By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY July 18, 2008 The Sullivan County Women’s Softball League held its annual All-Star Game last Friday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley.
Each of the league’s 12 teams selected two all-star players and two alternates. When the players arrived at Collins Park on Friday night, they were randomly divided into two teams the “A” Team and the “B” Team.
The game featured some good hits and great defensive plays. At the end of seven innings of spirited competition, the “A” Team defeated the “B” Team, 6-3.
The members of the “A” Team included: Coach Val Fersch (who plays for Cooper Paint), Vanessa Burleson (Mr. Willy’s), Theresa Coleman (The Nugget), Shannon Dietrich (Charlie’s Angels), Jen Eisenbach (L&B Too), Liz Giumarra (L&B Too), Krit Hopkins (L&B Too), Erin Shuart (Cooper Paint), Carly Sklar (Sonny’s Service Center), Krista Sweeney (Dutch’s), Justine Whitcomb (Dutch’s) and Jen Wright (Cooper Paint).
The members of the “B” Team included: Player/Coach Pat Shuart (Cooper Paint), Marissa Ashcraft (The Nugget), Anji Bakos (Center for Discovery Diamonds), Ashley Banks (L&B Too), Lori Brown (Cooper Paint), Analey Dietrich (Charlie’s Angels), Stephanie Johnson (Center For Discovery Diamonds), Megan Kitson (Mr. Willy’s), Cathy Kovaleski (L&B Too), Jackie Litwak (Cooper Paint) and Ally McCarthy (Cooper Paint).
A coin flip determined which team was the “home” team. The “B” Team won the flip and chose to have last ups.
The “A” Team made the most of its opportunity to bat first. The first batter of the game, Jen Wright, ripped a double to left field. After “B” Team pitcher Pat Shuart retired the next two batters on a line out and a fly out, respectively, Shannon Dietrich beat out an infield grounder. Dietrich then moved to second base as the “B” Team unsuccessfully attempted to cut down Wright at home plate.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the “A” Team as Pat Shuart induced a fly ball to end the frame.
The “B” Team took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Bakos and Brown hit back-to-back singles. McCarthy then blasted a triple to right center field to score both Bakos and Brown.
The “B” Team extended its advantage to 3-1 in the bottom of the third. Pat Shuart began the inning with a base hit to right field and Analey Dietrich drew a walk to put two runners on base with no outs. Ashcraft then hit a hard grounder to third base. Shuart was forced out at third but the subsequent throw to first base in an attempt to turn a double play was errant. As a result, Dietrich scored and Ashcraft advanced to third base.
The “A” Team tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth.
With one out, Burleson smacked a triple to left field. The next batter, Sklar, hit a ground ball to third base, but reached base when the throw to first base was off-line.
Sklar kept running and as she slid into third, the ball sailed past Litwak, the “B” Team third baseman. Sklar quickly got back to her feet, sprinted down the line and crossed home plate to even the score.
The “A” Team took the lead for good in the top of the fifth. After Pat Shuart retired the leadoff batter on a groundout, Sweeney made it to first on an infield hit and Wright followed with a double to left center.
Coleman then singled, which allowed both Sweeney and Wright to cross the plate.
Shannon Dietrich gave the “A” Team an insurance run in the top of the sixth.
The first hitter of the frame, Dietrich stepped into the batter’s box and promptly ripped the ball down the third base line. As the “B” Team outfielders chased the ball, Dietrich sprinted around the bases for an inside-the-park home run to give the “A” Team a 6-3 advantage.
The “B” team attempted to rally in its final two at-bats.
In the bottom of the sixth, McCarthy had an infield hit with two outs, but “A” Team pitcher Liz Giumarra got the next batter to fly out to left field.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kitson led off and patiently drew a walk. However, she was forced out at second base on a fielder’s choice play moments later. Giumarra then caught a fly ball for the second out of the frame and induced a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop for the final out of the contest.