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'Touting' Their Horn

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

THE TOUT VA Bien/Pro Prospects softball team won the New York State ASA 23-and-Under Women’s Softball Championship on Sunday at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley. Sitting in the front row, from left to right, are Erin Shuart, Kate Yaun and Missy McAloon. Kneeling behind them, from left to right, are Tricia Ritchie, Beth Fletcher, Lisa Tufano and Crystal Helmke. Standing from left to right are Coach Pat Shuart, Megan Drobysh, Analey Dietrich, Kristen Halverson, Kim Donohue, Jen Bowie, Coach Dennis Dietrich and Shannon Dietrich. Missing from photo are team members Katie Farrugia, Kristen Hosking and Kelly Theis.

Tout VA Wins

By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY — July 12, 2005 – Going into the fifth inning of Sunday’s championship game of the New York State ASA Women’s 23-and-Under Fast Pitch Tournament, the Tout Va Bien/Pro Prospects team was tied with The Cult, a team based in Syracuse, 1-1.
But in that fifth inning and in the sixth, TVB/PP – which is sponsored by Tout Va Bien, a Manhattan restaurant, and Pro Prospects Baseball and Softball Training Center in Monticello – broke the game open. The team scored twice in the fifth and added three runs in the sixth on its way to a 7-2 victory. TVB/PP now advances to the ASA Women’s 23-and-Under National Tournament, which will be held July 28 to July 31 in Amherst, which is near Buffalo.
The three previous games that TVB/PP and The Cult played in the two-day tournament at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley were all decided by a single run. In Saturday’s opening round, Kate Blundell scored on an error in the bottom of the seventh to give The Cult a 2-1 victory over TVB/PP.
But on Sunday morning, in the double-elimination round, TVB/PP defeated The Cult by a final score of 3-2 by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. And the event’s first possible championship game was scoreless through the regulation seven innings. The Cult – which was a name chosen by the team’s players because several of them played together in high school and were nicknamed “the softball cult” – scored twice in the top of the eighth, but TVB/PP could only manage one run in the bottom half of the inning. Therefore, The Cult’s 2-1 victory forced a final deciding game.
In that title contest, TVB/PP grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, Kate Yaun singled to right center field. After The Cult pitcher Sarah Reed got a strikeout, Shannon Dietrich hit a bloop single into right field and Yaun raced around the bases to score.
The Cult tied the game in the bottom of the second. Reed led off by ripping a triple to center field. The next batter, Emma Murphy, struck out, but when the ball got away from the catcher, she ran to first base. Murphy made it to first safely and Reed scampered home on the play to knot the game at 1-1.
After two scoreless frames, TVB/PP broke the game open. Missy McAloon started the inning with a bunt single. Tricia Ritchie then hit a single to right center field that allowed McAloon to score.
Ritchie crossed home plate moments later on an infield hit by Crystal Helmke, which extended the TVB/PP lead to 3-1.
In her first inning of relief of Ritchie, TVB/PP pitcher Kristen Halverson set down The Cult batters in order in the bottom of fifth with three infield grounders.
Halverson’s teammates then gave her more run support in the top of the sixth. Beth Fletcher walked to begin the inning and Megan Drobysh then bunted. Drobysh sprinted down the line to beat the throw to first, giving TVB/PP two baserunners with no outs.
After The Cult pitcher Amanda Trailer, who relieved Reed in the top of the fifth, got a fly out, Ritchie ripped a double to left center field. Fletcher and Drobysh scored on the hit, making it a 5-1 game. Yaun then singled to extend the TVB/PP advantage to 6-1.
Lisa Tufano scored the final TVB/PP run of the afternoon when she crossed home plate on a double by Fletcher.
The Cult attempted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Murphy led off with a solid single to center field and Blundell reached on an error. The next batter, Amanda Barnett, hit the ball back to Halverson, who calmly threw it to third baseman Tufano to force out the lead runner, Murphy. Blundell and Barnett moved up to second and third, respectively, when Trailer grounded out.
Katie Grenga then singled to left field to bring Blundell in to score and extend the inning. The next batter, Kelsey Cooley, hit a soft fly ball that was drifting towards the left field line when Helmke ran over from shortstop to make the catch and end the game.
Yaun was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Dietrich was 2-for-3 with an RBI and McAloon went 2-for-4 in the contest.
“Everybody did what they had to do,” TVB/PP Coach Pat Shuart said. “They bunted people over, pitched well and played great defense.”
Shuart and fellow TVB/PP Coach Dennis Dietrich noted the performance by Halverson, who pitched in five of the six games the team played in the tournament. The only game she did not pitch in was TVB/PP’s 5-2 victory over the Rochester Wildfires on Saturday afternoon in the first game of the double-elimination round as Analey Dietrich recorded the complete-game victory.
The TVB/PP coaches also pointed out that Shannon Dietrich had a good tournament at the plate. In addition to her 2-for-3 performance in the title game, Dietrich went 3-for-3 with an RBI single in the team’s loss to The Cult on Saturday afternoon and went 3-for-3 with three RBIs in TVB/PP’s 5-2 win over the Rochester Wildfires in the double-elimination round.
“I would say that Kristen and Shannon were our co-MVPs this weekend,” Dennis Dietrich said.
“They all played great,” he said of the TVB/PP players. “They are learning to play the full game. They don’t get down on themselves if they’re down on the scoreboard.”
Jon Cooley and Lance Reed, coaches for The Cult, said they were very impressed by Shannon Dietrich, who batted clean-up for TVB/PP.
“These were two very evenly-matched teams,” Cooley commented. “It came down to which team made a mistake, and we made a couple in that last game.
“But if these two teams played a seven-game series, it would probably end up with one team winning four games to three.”
Saturday, July 9
TVB/PP 3 • Rochester Wildfires 2
The Cult 6 • Rochester Wildfires 1
The Cult 2 • TVB/PP 1
TVB/PP 5 • Rochester Wildfires 2
Sunday, July 10
TVB/PP 3 • The Cult 2
The Cult 4 • Rochester Wildfires 2 (8 innings)
The Cult 2 • TVB/PP 1 (8 innings)
TVB/PP 7 • The Cult 2 (Title Game)

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