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JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Sullivan West staged its inaugural softball and baseball tourney on Saturday, April 13.
It was designed to showcase the school’s new playing fields at the Lake Huntington athletic complex, but Mother Nature had other plans; a series of heavy rain squalls drenched the new fields, making them unplayable for the tournament.
On the varsity softball side of things, the Lady Indians of Liberty defeated the Monticello Lady Panthers 10-9 in the opening game. In the second matchup of the day, the home team Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs beat the Lady Wildcats of Hancock 12-5. In the third game, Monticello topped Hancock 16-4 in six innings. In the championship game, Sullivan West was blanked 16-0 by Liberty in five frames.
In the second contest, Sullivan West’s freshman pitcher Riley Ernst hurled a four-hitter in seven frames, and at the plate was 1-for-2 with a run batted in (RBI).
“This is my field, like an old shoe I know every bump on it. I know it pretty well.”
Adding to the home team’s tally: Josephine Martinez (2-for-4, two RBI), Jenna Kratz (2-for-4, two RBI), Isabel “Izzy” Nearing 2-for-5, one RBI), Allison Unser (2-for-3, one RBI) and Carrie Sykes (two RBI).
The Lady Wildcats sent two up to the mound: McKenzie Worzel pitched four innings, allowing 11 runs on nine hits, while Haleigh Weyrauch closed it out for Hancock by yielding one run on two hits in the final two frames.
At the plate, Hancock’s Laycee Drake was 1-for-4, Weyrauch 2-for-4 and two RBI, while Erin Evanitsky and Madison Felter each posted a RBI.
Lady Bulldogs coach Mike “Elmo” Ellmauer recounted a bit of the history of the Lauren Hughson Memorial Field as the Lady Panthers battled the Lady Wildcats during the third softball outing of the fledgling tourney.
Back in 1991, it was a vacant lot until the school and community turned it into a softball field, which was later named in honor of the memory of Lauren Hughson, a little girl who tragically passed away due to illness.
As he sat back on the bleachers, taking a momentary respite from the action, Ellmauer said, “This is my field, like an old shoe I know every bump on it. I know it pretty well.”
Hancock’s coach Kim Makowski said the Lady Wildcats are a young team this season and are “off to a slow start” as they lost seven seniors to graduation last year.
“They put a lot of work into the field,” she said of the efforts by many to get the old softball field in playable condition for the first-ever Sullivan West Tournament.
“We came out swinging, after being a little full of jitters,” said Ellmauer, noting that after Hancock scored two runs in the top of the first, his teamed evened it up 2-2 at their turn at bat in the first inning, going on a seven-run rampage in the second, adding two more in the fourth and closing it out with their final run in the fifth.
Hancock posted one in the sixth, and added a pair in the top of the seventh.
“We responded in the first [inning] and kept right on responding… The young kids did a lot of good things in different positions,” said Ellmauer.
During Spring break, several of the starters on the Sullivan West varsity softball squad were off touring Europe, visiting France, Germany, Switzerland and a few other far-flung places across the pond, a vacation that put young player into the gap until their return.
“I wonder what’s going to happen when we get back to full strength,” said Ellmauer, adding, “Time will tell."