By Ted Waddell
ELDRED May 17, 2002 Seven is a real lucky number.
In Tuesday afternoons OCIAA Division V softball game that was played in a pesky drizzle, the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets pounded out seven runs in three separate innings on their way to crushing the visiting Lady Blue Devils of Roscoe, 23-2.
Backed by chants of three up, three down from the Eldred bench, Lady Yellowjacket pitcher Becky Ryman sent several Roscoe batters back to their seats.
It was great to have a win, because we really needed it, she said. Hopefully, well kick some butt in out next game.
Rymans take on the 2002 season?
Its been up and down, up and down, but our hitting and fielding is improving and we have less errors, she said. No more errors!
Legions of home team batters seemed like a blur of green striped uniforms as they reached on hits, stole bases and scampered across the plate. Eldreds romp was assisted by a series of hits that snuck through gaps in the Roscoe infield or sailed into open spots in the outfield.
Lots of wild pitches and errors kept the scorekeepers busy.
The Lady Blue Devils were hampered a bit in the numbers department; they fielded just eight players in the game. Due to a vacancy in left field, Heather Wood (playing right field) and Rosie Miesner (playing center) teamed up to cover the entire outfield.
In the opening frame, Eldred (3-8, 3-6 OCIAA) scored seven runs. Aimee Schneider led off with a single. Jenny Haas and Amanda Tice reached on a series of wild pitches.
Ryman singled with the bases loaded to begin the scoring. Casey Williams and Stacie Blaut had RBI base hits later in the inning and Alicia Mayer sent two home with a double.
In the second inning, Eldred made it a 14-0 ballgame by sending seven more runners across the plate.
After Jessica Cherry reached on an error and Williams walked, Blaut smacked an RBI double. Schneider whacked a two-RBI double, Haas recorded an RBI single and Tice tripled in a run as the Lady Yellowjackets built a big lead.
In the Eldred third, Katie Collins led off with a base hit and Schneider slammed a two-run homer.
Roscoe (1-12, 0-10 OCIAA) scored two runs in the top of the fourth. Amber Gray reached on an error and stole second. A base hit by Crystal Evans put Gray in scoring position at third, and she crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Kendra Harris got to first on an error, and Evans scored.
In Eldreds turn at-bat in the fourth, the home team once again returned to its lucky number by scoring seven runs. Williams and Blaut each reached base on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
Schneider reached on a single. Sara Thornton had a RBI single. A Tice double scored a couple of runs.
At the end of five frames, the umps invoked the 15-run rule, putting a merciful end to a lopsided game in the rain.
They were hitting the holes for a lot of runs, said Roscoe pitcher Kelly Ahart, who relieved starter Christine Rosencranse after two innings. It was long and it was cold. They have good hitters, (and) we were just trying to pitch it in there and get it over with.
Although the Lady Blue Devils have posted only one win on the season a 5-4 non-league victory over Downsville Roscoe Coach Becky Ahart noted that the girls have had a good time this season.
They learned a little bit along the way, and maybe next year theyll be ready to play the game, she said of her young team.
Roscoes center fielder Rose Miesner summed up the season.
A lot of us are beginners, and we had a lot of fun as a team, she said.
We really needed to win this game to boost our self-esteem, said Eldred third baseman Cherry. Weve had a little bit of a rough year . . . it was good to have a game like this once in a while. We stayed together and were still friends.
Eldred has a team of 11 seniors this year (11 players and a team manager). Seven of those 11 are new to the game of softball.
The season has been a challenge, Eldred Coach Dot McCrone said. Whether were winning or losing, theyre still having fun. We have a real good group of seniors.
After the game, McCrone received numerous hugs and well-wishes from the team members and spectators, as she was scheduled to check into the hospital the next morning to give birth.