All 3 phases

Fredonia pitches, hits, fields way to victory

OBSERVER Photo by Tim Frank Fredonia’s Sophia Gullo rounds third before scoring during the Hillbillies’ Section VI Class B2 quarterfinal against Royalton-Hartland on Monday in Gowanda.

GOWANDA — Inclement weather across Western New York on Monday forced the location of many Section VI baseball and softball playoff games to be shifted in order to get them in.

So, instead of having a true home-field advantage, the Fredonia softball team instead took on Royalton-Hartland at Gowanda High School.

It wasn’t an issue.

The Hillbillies (14-3) dominated their quarterfinal matchup, downing Roy-Hart (8-5), 11-0, in a game where pitching, hitting and defense all went the way of No. 3 Fredonia.

“Top to bottom, all three phases we played well,” said Fredonia coach Jesse Beers. “Defensively we played a pretty clean game, offensively we got good hacks, and Marissa pitched a great game.”

OBSERVER Photo by Tim Frank Fredonia’s Jenna Truby hits a two-run single Monday in Gowanda.

The Hillbillies will continue their playoff run today, against No. 2 Akron, which downed Medina, 12-1.

At the start of the first inning, it looked like Fredonia might be in some trouble. One of Fredonia’s only defensive miscues of the game came on the game’s first batter, as Roy-Hart’s pitcher and leadoff hitter, Reanna Perkins, hit a rocket to left field that Fredonia’s Lila Cameron couldn’t handle, allowing the first runner to reach.

No. 6 Roy-Hart’s second hitter, Molly Russell, also reached base, giving the Rams runners at first and second with no outs in the top of the first.

But Fredonia’ pitcher Marissa Cash locked in from there.

Cash forced three straight groundouts to end the frame, without a run scoring. Fredonia also went scoreless in the bottom of the first, despite a leadoff single from Maddy Marsh, but Cash getting those outs kept the game even while Fredonia’s lineup was waking up.

In the top of the second, Cash allowed one more baserunner, a two-out single to Emma Livergood, but then Cash forced the next batter to ground out. That single from Livergood was the last Roy-Hart runner to reach base against Cash, who set down the next 16 batters in a row to end the game.

With Cash fully locked in, Fredonia got its jump-start in the bottom of the second. With one out, Fredonia first baseman Ashlynn Delcamp deposited a 1-1 pitch into the forest behind the right-centerfield fence, giving Fredonia a 1-0 lead on a solo home run. This was the second straight game Delcamp has hit a home run, and both times her blasts gave Fredonia the lead.

“She’s a young player that’s building confidence,” Beers said. “You can see it with every at-bat. She’s molding into a good first baseman as well. When the kids are relaxed and playing with confidence, the game just comes to them.”

As Cash continued to set batters down, the Fredonia offense came alive. Already armed with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, Fredonia’s ninth hitter Sarah Davis led off with a single, then stole second base. Marsh then followed with a single to bring Davis home to extend the lead to 2-0. Cameron then reached on an error to keep the train moving and, after Nevaeh Zadzilka struck out for the first out of the inning, Jenna Truby smacked a single to bring both Marsh and Cameron home to extend the lead to 4-0.

The onslaught extended into the fourth inning. Erin Schrantz worked a seven-pitch walk to start the inning, and Davis followed up with a nine-pitch, 0-2 single to set Fredonia up once again. Beers said that Fredonia’s at-bats have improved greatly as the season has gone on.

“Offensively we’ve been improving as the season is going as far as our approach,” Beers said. “We’re getting good hacks at good pitches in the meaty parts of the zone. The girls are becoming more relaxed and understanding that if they swing at good pitches, good things happen.”

With two runners on — they saw a combined 16 pitches — Marsh flipped the script and took the first pitch from Perkins to right field for a single, driving in Schrantz, making the score 5-0. In the fourth inning, Marsh was already 3 for 3 with two runs scored, two RBIs, and three stolen bases.

“We talked about senior leadership after the game,” Beers said. “Between the game that Marissa threw and the game Maddy had, you can’t expect anything more than what we got out of our two seniors.”

Cameron brought Davis home on an RBI groundout, then Marsh scored on a passed ball to extend the lead to 7-0 after the fourth inning. The scoring kept coming for Fredonia, which tacked on three more in the fifth, as Delcamp, Leah Marsh, and Schrantz all came in to score. Leah Marsh, Maddy’s younger sister, came around to score on Maddy’s fourth hit of the game. Fredonia’s final run was scored by Zadzilka in the sixth, courtesy of an RBI groundout from Jordan Lucas, who took over first base for Delcamp in the fifth.

Maddy Marsh finished the game 4 for 4, with four singles, three RBIs, two runs, and three stolen bases, while playing a strong game at shortstop. Delcamp went 2 for 2 with her home run, and two runs scored, while Schrantz worked two impressive walks and scored two runs, and Davis ended 2 for 3 with two runs, an RBI, and a stolen base.

Cash, who threw 77 pitches, tossed a two-hitter, struck out four and didn’t issue a walk. She also retired the final 16 batters, and 18 of the last 19.


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