By Rob Potter
ROSCOE The Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats took an early lead in Tuesday’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) softball game against the host Roscoe Lady Blue Devils.
Manor (13-3, 6-2 Division VI) scored three runs in the top of the first inning on a single by Valentina Babich, an illegal pitch and a groundout by Brittnie Fredenburg.
The Lady Wildcats added to their 3-0 lead by scoring in each inning thereafter to post an 18-3 victory in the game, which ended after six innings due to the 15-run mercy rule.
Roscoe (0-14, 0-7 Division VI) narrowed the Lady Wildcats’ lead to a single run in the bottom of the first.
With one out, Paige Clancy drew a walk. She then stole second base and third base and scored the Lady Blue Devils’ first run on a passed ball.
Roscoe’s Taylor DeVantier made it a 3-2 contest when she crossed home plate as teammate Britni Brookins struck out but reached first base when the ball eluded the catcher.
But Manor extended its advantage in the top of the second inning. Victoria Taggart led off with an infield hit and later scored when Valentina Babich drew a bases-loaded walk.
Marissa Diescher gave the Lady Wildcats a 5-2 lead when she scored on a passed ball.
Manor’s Megan Ellison then singled to left field to bring teammates Jessie Simmons and Valentina Babich around to score.
After scoring twice in the top of the third inning, the Lady Wildcats pushed their lead to 12-2 in the fourth. Allanna Sherwood and Emily Casey both scored on an error and Diescher slammed a double to score Nicole Lair.
Roscoe scored its final run of the afternoon in the bottom of the fourth.
With two outs, Brighid Fogarty struck out, but safely reached first base when the third strike was dropped. After stealing second and third, Fogarty scored when Kasse Brock reached base on another dropped third strike situation.
Manor regained its 10-run lead in the fifth and added five runs in the sixth. Heather Estrada led off for the Lady Wildcats in the top of the sixth. She walked and later scored on a wild pitch.
After Estrada crossed the plate, Kym Potter, who was still at bat, walked to load the bases. Christine Babich then stepped into the batter’s box and promptly belted the ball into deep right field for a grand slam home run.
Diescher struck out the first two Lady Blue Devils she faced in the bottom of the sixth and then got the third batter to hit an infield grounder for the final out.
Diescher recorded 15 strikeouts while earning the complete-game victory.
Clancy registered seven strikeouts for Roscoe.
“I thought we hit the ball very well today,” Manor Co-Coach Kevin Clifford said. “We played very well as a team.”
With the regular season ending this week and Manor set to begin playing in the Section IX Class D Tournament next week, Clifford was pleased to see all of the Lady Wildcats doing well.
“Our team is more than Marissa [Diescher], everybody is playing great right now,” he said.
Although Roscoe is still searching for its first win of the season, Coach Amanda Davis was pleased by her team’s effort.
“They played a great game,” she said. “These girls didn’t give up for a second.
“Manor has a very good team this season,” Davis added.
Roscoe, which did not have a varsity softball team the past four seasons, was slated to complete its season yesterday afternoon with a Division VI game at The Family School.
“These girls keep learning and improving,” said Davis, who noted that there are just three seniors Brock, Brookins and Fogarty on the Lady Blue Devils’ roster.