By Rob Potter
HANCOCK May 13, 2003 As many softball coaches and players know, good pitching is often the most important aspect of the game.
A prime example of that theory was demonstrated on Friday when visiting Chapel Field met The Family School in an OCIAA Division V game.
Chapel Fields ace pitcher, Julie Schaper, took a no-hitter into the final inning. But with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Family Schools Joanna Heretick ripped a double down the third base line to ruin Schapers gem.
Schaper, however, struck out the next two batters to preserve a 3-0 win for Chapel Field (8-1, 5-0 Division V).
It was a solid hit, Chapel Field Coach Bill Spanjer Jr. said of Hereticks double. Its frustrating because its happened before. Every season shes had no-hitters broken up when the other team got a hit in the final inning.
Its very frustating, Schaper said of losing the no-hitter. But I felt like I was consistent and tried to get ahead of the batters.
Schaper struck out 16 Lady Falcons in the contest.
The Lady Lions gave Schaper all of the offensive support she would need by scoring a pair of runs in the fourth and adding another in the seventh.
Laura Bast and Bethany Chiarot led off the top of the fourth with back-to-back singles. Laura Kuperus then grounded out to score Bast with the games first run.
Chiarot scored when the next batter, Rachel McLean, hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
In the seventh inning, Chapel Field added an insurance run. McLean led off the frame with a hard line drive that Family School shortstop Nina Lynn caught for a split second as she dove to her right. But as Lynn hit the ground, the ball dropped out of her glove and McLean reached first base on the error. Megan Klussman then bunted McLean over to second base and McLean proceeded to steal third base.
McLean scored when Alex Gonzalez was thrown out on a bunt.
While Schaper was dominating the Lady Falcon batters, Family School pitcher Dee Gill was frustrating the Chapel Field hitters. Gill scattered seven hits and had a few of the Lady Lion batters muttering to themselves after grounding out or hitting a lazy flyball.
Shes very tough to face because she is a different pitcher than were used to seeing, Spanjer said of Gill, who does not have the kind of speed on her pitches that Schaper does. She puts the ball in the strike zone and has a good defense to back her up.
Family School Coach Mike Losicco noted that his squad fared better against Schaper when the two teams played at Chapel Field three days earlier.
We got two runs off of her and hit her then, Losicco said of last Tuesdays game, which Chapel Field won by an 11-2 final. Shes a great pitcher. We need more practice hitting against a fast pitcher like her.
Despite the loss, which dropped The Family Schools record to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in Division V, Losicco was not too disappointed.
Im really happy with the way our girls played today, he said. They played well defensively behind Dee. We like to play a simple game of softball catch, throw, hit and run. We like to emphasize the basics.
Losicco added that he has been receiving plenty of help coaching this season. That assistance comes from Assistant Coach Peggy McCarthy, who is the sister of former Narrowsburg Central School basketball standout Paddy McCarthy, manager/scorekeeper Annelle Grice and two student coaches, Gabrielle Harris and Emily Lacey.
He added that the five of them award a small pin to a player after each game. The gold pin is imprinted with the words whatever it takes and is presented to a player who made a key play in the contest or stood out in some other way. Right fielder Ruth Brown received the pin after Fridays game. In the top of the seventh with a runner on base, Brown caught a hard line drive off of Schapers bat to end the inning.