Rob Potter | Democrat
THE TRI-VALLEY PLAYERS hold up three fingers to celebrate their third consecutive Sullivan County Softball Officials Tournament championship. The Lady Bears defeated Sullivan West, 3-2, in Saturday’s title game at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds. In the front row, from left to right, are Gretchen Hartman, Kayla Scannell, Kayla Raimundo and Kayla McNamara. In the second row, from left to right, are Bethany Huebsch, Lisa Dymond, Kaylie Ackerley and Karyn Sheeley. Standing in the back row, from left to right, are Scorekeeper Theresa Dymond, Assistant Coach Pat Burke, Addie Frost, Tricia Corigliano, Laurel Wilsen, Samantha Adriaans, Samantha Santiago, Amanda Martin, Skylar Musa, Mary Gonzalez, Assistant Coach Sue Sheeley and Coach Mary Feusner. Missing from photo is Anneliese Hartman.
Tri-Valley Tops Sullivan West
By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE April 24, 2007 On Saturday afternoon, the Tri-Valley Lady Bears won the Sullivan County Softball Officials Tournament for the third consecutive year.
But it certainly was not easy.
T-V (3-2) scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge Sullivan West, 3-2, in the title game at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds.
With SW (1-2) holding a 2-1 lead, Karyn Sheeley began the Lady Bears’ rally by ripping a double down the right field line. She then advanced to third base on a passed ball and scored the tying run when Skylar Musa hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
After Lady Bulldog pitcher Sarah Lander got the second out of the inning with an infield pop fly, Laurel Wilsen stepped into the batter’s box. She promptly stroked a single to right field. When the ball eluded the SW outfielder, Wilsen sprinted around second base and safely reached third.
Bethany Huebsch then lofted a high fly ball behind first base. SW first baseman Vicky Argueta held up her glove and settled under the ball. But the ball glanced off Argueta’s glove and fell to the ground.
Wilsen, who ran towards home plate as soon as Huebsch hit the ball, scored the game-winning run as the umpires ruled that Argueta, who was near the right field line, was in fair territory when the ball hit her glove.
After pausing for a few seconds to make sure the game was really over, the Lady Bears celebrated the victory with their coaches.
“We had those timely hits once again,” T-V Coach Mary Feusner said.
The veteran coach also praised the pitching performance of Gretchen Hartman. The senior struck out five in earning the complete game victory.
Hartman also got some help from her defense. With the score tied at 1-1 in the top of the fourth, Lander tried to score from second base on a single by Rachel Gruenke. But Lander was tagged out at the plate thanks to a fine relay from right fielder Musa to first baseman Kaylie Ackerley to catcher Kayla McNamara.
A speech by Feusner just before the Lady Bears began batting in the bottom of the sixth also helped the team record the victory.
“I was trying to motivate them and told them that they had not shown Sullivan West what they were made of,” Feusner said. “These players showed what they were made of in the bottom of the seventh.”
The Lady Bears grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Samantha Adriaans beat out an infield ground ball. After moving to second base on a sacrifice bunt by McNamara, Adriaans scored on an SW error.
The Lady Bulldogs evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the second. Rachel Houghtaling belted a pitch from Hartman into deep right field. Houghtaling quickly made her way around first and second and stopped at third for a triple.
But Houghtaling was only at third base for a couple of seconds. She ran down the line and crossed the plate when the relay throw from the outfield eluded Lady Bear third baseman Tricia Corigliano.
SW took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth. After Lander was cut down at the plate for the second out of the frame, Gruenke scored as Danielle Meyer safely reached first base on a throwing error.
SW Coach Mike Ellmauer was hoping that Huebsch’s pop fly to Argueta was a foul ball, but the umpires saw it differently.
“It’s one of those things,” Ellmauer said.
Instead of dwelling on that play, he chose to focus on the positives of the afternoon.
“We did a good job of hitting the ball today, especially in the first game against Eldred,” Ellmauer commented. “Sarah and Rachel did a good job of pitching. All of these kids did a great job today.”
SW, T-V win first round games
As Ellmauer noted, the Lady Bulldogs hit very well in their opening round game versus the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets.
SW took an 11-3 advantage in the first four innings and went on to record a 17-3 victory against Eldred (0-5).
One of the key hits for SW was an inside-the-park grand slam by junior catcher Kristen Niemann in the second inning.
In the other opening round contest, T-V topped Monticello, 6-4.
Leading the Lady Bears to the win were Amanda Martin, Samantha Santiago and Sheeley. Martin was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Santiago was 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and Sheeley went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
Junior pitcher Anneliese Hartman, who entered the game in the top of the third in relief of starter Lisa Dymond, earned the victory for T-V.
Chelsea Reuss took the loss for Monticello (0-1).
Pacing the Lady Panthers’ offense were Maria Pavese and Jessica Venditti. Pavese had one hit and an RBI, while Venditti was 2-for-3 and stole two bases.