By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY Down to their final two outs of the season, Charlie’s Angels rallied for a dramatic victory against Klein & Sons Logging on Wednesday night in a Sullivan County Women’s Softball League (SCWSL) “A” Division playoff game at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park.
Charlie’s Angels scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to record an 8-7 win in Game 3 of the best-of-three semifinal series.
The triumph, coupled with a 7-3 victory on Tuesday night at Gary A. Bradley Memorial Field at the White Sulphur Springs Firemen’s Park, propelled Charlie’s Angels to next week’s “A” Division finals.
Charlie’s Angels will play L&B Tack in the finals. Earlier on Wednesday night at Collins Park, L&B Tack advanced to the finals with a 6-5 win over Cooper Paint in Game 3 of the other “A” Division semifinal series.
Facing a 7-5 deficit in its final at-bat, Charlie’s Angels immediately began to rally. Nikki Krom led off the bottom of the seventh by hitting a ground ball to second base. She then sprinted down the line for an infield hit. Krom advanced to second base when Terri Hess safely reached first on an error.
Robyn Gannon then hit a fielder’s choice grounder to Klein & Sons shortstop Jill Hubert-Simon, who quickly threw the ball to third baseman Nikomi Thompson to force out Krom. But Hess reached second base and Gannon made it to first on the play.
With the tying runs on base, Jo Walls stepped into the batter’s box and hit a bloop single to right field to score Hess. As Gannon stood at third base, Walls touched first base and took a few steps toward second base. After briefly trying to get into a rundown to potentially allow Gannon to score the tying run, Walls ran to second base as Klein & Sons pitcher Susan Waddell had not returned to the pitcher’s circle.
With two runners in scoring position, Jessica Bradley stepped up to the plate for Charlie’s Angels (23-1). She promptly laced a line drive into left field, which allowed Gannon to score easily. Walls, who started running as soon as Bradley hit the ball, rounded third and got the green light from third base coach Cindy Ellmauer. Walls hustled down the line and safely slid across home plate to give Charlie’s Angels the win.
“This was a tremendous game, it was a real bell-ringer,” said Walls, who is the player/coach for Charlie’s Angels. “Both teams played a great game. Fortunately, we were able to get the win.”
When Walls spoke of the contest being “a bell-ringer,” she was referring to the game being filled with exciting plays. For the past several years, it has been a tradition for the Charlie’s Angels players to keep a cowbell in their dugout. Whenever a team member scores a run or makes a good defensive play, someone in the dugout rings the cowbell to celebrate.
However, the cowbell that Charlie’s Angels kept on its bench on Tuesday night and Wednesday night was a backup bell. The team discovered that the original bell was missing after Monday night’s contest.
On Tuesday, Gannon was the first player to arrive for the game at Gary A. Bradley Memorial Field at White Sulphur Springs Firemen’s Park and saw a large, sealed envelope on the team’s bench. Since the envelope had the words “Charlie’s Angels” written on it, Gannon decided to open the envelope. Inside was a two-page ransom note written with individual letters which had been cut out of newspapers and magazines much like the ransom notes seen in television shows and movies.
But Ellmauer was able to find a replacement bell before the first pitch of the game was thrown.
Klein & Sons (11-13) took a 2-0 lead Wednesday night on an error in the top of the first inning. After Charlie’s Angels knotted the score in the bottom of the frame, Klein & Sons grabbed a 4-2 advantage in the top of the second. Leadoff batter Chrissy Klein walked and Kayla Scannell doubled to put runners at second and third. The next two batters flew out and grounded out, respectively, but Hubert-Simon reached base on an error. Klein scored on that error and Scannell crossed home plate on another error.
In the top of the sixth, Klein & Sons scored twice to expand its lead from 5-4 to a more comfortable 7-4. Scannell began the frame by blasting an inside-the-park home run to deep left field and Waddell scored on a double to left center field.
Charlie’s Angels narrowed the Klein & Sons’ advantage in the bottom of the sixth as Tonya Martin scored on a single by Heidi Hewlett.
Charlie’s Angels forced the third and deciding game with a 7-3 in Tuesday night’s Game 2.
In that contest, Charlie’s Angels took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and increased its advantage to 4-0 in the top of the fourth on Martin’s RBI single.
After Klein & Sons closed to within a run in the bottom of the sixth, Charlie’s Angels scored three insurance runs in the top of the seventh as Martin smacked a two-run homer and Hewlett belted an inside-the-park home run.
Klein & Sons used a combination of good hitting and excellent fielding to record a decisive 10-1 victory in Monday night’s series opener at Collins Park.
Charlie’s Angels scored what would be its only run of the evening in the bottom of the fourth when Walls crossed the plate on Martin’s infield hit.
But Klein & Sons answered with five runs in the top of the fifth. Waddell scored on an error and Kaylie Ackerley and Chris Lopez both hit two-run singles.
Klein & Sons pushed its advantage to 7-1 in the top of the sixth as Hubert-Simon ripped an RBI double to left center field and then crossed the plate on a single by Barb Ward-Blank.
In the top of the seventh, Klein & Sons scored three times. Lopez had an RBI double and Scannell smashed an inside-the-park home run.
Although he was a bit disappointed his team’s season ended with a tough loss, Klein & Sons Coach Paul Hubert was pleased with the overall season.
“Our goal this season was to be competitive and we were,” he said moments after Wednesday night’s series finale. “And we wanted to win one game [in this series] and we did.”
L&B Tack edges Cooper Paint
L&B Tack (18-7) earned a berth in the “A” Division finals with its aforementioned 6-5 victory over Cooper Paint in Game 3 of their semifinal series.
With the score knotted at 5-5, L&B Tack took the lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, Barb Merton reached base on an error. Moments later, she scored on a single by Francine Kaiser.
Merton, who is the L&B Tack pitcher, induced the Cooper Paint batters to hit three fly balls in the bottom of the seventh. Left fielder Holli Schoonmaker carefully snared all three of those fly balls with her glove to send L&B Tack to the finals.
In Monday night’s Game 1 at Collins Park, Cooper Paint (18-7) overcame a late two-run deficit to register a 14-13 win. Down 13-11 entering the bottom of the sixth, Cooper Paint tied the game when Theresa Nietzel and Diana Sherman both crossed home plate on a single by Ally McCarthy.
Nietzel had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh as she singled to center field to bring home Charish Priest.
L&B Tack evened the series with an 8-2 win on Tuesday night at the Swan Lake Firefighters’ Max Eronimous Field.
“They all played great tonight,” L&B Tack Coach Doug Gosley said of his players following Wednesday night’s contest. “They really worked hard and helped each other.”
Mr. Willy’s, Sonny’s
to meet in “B” finals
In the SCWSL’s “B” Division playoffs, Mr. Willy’s and Sonny’s Service Center won their respective best-of-three game semifinal series.
Mr. Willy’s swept The Nugget, two games to none, and Sonny’s Service Center defeated the Center For Discovery Diamonds in two straight games.
Game 1 of the “B” Division final series between Mr. Willy’s and Sonny’s Service Center is slated for 7:45 p.m. on Monday at Collins Park.
Game 2 will be played at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday at Collins Park.
If necessary, Game 3 will be held on Wednesday night at Collins Park at a time to be determined.