By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE The Roscoe Lady Blue Devils scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat the host Tri-Valley Lady Bears, 12-7, on Wednesday afternoon in a non-league softball game.
With the five-run outburst during its final at-bat, Roscoe earned its first victory of the season.
Entering the seventh inning, however, the Lady Blue Devils found themselves locked in a 7-7 tie with the Lady Bears.
Kiera Browne started the Roscoe rally by drawing a walk from T-V pitcher Lauren Jones. Browne then beat a throw to second base when Taylor DeVantier hit a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop. Katelyn Horton was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for the Lady Blue Devils.
When Angel Feeney hit a ground ball back to Jones, the pitcher threw the ball to catcher Rachel Adriaans in an attempt to force out Browne at home plate. But Browne was able to touch the plate before Adriaans had control of the ball in her glove and her foot on the plate.
DeVantier scored on Jen Conway’s groundout to give Roscoe a 9-7 lead.
The Lady Blue Devils pushed that advantage to 11-7 when Horton scored on Kelly Darbee’s double and Feeney crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Darbee scored Roscoe’s final run of the frame when Browne singled to right field.
T-V (1-8) ended the inning with a good defensive play as Adriaans tagged out Viktoria Harasha between third base and home plate.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Bears loaded the bases with two outs against Roscoe pitcher Paige Clancy thanks to an error, Sam Martin’s single and a walk. But when the next batter hit the ball right back at her, Clancy calmly fielded the ball and threw it to catcher DeVantier to force out Adriaans and end the game.
Roscoe (1-7) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. With one out, DeVantier struck out, but advanced to second base when the third strike was dropped and the subsequent throw to first base was errant. Horton ripped a single to center field to put runners on first base and second base.
DeVantier and Horton then moved up to third and second, respectively, with successful steals. The throw by T-V catcher Ellen Williams to try and get DeVantier at third was off line, however, and DeVantier sprinted home for the first run of the afternoon.
Horton scored on a wild pitch moments later.
The Lady Bears took a 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the second. With two outs and the bases loaded, Williams hit a single to center field to score Sarah Thilberg. Aurora Boyes registered the tying run when she touched the plate as Karyn Sheeley drew a walk.
With the bases still packed, Christina Neist earned an RBI the hard way when she was inadvertently hit by a Clancy offering. As Neist made her way to first base, Martin scored to give the Lady Bears a one-run edge.
The Lady Blue Devils regained the lead by scoring twice in the top of the third. Harasha started the inning with an infield hit and made her way to third base on a steal and a wild pitch. She scored when Clancy grounded out.
Cat Greenthal scored the go-ahead run for Roscoe. She reached base with a walk, stole second base and scored when the throw to second went into the outfield and the Lady Bears’ center fielder accidently booted the ball.
Roscoe added three runs in the top of the fourth as Clancy had an a RBI single and Browne smacked a two-run single to center field.
The score remained 7-3 in the Lady Blue Devils’ favor until the bottom of the fifth. Jones began the inning by beating out a ground ball to shortstop. She later scored on an infield hit by Boyes to bring T-V to within three runs at 7-4.
The Lady Bears evened the score at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth. Martin scored on an infield hit by Neist to make it a 7-5 contest. Williams scored on Jones’ single to right field and Neist registered the tying run when Thilberg reached base with an infield hit.
“We needed to have a win,” Roscoe Coach Pete DeVantier said. “It was nice to finally break the ice and get a victory today.
“When we played them last weekend, we were ahead 8-0 and they came back to win the game,” he added.
Coach DeVantier noted that Clancy, who had eight strikeouts, pitched a very good game. He also praised his team’s balanced offense. Browne led the Lady Blue Devils’ attack with three RBIs, Clancy had two RBIs and Conway and Darbee each added an RBI.
“We played pretty well as a team,” he said.
T-V Coach Mary Feusner noted that her team’s struggles can be summed up in one word inexperience.
“We are still seeing inexperience rear its ugly head at the worst possible moments,” she said. “It has hurt us in all of our games. The players know what they should do and they can tell you what they need to do, but they have a tough time making the plays sometimes.”