By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY August 15, 2003 While standing with her teammates behind the first base dugout at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley Wednesday evening, Charlies Angels Player/Coach Jo Walls noted that her teams theme song is We are Family.
And at that time, it was a very happy family.
Moments earlier, Charlies Angels held off a determined Cooper Paint team, 8-5, to win the Sullivan County Womens Softball Leagues A Division Playoff Championship. The previous night, Charlies Angels defeated Cooper Paint, 14-6, in the first game of the best-of-three series.
Holding just a three-run lead going into the final inning, Charlies Angels scored twice in the top of the seventh. Leanne Mangabang led off the frame with a single and Tonya Ackerley followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Debbi Ackerley then singled to center field to score both runners and give Charlies Angels an 8-3 lead.
But Cooper Paint rallied in its final at-bat. Consecutive singles by Pat Shuart and Nat Cellis put two runners on base with no outs. After the next two batters grounded out, pinch hitter Shirley Felder got an infield hit. Cellis scored on the play to make it an 8-4 game.
Maryann Manza then entered the game as a pinch runner for Felder. With Kelly Theis and Manza on base, Megan Drobysh ripped a single to center field. Theis scored on the play as the ball rolled towards the center field fence. But a fine relay from center fielder Anna Tesseyman to shortstop Tonya Ackerley to catcher Terri Hess allowed Hess to tag out Manza at home plate and preserve the Charlies Angels victory.
Charlies Angels also won the regular season A Division championship.
This was a great game, Walls said. Both teams played great softball.
Walls noted that the team won the championship two days before her late fathers birthday. The team was named Charlies Angels in honor of Charlie Walls several years ago.
We just have great team, Jo Walls said. Its a good team on and off the field.
The fact that the two teams played such a close game was not much of a surprise.
Its always close when our teams play each other, said Cooper Paint Player/Coach Val Fersch, whose team won the 2002 A Division playoff championship.
Pat Shuart agreed with Fersch, noting that games between the two teams are always tough and competitive. Shuart added that all three regular season games between the teams were decided by just one run. Charlies Angels won the first contest, 9-8, but Cooper won the next two games by scores of 9-8 and 13-12.
Overall, we had a pretty good season, Fersch said. We added some good, younger players and took second place in the regular season and second place in the playoffs.
In Tuesday nights opening game, pitcher Linda Schwartz earned the win for Charlies Angels. Tonya Ackerley paced the teams offense with four RBI, while Karen Fisher added a triple and two RBI and Mangabang had three hits.
Kathy Brandes and Pat Shuart each had two hits and an RBI for Cooper Paint in the contest.