Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

NEW HOPE WON the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League “B” Division playoff championship series. Kneeling from left to right are Allison Whipple, Ashley King, Maureen Johnson, Devon Davis, Jeanne Melchick and Tammy Sondermeyer. Standing from left to right are Linda Mears (scorekeeper), Lori Kimmes, Coach Mike Ward, Kelly Cicero, Kerri Vandermark, Darlene Malewit, Mia Feliciano and Heather Bachmann. Missing from photo are Gail Bryant and Donna Bowers.

New Hope Scores
Top Victory

By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY — August 19, 2005 – The New Hope softball team won the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League’s “B” Division Championship Series with a 14-7 victory over the Nugget on Wednesday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley.
New Hope, which finished third in the SCWSL “B” Division regular season standings, defeated the Nugget 19-8 on Monday night at Collins Park in the first game of the best-of-three series.
But the Nugget, which won the “B” Division regular season title with a 12-6 record, rebounded to win Game 2 on Tuesday night by a final score of 12-9.
In Wednesday night’s deciding game, New Hope overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring four times in the bottom of the first. With no outs and the bases loaded, Maureen Johnson and Lori Kimmes patiently drew walks to knot the score at 2-2.
Kelly Cicero and Johnson each crossed home plate later in the inning on RBI groundouts by Devon Davis and Kerri Vandermark, respectively.
New Hope scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-2 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, however, the Nugget responded by scoring twice. Megan Kitson hit a sacrifice fly to score Amanda Davis and Eva Fredericks crossed the plate on a single by Beth Fanning as the Nugget cut the New Hope lead to 8-4.
But New Hope took command of the game by recording six runs in the bottom of the fifth. Allison Whipple and Lori Kimmes had RBI singles in the frame and Johnson ripped a two-run double to right center field as New Hope took a 14-4 lead into the final two innings.
The Nugget scored twice in the sixth and once in the seventh, but could not overcome the large New Hope lead.
The Nugget Wins Game 2
Needing a victory to keep the series going, the Nugget posted a12-9 win on Tuesday night at Collins Park.
With the score knotted at 5-5 after three innings, the Nugget took the lead for good in the top of the fourth. Kitson and Rebecca Sykes hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Nugget a 7-5 lead.
After each team scored a run in the fifth inning, the Nugget scored twice in the sixth. Kelly Schadt, who led off the frame with a single, scored on a base hit by Mary Kate Johnston. The next batter, Veronica Cotton, grounded out to shortstop, but Johnston scored on the play to extend the Nugget’s lead to 10-6.
New Hope made it a 10-9 game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-run triple by Cicero and an RBI single by Kimmes.
But with one out in the top of the seventh, Linnea O’Mara hit the ball to right center field and then sprinted around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Later in the frame, Davis singled up the middle and Patty Anderson scored what would be the final run of the contest.
New Hope Takes Opening Game
New Hope took a one game to none lead in the series with its 19-8 victory on Monday night at Collins Park.
Cicero hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the top of the first to help New Hope grab a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the second, New Hope increased its advantage to 7-0 when Whipple hit the ball to deep left field with the bases loaded. All three of her teammates scored on the play and Whipple quickly rounded the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam.
The Nugget closed the gap to 7-3 in the bottom of the third when Sykes hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run.
But that was as close as the Nugget would get the rest of the way as New Hope scored 12 runs over the next three innings. One of the key hits in those frames was a two-run, inside-the-park home run by Heather Bachmann in the top of the fifth.
Following the series-clinching victory on Wednesday night, New Hope Coach Mike Ward noted how much the team progressed during the 2005 season.
He noted that in 2004, the squad qualified for the “B” Division playoffs, but was swept two games to none in the semifinal round. After posting an 8-10 record during the 2005 regular season, New Hope defeated Center For Discovery two games to one in the semifinals and then topped the Nugget to finish the year with an overall record of 12-12.
“Our bats really came through for us in this series,” Ward said. “Everybody contributed.
Ward noted that “the Nugget played really well” in the series.
He also was pleased with the way his team played all season.
“Last season, it seemed like in every game we would have one bad inning on defense and give up five or six or seven runs,” Ward commented. “But that didn’t happen as much this year.
“I really appreciate the effort of all these ladies this season,” Ward continued. “They had an intense team spirit. We really came together as a team this year.”
Nugget Coach Ed Wheat noted that by winning the “B” Division regular season title and finishing the year with an overall record of 15-8, the team had exceeded his expectations.
“We had a great season,” he said. “Last year, we only won six games. So going into this season, I was hoping to finish with a .500 record and we did much better than that.”

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