Hornets sting Eagles

FORESTVILLE – Ryanne Dugan tossed a one-hit shutout Tuesday and the No. 1 Forestville Lady Hornets’ bats were alive and well as they pounded out 20 hits en route to a 13-0 win over No. 4 Ripley during Section 6 Class D semifinal softball action.

“I think that obviously (Ryanne) had a nice day keeping (Ripley) from scoring or getting any hits,” Forestville head coach Brianne Hazelton said. “But we wouldn’t have won the game without our offense. I was just so impressed with how they kept plugging away.”

Dugan, the standout senior hurler, struck out 14, walked two and faced three batters over the minimum in shutting down the Lady Eagles.

“She throws well, she doesn’t walk people and the (main) thing is her mix,” Ripley head coach Mike Torrance said. “She’s up, down and then that changeup.

“She’s quick,” Torrance continued of Dugan’s velocity on her pitches. “There’s no doubt about that.”

The two-time defending Section 6 Class D champion Lady Hornets scored a run in every inning they batted in but the first as they rolled into the Sectional finals for the third straight year.

“They were just on (Emilee Steger’s pitches),” Hazelton said. “And they were confident. Ripley is a great team and they have some great hitters, but it was nice that our girls played well, didn’t have any errors, and came out on top.”

Ashley VanBuskirk and Liz Gilman had RBI singles in the second to put the Lady Hornets up 2-0, before they exploded for five runs on five hits in the third to give Dugan all the run support she would need.

“I think that was where the momentum switched,” Hazleton said of the Lady Hornet’s five-run third inning. “We tried to capitalize on those mistakes and score and give (Ryanne) some insurance runs.”

“We just didn’t have it together (Tuesday),” Torrance added.

Emily Gilman highlighted the third with a bases-clearing, three-run double that followed run-scoring singles by Liz Gilman and Dugan.

Forestville got a run in the fourth on Dugan’s second RBI single of the afternoon while Alisha Szumigala and Precious Kaczor had RBI singles in the fifth. Emily Dillenburg scored the Lady Hornets’ second run of the inning on a wild pitch.

“You want to play a good game,” Torrance said. “But we started fumbling the ball around out there and we were looking at the ball and then we started looking at the people … Everybody’s going to make some errors, but we just started putting them back to back and that hurt us.”

The hits kept coming in the sixth as Emily Gilman had her second RBI double of the game and Dillenburg added an RBI single for Forestville’s final run of the game.

“I’m very blessed as a coach to have that,” Hazelton said. “I tell the girls that even though they may be hitting ninth, that doesn’t mean they’re not a good hitter. They all just have amazing bats. It kind of just depends on what kind of a mood I’m in.”

All but one Lady Hornet had more than one hit as VanBuskirk and went 4 for 4 with three doubles and an RBI while Emily Gilman finished 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs.

“I’m more confident that once we get some insurance runs for Ryanne that she will throw harder, is more confident out there and she can hold a team to just a few runs,” Hazelton said.

Ripley managed just four base runners on the day, with Melanie McCutcheon working a one-out walk in the second, Ryleigh Hawkins a two-out single in the third, Shanda Mellors a leadoff walk in the fifth and Sam Trevelline was hit by a pitch with one out in the seventh.

“That was working well and her rise ball too,” Hazelton noted of Dugan’s curveball. “We try to keep mixing it up and keep them off-balance. They played really well against a good team. Ripley has always played us tough. They didn’t come in here thinking it would be an easy game.”

For the Lady Eagles, the loss Tuesday represents the final time they’ll take the field for Ripley, as the school voted earlier in the year to tuition its students to neighboring schools.

“I will have to say that Chautauqua Lake has been very good (working) with us,” Torrance said. “They’ve invited the kids over there and they shadow someone who walks them around the school and the basketball representatives have come over and talked to our girls at our school … They are doing really everything to make our journey over there a lot easier.

“Sue (Teets) will treat them good over there,” Torrance added of the Chautauqua Lake head softball coach. “We have four girls that could probably step right on her team.”

Emilee Steger went the distance for the Lady Eagles, struck out three and walked none.

“She’s tired out,” Torrance said of Steger. “She’s about the only pitcher I have. My shortstop Ryleigh Hawkins just started this year, but it takes a long time.”

The loss also marked the end of the coaching career of Torrance, who will turn his attention to spending more time with his family.

“I have a grandson and he’s in the seventh grade and played as a starting varsity player this year,” said of his grandson Devin Pope. “He tried out for and made the Erie Pirates, a traveling baseball team, and he’s either the third baseman or the starting catcher. So I’m going to sit back now and watch him.”

The Lady Hornets move on to the final where they will look to defend their title against Pine Valley, which won 13-3 over North Collins on Tuesday.

“As long as we keep up the hitting, we’ll be fine,” Hazelton said. “We’ve had a couple (close games). Against Franklinville, the second time around, we won. We lost to them the first time, but the second game we won 1-0, and it went nine innings. So they’ve played in those very close ball games and I think that’s helped, but I’d rather have it this way than the 1-0 games.”

The game is scheduled for at 4 p.m. start on Saturday at the Martin Road Complex in Jamestown.

NOTES: Dugan helped her own cause at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance and finished with two RBIs … Szumigala finished with three hits and an RBI … Cherish Pope (two runs), Kaczor (run, RBI), Dillenburg (run, RBI) and Liz Gilman (run, RBI) finished with two hits each.

No. 6 Pine Valley 13, No. 2 North Collins 3

NORTH COLLINS – Pine Valley freshman hurler Jessica Wilcox came within a strike of throwing a no-hitter Tuesday as the No. 6 Lady Panthers (7-8) cruised past No. 2 North Collins (15-4), 13-3, during Section 6 Class D semifinal softball action.

“We had runners on base every inning,” North Collins’ head coach Jan Warren said. “We just didn’t hit the ball at all.”

Beth Kibler was down to her last strike before connecting on a base hit off Wilcox, as she struck out 10 and walked 14.

“Lately, the past few games, our girls have really come alive with their bats,” Pine Valley head coach Danielle Arnone said. “So even with all those walks, I knew we’d be fine.”

The Lady Panthers scored two runs in the first, five in the second, one in the third, four in the fifth and one in the seventh while the Lady Eagles scored all three of their runs in the home half of the first.

“We had the bases loaded in the first inning,” Warren noted. “(Wilcox) walked in a run already and the next two hitters struck out. Then we had another walk and the last girl struck out.”

Kayla Mansfield, Alex Bentham and Nicole Rinehart (double) accounted for the RBIs in the Lady Panthers’ five-run second.

“It was a great season,” Warren said. “I’m proud of them. They did a great job and they’ll have something to build off for next year.”

Bentham (double, two runs) finished with three hits while Rinehart (double, two runs) and Mansfield (two runs) each had two hits in the win.

Jessica Lawton, who is one of only two seniors for the Lady Eagles, allowed 13 runs – nine earned – on 15 hits while striking out one and walking two.

“We still should be alright,” Warren concluded. “It’s all going to hinge on whether or not Sam Gier throws next year and I think she will. She threw about 20 innings for us this year and she did a good job.”