By Rob Potter
ELLENVILLE May 27, 2005 The host Ellenville Lady Blue Devils grabbed an early lead in Tuesday afternoons Section IX Class B softball quarterfinal game versus the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs.
Ellenville, the third seed in the Class B tourney, scored three runs in the bottom of the second.
As pitcher Sara Finkbeiner kept the SW batters off balance, the Lady Blue Devils added five insurance runs in the sixth inning.
Finkbeiners pitching and their own timely hits enabled the Lady Blue Devils to record an 8-1 victory over the sixth-seeded Lady Bulldogs.
With the win, Ellenville (12-5) advanced to the Class B semifinals. The Lady Blue Devils were slated to play at second-seeded John S. Burke Catholic High School yesterday afternoon.
Leading the Lady Blue Devils offensive attack were Allison Comentino and Bari Allor. Comentino went 3-for-3 and scored a pair of runs, while Allor had two hits and two RBIs.
Finkbeiner struck out eight Lady Bulldogs and allowed only one hit.
That lone SW hit came in the top of the sixth. With one out and teammate Heather Lander who had walked to lead off the frame on base, Genna Delgado hit an infield single to shortstop. While the Lady Bulldogs seemed poised to narrow Ellenvilles 3-1 lead, Finkbinder struck out the next SW batter and then got a groundout to end the inning.
Ellenville then sealed its victory with five runs in the bottom of the frame.
SW scored its only run of the contest in the top of the fourth. Angela Fortin led off the frame with a ground ball to shortstop and reached base when the throw to first was errant. Fortin went to second base on the overthrow and moved to third when Delgado grounded out. Autumn Darder then lofted a fly ball to center field. But the ball was not fielded cleanly, which allowed Fortin to score and Darder to reach first base.
Those insurance runs were scored on timely hits and a couple of miscues we made, SW Coach Mike Ellmauer said of Ellenvilles late scoring burst. They scored five runs in that inning and we couldnt come back.
While Ellmauer and the Lady Bulldogs were obviously disappointed to lose in the first round of the sectional tournament, the veteran coach focused on the positives from the 2005 season.
We played some Class A schools in tough games, he said. And Im glad that we made the sectionals. I believe that when you qualify for sectionals, you are among the top 10 or 15 percent of teams in the state. So being able to finish the season as one of those teams in that top 10 to 15 percent makes me happy.
I also want to thank [assistant coach] J.P. Lang and [scorekeeper] Ken Uy for all of their help this season, Ellmauer added. They helped things go pretty well for us. And, of course, I thank the players for the way they performed this season.