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April 13, 2012

 

Double gem

Trojans’ Morgan outduels CHS’ Torti

SoftballJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer’s Alyssa Morgan gets ready to throw a first-inning pitch during the Trojans’ 1-0 victory over visiting Cortland Thursday.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Not even a change of venue could prevent the great pitching duel that took place Thursday morning as Homer Central hosted Cortland High in non-league softball action.
The game was switched on Wednesday afternoon from the Purple Tigers’ home diamond at Meldrim Field to the Trojans’ home behind the Junior High School and Homer took advantage of the two-hit shutout tossed by senior Alyssa Morgan to score a 1-0 triumph. The winners, who managed just four hits off Cortland senior hurler Liz Torti, improved to 3-1 while Cortland felkl to 1-2.
“I relied on my teammates today,” Morgan said. “They played solid defense behind me. We put the ball in play on offense and we did a good job today.
“My team did a good job with coming back early this morning after playing a doubleheader yesterday on another cold day. It was just five inning games, so we weren’t too tired. We have a lot of versatile players who can play anywhere on the field. A lot of us have played together for a long time. We a solid group that knows what to do.”
Despite the loss, Cortland coach Lara Almansberger was pleased with her team’s effort.
“We have been practicing great and the girls have stepped it up,” Almansberger said. “We are down one of our good hitters, Julia Babjack. We do miss her at the plate, but our defense has been solid. We have been focusing on that in practice to prevent those errors that only extra runs to be scored. The girls are focused and come to the games ready to play.
“Liz has been working her pitches and making things happen,” she added. “She has been getting more strikeouts for us, which helps us out by keeping people off base.
Morgan retired the side in order in the top of the first inning and her teammates plated the only run of the game in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Morgan got on when the Cortland centerfielder misplayed a fly ball. The ball tipped off her glove, which allowed Morgan to reach second base. After Katie Sinclair walked and Torti struck out her first of seven Trojan batters, Meghan Bossard drove a single up the middle to score Morgan.
From that point on, Torti scattered just three more hits, walked two and totaled seven strikeouts. Homer got two runners on in the bottom of the fourth with one out. Cheyenne Gaffney ripped a one-out triple and Bree Dexter drew a walk, but Torti struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth with two on and two outs, Torti again used a strikeout to end the frame.
Cortland got its first hit in the second inning when Angel Lilly got a single with one out. Morgan fanned the next two batters to end that inning.
The best scoring chance for the Purple Tigers came an inning later with two outs. Sarah Hartnett singled, moved to second base on a passed ball and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Morgan struck out the next Cortland batter to end the threat. She retired the final 13 batters she faced.
“Chippy (Morgan) has been doing a nice job pitching,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “The defense did do a nice job behind her. Cortland is a tough team.
“The girls have been working real hard to pull it together,” she added. “We got the one run and then held Cortland. I would have liked the offense to come through a little more. We simply came out and did the things we needed to do. We just did not string a lot of hits together.”
Cortland was to visit Fulton today in a 4:30 p.m. OHSL Freedom Division game. Homer will return to action Saturday at the Mudville Tournament in Herkimer. The Trojans will play Binghamton Seton Catholic at 10 a.m. and Molloy at 2:30 p.m.
Thursday’s JV game between Homer and Cortland was postponed until this Thursday at Beaudry Park in a 4:15 p.m. start.

 

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