By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE The Sullivan West softball team began its 2008 season with a victory on Tuesday against visiting Fallsburg.
SW took a commanding 19-0 lead after the first inning and went on to record a 31-2 win in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV game played at Lauren Hughson Field at the SW Jeffersonville campus.
The game ended after the Lady Comets batted in the top of the fifth inning due to the 15-run mercy rule.
SW (1-0, 1-0 Division IV) got off to its quick start in its first inning by being patient at the plate in order to draw walks and because of RBI singles by Sarah Lander, Jennifer Pitz, Stephanie Meyer, Rachel Gruenke and Kristen Niemann and a three-run triple by Rachel Houghtaling.
Fallsburg (0-2, 0-1 Division IV) scored its first runs of the young season in the top of the fourth.
Ashley Hong began the frame by singling to center field. She then stole second base and was able to score on an error.
With two outs, Kerri Sheridan hit a bloop single to right field and stole second base.
The next batter, Theresa Allen, struck out, but safely reached first base when the ball was dropped by the catcher. The throw down to first went into right field, which allowed Sheridan to score the second Lady Comets’ run of the afternoon.
“We’re getting a little better each game,” Fallsburg Coach Andrea Millas said.
Millas noted that her team, which was shut out in a non-league game at Port Jervis on Monday afternoon, has not been outside for practices very much this spring. After seeing her team get a couple of hits and score two runs in Tuesday’s game, she remains optimistic.
“As we get out on the field and play more, I look for us to be a lot better,” Millas said.
Lander picked up the win for SW, striking out 10 batters.
She also paced the Lady Bulldogs’ offense, going 6-for-6 with a double, four runs scored and three RBIs.
Houghtaling was 4-for-5 with cccccthree runs scored and six RBIs and Pitz was 2-for-4 and scored five runs.
SW Coach Mike Ellmauer noted that he has been on both sides of a lopsided score during his long softball coaching career and that “games like this are hard [for both teams].
“I give Fallsburg a lot of credit, this is the first varsity team they’ve had in a while,” he said.
As for his squad, Ellmauer said he saw some positives as well as some aspects of the game where the Lady Bulldogs can improve as the season progresses.
“The big thing is we were swinging at strikes, that’s a good sign,” he said.