GOWANDA – Bad weather in western New York on Monday forced many Section VI baseball and softball playoff games to be moved in order to get them in.
So instead of having a real field advantage, the Fredonia softball team faced off against Royalton-Hartland at Gowanda High School instead.
It was not a problem.
The Hillbillies (14-3) dominated their quarterfinal game, defeating Roy-Hart (8-5), 11-0, in a game where throws, hits and defense were all on the number side. 3 Fredonia.
“From top to bottom, we played well the three phases”, Fredonia coach Jesse Beers said. “Defensively we played a pretty clean game, offensively we had some good hacks and Marissa started a great game.”
The Hillbillies will continue their playoff series today, against No.2 Akron, who beat Medina, 12-1.
At the start of the first round, it looked like Fredonia might be in trouble. One of Fredonia’s only defensive errors of the game came on the first batter of the game, as Roy-Hart pitcher and main hitter Reanna Perkins hit a left field rocket that Fredonia’s Lila Cameron did. could not handle, allowing the first runner to reach.
Roy-Hart’s second No. 6 hitter, Molly Russell, also hit base, giving the Rams runners first and second without an out early in the first.
But Fredonia pitcher Marissa Cash locked herself in from there.
Cash forced three consecutive strikeouts to end the frame, without scoring a point. Fredonia also went scoreless late in the premiere, despite a first single from Maddy Marsh, but Cash getting those strikeouts kept the game going even as Fredonia’s squad woke up.
Early in the second, Cash awarded another baserunner, a two-out single to Emma Livergood, but Cash then forced the next batter down to the ground. The Livergood single was the last Roy-Hart runner to reach base against Cash, who scored the next 16 batters in a row to end the game.
With Cash fully locked, Fredonia took to the skies at the end of the second. With one out, Fredonia first baseman Ashlynn Delcamp dropped a 1-1 pitch into the forest behind the fence on right center field, giving Fredonia a 1-0 lead on a solo homeroom. It was Delcamp’s second game in a row to hit a home run, and each time his explosions gave Fredonia the advantage.
“She’s a young player who builds confidence,” said Beers. “You can see him at bat every time. She is also in the process of becoming a good first baseman. When children are relaxed and play with confidence, the game simply comes to them. “
As Cash continued to take down the hitters, Fredonia’s offense came to life. Already armed with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, Fredonia ninth hitter Sarah Davis started with a single, then stole the second. Marsh then called with a single to bring Davis home to extend the lead to 2-0. Cameron then made a mistake to keep the train moving and, after Nevaeh Zadzilka struck out for the first out of the inning, Jenna Truby slammed a single to bring Marsh and Cameron home to carry the lead to 4-0.
The attack continued until the fourth inning. Erin Schrantz worked a seven-length walk to start the set, and Davis followed up with a nine-length, 0-2 single to put Fredonia back in place. Beers said Fredonia’s hitters have improved dramatically over the season.
“Offensively we have improved as the season progresses in our approach,” said Beers. “We’re getting good hacks on good throws in the fleshy parts of the zone. Girls are more relaxed and understand that if they swing on good throws, good things happen.
With two runners – they saw a total of 16 shots – Marsh reversed the script and took Perkins’ first pitch to right field for a single, leading to Schrantz, making the score 5-0. In the fourth inning, Marsh already had 3 points against 3 with two runs scored, two runs batted in and three goals stolen.
“We talked about the top management after the game”, said Beers. “Between the game Marissa threw and Maddy’s, you can’t expect anything more than what we got from our two seniors.”
Cameron drove Davis home on an RBI Groundout, then Marsh scored from a passed ball to take the lead to 7-0 after the fourth inning. The score kept coming for Fredonia, who added three more in the fifth, as Delcamp, Leah Marsh and Schrantz all came in to score. Maddy’s younger sister Leah Marsh came in to score on Maddy’s fourth hit of the game. Fredonia’s final point was scored by Zadzilka in sixth, thanks to an RBI Groundout from Jordan Lucas, who took over first base for Delcamp in fifth.
Maddy Marsh finished the game 4 for 4, with four singles, three RBIs, two runs and three steals, while playing a solid game off the shortstop. Delcamp went 2 for 2 with his home run and two runs scored, while Schrantz worked an impressive two runs and scored two runs, and Davis finished 2 for 3 with two runs, one run batted in and a stolen base.
Cash, who threw 77 pitches, threw a hit, struck out four hits and did not walk on a base. She also struck out the last 16 batters and 18 of the last 19.