By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY The Center For Discovery Diamonds took an early advantage in the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League (SCWSL) “B” Division best-of-three-game finals series on Wednesday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley.
Center For Discovery defeated Sonny’s Service Center, 12-8, in Game 1 of the series. The win gave Center For Discovery the opportunity to claim the “B” Division playoff title with a victory in Game 2, which was scheduled to be played last night at Collins Park.
Center For Discovery (17-8), which finished second in the “B” Division regular season standings, reached the finals by sweeping The Nugget two games to none in a best-of-three semifinal series. Sonny’s Service Center (19-7), which won the “B” Division regular season title, earned its berth in the finals with a two-game sweep of L&B Too in the other “B” Division semifinal series.
The start of Tuesday night’s game was delayed about an hour due to a heavy rainfall which left the infield covered with water and several inches of water sitting against the outfield fence. A group of SCWSL players and Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department members worked diligently to remove the water from the field. In addition to hooking pieces of wire mesh fencing to the back of a tractor and pickup truck to drag the infield, they used rakes and a wet/dry vacuum to clear the water.
The players and firefighters did an excellent job of making the field playable.
Once the game began, Center For Discovery took advantage of being up to bat first by scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. April VanOrden scored on a single by Terri Lewis and Nicole Feller scored on an error to give Center For Discovery a 2-0 lead.
The Diamonds added another run when Nicole Feller crossed home plate on a single by Joan Krieger.
Center For Discovery extended its advantage to 5-0 in the top of the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Candie Sheerer and Krieger.
Sonny’s Service Center got on the board in the bottom of the third. With two outs and the bases loaded, Maureen Johnson singled to right field to bring Jeanne Melchick and Shannon Weigand in to score to cut the Center For Discovery lead to 5-2.
But the Diamonds responded with four runs in the top of the fourth. Stephanie Johnson and Lewis hit RBI singles and Feller ripped a two-run triple to center field.
Justine Whitcomb of Sonny’s Service Center scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 9-3 game.
In the top of the fifth, Sheerer gave the Diamonds a 10-3 advantage when she scored on a double by Krieger.
Sonny’s Service Center closed to within four runs at 10-6 in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Whitcomb singled to left field. Courtney Price and Johnson scored on the hit, while Jessie Simmons crossed the plate a couple of seconds after her teammates due to an error.
An RBI double by Johnson and an RBI triple by Lewis in the top of the sixth pushed the Center For Discovery’s advantage to 12-6.
Sonny’s Service Center rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Weigand scored on an error and Courtney Price scored on Simmons’ infield hit.