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Perfect Angels

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

CHARLIE'S ANGELS SECOND baseman Leanne Mangabang applies the tag on Cheryl Sheerer of Combined Energy Services, who was attempting to steal second in Tuesday’s championship playoff game. Umpire Dan Clark is about to make the call.

Charlie's Angels
Sweeps the Field

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — August 24, 2001 – For at least this summer, they are the Perfect Angels.
With a dramatic, come-from-behind victory Tuesday night, Charlie’s Angels insured a perfect season of play in the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League.
After completing the regular season with a spotless 24-0 record, Charlie’s Angels defeated Nugget twice in a best-of-three first round playoff series last week. Two more wins over Combined Energy Services (CES) in the championship series guaranteed that Charlie’s Angels would keep that zero in the loss column for the 2001 season.
But CES did all it could to give the Angels at least one loss on the season. Following a close 8-6 win Monday night at Collins Park in Monticello, Charlie’s Angels scored six runs in the top of the seventh for a dramatic 9-8 win over CES Tuesday night at Sommerville Field in Monticello.
Down by a 5-3 score entering the seventh inning Tuesday night, the Charlie’s Angels squad began its comeback. Winning pitcher Diane Staves helped her own cause by hitting a bloop single to center field. The next two batters, Cindy Ellmauer and Jo Walls, then drew walks off of CES hurler Christine Cully to load the bases.
Nicki Krom then walked to make it a 5-4 game and Leanne Mangabang tied the contest by hitting an infield single. Tonya Ackerley, who was 4-for-4 in the game, then ripped a single to left that brought Walls and Krom to the plate. A sac fly off the bat of Debbi Ackerley and RBI single by Christine Decker later in the frame made it a 9-5 lead for Charlie’s Angels.
CES answered with a comeback of its own in the bottom of the seventh. Cully led off the frame with a single and Anna Puleo followed with a hit to put two runners on with no outs. After a ground out, a throwing error on a ground ball by Alexa Mickelson allowed both Cully and Puleo to score, cutting the Angels’ lead to 9-7.
The next batter, Jill Hubert-Simon, singled to center, which brought Mickelson to the plate and made it a one-run game.
Three batters later, with runners on the corners and two outs, Staves got Cheryl Sheerer to hit a fly ball to left field. As soon as left fielder Amanda Cox squeezed her glove around the ball, the celebration began for the Angels.
That celebration included a champagne toast to the heavens by Jo Walls to honor her late father, Charlie. (The team was renamed Charlie’s Angels in his memory.)
“How sweet it is,” said Walls, who is the Charlie’s Angels player/manager. “These players are the best. We’ve all been playing together for years and know how to work together.”
While enjoying the win that capped off the perfect season, Walls was quick to praise the CES team.
“I was fretting that whole last inning,” Walls said. “They played a great game tonight — and last night, too. The games went back and forth.”
Indeed they did.
After the Angels grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning, CES answered two innings later. With two on and one out, Sheerer smashed a triple just inside the third base bag to make it a 2-2 game. Chrissy Ort then gave CES the lead when her sacrifice fly brought Sheerer to the plate for a 3-2 CES lead.
Following the game CES manager Walter Saunders reminded his squad of their successes during the 2001 season. CES finished third in the regular season standings and captured second place in the playoffs.
“We had an excellent season, these ladies did a great job,” Saunders said.
Of course, he also thought it would have been nice to win Tuesday’s game to force a third and deciding game.
“We almost had them tonight,” Saunders said. “But you know that a team like that can always come back. That’s what makes them such a good team.”
Several players had great nights at the plate in Monday’s game. For the Angels, Tonya Ackerley and Mangabang each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Debbi Ackerley and Krom were both 2-for-4 with one RBI apiece. Valerie Feinberg led the CES offense by hitting a pair of home runs. Hubert-Simon also homered for CES and Lisa Benjamin went 2-for-3 on the evening.

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