By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR Chapel Field wasted little time in grabbing the lead in its Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI softball game last Tuesday afternoon versus the host Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats.
Alyssa Brognano led off for the Lady Lions in the top of the first and promptly hit the ball to right field. She sprinted to first base, narrowly beating the throw from Manor right fielder Jessie Simmons to first baseman Emily Casey.
After stealing second base and advancing to third on a passed ball, Brognano scored when Lyndi Fielitz ripped a triple to right center field.
Fielitz gave Chapel Field a 2-0 lead when she crossed home plate on a passed ball.
Brognano, the Lady Lions’ pitcher, received more run support from her teammates as the game progressed.
As a result, Chapel Field defeated the Lady Wildcats, 10-0.
In earning the victory, Brognano allowed four hits, recorded eight strikeouts and walked one.
After adding a run in the top of the second inning, Chapel Field (16-0, 6-0 Division IV) extended its advantage to 7-0 in the third. With one out and the bases loaded, Victoria Billman slammed a triple to left field. All three baserunners Michelle Larson, Grace Hodges and Fielitz scored on the hit.
Billman then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kiersten Kuperus.
Hodges had an RBI double in the fourth to give the Lady Lions an 8-0 lead.
Chapel Field scored its final two runs in the top of the sixth. With two outs and two runners on base, Hodges doubled to left field.
But when Hodges attempted to stretch the hit to a triple, she was tagged out by Lady Wildcat third baseman Brittnie Fredenburg on a good throw by left fielder Chelsea Riegal.
Chapel Field Coach Bill Spanjer Jr. was pleased with the performance of his team, which is the No. 1 Class D softball team in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association poll.
“Our defense did a great job today,” he said. “Offensively, we had many runners get on base and we had some good hits to bring them in to score.”
Spanjer noted that Brognano, a junior, pitched well.
He was also impressed with Manor freshman pitcher Marissa Diescher, who registered nine strikeouts.
“She’s awesome,” Spanjer said of Diescher.
“Manor has a good team,” he added. “We might see them again in the sectionals.”
Casey had two of the four hits for Manor (12-3, 5-1 Division VI), which is the No. 9-ranked Class D softball team by New York State Sportswriters Association.
“They have a very solid team,” Manor Co-Coach Kevin Clifford said of the Lady Lions. “They have solid hitters one through nine in the lineup. There’s a good reason why they are undefeated and the defending state [Class D] champion.
“We had opportunities to score some runs, but couldn’t take advantage of them,” Clifford added.
One of the Lady Wildcats’ best chances to get on the scoreboard occurred in the bottom of the seventh. Marina Zayas and Casey hit consecutive singles to start the frame.
The next batter, Ashley Meyer, hit a hard line drive, but Chapel Field first baseman Kuperus caught the ball. Kuperus then stepped on the bag to double up Casey for the second out of the inning.
Seconds later, Kuperus caught a fly ball in foul territory to end the game.