Joyce Bomasuto came through with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday, helping the Dunkirk Lady Marauders past the Jamestown Lady Red Raiders, 5-4, in CCAA Division 1 softball action.
"We needed a challenge," Dunkirk head coach John Sliwa said. "I think we were getting a little relaxed and we forgot how to play softball. But we played softball (Friday). We played small ball."
Katie Hanlon led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, which was followed by a bunt single off the bat of Lacey Clark. Hanlon, who never stopped running on the play, ended up at third. Bomasuto followed with a shallow fly ball that fell between shortstop Hannah Pollino and left fielder Maddie Pinciaro.
OBSERVER?Photo by Roger Coda
Jamestown's Morgan Melquist slides safely into home ahead of the tag by Dunkirk's Alayna Carlson during Friday's CCAA Division 1 high school softball game.
"I don't care if it's a bleeder or whatever, it doesn't matter," Sliwa said of the game-winning hit. "Wee Willie Keeler said, 'hit it where they ain't,' and she hit it where they weren't."
The Lady Red Raiders held leads of 1-0 and 3-2, but fell behind 4-3 after the Lady Marauders scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. However, they were able to get to Aldyn Carlson for a run in the top of the seventh to tie the game.
"We have a lot of talent," Jamestown head coach Bill Canfield said. "And I think at times, being so young, they fall back on that. And once they start believing they can compete with anybody, I think things will get a lot better for us."
Pollino smacked a one-out double, before McKenzie Martin was intentionally walked. A passed ball moved Pollino to third and courtesy runner Morgan Melquist to second, before Carlson reared back and got Kaitlyn Haines swinging. Down to her team's last out, Katelynn Spunaugle came through with a clutch RBI single to score Pollino and tie the game.
Carlson worked out of further trouble by getting Pinciaro looking.
"We got challenged," Sliwa said. "(Jamestown) has challenged Olean and they've challenged Falconer. It wasn't a bad team out there."
Jamestown forged a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Martin singled with one out and was promptly replaced by courtesy runner Melquist, who scored on an RBI single off the bat of Spunaugle.
Dunkirk starter Kelsey Drummond hit Pinciaro to put two runners on, but was able to get Abbey Pajersky to ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
"To get the first run was a lift for us," Canfield said. "We have one senior and two juniors and everyone else is ninth and 10th graders, and for us to get that first run gave us a lot of enthusiasm. It's a good way to start and it's a good motivator."
Dunkirk got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, scoring a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead. Alayna Carlson doubled, Khee Nance singled her to third and Drummond chased her home with an RBI sacrifice fly. Nance later scored after a throw was dropped during a lengthy rundown.
"These girls learned how to play softball today," Sliwa said. "They know what it takes and we needed that, because it was like a playoff atmosphere."
Martin was able to work out of further trouble, getting Hanlon to fly out to center and Clark swinging.
"She is a tough young lady," Canfield said of Martin. "She's a junior and this is her second year on varsity. She basically pitches every game for us. She takes that ball and she never complains, she never talks back and she's a great role model for the rest of the girls."
The pesky Lady Red Raiders got the lead right back in their half of the fourth. Pajersky doubled to start the frame, and moved to third on a wild pitch. Chelsea Jackson then worked a walk to put runners on the corners. Jamestown called for a double steal which Dunkirk misplayed, allowing Pajersky to score and Jackson to get to third after Alayna Carlson's throw to Collins at second got away and into right field.
"I didn't care what the score of the game was," Sliwa noted of the play. "We have to be able to execute first and thirds and we didn't execute it properly. If we lost the game because of it, we deserved it, because we know that's a play we have to make."
Jackson scored the Lady Red Raiders' third run of the game on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Torrey Carlson.
"It was important that we did it quickly," Canfield said of his team regaining the lead. "We didn't let it sit. We didn't let (Dunkirk) build on (its lead). Again, when you're young, those things can get you down and keep you down, where if you can come right back, it shows that you can fight and it gets you that energy back and there is no let down."
Dunkirk tied the game in the bottom of the fifth as Alayna Carlson tripled with one out and scored on an RBI single by Khee Nance.
"Khee is probably the best player in our league this year," Canfield said. "She can do anything she wants to with the ball. She's such a great athlete."
The Lady Marauders scored what they hoped was the game's final run in the bottom of the sixth. Bomasuto and Collins singled to start the frame before Martin got Balzer and Rollins on flyouts. Unfortunately for Martin, Alayna Carlson was due up and Dunkirk's senior captain came through with an RBI single, her fourth hit of the game.
"I don't want to look at what Alayna has done out of the one hole," Sliwa said. "Because I don't want to jinx her. But she's doing a really nice job. Khee came up with three big hits right away and Kelsie had a hit and an RBI."
Alayna Carlson, Nance and Drummond combined for eight hits, three RBIs and three runs Friday while Drummond took a no decision in the circle, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out one and walking one.
"She was doing her job out there," Sliwa said of Drummond. "She was keeping us in the game and letting us play defense behind her. (Jamestown) hit the ball a lot better and I told the girls going in that they were a lot better than they had been."
Martin finished allowing four runs on 14 hits while striking out five and walking none.
Fredonia 12, Southwestern 3
LAKEWOOD - Baylee Tarnowski tossed a complete game Friday, helping Fredonia (7-4, 4-4) past CCAA Division 1 softball foe Southwestern, 12-3.
"She settled down after a shaky start," Fredonia assistant coach Bob Sievert said. "She showed a lot of composure for a freshman."
The Lady Hillbillies broke open a close game with an eight-run sixth inning on three hits, four walks, two errors and a hit batter.
Katie Majka had a two-run pinch-hit single while Bre Dahn added a two-run single. Michelle Napierala added an RBI single in the frame as well while Maddie Crandall forced home a run with a bases-loaded walk.
Fredonia scored two runs in the top of the second, one on an RBI groundout and another on a passed ball that allowed Napierala to scamper home. Crandall plated Lauren Budniewski with an 2-out RBI single in the top of the fifth for the Lady Hillbillies' third run of the game. The Lady Trojans scored two runs in the bottom of the first and one in the third.
Napierala finished with three hits while Crandall and Dahn (double) each had two hits and two RBIs in back of Tarnowski, who finished the game allowing three runs on five hits while striking out three and walking as many.