BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — Six days ago, Newark Valley had to rally to defeat Dryden in an IAC Division 3 clash. There would be no rally here Wednesday evening.
That’s because the Cardinals built an early 6-0 advantage and never looked back to rout the Purple Lions, 19-1, in five innings.
"We weren't really sure what to expect because it was a close game last time, so we kind of figured it would be the same," said NV head coach Jason Monte. "The way we've been hitting the ball just opened things up early for us, and I think the girls played a little looser knowing we had a big lead."
NV plated three runs in the bottom of the first and three more in the second. When the Lions finally pushed a run across in the fourth, the Valley responded with nine runs in its half of the inning.
Dryden would put its first three batters on base to start the game, but only one made it past first base.
Allie Wandell’s walk, Marissa Berghorn’s bunt single, Cassidy Hoffmier’s single and an error off the bat of Allison Walker gave NV all the runs it would need in its half of the inning. Wandell, Berghorn and Hoffmier all scored to make it 3-0.
In the second, a walk to Kimi Mertson, and a double from Berghorn sandwiched between singles by April Simmons and Hoffmier led to runs by Mertson, Simmons and Berghorn, and a 6-0 advantage.
Dryden would turn an error and a single into an unearned run in the fourth, then the NV run parade would begin.
Wendell would score the first and last runs of the Cardinals’ half of the fourth after reaching on a walk and an error. In between, Simmons would walk and score, Berghorn, Hoffmier and Emma Graves would single an score, Walker would reach on an error an score, Sarah Mertson would single and score, and Staci Greene would reach on an error and score — giving NV a 15-1 cushion.
In the fifth Graves walked and scored, the Mertsons both singled and scored, and Wandell doubled and scored to push the lead to 19-1.
Hoffmier struck out four to pick up the win, allowing four hits and one walk. She was also 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and three RBI to help her own cause.
Berghorn led the 15-hit attack, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and four RBI.
Three other players had multiple hits. Wandell went 2-for-3 with a double, four runs and three RBI; Simmons was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI; and Sarah Mertson was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Graves added a hit, two runs and an RBI; Kimi Mertson added a hit and two runs; and Walker and Greene each had a run and RBI.
The NV defense was solid and the outfielders made seven putouts without an error.
"Defensively, our outfield is leaps and bounds from what it was last year and I think that gives the kids more confidence in the infield," Monte said. "We had a couple plays early in the outfield and again, a big confidence booster for them."
IN PHOTO 1: Newark Valley catcher Marissa Berghorn makes the tag at home. … PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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