By CRAIG HARVEY
OBSERVER Sports Editor
Friday afternoon Joyce Bomasuto was “real sick.”
On Saturday, she left Medina coach Mark Kruzynski feeling sick to his stomach as Bomasuto stymied the No. 10 Lady Mustangs hitters in leading the No. 7 Lady Marauders to a 4-1 victory in Section 6 Class B-1 prequarterfinal softball action.
Bomasuto gave up just two hits and one run while striking out six in a complete-game masterpiece.
“She was real sick (Friday),” Dunkirk coach John Sliwa said. “She came in and did a little work pitching Friday. Her first inning was rough, but she got going and we played good defense behind her.”
“She worked the corners very well,” Kruzynski added. “She was moving the ball around well. Her changeup was devastating a couple times. Generally, we hit the ball pretty well. With her pitch selection and pitch location, she did an excellent job.”
Medina looked as if it was going to give Dunkirk all it could handle early on. Olivia Hermann led the game off with a single and quickly scored on an error for the quick 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the first, the Lady Marauders got the run back as Emilee Hanlon led off with a bunt single, stole second and scored off a Katie Hanlon RBI single.
From there it was all Bomasuto. Medina got a runner in scoring position in the fifth inning as Liz Meyer was stranded at second, and in the seventh as Jennifer Molisan was left on third.
“She is stepping up,” Sliwa said of his senior hurler. “She told me at the beginning of the year she wanted to step up and be the lead pitcher. This is her time.”
It’s a good thing Bomasuto did step up as the Dunkirk offense let several scoring opportunities slip away. Khee Nance was thrown out at home on a wild pitch, Lacey Clark was picked off at third and Riley Drummond was called out at third base on a stealing attempt.
“We have some work to do,” Sliwa said. “We made a few mistakes.”
The Lady Marauders were able to get a run in the second inning as Nicole Balzer was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
The score remained 2-1 until the sixth inning.
“I was very happy with where we were at that point,” Kruzynski said. “We just couldn’t string enough hits in a row to get a run.”
In the sixth inning, Nance walked, stole second, moved to third on a single by Clark and scored on a wild pitch. Clark came around to score on a RBI single by Sarah Hanlon.
“Give credit to Dunkirk,” Kruzynski said. “When they needed runs, they got them. They needed some runs in the sixth and they got them.”
Offensively, Dunkirk generated six hits.
“We have to have better at-bats,” Sliwa said. “I give Medina a lot of credit. They were shorthanded. We knew it, they knew it and they came to play ball. We have to play small ball. It’s not bad to have games like this. You have to get yourself into the state of mind to play a game like this.”
Dunkirk will play small ball the rest of the way as it has a speedy lineup.
“This is my playoff lineup,” he said. “We talked about it right away. We talked to the kids and said we need Emilee (Hanlon) in that leadoff spot. We have some quick kids. People don’t realize the speed we have. We have speed at 1 (Emilee Hanlon) and 2 (Bomasuto). Katie (Hanlon) is one of my best baserunners at 3. We have speed at 5 (Nance) and speed at 6 (Clark). We are quick. We have to play small ball and take those chances.”
After the game, Sliwa found himself faced with another problem – how to get to Newfane, where Dunkirk will play Tuesday in a quarterfinal contest.
A good problem to have for Sliwa and the Lady Marauders.