April 29, 2011


Homer’s Morgan stifles Cortland bats

SoftballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High runner Jenna Gregory steals second as she beats the tag of Homer Central shortstop Carissa Cornwell Thursday at Meldrim Field. CHS was shut out, 12-0.

Staff Writer

A limited repertoire didn’t seem to bother Alyssa Morgan at all Thursday afternoon.
The Homer Central softball team’s junior right-handed pitcher allowed only two hits — one each in the sixth and seventh inning — and got plenty of offensive support as the visiting Trojans romped past Cortland High 12-0 at Meldrim Field.
“I used a knuckleball and fastball,” Morgan said, having fanned eight Purple Tigers in raising her record to 3-3 this season. “Most of the time I mix in a riser, but I had a blister on my ring finger that’s just healed and didn’t use that today. We beat them the first time and we figured they’d hit better.”
Homer opened the season with a 5-3 win over the Purple Tigers, CHS with seven hits on that occasion.
Morgan, who threw a one-hitter in a 10-0 win over visiting Fulton April 11, had allowed only two base-runners — ironically, the two pitchers that Cortland used, starter Jenna Gregory, who went three and two-thirds innings and took the loss, and reliever Liz Torti — through five innings before Purple Tigers senior right fielder Stevie Nemecek stroked a solid single to center to lead off the sixth. Morgan then got two strikeouts and a groundout (back to her) to end the inning.
The hosts’ other hit was a one-out shot deep to the hole at short by Becca Karam in the seventh, after which a strikeout and a groundout to first ended the game.
Morgan obviously wasn’t bothered at all by losing the no-hitter, and noted that “When you have a good defense behind you, you’re confident. I knew after that (first hit) that our defense wouldn’t let them get close. Getting a fast lead helps, too. We did really well batting.”Homer handed Morgan a 4-0 lead after two innings.
“I asked Alyssa how she was doing in the middle of the game, and she said she was fine,” said Homer coach Cris Colasurdo, her team now 2-1 in the league and 4-4 overall. “She was working hard, and she and (junior catcher) Katie Sinclair are a nice combination. They’re both solid, with three years on varsity, so they set the tone for us to do well. They know the game, and talk to one another.
“We’ve been working on our hitting, both outdoors and indoors with the weather, wanting everyone to get good contact, and we’re getting there.”
The Trojans collected five hits in the first two innings alone and had all the runs they needed, scoring once in the first and three times in the second for the fast start that Morgan mentioned. In all, Homer had 15 hits in the contest. Junior left fielder Cheyenne Gaffney went 3-for-4 with a double, two triples, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the way, while junior center fielder Meaghan Bossard (triple, two runs, two RBIs) and Morgan (RBI, run) both went 3-for-5.
“It seems like we run into a strong pitcher every game,” said Cortland coach Lara Almansberger, her team one day removed from being limited to three hits by Chittenango’s Kaleigh Koegel, who had 13 strikeouts in her team’s 12-1 win. “Homer got big hits to drive in runs in this game, which they didn’t as much in the first game. Both my pitchers (Gregory and Torti) were gone for spring break and are working their way back.
“We talked about playing our game, playing good defense, and hitting the ball; it’s too bad some of our hits were right back to the pitcher. we have to get our pitching back up to par and, while we’re putting the bat on the ball, our offense has to come alive. It’s tough practicing inside, and the one day we got outside this week, on Tuesday, it was cut short by thunder.”
Morgan had five assists in the game and three putouts on line drives, two coming in a stretch of six batters between the fourth and fifth innings.
The Trojans got the only run they’d need in the first, as Bossard beat out an infield single with one out, went to third when a fly ball to the outfield was misplayed and scored on a groundout by Sinclair. Bossard stroked a two-runs triple down the left field line in the second and scored on a single to left by Sinclair to make it 4-0.
The visitors talked on two more runs in the third. Junior second baseman Hannah Gallagher walked and later scored on a scored on a groundout by junior first baseman Jessica Mitchell before a sacrifice fly to left to junior first baseman Taryn Heath plated junior third baseman Chelsie Cornwell, who had walked.
An RBI triple to left-center by Gaffney and a run-scoring single to left-center by Gallagher made it 8-0 after four innings. After a scoreless fifth, Homer added three more in the sixth, Gaffney with a run-scoring triple to right before scoring on a single to right by Gallagher and Morgan later singling up the middle to score Cornwell, who had reached base on an outfield error.
Senior shortstop Carissa Cornwell (Chelsie’s sister) closed out the scoring in the seventh, leading off with a single to left and later scoring on an infield error.
Colasurdo noted that, due to injuries to junior shortstop Jessica Parmiter and senior outfielder Alyssa Smith, she had only nine players and was forced to move some fielders around. Carissa Cornwell, usually a center fielder, played shortstop, while Bossard went from right field to center, Mitchell from third base to right and Chelsie Cornwell came off the bench to play third.
The Trojans host Jamesville-DeWitt at 4 p.m. Monday while Cortland is at Phoenix in a 4:30 p.m. start the same day.
HOMER JVs defeated Cortland 13-10, totaling 17 hits in the contest as Nikea Ulrich (double) and Alexis Settineri led the way, both going 3-for-4. Jessica Holden went 2-for-3 with a double while Annie Wynn went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs and Mikayla McNeill had a two-run triple. Winning pitcher Anni Wynn had seven strikeouts in throwing a complete game.
Talia Cruz (three RBIs) and Annie Steve (RBI, two runs) had two hits each for the Purple Tigers.


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