By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE May 17, 2005 Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky day for the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs softball team.
On that afternoon, SW hosted the John S. Burke Catholic Lady Eagles in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV softball game in Jeffersonville.
Burke wasted little time in grabbing momentum and the lead on the scoreboard.
The Lady Eagles scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the second to grab an early 6-0 advantage. Burke (15-4, 8-0 Division IV) went on to record a 11-1 victory over the Lady Bulldogs.
Meaghan Galvin was the first Lady Eagle to step into the batters box and face SW pitcher Sarah Lander. Galvin promptly doubled to left center to kick start the Burke offense. Two batters later, Katie Foiles hit a bloop single into shallow center field to bring Galvin in with the games first run.
Michelle Bianchetti then ripped a triple to left field. Foiles scored on the hit to give the Lady Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Bianchetti crossed home plate when the next batter, Chelsea Gallagher, singled.
In the top of the second, Galvin and Diana Polli both scored on a double by Foiles. Bianchetti then singled to right center field to bring Foiles in to score Burkes sixth run of the afternoon.
Burke added three runs in the fourth inning. Page Molloy hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Polli to tag up and score from third base. The next batter, Amanda Rand, smashed a triple to right center field, which brought Amy Holmes and Bianchetti across home plate.
The Lady Eagles scored their final two runs in the top of the seventh after loading the bases with just one out. Holmes and Ashley Skeete each used a keen batting eye to draw a walk and bring a teammate across home plate.
SW (4-9, 4-4 Division IV) recorded its only run in the bottom of the sixth. Genna Delgado led off the frame and beat out a grounder to third base. Two batters later, Delgado, who stole second base, moved to third base when Heather Lander walked.
After Burke pitcher Rand got the second out of the frame on an infield pop fly, Allison Swendsen singled to left field. Delgado then sprinted towards home plate and slid under the mitt of Lady Eagle catcher Molloy to put the Lady Bulldogs on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the SW players and coaches, Delgados run proved to be the only one the team would score in the contest.
Bianchetti pitched four perfect innings to earn the victory for the Lady Eagles. She also struck out five batters.
Rand took over the pitching duties in the bottom of the fifth. She allowed three hits, walked two and struck out one batter over the final three frames.
Leading the Burke offense were Bianchetti, who was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and Foiles, who was 2-for-2, scored three runs and had three RBIs. Galvin added two hits and scored three runs, while Polli recorded a pair of hits.
These kids played well today, Burke Coach Steve Douthit said of his team.
He also praised the Lady Eagles for the way they played the game.
Sullivan West is a good team, Douthit commented. You can see they are good athletes because they carry themselves the way [good] athletes do.
SW Coach Mike Ellmauer complimented Burke, saying that they came to play.
As for the Lady Bulldogs, Ellmauer noted that the 2005 squad is the youngest team Ive had in 24 years. He said that of the 12 Lady Bulldogs on Fridays line-up card, five are seniors, four are juniors, two are sophomores and one is a freshman.
Its just been an uphill battle all season, Ellmauer said. Because of injuries, academics and other circumstances, Wednesdays game against Liberty was the first time this year that we had all of our players.
And an injury put our spirit in the dugout today instead of out on the field, he added, referring to senior first baseman Autumn Darder, who hurt her knee in the teams 14-5 win against Liberty last Wednesday. Darder, who had her left knee wrapped up with an Ace bandage, did not play in Fridays game.
Despite the difficulties, Ellmauer has seen some positives.
Weve come a long way from the beginning of the season, he said.
Ellmauer also noted that the Lady Bulldogs still had the opportunity to qualify for next weeks Section IX Class B Tournament. SW was scheduled to travel to West Point yesterday afternoon to face James I. ONeill in an OCIAA Division IV game. Ellmauer said that if the Lady Bulldogs prevailed in that contest, they would be in the sectional tourney.