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April 18, 2009

 

Trojans extra tough

Rigg’s pitching, Luety’s sac fly nips Marcellus in 10th

Trojans

Bob Ellis/ Staff photographer
Marcellus catcher Sophie Jackson tags out Courtney Rainbow of Homer Central, who was attempting to stretch her triple into a homerun Friday. Homer went 10 innings before pulling out 1-0 victory.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Pitcher Jessica Rigg was perfect through five innings, but it took 10 innings before her Homer Central teammates broke into the scoring column Friday.
While the senior hurler was striking out 15 batters, it took a Gabby Luety sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Courtney Rainbow from third base for the only run in a thrilling 1-0 OHSL Liberty Division opening win for the Trojans over visiting Marcellus.
After breaking in their new junior high school field with a victory, the Trojans are now 4-1 overall while Marcellus falls to 1-1.
“It was nice to have pitch in the tournaments so I knew what to expect,” said Rigg modestly, Homer having been in two tournaments this week including winning the Mudville Tournament title in Herkimer Thursday. “It was really my teammates playing good defense that won this game.”
Rigg took a stinging ball off the bat of Becca Ryan on her pitching hand in the fifth inning, but shook off the pain to stay in the game and she pitched a gem. A single off her glove by Emily Hunt, who led off the sixth inning, was the first hit Rigg allowed. She would allow five hits with no walks in the complete game victory.
“Jessica fought through the pain,” said Homer coach Cris Colasurdo. “I was ready to take her out, but she is a mentally tough player and she is really stepping up as a team leader. She wanted to stay in the game. She hit her spots and pitched very well. It was a a good solid effort for her.”
Marcellus threatened in the seventh inning after back-to-back singles by Lyssa Filtch and Sophie Jackson (2-for-4) with one out. The runners moved to second and third on a ground out, but Rigg ended the threat with a strikeout.
The only other real threat by the Mustangs came in the ninth when they got runners at the corners with two outs. Again a strikeout ended the inning.
Marcellus pitcher Gina Cardarelli put together a solid effort as well and her work was overshadowed by Rigg. The senior scattered seven hits and five walks while striking out 11 Homer batters. Cardarelli led the Liberty Division in strikeouts in 2008.
“GIna pitched a nice game,” said Marcellus coach Lisa MacLachlan. “This was a tough loss. The girls played their hearts out. I was really pleased with our effort.
“Homer is a strong team and they come into the league with a good reputation,” MacLachlan added.
“We did struggle with their pitcher,” Colasurdo added. “She was a little slower than what the girls saw in the tournament so it was an adjustment. She pitched well and we did miss a couple of opportunities to score.”
Luety (2-for-3) doubled and Ashley Crossway walked with two outs in the first inning, but Cardarelli got a line out to second base to end the inning.
Rachel Perry ripped a one-out double in the bottom of the second while McKenna Riley reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second with one out in the fourth. Neither time could the runner advance any farther.
Rainbow (2-for-5) ripped a deep shot to centerfield with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and Colasurdo gambled by sending the runner home. A perfect relay from centerfielder Ryan to shortstop Filtch to catcher Jackson beat Rainbow who was tagged out.
The next best scoring threat was in the bottom of the ninth, the final inning all normal play, with two outs. Alyssa Brown walked and Katie Sinclair hit a grounder to third base. The throw to first when out of play and the runners were awarded second and third. Cardarelli got Rainbow to pop out to end the inning, but that worked to the Trojans’ advantage in the 10th when the rules put the courtesy runner at second base to begin the inning.
For Marcellus, it meant clean-up batter Henderson at second. The Mustangs failed to get a bunt down to move the runner to third. Rigg struck out the first two batters and a grounder end the Mustang attempt.
Since Rainbow made the last out, the speedy senior was at second base to start the Trojan at-bat in the 10th. Jamie gray laid down a perfect bunt, and when the fielder was late arriving at first base, Gray got an infield single with no throw as Rainbow advanced to third. All Luety had to do was get a flyball deep enough into the outfield to allow Rainbow tag-up and score. Luety delivered the fly ball and the throw from centerfield was late and up the first base line. Rainbow scored and the game was over.
Homer will return OHSL Liberty Division Monday as the Trojans travel to Westhill for a 4:30 p.m. contest.