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A No-Fun Finale

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

CRYSTAL FORGET OF Monticello looks in the umpire’s direction after tagging out Chapel Field’s Julie Schaper, who was trying to steal third base, in the first inning of Saturday’s title game.

In the End,
Chapel Field Wins

By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY — May 14, 2002 – In a game where runs were a precious commodity, Chapel Field had just one more than Monticello.
Chapel Field scored that run in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Monticello 3-2 Saturday in the championship game of the Monticello Invitational Tournament at Collins Park in Mongaup Valley.
After tying the game by scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Chapel Field (15-3) won the tourney title in dramatic fashion in the seventh.
(Although the softball tournament is the Monticello Invitational and hosted by the Monticello Lady Panthers, a coin flip at the beginning of the title game determined which squad would be “home.” Chapel Field won the toss and became the designated “home” team, which meant that the Lady Lions would have the last at-bat in the contest.)
Chapel Field’s Rachel McLean led off the bottom of the seventh and reached base on an infield error. After stealing second base, McLean advanced to third on a bunt by Laura Bast.
McLean remained at third when the next batter, Megan Klussman, safely reached first base after bunting. That put runners at the corners with no outs.
Amanda Lulumeere hit a bloop single to right field that dropped just inside the foul line about 15 feet behind first base. McLean then raced home with the winning run.
“We get our runs by moving base to base,” Chapel Field Coach Bill Spanjer said. “Then it’s up to the hitters to make contact. Amanda did a nice job and got the hit when we needed it.”
Spanjer also noted the key hit by Erica Ramos in the bottom of the sixth inning.
With Monticello (12-6) holding a 2-0 lead, Amanda Schweiger and Julie Schaper drew walks from Monticello pitcher Megan Drobysh. After Drobysh got Lady Lion clean-up batter Stacey Kuperus to hit an easy pop fly for the second out of the inning, Ramos stepped to the plate. She then ripped a triple to right center, sending both Schweiger and Schaper across the plate to knot the game at 2-2.
“You have to give credit to Monticello,” Spanjer said. “They hit the ball and scored a couple runs early in the game. They put the pressure on us.”
And Chapel Field certainly handled that pressure.
“They were the better team today,” Monticello Coach Ed Kaufmann said of Chapel Field. “They had more discipline and were able to get the hits when they needed to. They executed the fundamentals and we weren’t able to – that was the difference.”
Things started well enough for Monticello, however. With two outs in the top of the first, Shannon Dietrich smacked a single to right to score Kim Donohue, who had reached base earlier in the inning when she was hit by a Schaper pitch.
Dietrich knocked in the other Lady Panther run in the third inning. With one out and runners on second and third, Dietrich grounded out and Samantha Lynch scored from third base on the play.
Both Drobysh and Schaper kept the opposing batters relatively in check during the game. Drobysh allowed six hits, struck out three batters and walked two. Schaper gave up six hits, struck out 11 and did not walk a batter.
“We stopped being aggressive,” Kaufmann said. “For some reason, we lack a certain intensity we need to beat good teams. They took advantage of that. They’re a good team that’s well-coached.”
In the tournament’s consolation game, Pine Bush (9-9) defeated S.S. Seward (10-8) by an 8-0 margin.
In the first round, Chapel Field beat Pine Bush, 4-1, and Monticello shut out Seward 7-0 as Drobysh allowed only two hits in the Lady Panther victory.

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