JAMESTOWN - No runs came easily at the Martin Road Complex on Monday, but the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies (11-1, 12-1) got the ones that counted in the top of the seventh inning as they came back to top Jamestown (8-3, 8-6), 4-3, in Division 1 West softball on Monday afternoon.
After battling through six innings, the contest was tied at 2-all when Fredonia was finally able to get its foot in the door to seal the deal and clinch the division title.
The late offensive push started out when Katie Webster was hit by a pitch, that was followed up by an RBI double from Alicia Deering and a two-RBI single by Bre Dahn to give the Lady Hillbillies their first lead, 4-2.
Photo by Jay Young
Fredonia third baseman Cassie Essek tosses the ball to first base over the head of pitcher Baylee Tarnowski during Monday’s CCAA?West II high school softball game.
OBSERVER?Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Silver Creek pitcher Allie Harford delivers a pitch during Monday’s CCAA?West I high school softball game
"Katie Webster had a great at bat, got plunked in the leg for the fifth time this year,'' said Fredonia coach Joe Pucciarelli. ''Then you know that gets the pitcher thinking a little bit, just naturally gets her thinking; it gave us a chance to get up to the middle of our order. Alicia Deering and Bre Dahn came through for us."
Hannah Pollino did her best at the plate to get Jamestown back into contention, hitting an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh, but a pair of solid defensive plays solidified the Fredonia victory.
For Pucciarelli, Monday's game was a great example of the progress that his young team has made over the past two seasons. Despite having a roster filled with young players, the Lady Hillbillies have been excellent this year and are hitting their stride at just the right time.
"The big push started last year, seriously," he said of the turnaround. "Last year (we had) a bunch of eighth-graders, and we start four freshman and an eighth-grader out there now. These guys have learned this last year. We pulled out a couple (of games), one against (Jamestown) actually up here.''
While the underclassmen have been excellent for Fredonia this season, it was junior Baylee Tarnowski who pitched the team to victory with a complete game performance. She gave up only six hits and one walk, and had two strikeouts.
Jamestown also benefited from a complete-game performance by Mary Cersosimo, who fanned a pair and walked a pair in the loss.
The Lady Red Raiders got their offense started out on the right foot as they picked up a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to some good base running by Pollino on a fly ball.
A double by Kaleisha Mosley, a single off a bunt from Kaytlin Haines and an RBI single from Madeline Pinciaro saw Jamestown go up 2-0 in the second before Fredonia was able to get on the board.
"When we spoke at the beginning of the season I said, 'You know Fredonia is the reigning league champion, they have the reigning pitcher of the year and the reigning player of the year returning," Jamestown coach Bill Canfield said. ''Our girls wanted to be that, they wanted that league title and we were tied with them,"
He added, "Today's game they knew was going to determine their chance to win the league and that's the intensity that they played with and that's the emotion that they left the field with. You know both teams played hard and only one team can win.''
Even as Fredonia was able to come back and grab its first lead in the top of the seventh, Jamestown still had enough offense to make things interesting in the final frame.
After Pollino sent a run home to pull her team within one, Cersosimo came to the plate with two outs and a chance to even the game. Mekenna Leid of Fredonia was ready for the challenge at shortstop as she picked up a tough groundball and fired it to first for the final out
"She's a freshman shortstop, we always tell her 'players make plays, real players make plays,''' said Pucciarelli. ''And today, you know what, she stepped up and made that beautiful throw. I mean that was a great throw."
He added, "We are very lucky. You have softball teams where half the kids are basketball players, half are volleyball, we have a softball team with a lot of softball players."
Southwestern 8,?Silver Creek 3
SILVER CREEK - Sydney Burk was stellar in the circle in leading the Southwestern Trojans to an 8-3 victory over Silver Creek (5-10, 2-8) on Monday in CCAA West I high school softball.
Burk threw a complete game, as she allowed just two hits while striking out 12 and walking four.
Allie Harford was the tough-luck losing pitcher as six of Southwestern's eight runs were unearned. Harford scattered seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Xiana Smith led Southwestern's offense with two hits and as many RBIs. Alex Sullivan also had two hits in the win while Burk ripped a two-run single.
Maddy Eggleston had Silver Creek's only two hits.
"We couldn't capitalize with the bases loaded and runners in scoring position," Silver Creek coach Stacey Bauer said. "We stranded too many runners and made errors that cost us."
Silver Creek is at Fredonia today.