LIBERTY, NY — Heat, bugs and mud. Talk about a challenging varsity softball game between the Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West (3-6 overall) and the Liberty Lady Indians (7-8) on Thursday, May 17. …
LIBERTY, NY — Heat, bugs and mud.
Talk about a challenging varsity softball game between the Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West (3-6 overall) and the Liberty Lady Indians (7-8) on Thursday, May 17.
Adding to the travails was the fact that the contest was Liberty’s second game of the afternoon (earlier they slammed the Lady Comets of Fallsburg 25-1), and area teams are still reeling from a sports schedule seriously disrupted by all the lousy weather we’ve had recently.
Great for humidity, pesky insects and sloppy field conditions—not so much for softball.
In the bottom of the first (Sullivan West was tabbed as the home team), the Lady Bulldogs posted four runs while stacking the deck and in the third frame added another run to take a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Liberty battled back by sending four runners home, followed in the bottom of the inning by Sullivan West responding with a solo run.
The Lady Bulldogs scored one run in the sixth, to squeak past Liberty 6-5.
Runs and hits: SW 6 runs on 9 hits: Liberty 5 runs on 10 hits and 5 errors.
Liberty’s notable at-bat stats: Christina Burns 2-for-3, Dara Schiff 2-for-3, Charley Yaun 2-for-4, and 1-for 4 each Katy Decker and Allie Arpino.
Sullivan West (each posting 2-for-4): Josephine Martinez, Isabel Nearing and Morgan Kraack.
David Philips is Liberty’s first-year varsity softball helmsman, who noted that with the run-rich victory over Fallsburg in the afternoon’s opening round of the double header, the win and number-two ranking put the Lady Indians on the road to sectionals
“It was a huge victory earlier today,” he said.
Liberty is led by a trio of captains this season: Olivia Rachette, Allie Arpino and Katy Decker.
“With cramming all of our games, everyone’s kind of overwhelmed”, said Rachette, an 18-year-old senior, noting that the Lady Indians have made it to sectionals every year since she started varsity competition in the 8th grade.
“It’s another addition to our accomplishments,” she added.
Seventeen-year-old senior, Arpino ,is her team’s catcher.
“This season we started off on a high, last season wasn’t so great… if we had woken up earlier, we would have had more runs.”
Decker, a 17-year-old 11th grade pitcher, said all the errors didn’t help, along with fighting the heat in the second game of the day.
“It wasn’t our best start…our bats woke up a little late, but we battled back and only lost by one run.”
Mike Ellmauer, coach of the Lady Bulldogs, said that his team was in a decent position going into the game, and after the win, is in a good position to make sectionals going up against O’Neil on Friday—“not great, but good.”
Noting that weather has been a real hassle this year with all the last-minute schedule changes, Ellmauer said, “We persevered… now we’re starting to hit our peak.”
Morgan Kraack picked up the win for Sullivan West.
“We held our own, and stayed together… today looked a lot better knowing how much we put into the season,” she said.
Emily Vanpelt is a 15-year old sophomore.
Her take on the victory and the worrisome weather of late?
“We got the win… the weather messed us up,” replied Vanpelt.
On Friday, May 18, the Lady Bulldogs got hammered 14-4 by the Lady Raiders in a non-league game at James I. O’Neill High School.
By all accounts, Sullivan West didn’t play up to its potential, and racking up eight errors certainly added to the disappointing outcome.
In the wake of a scoreless first frame, O’Neill posted seven runs, announcing to the world at large that they are students of the Indiana Jones flicks, especially “Raiders of the Lost Ark."
The Lady Raiders added another three at their turn at bat in the fifth.
Sullivan West replied with two in the top of the sixth, but O’Neill effectively cancelled that slim comeback attempt by sending four home in the bottom of the innings.
Down 14-2, the Lady Bulldogs eked out a couple of runs in the top of the seventh, but with O’Neill ahead by 10 runs, “the rules” called it a day.
The at-bats were fairly equal: SW 27; O’Neill 31.
SW’s notable batting stats: Josephine Martinez 1-for-3, I R; Kelsey Farrell 1-for-3, 1 R; Brooke Kloss 1 R; Isabel Nearing 2 at bats, 1 R.
O’Neill: M. Gokey 2-for-4, I R; A. Nylander 2-for-4, 2 R; Emily VanSkyock 1-for-4, 1HR, 2R, 3 RBI; A. McGee 2-for-3, 3R; E. Green 2-for2, 2R.