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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

SULLIVAN WEST’S SARAH Lander tries to hold the softball in her glove as a Monticello player slides into her and across home plate during Monday afternoon’s non- league game in Jeffersonville.

Sullivan West
Goes the Distance

By Ted Waddell
JEFFERSONVILLE — April 14, 2006 – A win can be tasty, but a come from behind victory is even sweeter.
In Monday afternoon’s non-league softball game in Jeffersonville, the host Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs defeated the Monticello Lady Panthers, 7-5, in eight innings.
Monticello (1-2) went ahead with a run in the opening inning on a single, a stolen base and an RBI ground out to first base.
The Lady Bulldogs scored twice at the turn at bat in the first.
Monticello sent two runners across the plate in the top of the second. A walk, stolen base and wild pitch scored the first run. The second run of the frame was recorded on a single by senior infielder Marissa Smithem.
Then the bats of both squads took a siesta until the sixth frame.
In the top of the sixth, the Lady Panthers’ leadoff batter walked, advanced to second on an error and scored on a single by Katy Gonzalez.
SW replied with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to knot the score at 4-4.
Kristen Niemann walked and stole second. Stephanie Meyer singled and stole second, while Niemann moved over to the hot corner. Sarah Lander then doubled, which allowed both Niemann and Meyer to cross home plate.
The seventh inning was scoreless, which meant that at least one extra frame would be needed to determine a winner.
In the top of the eighth, the Lady Panthers’ leadoff batter singled, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice and crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
With Monticello holding a 5-4 advantage, it was crunch time for the Lady Bulldogs when they came to bat in the bottom of the eighth.
Samantha Vandiver walked and stole second. Meyer reached base on an error and Vandiver took third on a wild pitch. Allison Swendsen grounded out to third base, but Vandiver scored on the subsequent throw from third to first. After Lander walked, senior catcher Katie Moloney doubled to clear the bases and give the Lady Bulldogs a two-run victory.
Lander, a sophomore pitcher, earned the win for SW, while Monticello senior pitcher Rachael Huffman was tagged with the loss.
“It went alright, but we just got the ball a little high in the strike zone, and she tomahawked it to the outfield,” Monticello Coach Ed Kaufmann said of Moloney’s game-winning hit.
“It’s only our third game, but we could be swinging the bat a little better,” Kaufmann added.
SW Coach Mike Ellmauer said he has a new crop of players this year and the varsity team is sharing its field with the jayvee squad.
“This is a brand new group of kids,” Ellmauer said. “I don’t know what to expect from them yet, and they don’t know what to expect from me. This is a lot different from other years, higher level competition, new coaches and a little bit of pressure.
“We’ll see what happens as the year goes by,” he added.
As he walked back to the home team dugout, Ellmauer still wasn’t quite sure what their record was.
“Technically, we’re one-and-one,” he said, referring to his team’s 7-0 loss to Pine Plains on April 3.
Ellmauer thought the contest was a scrimmage, but the opposition is calling a non-league, regular season game.
So what was the veteran coach’s take on the Lady Bulldogs’ dramatic eighth-inning victory against the Lady Panthers?
“I’ll take any come-from-behind win,” Ellmauer replied.

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