By Frank Rizzo
SLATE HILL June 5, 2001 It would have seemed a violation of the natural order of things if Monticello and Cornwall did not meet in the Section IX Class B final.
And as one would expect, the proverbial one run decided the contest, played Saturday afternoon at Minisink Valley HS.
Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers, that all too real and lone run went to Cornwall, the state Class B runner-up a year ago.
It was the third meeting this season for the OCIAA Division III rivals. The Green Dragons had won the regular season encounters 6-0 and 3-2 (in extra innings).
Cornwalls Maureen OConnor led off the bottom of the first by smashing an Analey Dietrich pitch past Samantha Tucker at third.
Christine Stathes then laid down a textbook sac bunt and was thrown out by Tucker. What did not go like a textbook was that nobody on Monticello covered third base, and the alert OConnor never stopped running, making it uncontested to third.
Katie Ferruggia followed with the first of her three hits on the day, past a diving Shannon Dietrich at short for the RBI.
Analey walked two more batters in the frame, but was helped out when catcher Kim Donohue threw out Ferruggia, who was attempting to steal.
The Monti hurler then settled down and except for the third inning did not allow a Green Dragon to reach scoring position.
Unfortunately, her counterpart, Loren Donohue, was even stingier. Though she failed to strike out a batter for the first time all season, the senior righty limited the Monties to two hits.
I knew they were going to come out swinging, so I had to mix my pitches, Donohue said. I also had confidence in my defense.
In the fourth, Monticellos Megan Drobysh reached on an error and stole second with two outs. Kim Donohue then hit a smash to third and was thrown out.
Shannon Dietrich broke up Donohues no-hitter to lead off the fifth. Jessica Konefal sacrificed her to second, and Dietrich scampered to third after Tucker grounded to short.
But then Donohue got Kristie Beamer on a grounder to second to end the threat.
Sam Lynch had the other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. She was sacrificed to second by Drobysh but died there when Cindy Jessup lined to center.
Analey Dietrich struck out two, walked two, and yielded six hits in taking her fifth loss of the season.
We had to earn every hit, because Monticello played excellent defense, said Cornwall coach Rick Miller. You have to give credit to Monticello for being here. They had a great season. It was a great game and Im happy we came out on top.
We knew we were going to face them, said Ferruggia. They improved so much.
Holding that slim lead, according to Ferruggia, was nerve wracking. But our defense is strong enough so I knew we wouldnt fall apart.
Those two ground balls, those two hits were the difference, Monticello coach Ed Kaufman said. We played against a quality team with a great pitcher, Kaufman said. We thought she (Donohue) might make some mistakes, but she didnt. We were able to get some hits, but we hit the ball to everyone we didnt get hits into the gaps.
Im very, very pleased with the season, Kaufman added. Our goal was to get here and we fulfilled that goal. We didnt give up today, the girls put forth their best effort and thats all you can ask for as a coach. I felt like it was a complete team effort.
We tried our hardest, what more can we do? senior first baseman Cindy Jessup said. We worked our hardest to get this far. It was our goal and we got here.
Im glad we had this chance, Analey Dietrich said. We gave it all we had.
Notes: Monticello fans were out in force, including cross country and girls track coach Pete Wysochanski (who kiddingly suggested he was there to scout softball girls with speed) and longtime boys tennis coach Evan Williams
Dennis Wacko Dietrich, father of the Dietrich sisters, must have spread the word, for his old Roches Garage softball team pals Pete Rossiter and Marc Anthony were on had to lend support.