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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

THE MR. WILLY’S softball team won the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League’s “B” Division playoff championship. Kneeling from left to right are Tina Johnstone, Melissa Cullen, Chrissy Schiff, Cindy LaRuffa and Erica Boyd. Standing from left to right are Diane Meyer, Lisa Dowling, Megan Sheeley, Sue Sheeley, Vanessa Meyer and Beth Cogswell. Missing from photo are team members Roseann Brewer, Tami Chaboty, Jen Cole and Teresa Sumfleth.

Mr. Willy’s Softball Team
Wins ‘B’ Division Title

By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY — August 20, 2004 – It took quite a while, but the Mr. Willy’s softball team recorded the win Tuesday night in the second game of the best- of-three game Sullivan County Women’s Softball League “B” Division championship series.
In a lengthy contest that some fans compared to a marathon, Mr. Willy’s outslugged the Combined Energy Services team, 38-21.
The win, combined with the team’s 18-11 victory in the first game of the series, allowed Mr. Willy’s to capture the “B” Division playoff championship. Mr. Willy’s also won the “B” Division regular season title, posting a 17-4 record.
In Tuesday night’s game, one wondered how many runs would be enough to win the game.
Mr. Willy’s, which defeated New Hope two games to none in one of the “B” Division semifinal series, opened the contest by scoring six runs in the top of the first. Tina Johnston had an RBI double and Vanessa Meyer added an RBI triple as Mr. Willy’s grabbed a 6-0 lead.
After Mr. Willy’s added a pair of runs in the top of the second to grab an 8-0 advantage, CES – which defeated The Nugget two games to none in the other “B” division semifinal series – responded with a big inning of its own. A total of 17 batters stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the second as CES scored 12 runs to take a four-run lead. Key hits in the frame were a two-run triple by Chrissy Powers and a two-run double by Anna Puleo.
In the top of the third, Mr. Willy’s scored five runs to regain the lead, 13-12. Erica Boyd’s two-run single tied the game at 12-12. The next batter, Megan Sheeley, smacked a single to left field that allowed Boyd to score and give Mr. Willy’s a one-run lead.
But CES regained the lead in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and two runners on base, Barb Ward-Blank ripped a triple to right field to give CES a 14-13 lead.
The game’s momentum returned to Mr. Willy’s in the top of the fourth when the team scored 11 runs. The key hits in the frame were a three-run inside-the-park-home run by Vanessa Meyer and a two-run single by Chrissy Schiff.
After CES scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to close its deficit to 24-15, Mr. Willy’s recorded three runs in the top of the fifth. Erica Boyd and Sheeley had RBI singles in the inning.
Mr. Willy’s added two runs in the sixth to take a 29-15 lead into the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, Mr. Willy’s scored nine runs. Boyd had an RBI double and Cindy LaRuffa, Diane Meyer, Vanessa Meyer and Schiff all added RBI singles.
A scary moment occurred in that inning, however. As Tami Chaboty of Mr. Willy’s was sliding into third base, she was hit in the back of the head by the softball. She stayed on the ground as teammates, opposing players and coaches rushed to her side. The players applied an ice pack to the back of Chaboty’s head and an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
CES scored six runs in its final at-bat, but could not overcome the large deficit.
“That was a great game,” said Schiff, who is the player/coach for Mr. Willy’s. “Both teams played really well.”
“We played well, we played our game,” LaRuffa added.
Like Schiff, LaRuffa was quick to praise the CES squad.
“They’re a great team,” LaRuffa said. “They have a solid offense.”
Although the team lost both of its playoff games versus Mr. Willy’s, CES defeated Mr. Willy’s in three of the four regular season games the teams played this summer. CES finished the regular season in second place in the “B” Division with a 16-5 record.
“We improved a great deal over last season,” said CES Coach Paul Hubert, noting that the team recorded just three wins in 2003. “We had a good season and had a lot of fun.”

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