By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY July 28, 2006 The Cooper Paint softball team stayed perfect for the 2006 season on Monday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley.
But the team needed a rally in its final at bat to maintain its spotless record.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning of a Sullivan County Womens Softball League (SCWSL) A Division game versus Charlies Angels, Cooper Paint faced an 8-6 deficit. But the team responded by scoring three times in the frame to record a dramatic 9-8 victory.
Rachelle Rocky Irwin began the comeback by hitting a single just inside the left field line. After Charlies Angels pitcher Nicki Krom recorded a strikeout, Nat Cillis singled to center field to give Cooper Paint runners on the corners with just one out.
Jessica Gould then entered the game as a pinch runner for Cillis. The next batter, Jennifer Wright, who is Goulds younger sister, then ripped a base hit to left field. Irwin scored on the single, cutting the Charlies Angels advantage to 8-7.
Charish Priest stepped up to the plate and promptly hit a ground ball. Charlies Angels shortstop Shannon Dietrich quickly fielded the ball and threw it to second baseman Leanne Mangabang, who touched the bag to force out Wright.
Mangabang then fired the ball to first baseman Robyn Gannon to try and complete a game-winning double play. But Priest beat the throw to keep the inning going.
The next batter, Amanda Cox, ripped a single to center field. Gould easily scored the tying run and Priest sprinted around the bases to score the winning run.
Cooper Paint improved to 17-0, while Charlies Angels fell to 16-2.
We pulled it out in the end, said Cooper Paint co-Player/Coach Pat Shuart. We were lucky, because they played an excellent game tonight.
While disappointed with the outcome of the contest, Charlies Angels Coach Jo Walls was pleased with her teams effort.
Nicki Krom is not our regular pitcher and she pitched a darn good game tonight, Walls said. Everybody played a great game.
Charlies Angels grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Dietrich singled to left field to score Krom. The next batter, Deb Ackerley, grounded out, but Mangabang was able to cross home plate as the out was recorded at first base.
Cooper Paint answered with a run in the bottom of the first. Wright, who led off with a walk, scored on a single by Amanda Irwin.
An RBI double by Terri Hess in the top of the second extended the Charlies Angels lead to 3-1.
Cooper Paint made it a one-run contest in the bottom of the third, however. Cillis reached base with a one-out single. Wright then blasted a triple to deep left center field, which allowed Cillis to score and cut the Charlies Angels lead to 3-2.
In the top of the fourth, Ackerley hit a leadoff single and scored a few minutes later when Christine Decker grounded out.
In the bottom of the frame, Amanda Irwin drew a leadoff walk. Susette Goldsmith then entered the game to pinch run for Irwin. The next batter, Ally McCarthy, ripped a triple to right center field to bring Goldsmith in to score.
McCarthy tied the game at 4-4 when she crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Lori Brown.
Cooper Paint took a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Cox hit a two-run, bases-loaded double.
But Charlies Angels grabbed a 7-6 lead in the top of the sixth. Martin led off the frame by smashing the ball to the base of the center field fence. She quickly rounded the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Analey Dietrich, who was a pinch runner for Ackerly, scored the tying run on a single by Gannon. The Angels then took a one-run advantage on an RBI single by Terri Hess.
In the top of the seventh, Martin stroked an RBI single to give Charlies Angels an 8-6 lead.
But Cooper Paint responded with its game-winning, three-run rally in the bottom of the frame.