By Ted Waddell
HANCOCK April 21, 2006 Over the past few years, The Family School and Hancock Central School varsity softball teams have squared off for a non-league game.
On Monday afternoon, the Lady Falcons and Lady Wildcats extended that tradition at the Hancock Central School softball field.
However, the contest was very one-sided.
Hancock, which is a Section IV Class D team that competes in the Mid-State Athletic Conference, grabbed an early lead and went on to record a 24-0 victory over The Family School, a Section IX Class D squad that competes in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA).
Hancock improved its record to 7-1 on the season, while The Family School fell to 2-3.
Lady Wildcat junior Liz Rice earned the victory by pitching a no-hitter. She struck out 13 Lady Falcons on the afternoon.
Despite receiving plenty of encouragement and support from her coaches and teammates during the contest, Lady Falcon pitcher Bianca Eldorrado took the loss.
Hancock, which is ranked among the top 10 Class D softball teams in the state in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association poll, scored in each of its six times at bat. The Lady Wildcats recorded one run in the first inning, seven runs in the second inning, four runs in the third, two runs in the fourth, six runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth.
Pacing the Hancock offense was Lauren Wellman, whose batting average is about .700. In the Lady Wildcats eight games this season, she has smashed four home runs, including one against The Family School.
Hancock loaded the bases in the fifth and sixth innings, but Coach John Marino showed a lot of class by holding up the runners at the corners, allowing only a single run to score at a time.
I held them up so as not to run up the score, Marino said. I want it to be a positive experience for everyone.
He helped the schools, which are both located in Delaware County and separated by only seven miles, to begin the tradition of playing one or two non-league games each spring.
Its a nice little local game, Marino said.
Looking back on how the Lady Wildcats softball program has evolved in recent years, Marino said, Weve come a long ways from the old days when we were beat up on. Im very proud of what weve done.
Family School Coach Jason Garnar noted that Hancocks outstanding performance and his teams miscues were the key factors in the contest.
We made a lot of errors and lost a lot of people, and when we do that, the outcome is expected, he explained.
Garnar, who is in his first year of guiding the Lady Falcons, said that he is excited about the rest of the season. He is especially looking forward to playing games against fellow OCIAA Division VI teams.
Our goal is to win first place [in the division], Garnar said.