By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR April 23, 2004 It didnt take long for the Tri-Valley softball team to begin hitting in Tuesdays game versus host Livingston Manor.
On the very first pitch of the non-league contest, T-Vs Tiffany Paul smacked the ball into center field and quickly made her way to second base for a leadoff double.
Paul scored the Lady Bears first run later in the frame. Clean-up batter Lacey Moores RBI single brought Maria Jeltsch across home plate for a quick 2-0 lead.
Moore and Jessica Lake also scored in the first inning, giving T-V a 4-0 lead before any Manor batter stepped up to the plate.
The early lead and its momentum propelled T-V to an 11-2 victory over the Lady Wildcats.
Scoring those four runs in the first inning was a nice way to start, T-V Coach Mary Feusner said. Its good when you can go out and make a statement in the first inning.
Manor Coach Gail Denman agreed that the Lady Bears early advantage was a key factor in the contest.
I thought when they scored those runs it really set the tone for the game, she said.
Faced with a 4-0 deficit, the Lady Wildcats attempted a rally in the bottom of the second. Emily Dalrymple led off the inning with a single to left field. She then stole second and third base while Carrie Lewis was at-bat.
Lewis hit a ground ball back up the middle which T-V pitcher Kaylie Ackerley fielded quickly. Ackerley then threw the ball to catcher Maria Jeltsch, but Dalrymple slid under the tag to give Manor (0-2) its first run.
But an unassisted double play by Lady Bears first baseman Lake later in the frame helped to prevent Manor from getting any closer.
In the top of the third, Lake singled to bring Danielle Musa and Moore around to score.
T-V (2-2) added a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Jeltsch and Moore each ripped an RBI double to the outfield to give the Lady Bears an 8-1 lead.
Brittney Conklin had a two-run single in the fifth for T-V.
Moore finished the game 4-for-4 with two RBI, while Lake and Paul each went 2-for-4.
Each teams respective pitcher, Ackerly for T-V and junior Ashley Taggart for Manor, finished the contest with three strikeouts and three walks.
Although Ackerley is only an eighth-grader, this is her second season on the Lady Bears varsity squad.
She pitched a little bit last season and had some pitching lessons over the winter, Feusner said. Shes been coming on strong for us. She had a good outing today.
Feusner noted that one aspect of pitching she watches as the game unfolds is the number of pitches a hurler throws in each inning. She said the goal for the T-V pitchers is to throw less than 15 pitches each frame. Ackerley made fewer than 15 pitches in four of the games seven innings.
Denman noted that the game marked only about the fourth time we have been on the field this spring. Between the weather and the fact that Manor had a two-week spring break, the Lady Wildcats have not had many opportunities to practice outside.
The girls did a pretty decent job today, she said.
Denman added that she expects her team to improve as the season progresses.
The Lady Wildcats have only three seniors on the roster: Tegan Kern, Jen Taggart and Liz Weickum.
The team lost both of its main pitchers from last season Alys Mann and Jen Wright to graduation.
Notes: Manor will compete in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI this season. Other teams in the division are Eldred, The Family School, S.S. Seward and defending New York State Class D champion Chapel Field.
T-V is in OCIAA Division V, along with Chester, Fallsburg and Tuxedo.