from the mound to easily dominate the opposition. I think she pitched exceptionally well today, said her coach.
Dietrichs take on the victory?
I think we played really well
.and weve been working hard for this. Last year, we got second and that wasnt good enough for us this year, she added.
As Monticellos catcher, Kim Donohue takes a lot of heat from her pitcher.
Analey threw really well today, she said. I think its the best game shes ever thrown
and it was our best hitting game ever. We did terrific.
Big Third for Bears
In the consolation game, Tri-Valley jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Lisa Sorrentino-Whipple reached on a single and later scored on past balls.
Eldred made it a 2-1 ball game in the bottom of the first on back-to-back hits by Aimee Schneider and Kristen Borstelmann. But unfortunately for the hard pressed Lady Yellow Jackets, that was all she wrote in the scoring column for Eldred.
In the second inning, the Lady Bears racked up two runs: Heather Bachmann reached on a single and scored after stealing a couple of bases. Emily Moore walked and scored compliments of passed balls.
Tri-Valley broke it open in the third inning, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs on five hits.
The Lady Bears led off the big frame with singles by Jessica Miller, Megan Sheeley and Heidi Manell. A two-RBI single by Bachmann scored Miller and Sheeley. Destiny Hinkleys single sent Manell home. Alesia Rexford walked to load the bases, and an RBI single by Sorrentino-Whipple scored Bachmann. With the bases loaded, Ellie Dymonds poke to the shortstop resulted in a fielding error which allowed Hinkley to score. At her second time up to the plate during the third, Sheeley scored Dymond and Donovan with a double.
In the top of the fifth, the Lady Bears closed out the games scoring with a two-run homer by Miller.
Tri-Valleys pitcher Heidi Manell picked up her third win of the early season, striking out 10 batters in five innings. She gave up three hits.
For Eldred, Kristen Borstelmann allowed nine hits and struck out two.
Were a good team, said Dot McCrone, third year coach of the Lady Yellow Jackets softball squad. They work hard, make some silly mistakes and we have some things to work on for the rest of the season.
Its a good tournament,she added. Whether we win or lose, we have a good time.
I was very pleased with our hitting, said Feusner her batters performance in the consolation game. Our bats came alive.
Notes: The tourney was first scheduled in 1991, but was rained out. It was not scheduled the followed year due to a packed regular season. In 1993, Eldred was tabbed the tourney winner, followed by Tri-Valley (1994), a lapse in 95, Delaware Valley (1996), a washout in 97, Eldred (1998), Tri-Valley (1999 and 2000).