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JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — It was a real Ninja Warriors moment.
Early in the OCIAA Division V game against the visiting Lady Bears of Tri-Valley, Sullivan West batter Brooke Kloss got beaned on the batter’s brain bucket by an errant pitch, high inside and not very handsome.
Momentarily stunned and knocked off her pins, she recovered and was soon back in action wearing a ninja-style headband tied to her forehead by teammate Sydney Favre.
After the 18-5 loss to Tri-Valley, Kloss recalled the moment, shrugging off the idea that her glittering pair of gold-speckled cleats might have aided in her lucky escape from injury.
“Praise the Lord for the helmet… it was all God honestly… I really didn’t feel it”, she said.
The Lady Bears led off with a run in the top of the first, while the Lady Bulldogs responded with three at their turn at the plate.
In the third frame, the teams reversed the order of runs as Tri-Valley posted three and the home team sent one runner home to tie it up 4-4.
Sullivan West scored once in the bottom of the fourth frame to take a slim 5-4 lead.
But it didn’t last, as the visitors racked up the runs in the closing frames (6, 4 and 4) and Sullivan West (1-3) piled on the errors for a total of 14 during the 18-5 loss.
Jordan Costa earned the win for Tri-Valley (1-2), striking out 11 and giving up 6 hits; Taylor Cox went 5-for-5; Samantha Houghtaling was 4-for-5.
Sullivan West’s pitcher Morgan Kraack got tagged with the loss, yielding 18 hits converted into 18 runs; Josephine Martinez scored a run on 4 at bats; Kelsey Farrell crossed the plate twice on three times at bat; Kraack posted two runs on 4 at bats.
Claire Moore has been at the helm of Tri-Valley varsity softball for four seasons.
“We’ve been practicing, practicing and practicing… we have a lot of raw young talent,” she said, adding that the team is led by two seniors captains, Taylor Cox and Morgan Shamro.
“They kind of bring it all together,” said Moore.
Goals for 2018?
“Sectionals… we want to have more than a .500 record, I like having a winning team.”
Samantha Houghtaling is a 16-year-old sophomore and reels-them-in catcher for Tri-Valley.
“The team communicated, and we put forth a lot of effort,” she said.
Jordan Costa served up the heat on Monday afternoon April 23.
“This was only our second game… we played pretty good as a team… I think as a team we can be competitive,” said the 14-year-old freshman.
Mike “Elmo” Ellmauer, coach of the Lady Bulldogs, has been around the softball field for almost four decades, and while still going strong, was a bit disappointed in the outcome of the lopsided loss.
“It was awful. We didn’t play well and had too many errors… we’ve got to get better”.
Fifteen-year-old Kraack is a Sullivan West sophomore pitcher.
“We came out hot and clicked together in the first couple of innings… and then just lost it… we have potential as long as we don’t hang our heads.”
Jenna Kratz, 16, anchors home plate as the Lady Bulldogs’ junior catcher, who noted that the current season got off to a late start due to all the inclement weather.
“We’re a great team, we just have to work on the fundamentals… we have to keep a smile on our faces and the ball in the glove.” For more photos visit www.riverreporter.com.