Rob Potter | Democrat
THE CHARLIE'S ANGELS team happily posed for a picture after winning the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League “A” Division playoff title on Wednesday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park with a 7-5 victory over L&B Tack in nine innings. Kneeling in the front row, from left to right, are Shannon Dietrich, Sue Zieres, Emily Zier, Jo Walls and Deb Ackerley. Standing in the back row, from left to right, are Cindy Ellmauer, Leanne Mangabang, Beth Fanning, Nikki Krom, Lindsay Liquori, Jessica Bradley, Analey Dietrich, Diane Staves, Lisa Krum, Robyn Gannon, Tonya Martin and Heidi Hewlett. Missing from photo are Christine Decker and Terri Hess.
Say 'halo' to new SCWSL champs
By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY The path which Charlie’s Angels took to win the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League (SCWSL) “A” Division playoff championship was certainly not an easy one.
On Monday, Aug. 4, Klein & Sons Logging dealt Charlie’s Angels its first defeat of 2008 in Game 1 of the “A” Division best-of-three game semifinal series between the teams. But Charlie’s Angels rebounded to win Games 2 and 3 the following two evenings to reach the “A” Division finals series.
In the best-of-three game finals, Charlie’s Angels faced a very talented and determined L&B Tack team. L&B Tack reached the finals by defeating Cooper Paint two games to one in the other “A” Division semifinal series.
Charlie’s Angels topped L&B Tack, 7-1, in Game 1 of the finals on Tuesday night at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley. Charlie’s Angels then captured the “A” Division playoff championship with a dramatic 7-5 victory in extra innings on Wednesday night at Collins Park.
With those two wins, Charlie’s Angels, which also earned the “A” Division regular season title, finished the season with a 25-1 record. L&B Tack, which finished third in the “A” Division in the regular season, ended the summer with a record of 18-9.
Wednesday evening’s Game 2 was perhaps one of the most exciting contests of the 2008 SCWSL season. After falling behind 3-0, L&B Tack rallied to tie the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the third and at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh.
In the bottom of the third, sisters Tricia Tuttle and Francine Kaiser had an RBI base hit and a two-run double, respectively, to help L&B Tack even the game at 3-3. In the bottom of the seventh, Barb Merton blasted a triple to deep right center field to score teammates Lacy Dalrymple and Jamie Hopkins, which knotted the score once again.
But Charlie’s Angels forced the game into extra frames with an excellent defensive play.
Tuttle hit a fly ball which Charlie’s Angels left fielder Beth Fanning caught for the second out of the inning. Fanning then threw the ball to shortstop Shannon Dietrich, who quickly fired a strike to catcher Deb Ackerley and Ackerley tagged out Merton at the plate as she tried to score the winning run after tagging up at third base.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Charlie’s Angels took a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth.
The first batter of the frame, Analey Dietrich, singled to left field. Leanne Mangabang then crushed a pitch, sending the ball to deep left field. Dietrich scored easily on the hit and Mangabang stopped at third base with a stand-up triple.
Fanning then stepped into the batter’s box and promptly hit a fly ball to the outfield. When the ball was misplayed, Mangabang crossed home plate and Fanning advanced to second base.
But Merton, the L&B Tack pitcher, induced two consecutive fly ball outs. After Robyn Gannon singled to put two runners on base, Merton got the next batter to ground out to first baseman Lori Froehlich.
Charlie’s Angels pitcher Jo Walls set down the L&B Tack batters in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal her team’s win.
The victory was extra special for Walls since it occurred two days before her father Charlie’s 93rd birthday. After Charlie Walls passed away several years ago, Jo Walls and her teammates changed the name of their team to honor Charlie.
“Both teams played a great game tonight,” Jo Walls said moments after Wednesday night’s contest. “We got a couple of hits when we needed to and won the game. And we won without our bell.”
The bell Walls was referring to is the cowbell the team has kept in its dugout during the past few seasons. Whenever a Charlie’s Angels player scored a run or made a good defensive play, one of her teammates would ring the bell in celebration. However, the bell was taken from the team’s bench after last week’s semifinal series opener.
“The whole season was great, it’s been a fun summer,” she added.
Walls noted that she was “so tense” in the pitcher’s circle in the late innings of the contest.
“But I knew all of these girls were behind me 100 percent,” she said. “They all played well tonight.”
Like Walls, Gannon had nothing but praise for the L&B Tack players.
“Two thumbs up for L&B Tack,” Gannon said. “I think this is the first time they reached the ‘A’ Division finals since joining the league. They came out and played two great games. Some other teams may have been intimidated, but they were not intimidated at all.”
Obviously L&B Tack Coach Doug Gosley and his players were disappointed following the game.
“These girls played their hearts out tonight,” he said. “We just made a couple of mistakes that cost us the game.”
take Game 1
In Monday night’s series opener, Charlie’s Angels took a first-inning lead and added to it as the game progressed.
Mangabang scored the game’s first run when Shannon Dietrich singled to left field.
Charlie’s Angels pushed its advantage to 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning as Jessica Bradley hit a sacrifice fly to score Ackerley and Tonya Martin singled to score Gannon.
The team added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Heidi Hewlett crossed home plate on a base hit by Sue Zieres.
Charlie’s Angels scored its final runs of the night in the bottom of the sixth. Fanning hit a single to score Martin, while Analey Dietrich and Hewlett both scored on a bloop single by Diane Staves to make it a 7-0 game.
L&B Tack recorded its only run of the game in the top of the seventh. Karen Smith hit a one-out single to left field and scored when Kaiser grounded out to third base later in the inning.