By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY August 12, 2005 The Sullivan County Womens Softball League began its playoffs earlier this week.
When the SCWSL regular season ended last week, Dutchs and L&B Tack were tied for fourth place in the A Division standings.
On Monday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley, the two teams met in a tie-breaker game to decide which squad would continue its 2005 season.
As one would expect from a game featuring two evenly-matched teams, the contest was not decided until the final inning.
L&B Tack, which was the home team for the game, held a 12-6 advantage heading into the seventh inning.
But in the top of the seventh, Dutchs did its best to tie the game or even take the lead. With one out, Cris Carpenter ripped a two-run double to center field and Shannon Holland followed with a two-run single to bring Dutchs to within 12-10.
Following Hollands base hit, Kathy Jo Hoyt reached base on an error and the next batter, Amanda Barnum, made it to first base on a fielders choice. However, Holland was forced out at third base on Barnums infield grounder.
Kim Bradley then singled to load the bases.
Tini Kaiser hit a bloop single to left field and Hoyt scored to bring Dutchs to within a single run.
But L&B Tack pitcher Barb Merton then induced an easy pop fly which she caught herself to end the game.
With the win, L&B Tack moved on to face Cooper Paint in the A Division semifinals.
In the first game of that series, which was played on Tuesday night at Collins Park, Cooper Paint defeated L&B Tack 7-2.
On Wednesday evening at Collins Park, Cooper Paint won the best-of-three game series with an 18-2 victory.
Cooper Paint grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a two-run triple by Amanda Cox and a sacrifice fly by Amanda Irwin.
L&B Tack responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. With one out and the bases loaded, Robin DeMarmels hit a ground ball to second base. Although an out was recorded at second base, DeMarmels safely reached first base and Merton crossed home plate.
Julie Potosek then singled to left field, which allowed Mary Hall to score and bring L&B Tack to within a run at 3-2.
But Cooper Paint scored three runs in the second and one in the third to take a 7-2 lead going into the fourth inning.
Cooper Paint broke the game open by scoring nine runs in the top of the fourth. Cox ripped a two-run single to center field and Kelly Theis hit an RBI double as the team took a commanding 16-2 lead.
Cooper Paint added two more runs in the top of the fifth and then held L & B Tack scoreless in the bottom of the frame to record a 15-run rule victory.
The A Division best of three game championship series will pit Cooper Paint against Charlies Angels, which defeated Combined Energy Services (CES) in the other A Division semifinal series. On Monday night, Charlies Angels prevailed 27-12 and on Tuesday night, Charlies Angels topped CES 20-10.
New Hope, Nugget Advance
In this weeks B Division semifinals, New Hope defeated the Center For Discovery Diamonds two games to one and the Nugget swept Cobblers two games to none.
The third and deciding game was necessary in the New Hope/CFD series after the Diamonds won Monday nights game 14-13 and New Hope prevailed in Tuesday nights contest, 10-7.
In Wednesday evenings deciding game at Collins Park, New Hope overcame two early deficits and two late rallies by CFD to record a 14-12 victory.
New Hope held a 7-4 lead after five innings of play, but CFD erased that advantage in the top of the sixth. With one out, Bonnie Blackwell singled to bring both Catherine Santoro and Terri Lewis around to score. Blackwell then advanced to third base on a throwing error and scored the game-tying run moments later when Barbara Thompson grounded out to second base.
However, New Hope broke the 7-7 tie by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. Heather Bachmann and Kelly Cicero each hit a two-run single and Maureen Johnson, who blasted two inside-the-park home runs earlier in the contest, added a sacrifice fly as New Hope took a 14-7 lead.
Down to their final at-bat, the Diamonds put together a two-out rally in the top of the seventh. Barbetta Perez and Santoro hit RBI singles to pull the team to within five runs. Lewis then ripped the ball over third base and down the left field line to bring Perez and Santoro in to score.
Two batters later, Blackwell singled to left field. Lewis crossed home plate on the play to make it a 14-12 ballgame.
But New Hope pitcher Darlene Malewit then induced an infield pop fly to end the game.
New Hope will face the Nugget in the B Division title series.
On Monday night, the Nugget defeated Cobblers 17-12 at Gary A. Bradley Field at White Sulphur Springs Firemens Park.
After falling behind 3-0 and then 6-3, the Nugget responded with an eight-run second inning to take the lead for good.
Rosemary Steuber, Julie Erlwein and Stefanie Kellam all recorded RBI singles in the frame as the Nugget took an 11-6 advantage.
The Nugget extended its lead to 13-6 in the bottom of the third when Linnea OMara blasted a two-run triple to left center field.
However, Cobblers rallied in the top of the fifth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Erin Brown hit an inside-the-park grand slam to make it a 13-10 game.
Cobblers closed to within 14-12 in the top of the sixth, but the Nugget responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Steuber, the Nugget pitcher, then set down the Cobblers batters in order in the top of the seventh. OMara recorded the final out by making a nice leaping catch just when the softball seemed destined to drop into center field for a base hit.
The Nugget then defeated Cobblers on Tuesday night to advance to the B Division finals.