PHS’ wild times at Hall lead to Lady Devil victory
|Princeton senior Jess Martell slides in safely with a stolen base in the sixth inning while Hall shortstop Brenna Faletti awaits the throw from catcher Becca Herrmann. Hall won 7-5. (BCR photo/Mike Vaughn)|
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SPRING VALLEY— The Hall Lady Devils made the most of their opportunities Friday afternoon and there were plenty of them given to them by the Princeton Tigresses.
Hall scored three runs in the first inning with the help of two PHS errors and three wild pitches. They won the game in the sixth inning when PHS threw away a sacrifice bunt, which allowed the go-ahead run to score and led to another run for a 7-5 Lady Devil win.
“We needed a game like that. It’s a tense game, it’s a rivalry, it’s back and forth. It hinges on an at-bat or a close play. it makes it exciting,” Hall coach Pete Kasperski said. “Both teams opened the door. They gave us few runs first innings ... passed on balls, errors, and we did the same.”
Hall (9-11) utilized some small ball in the fifth inning to tie the game and again in the sixth to win it. Abbey Azarskis led off the fifth with a base hit and was bunted to second by Becca Herrmann. Natalie Janusick doubled home Azarskis to tie the game.
Kelsey Ott singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Faletti laid down a bunt, which was fielded by pitcher Brooke Kamphuis. Her throw sailed past first baseman Jess Martell down the line, allowing Ott to score easily. Faletti dashed all the way to third, where she scored with one out when Azarskis was retired on a 5-6-3 groundout.
“We’re putting the ball in play more, and that’s the key,” Kasperski said. “Not striking out. It puts a lot of pressure on the defense. even at the varsity level. If you can make them make the plays, it makes it hard.”
“We came together really well. When we got down, we picked each other up really well,” winning pitcher Johnna Schultz said. “We had really good heads up actions today. We were always knowing where the ball was and what the play was and where we were at in the game.”
After its disastrous first inning and a 4-0 deficit after two innings, PHS battled its way back in the game and took the lead in the fifth. They found Hall in a giving spirit, too. The Lady Devils committed seven errors in the field; PHS had three
Kamphuis and Heidi James both reached on infield errors by Hall to open the third. Kamphuis scored on a sac fly by clean-up hitter Jess Martell and James scored on a Hall throwing error to third. Kat Pranka doubled to center field to plate Abby Jaques, who reached on a fielder’s choice, to make it 4-3.
In the fourth, Danielle Hughes reached on an infield error to lead off the fourth and came around to score the tying run on a Heidi James base hit.
The Tigresses (15-7) took a 5-4 lead in the fifth when Pranka singled and came around to score when Hughes’ single was kicked around in left field.
Schultz pitched around a leadoff single by Abby Jaques in the seventh, helped by battery mate Becca Herrman, who juggled a pitch, but threw out Jaques attempting to steal third on. Schultz said she always gets pumped up to face her many friends in blue.
“I know they want to get me as much as I want to get them,” she said with a smile.
PHS coach Bob James was happy to see his team battled back, but very disappointed how they started out.
“We played terrible today. Probably the worst game we’ve played all year. We’ve got to do a better job being mentally prepared to start the game,” he said.
• Notes: PHS meets another county rival today when it travels to Manlius to face the Bureau Valley Storm for a 10 a.m. doubleheader