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Rob Potter | Democrat

Third base sailed into foul territory after Chester’s Christy Hipsman slid into it during the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday’s non-league softball game between the Lady Hambletonians and Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats. Manor third baseman Brittanie Fredenburg tagged Hipsman on the back, but Hipsman was safe on the play.

Chester edges Manor Lady Wildcats, 3-2, in nine-inning non-league softball game

By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR — April 9, 2010 — The Chester Lady Hambletonians and Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats opened the 2010 scholastic softball season by playing a non-league game on Wednesday afternoon in the Manor.
But the standard seven innings of competition were not enough to determine a winner.
Chester prevailed, 3-2, in nine innings.
Christy Hipsman scored the winning run for the Lady Hambletonians when teammate Danielle Gomez grounded out to shortstop in the top of the ninth inning. Hipsman led off the frame and hit a grounder to third base. But the throw to first base was errant, so Hipsman advanced to second base. She then stole third base before scoring on Gomez’s groundout.
Lady Hambletonian pitcher Sam Philips retired the Lady Wildcats in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal her team’s victory.
Chester (1-0) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With one out, Philips singled to center field and promptly stole second base and third base. After Hipsman was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, Philips crossed home plate on a passed ball.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth inning. That’s when Manor (0-1) scored a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead.
With one out, Marissa Diescher singled to center field. She moved to second base when Victoria Taggart grounded out. The next batter, Christine Babich, singled to left field to bring Diescher around to score.
Babich then scored the go-ahead run when Angela Zayas ripped a double to right center field.
The Lady Hambletonians wasted little time in tying the score, however.
Ashlyn Stover led off the top of the fifth for Chester. She struck out, but reached first base safely when the third strike was dropped. Stover stole second base and third base as Diescher, the Lady Wildcats’ pitcher, struck out the next two batters.
Stover knotted the game at 2-2 when she crossed home plate on a passed ball.
The score then remained tied until the ninth inning.
Philips earned the victory in the pitcher’s circle for Chester. She allowed six hits and recorded 11 strikeouts.
“It was a great game and a well-pitched game by both pitchers,” Chester Coach Mike Becker said. “In a close game like this, it usually comes down to who makes an error or who gets the key hit. Luckily, we were able to take advantage when they made an error.”
Becker was pleased that his team did very well in two integral aspects of the game – defense and hitting.
“The girls played good defense today,” he said. “I liked the fact that we were able to hit the ball, especially since we were facing the best pitcher in Section IX.”
Diescher took the loss for the Lady Wildcats. She allowed just three hits, struck out 16 batters and did not issue a walk. All three of the Lady Hambletonian runs against Diescher were unearned.
“There were two great teams playing out there,” Manor Co-Coach Kevin Clifford said. “It was a great game and it stinks to be on this end of it.”
Like Becker, Clifford was happy with his team’s defensive performance.
“We played good defense today,” Clifford said. “The last couple of seasons, we were relying on Marissa to strike out the side in many innings. But today, we had a couple of 1-2-3 innings without a strikeout. It was good to see our fielders making plays behind Marissa.”
Clifford noted that the Lady Wildcats have a very experienced team as seven starters are returning from last season, when the team reached the Section IX Class D championship game. The leaders of this season’s team are seniors Emily Casey, Brittanie Fredenburg and Sara Reigal.

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