Errors doom MCS, RCS in sectional softball play
By John Bernhardt
Spotty defense Thursday in the middle innings cost the Margaretville Blue Devils girls’ softball team a chance to advance to the Section IV quarterfinals.
The eighth-seeded Blue Devils committed four errors in the third and fourth inning allowing eight unearned runs as they fell, 12-8, to ninth-seeded Milford. The errors were Margaretville’s only defensive miscues in the game.
With the game scoreless, Milford’s Kaley Chase led off the top of the third by working a base-on-balls. Kristi Krol executed a bunt and run option, laying down a sacrifice bunt that Margaretville pitcher Danielle Hull played to first for the out. First baseman Erin Filupeit fired a perfect strike across the diamond well ahead of Chase as the Milford runner attempted to advance to third, but the Blue Devil third baseman tried to slap on the tag before she had safely secured the ball.
Chase scored when Michelle Faffenroth’s infield grounder was thrown past first base for an error. Another infield ground ball was played cleanly but dropped by the Blue Devils’ first baseman putting Milford runners on the corners. Both runners scored when Addy Cawson ripped a triple in the gap between right and center field. It was Milford’s first hit of the inning. Cawson scored Milford’s fifth run of the inning when Stephanie Ashe grounded out to second.
Margaretville countered by scoring five runs in their half of the inning. Walks to Cara Bruno and Erin Filupeit opened the frame. Amy Filupeit lined a hard single to centerfield. Milford centerfielder Kaley chase fired a bullet in the air to the catcher, Natasha Skillson, but the ball flew out of Skillson’s glove as she attempted a sweep tag to get Bruno.
Tess Svoboda laced a single to right center driving home the Filupeit sisters and cutting the Milford lead to 5-3. Kellsey Buerge’s RBI single plated Svoboda. Buerge stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Danielle Hull flied out deep to left-center field. It was a new game with the score knotted at 5-5.
Hull should have escaped the fourth without a run, but a dropped outfield fly extended the inning. With one out, Chase walked and stole second. Hull struck out Krol and appeared to be out of the inning when Peggy Paffenroth lofted a lazy fly ball to right field. The ball was dropped with Chase scoring to put Milford back in front. Paffenroth walked in front of a two run Skillson double. With eight unearned runs, Milford led 8-5.
Walks hurt Rockets
Two base-on-balls to open the fifth set the table for four more Milford runs. Krol’s two-run double was the big blow in the inning as Milford stretched their advantage to 12-5.
Margaretville got one run back in the bottom half of the inning. Rachel Mathiesen reached base on an infield error and later scored when Sarah Fairbairn grounded out to shortstop.
Mathiesenn tried to spearhead a rally in Margaretville’s last at bat. Kellsey Buerge singled to open the frame and one out later Mathiesen blasted a long two-run homerun to make it 12-8. That was all the Blue Devils would get as Milford closed the door on Margaretville’s season two batters later.
Both teams finished with nine hits but the middle inning defensive lapses were Margaretville’s undoing. The Blue Devils finished the season at eight wins and five losses.
Perhaps eight Roxbury errors in their Delaware League title victory over Margaretville were an omen. The miscues played a small role in that game, but 10 Roxbury errors Thursday at home played a major role in the Rockets premature elimination from the Section IV Class D playoffs. In the biggest upset of the opening round, fourth seeded Roxbury dropped an 11-2 decision to Davenport. The Wildcats held the 13th slot in the bracket.
Eighth grade Davenport pitcher Jenna Lutz played a starring role in the contest. The Wildcat youngster threw a five hitter, striking out nine Rockets, and only allowing only single runs in the third and seventh innings.
A two-run Melissa Sperry second inning triple signaled Davenport was thinking upset. The Rockets made it 2-1 in the bottom of the third. After Cristina Chiarappa singled, Kendall Sprague blasted a double to drive her home.
Sperry, who went three for five in the game, pounded another run-scoring triple in Davenports’ four-run fourth. Emily Whipple and Lutz had run scoring singles in the decisive Wildcat at bat.
Sam Maidens nailed a third Wildcat triple in the seventh, this time driving home two runs.
Brittany Keator finished a stellar career on the mound by striking out 10 and scattering six hits for Roxbury. Five walks and 10 Rocket errors were Roxbury’s undoing. Roxbury, the Delaware League champions, finished the season at 13-2.