LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Things were looking up for the Lady Bulldogs softball team (1-5) until the final frame in the non-league game against the Lady Yellowjackets of Eldred.
On Wednesday, May 2 the visitors came to town undefeated, and with a four-run surge in the seventh inning, made it 5-0, as they defeated Sullivan West 10-6.
In the bottom of the first, the Lady Bulldogs’ swatters sent a couple of runs across the plate, only to see their lead shrink to one as Eldred scored in the top of the second.
In the third, the Lady Yellowjackets added three runs to put them up 4-2.
Both teams sent solo runners home in the fourth frame.
In the wake of a scoreless fifth inning, Eldred posted a run in the sixth, and the home team racked up three runs to tie it up 6-6 going into the final frame.
In the top of the seventh, the Lady Yellowjackets’ bats came alive as the visitors stung their rivals with four unanswered runs to earn the victory.
Eldred’s hurler Dana Donnelly got the win, giving up 6 runs on an equal number of hits, while Sullivan West’s Morgan Kraack was charged with the loss, yielding 10 runs on 7 swats.
The Lady Yellowjackets came to play with a couple of 13-year-old, eighth grade, first-year varsity players in key positions: Dana Donnelly on the mound and Lily Gonzalez guarding the plate.
“I think we played pretty well as a team… we have a lot of good players,” said Donnelly, showing a poise beyond her years during the post-game interview.
“I think we’ll go really far this season... we have strong hitters, and the seniors have a lot of knowledge, which is really helpful.”
Stepping up to the media plate, Gonzalez added, “We came back and held our own in the last inning.”
Her take of the team’s goals for the season?
“Definitely get more hits and throw out a lot of people at second.”
This year, the Lady Yellowjackets are led by a trio of seniors: Sami Clemmons, Alaina Gaughan and Kassandra Weatherly.
Commenting upon the win, Eldred coach Ryan Jasper said that in addition to a big late-game double play that shut the barn door on the home team, “The top of the line-up gave us a big spike and put us over the hump.”
Lady Bulldogs coach Mike “Elmo” Ellmauer said his team “played a lot better than we have in the past… we had six runs going into the seventh, and then they put together a couple of hits and got four runs.”
“Hopefully, we’re turning the curve and can keep on going.”
Isabel Nearing switched positions in the game, moving behind the plate from shortstop, as three of the regular catchers were out with a combination of knee injuries, the flu and a torn ACL.
“I like taking on a new challenge,” she said.
Josephine Martinez posted two hits and an RBI.
“I think it’s one of the better games we’ve had this season… the game was pretty good.”
Kelsey Farrell is also an optimist when it comes time to talk about the Lady Bulldogs.
“We came back when we were down and kept confident… things are a little tough right now, but we’ll win one back.”