Margaretville, Roxbury likely softball crossover opponents

By Julia Green
If the Roxbury Rockets can post a win over Stamford this week, it will secure them a trip to the Delaware League crossover game, where they will meet the Margaretville Blue Devils for the third time in as many weeks.
The Blue Devils clinched the Upper Delaware division title last week, despite falling to Roxbury 3-2 on Thursday in a true pitching duel.
Margaretville pitcher Danielle Hull had a perfect game going through the fifth inning, but the Rockets’ offense found its spark in the bottom of the sixth, tallying three runs to take a 3-2 lead over the Blue Devils.
“Danielle pitched very well,” said Roxbury Head Coach Jane Ware, whose team is currently ranked 13th in the state. “She was throwing really nice strikes, moving the ball around really well, and her team didn’t have an error, playing very good defense behind her.”
The Rockets’ Nevada Schuman broke Hull’s streak with a single to left field to start the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A single by Tarah DiBenedetto put runners at the corners, and DiBenedetto then stole second.
Kennedy Faraci laid down a bunt along the third baseline and Hull fielded the ball and threw home, but it wasn’t in time and Schuman scored to put the Rockets on the board. Another passed ball allowed DiBenedetto to score the tying run and Faraci to advance to third; another bunt by Rachel Meckes drove in the winning run.
The Rockets’ scoring run came after a big defensive play in the top of the sixth, when Margaretville’s Erica Faulkner was on third base. The ball was hit to the outfield and a Roxbury outfielder made the throw to third, but the ball glanced off the third baseman’s leg and trickled toward the Roxbury bench. Rockets pitcher Heather Davie, who was backing up the play, made the throw home, where Faulkner was tagged out at the plate to end the inning.
“That seemed to just raise my team’s spirits,” Ware said, “and then we got three hits right off the bat. So the play at the plate kind of gave us a big spark.”
Hull tallied five strikeouts in the three-hitter and Roxbury pitcher Heather Davie also had five strikeouts and allowed only two hits.
The Rockets were scheduled to play a nonleague game against Jefferson on Tuesday and a rescheduled match-up with Stamford on Wednesday; however, Ware said that the schedule was tentative and would depend on weather and field conditions.
“We scheduled Jeff-erson because it’s a quality-type team you’re going to be playing in sectionals,” Ware said. “And then Stamford just kept getting rescheduled. So it wasn’t a plan to have three games this week.”
On Thursday morning, prior to that afternoon’s crossover game at SUNY Oneonta, the sectional seeding meeting will take place and both Roxbury and Margaretville will learn where and against whom they will play in the first round of the Section IV tournament.
“I just want them to relax and have fun,” Ware said of her team. “That’s their biggest problem is that they’re so young, and they get too uptight, and you don’t play your best game if you’re really uptight. We just have to relax and have fun and not let being there scare us to death.
“They play as a team,” she added. “There’s not one great standout from game to game; they work together. In the game against Margaretville, it was the entire bottom of my order that scored, not the seniors that you would expect would lead your team in a tight game. So I’m just enjoying that everybody takes a turn stepping up. I’m proud of them.” 
 
ACS tops Stamford
The Andes softball team posted a 15-0 win over the visiting Stamford Indians on Friday. The Mountaineers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but blew the doors open in the second, scoring 11 runs to take an early 12-0 lead.
Rachel Andrews, Kelsey Little and Karli Tait each doubled in the second inning for the Mountaineers, and Andrews, Tait and Mariah Ruff each went 2-for-4 to lead Andes.
The Mountaineers were scheduled to play host to the visiting Franklin Purple Devils on Tuesday; no result was available at press time.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the Mountaineers will not be competing in the Section IV tournament. They finish the 2010 season with an 8-4 overall record and were 8-2 in league play.
They will lose stalwart pitcher Karli Tait and starting first baseman Rachel Andrews to graduation.