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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

LIBERTY’S BRITTANY MELCHICK safely slides across home plate as the ball eludes Fallsburg catcher Frances Melendez in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game.

Comets Miss Indians

By Rob Potter
LIBERTY — May 9, 2003 – For most of Tuesday’s OCIAA Division IV softball game, Fallsburg and host Liberty played pretty evenly.
But two innings made the difference in the game.
Liberty scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and five runs in the bottom of the sixth to earn a 14-4 victory.
The Lady Indians took advantage of Fallsburg mistakes and added a few key hits of their own to take control of the game.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Liberty’s Chelsea LaGattuta reached base by beating out a bunt. The next two batters, Andrea TerBush and Brittany Melchick, walked to load the bases.
LaGattuta scored on a passed ball and TerBush and Melchick each crossed the plate on a wild pitch to give the Lady Indians an 8-4 advantage.
Three batters later, Jessica Klein singled to give Liberty a 9-4 lead.
Liberty (5-2, 2-1 Division IV) added five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
TerBush led off the frame with a base hit and stole second base. She advance to third on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball.
Melchick reached base on an error and Christina Hinton followed with a single to put two runners on base with no outs. After Fallsburg pitcher Ashley Frunzi recorded a strikeout, Klein singled to bring Hinton in to score.
Rebecca Cohen walked and Kelly Lorino recorded a bloop hit to load the bases. Brittany Strysko grounded out, but Klein scored on the play to give the Lady Indians a 13-4 lead.
Lorino scored the final run of the game on a passed ball later in the inning.
“We hit the ball a little today,” Liberty Coach John Wilhelm said. “We had kind of a slow start, which is the way it’s been for us lately.”
Wilhelm noted that in the previous afternoon’s 5-4 victory over S.S. Seward, the Lady Indians didn’t score any runs until the sixth inning.
“But give Fallsburg credit, they hung in there for a few innings,” Wilhelm said.
Fallsburg (0-8, 0-4 Division IV) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Sarah Halprin scored on an infield hit by Shannon Weigand for the Lady Comets’ first run. Weigand scored later in the inning on a Liberty error.
However, the Lady Comets had trouble capitalizing on scoring opportunities later in the game.
Fallsburg loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning. Weigand scored when Toni Wilkerson hit a pop fly to Lady Indian pitcher Kate Yaun. After catching the ball, Yaun threw it to first base to double off a Lady Comet runner. Yaun then ended the Fallsburg rally attempt by getting a groundout for the final out of the inning.
Yaun limited the Lady Comets to just two hits and recorded eight strikeouts on the afternoon.
“We really didn’t hit the ball when we needed to,” Fallsburg Coach Maria Randazzo said. “But that’s something we have been working to improve as a team.”
Randazzo noted that the Lady Comets have only three players returning from last season. The roster features two seniors, six juniors and two sophomores.
“The girls are enthusiastic and want to improve,” Randazzo said. “We are learning to play better as a group.”
Wilhelm noted that because a couple of players were out with mono, he needed to add a couple of junior varsity players to his roster.
“I’m pretty happy with the win,” he said. “We had to bring up a couple of junior varsity players and they got a couple of key hits for us and played pretty well.”

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