With a few of their key players in the shop for repairs, 590 Service dropped two games to the ladies from Cherry Ridge Veterinary Clinic on Monday night.
Under the modified rules, both games were scheduled for five innings, with a mercy rule in effect if one team went up by more than 15 runs after three. A total of six innings was all Cherry Ridge would need to put the ladies from Lackawaxen to bed.
CRVC’s hustle and hot bats were only amplified by fielding errors on the part of a team that showed the signs of struggle.
They massed six runs in the first and held off any runs by 590 Auto before unleashing more thunder in the top of the second.
With the bases loaded, Hawley’s Carley Gustin drove a hit deep into a dead zone sending the outfielders scurrying while tagged all four bases hot on the heels of three of her teammates for a grand slam!
Humble about her big hit, she claims it was her first homer of the season. A few weeks shy of her twentieth birthday, she is gregarious and eagerly cheers on her girls.
Delivering the pitches for Cherry Ridge was Becky Loring. She began pitching about four years ago when an older player was giving up the position. A former outfielder, Becky started by playing T-Ball and continued through college.
While at King’s College her coach, who plays for The Crossroads, encouraged her to join the Wayne County league and she’s been her ever since. She gave up two runs in the bottom of the second but they seemed to go almost unnoticed. Her team had a commanding lead.
By the end of the top of the third, CRVC players tagged home another nine times. With 590 unable to post more runs to close the gap, the game was called at the end of the inning with the score 25-2.
Clarence Lewis is a coach for 590. When asked what his strategy for Game Two was, he replied, “Our plan is to do our best and to have fun.”
Given what had just happened, having fun, might be a challenge in and of itself.
Also in good spirits was one of his outfielders, Jessyca Vagnini, of Honedale. It’s her first year in the league; actually, it’s her first year playing organized softball.
Until this year, league bowling was the only organized sport she had ever played. “I actually like softball more than bowling.” She explains, “This is more fun and I like to be outside.” Well, maybe having fun is easy to do!
Game Two saw Honesdale’s Jenn Pritchard pitching for Cherry Ridge. Again they scored steadily during the first and second inning. Catcher Sue Dutton drove in a two run homer as a part of the effort.
Page 2 of 2 - Pritchard blanked her opponents in the first and gave up only one run in the second, a solo home run by Jeanette Rosenthal. 590 Auto was unable to mount a rally and their good fortune quickly ended with a 4-3 double play to end the second inning.
Up 11-1 going into the third, Gustin smacked in a 2 run RBI single to start the eventual rout that would finally end with 590 unable to answer for the 11 more runs CRVC would put up in the third.
Again, the game was called at the end of the inning with Cherry Ridge winning by a score of 22-1.
A big key to Cherry Ridge’s winning was hustle that might meet the approval of Pete Rose. Hitters frequently extended singles into doubles and it was infrequent that a runner who was on second would not score even on a lackluster single.
However, through it all they remained gracious, shaking hands with their opponents after the game.
With the season now into its second half they know harder games are in store for them and holding on to first place won’t be easy.