Hamil­ton girls face off against MECS

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By John Brewer jbrewer@onei­dadis­patch.com @dis­patch­brewer on Twit­ter

HAMIL­TON, N.Y. » Play­ing in their first game of the sea­son, the Hamil­ton Emer­ald Knights spot­ted start­ing pitcher Beth Be­langer 14 runs in the first three in­nings of Fri­day’s con­test against Mor­risville-Ea­ton.

Be­langer would only need three of those runs.

The sopho­more pitcher struck out nine M-E bat­ters, al­low­ing two runs while go­ing the dis­tance for Bill Dowsland’s side on the mound for a 16-2 Hamil­ton win.

“We’ve had two scrim­mages, but it’s been a long time since we were able to get back on the field. I was real pleased. De­fen­sively, we looked re­ally good. I thought our base-run­ning was re­ally good. I thought Beth Be­langer pitched a re­ally good game,” Hamil­ton coach Bill Dowsland said. “She worked back from some counts she was be­hind in and bat­tled. We played pretty good de­fense be­hind her, so I am re­ally pleased for an overall team win.”

Beth Dawkins smacked two

dou­bles to go with two RBI on 2-of-5 hit­ting and Ash­ley LaRuffa went 2-of-5 on the night with a pair of RBI and a dou­ble to lead Hamil­ton at the plate.

Amy Ja­cobs was hit with the loss in the start­ing ef­fort for M-E.

Hamil­ton plated three runs in the bot­tom of the first fol­low­ing a 1-2-3 in­ning from Be­langer. Madi­son Rodriguez drew a one­out walk and ad­vanced to third via a steal and a passed ball be­fore scor­ing the first run of then con­test. Lau­ren LaRuffa reached on an er­ror and crossed home plate on Dawkins’ first dou­ble of the evening. Dawkins stole third base, even­tu­ally scor­ing on a heads-up play by Emma Basher who drew a walk and then sprinted to­ward second base, forc­ing an M-E throw to second while Dawkins broke for home. Ja­cobs es­caped the in­ning by in­duc­ing an Hamil­ton’s Madi­son Rodriguez slides home safely while Mor­risville-Ea­ton pitcher Amy Ja­cobs cov­ers home plate dur­ing a 16-2Hamil­ton win on Fri­day, April 13. Ash­ley LaRuffa grounder for the fi­nal out.

M-E re­sponded in the top of the second with a lead­off dou­ble from Hannah Baird. The Warriors’ cleanup hit­ter pro­ceeded to steal third base and score Mor­risville-Ea­ton’s first run of the con­test on an er­ror. Later in the in­ning, with run­ners on the cor­ners and two outs, Be­langer fought her way free of the jam by strik­ing out Jor­dyn Youn­glove to end the frame.

Sport­ing a 3-1 lead head­ing into the bot­tom of the second, Hamil­ton con­tin­ued to press the is­sue on the basepa­ths. Emily McCann and Ro­drieguez drew back-to-back walks, even­tu­ally scor­ing on passed balls to push the Emer­ald Knight lead to 5-1. Rodriguez crushed a triple with two outs in the in­ning, scor­ing on a Dawkins’ grounder back to the cir­cle that Ja­cobs was un­able to haul in. Dawkins pro­ceeded to steal second, take third on a wild pitch and cross the plate on a passed ball for a 7-1 Hamil­ton lead.

The Warriors threat­ened again in the top of the third, load­ing the bases with one out. Hannah Caruso walked, De­laney Koe­hel fol­lowed with a sin­gle and Baird reached on a hit-by-pitch to set Mor­risville-Ea­ton up with a scor­ing op­por­tu­nity, but Be­langer was again able to es­cape un­scathed, in­duc­ing fly­ball outs from Lily Orth and Tay­lor Man­war­ren to pre­serve the 7-1 lead for the hosts.

Hamil­ton blew things open in the bot­tom of the third as they bat­ted around the or­der, tag­ging Ja­cobs and the Mor­risville-Ea­ton de­fense for seven runs to take a 14-1 lead.

Be­langer took care of the rest, al­low­ing one hit and scat­ter­ing four walks in the fi­nal four in­nings to en­sure Hamil­ton closed it out for the 16-2 win.

“Frus­tra­tion,” Mor­risville-Ea­ton coach Penny Koe­hel said of her im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion to the con­clu­sion of the game. “There are a lot of men­tal thoughts be­cause we have for­ever been ri­vals, so I think that af­fected them a lit­tle bit...I have a young pitch­ing staff and peo­ple in dif­fer­ent places, get­ting them used to where they are and get­ting back on the field.”

JOHN BREWER - ONEIDA DAILY DIS­PATCH

Hamil­ton pitcher Beth Be­langer winds and deals dur­ing CSC-IV soft­ball ac­tion on Fri­day, April 13.

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