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Tioga County Sports Report
CANDOR — Marathon grabbed the early lead, then fought off Candor’s attempts to rally to clinch the IAC Division 1 title with a 7-4 victory here Thursday.

The visitors’ first two batters, Kaitlyn Mitchell and Zoe Carter, would spot their team a 2-0 lead with a single and walk, respectively, followed by a walk to Breanna Mitchell, an RBI single from Brie Carter and an RBI groundout by Brooke Tillotson.

The Indians were never able to climb out of the early hole, although they hung tough throughout the contest.

Candor got one of the runs back in its half of the inning when Shelby Swartz singled up the middle, then advanced to third when Marathon tried to throw her out when she went off the bag at first. Jenna Kareem drove her in on an error by the third baseman.

The next three innings would be a scoreless battle with some interesting plays.

Indian catcher Addie Aman would nail Kaitlyn Mitchell attempting to steal second, then Breanna Mitchell would get called out after belting a solo home run over the left field fence in the third. She failed to touch home plate.

Anna Greeno would struggle with her control in the fourth, walking the first three batters. Swartz would relieve her and Candor would get out of the jam. Aman would thwart a steal attempt, tagging out the runner scrambling back to third, then Searra Allen would record a pair of putouts at third.

Meanwhile, Breanna Mitchell was in a groove from the circle. She struck out nine of 11 batters who stepped to the plate in the second, third and fourth, stranding Asia Curkendall and Swartz at second.

Marathon would plate a run in the fifth following Breanna Mitchell’s lead-off double and a two-out error.

Aman would throw out a runner scrambling back to third, then belt a solo homer in the Candor half of the fifth.

In the sixth, a walk and fielder’s choice set up Daisy Allen’s two-out, two-run single for a 5-2 lead. Searra Allen ended Marathon’s at-bats when she made  a diving over-the-shoulder catch of a foul ball well behind third base.

Then came a couple plays which didn’t go Candor’s way.

The first was a controversial out at home in the bottom of the sixth. Following back-to-back base hits by Kareem and Searra Allen, Kareem attempted to score standing up on a wild pitch. Her toe appeared to touch the plate before she was tagged on the upper leg by the pitcher, who was reaching across the plate. Frye argued the call, but the out stood.

One out later, Curkendall scored Allen to make the score 5-3, but Candor would leave two runners stranded.

The other controversy was a possible interference on an attempt to throw a Marathon runner out at home in the seventh. Candor first baseman Emily Henry fielded an errant throw several feet down the first base line toward home following a ground ball and had to tag the runner. The two collided in the base path and as Henry attempted to move away in an attempt to make a play at home the runner pushed off and the Olympians scored a run to make the score 6-3.

Kaitlyn Mitchell followed with an RBI single for a 7-3 advantage.

The Indians’ final run came after Aryan Peters and Kareem walked, Searra Allen laid down a bunt single to load the bases, and Greeno walked to plate a run.

Candor head coach Steve Frye realized the calls weren’t the reason his team faltered.

“The umpires didn’t do it,” he said. “We just didn’t hit. The girl’s a good pitcher. When she was struggling to find the strike zone, then we finally put the bat on the ball, but early on we couldn’t touch her. We had our opportunities but we struck out a lot. We just weren’t hitting the ball. That was the key message. We have to get used to faster pitching and do something with it.”

Marathon’s bats and a few Candor miscues factored on the outcome as well.

“We had a few boo-boos,” Frye said. “People weren’t in the right position or made the wrong throw. I think they probably had as many mistakes as we did, so that evened out, but they hit the ball. They had a couple kids that really poked it. We got lucky on the home run where the girl didn’t touch home so that kept us in the game longer. They just hit the ball more than we did, so that was the key.

Swartz, Allen and Curkendall had two hits apiece for the Indians.

Candor (12-3) heads to Trumansburg Saturday for the Spring Slam Tournament.


IN PHOTO 1: Candor’s Addie Aman. … PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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