June 3, 2010
J-D’s gamble trips Trojans
LIVERPOOL — It was a a case of which team could put more pressure on the other. In the end, Jamesville-DeWitt proved it could get the job done just a little better.
Taking advantage of four Homer Central errors, the sixth-seeded Red Rams scored three unearned runs and posted a 4-3 upset victory over the second-seeded Trojans in Wednesday’s Section 3 Class A semifinal round at Hopkins Road Park.
J-D (12-8) will advance to the Class A title game Saturday to face top-seed Oneida (18-4), an 8-6 winner over fifth-seed Chittenango in the second game of the Field 3 doubleheader.
“Those are the things that have haunted us all year, errors and the lack of hitting, but that’s softball,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said of the four fielding miscues committed by the Trojans (17-5). “We had to face a little more pressure. I thought we were ready for it. The game just stayed tight and it put more pressure on the girls. They never relaxed in the field and J-D capitalized.
“Alexis (Brown) was doing well pitching,” she continued. “I switched pitchers in the seventh inning more as a way of giving J-D a different look. Chippy (Alyssa Morgan) has always done well for us. The two of them have kept us going all year. We just couldn’t string the hits together. We did get the bases loaded in the seventh and still couldn’t capitalize.”
J-D coach Phil DeAugustine took a calculated gamble in the bottom of the seventh inning with his team clinging to a one-run led. after Jessica Parmiter led off with a bunt single. He walked the number three and four batters in the Homer line-up — the dangerous Gabby Luety and Katie Sinclair — to load the bases and put the pressure on his defense. Senior pitcher Jennifer Keeler and her teammates responded.
Homer’s Ashley Crossway put the ball in play, but shortstop Ashley Thompson never hesitated and threw the ball to home plate to force out potentinal tying run Parmiter. Keeler then struck out the next batter before the Trojans’ last hope was senior Rachel Perry — who hit a flyball to centerfield. J-D’s Tessa Devereaux had to back-pedal to reach the ball, but she made the catch to end the game.
As DeAugustine passed Colasurdo on the way to the buses, he said, “I wasn’t going to let them (Luety and Sinclair) beat us. I took a chance.”
“I was a little surprised,” Colasurdo said of the events that loaded the bases. “Ashley did put the ball in play and made them make the play, which they did. Rachel also hit the ball well. It just needed to be a little higher and farther.”
IT WAS A GAMBLE, but it paid off — especially in the case of Sinclair. Keeler walked Luety intentionally in the bottom of the fifth inning, too, with her team leading 2-1. Sinclair drove the next pitch over the left field fence for her only hit of the night as Homer took a 3-2 lead.
J-D tied the game in the sixth.
Thompson reached on a fielder’s choice as the second out was recorded. Rachel Honis (2-for-3) blooped a single over first base to put runners at first and second. Madeline Devereaux hit a bouncer off the glove of Sinclair at third and the ball trickled into left field as Thompson scored from second. Rachel Fagut followed with a single, but Carissa Cornwell made a strong throw from right field and Luety relayed the throw back to third base and Sinclair tagged out Honis to end the inning.
The Red Rams plated the winning run in the top of the seventh. Mary Young got a one-out single and moved to second as the ball was bobbled in left field. Morgan struck out Tessa Devereaux for the second out, but Keeler hit a little flair shot over first base and Young scored the winning run from second base. Christina Oaster popped out to end the Red Ram threat.
Jamesville-DeWitt took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Honis got the Red Rams started with a two-out single. Madeline Devereaux hit a ground ball to shortstop, but the throw sailed over the first baseman’s head. In the scramble, Honis rounded third and ended home, The throw from first to home plate was well wide of the plate and Devereaux reached third base. After Fagut walked, Brown was called for an illegal pitch, which allowed Devereaux to score and Fagut moved to second base. Brown struck out Sarah Gianni to end the threat.
Homer got one run back in the bottom of the third inning. Cayla Hartnett blooped a single over the second baseman. With one out, Parmiter laid down a sacrifice bunt. The third baseman charged the ball and bobbled it. Her throw was wide and Parmiter was safe as Hartnett hustled to third. Luety hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that allowed Hartnett to tag-up and score from third to cut the Red Ram lead to 2-1.
The game stayed that way until Sinclair’s homer and the Red Ram rally.
BROWN PITCHED six strong innings for the Trojans. The senior scattered four hits with six strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. All three runs she surrendered were unearned.
Keeler was a little better. The senior went the distance allowing just four hits and two earned runs. Keeler struck out nine, all three walks were intentional and she hit one batter.
For Homer, it was the end of the high school careers for Brown, Hartnett, Perry, Luety and Crossway. For Luety, she played three full varsity seasons and saw her teammates post a 57-15 record. She also played part of the 2007 season as well. For the other four, it was a 36-12 mark. There were three straight sectional semifinal appearances, one Class B-1 title (2009) and one conference championship. Luety was also a member of the 2008 conference champions. Nice accomplishments in the long run, but small consolation for the tough loss.
“This was a great group of seniors and they displayed a lot of leadership,” Colasurdo said. “Each senior took on a role this season and helped develop this team. I do feel sorry for the seniors. They have put in a lot of her work. They were very dedicated, even working out in the off-season to prepare for the long run this season. I wish they could have gone farther. They are a great group of girls.
“Even today they did help out,” she continued. “Crossway made a great catch and throw in the outfield. They took the bat out of Gabby’s hands after her double in the first inning, but we expected it and Katie came through. Rachel almost won the game at the end. Cayla got the hit to get us going in the third inning and Alexis did her job pitching. It just wasn’t our day.”
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