By Rob Potter
SLATE HILL The Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats’ hopes of ending Chapel Field’s championship streak in Section IX Class D softball were dashed on Saturday at Minisink Valley High School.
No. 1 seed Chapel Field topped No. 2 seed Livingston Manor, 4-0, in the Class D title game on a sweltering afternoon.
With the win, the Lady Lions, who were the top-ranked Class D softball team in the New York State Sportswriters Association poll released on June 1, improved to 21-0 this season and captured their 10th consecutive Class D title.
Manor, which was ranked sixth in the June 1 poll, finished its season with a 15-4 record.
Chapel Field took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Michelle Larson scored on a passed ball.
The Lady Lions added a run in the second inning. Jackie Roebuck led off with a single, stole second base and scored on a double by Lyndi Fielitz.
However, Fielitz was tagged out by Manor third baseman Brittnie Fredenburg while attempting to stretch the hit into a triple. Fredenburg tagged Fielitz a few feet in front of the base after taking the throw from left fielder Kym Potter.
The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Brianna Sofia reached base on an infield hit. After moving to second base on a wild pitch and advancing to third on a passed ball, Sofia scored on a single by Alyssa Brognano to give Chapel Field a 3-0 lead.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Victoria Rossi, who entered the game as a courtesy runner for Brognano, tried to score on a wild pitch. But Manor catcher Megan Ellison quickly retrieved the ball and threw it to pitcher Marissa Diescher, who tagged out Rossi at the plate to end the inning.
The Lady Wildcats had their best chance to get on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth as Emily Casey and Christine Babich began the frame with consecutive singles.
But Brognano got the next three batters to strike out, fly out and strike out, respectively, to preserve her team’s three-run lead.
The Lady Lions scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Roebuck reached base on an error and crossed home plate when the next batter, Victoria Billman, also reached on an error.
Billman attempted to score on a wild pitch but was tagged by Diescher at the plate for the second out of the inning.
Diescher then recorded a strikeout to end the frame.
In the top of the seventh, Manor’s Marina Zayas drew a two-out walk to keep the game going. But Brognano recorded her 12th strikeout of the day to clinch the championship for Chapel Field.
“Alyssa pitched a great game,” Chapel Field Coach Bill Spanjer Jr. said.
Spanjer said he was a bit nervous going into the game, even though the Lady Lions defeated the Lady Wildcats twice during the regular season to win the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI title.
“They have a good team,” he said of Manor. “And Marissa [Diescher] is a great pitcher who, on any given day, can shut you down.”
Diescher, who gave up six hits, struck out seven batters to finish the season with 257 strikeouts.
“You can’t take anything away from them,” Manor Assistant Coach Amanda Irwin said of the Lady Lions.
“It’s always tough, but unless you’re the state champion, everybody ends the season with a loss,” Manor Co-Coach Kevin Clifford said. “We had a great season.”
Co-Coach Charlie Hicks concurred with Clifford.
“We had a big turnaround this year,” Hicks said. “The team did not make sectionals last season.”
Manor will be losing six seniors: Tina Babich, Ellison, Heather Estrada, Ashley Meyer, Chelsea Riegal and Jessie Simmons.