IAC SOFTBALL: S-VE DOWNS NEWARK VALLEY FOR 6th SHUTOUT
(2022-04-23)Tioga County Sports Report
SPENCER — S-VE rode four hits, eight walks and five errors to its sixth shutout of the season, defeating Newark Valley, 7-0, in IAC softball action here Saturday.
“I don't think we really played that well today,” S-VE coach Ron Miller said. “We played good enough to win, but we’ve got to get better than we were today.
“We can’t get picked off first. We got lucky today. They dropped balls. They don't drop those balls, it’s a 2- or 3-run game.”
NV has struggled recently, but new coach Val Fischer is pleased for the most part.
“So far it's been good,” she said. “We're learning a lot. I'm learning a lot. I'm happy. The girls are happy with what I'm doing because I'm trying to do what's best for them and be positive, and just get back the love of the game.”
Adrienna Farmer drew a base on balls to start the bottom of the third inning and it would be the first of four straight walks. Rhiana Lawrence would walk, steal second and score on a wild pitch, and Faith Brenchley would move up after walking, then later score following an error.
The score would remain 2-0 until the fifth when Raegan Sudnicovich singled and scored on a Hannah Martinez double. Gillian Jackman rounded the bases on an error by the third baseman, giving the Panthers a 5-0 advantage.
Kaili Root came on as a pinch runner in the sixth, then Lawrence reached on an error. Brenchly plated Root with a base hit and Lawrence scored on a throwing error, making it 7-0.
Lawrence was solid in the circle, retiring the first five Cardinals before Anna Kaelin broke up the perfect game with a single.
Joslyn Wright walked and Mackenzie Malone singled with two down in the third, and a wild pitch put both in scoring position, but Lawrence fanned the next batter.
She proceeded to retire four more batters before Whittaker doubled with two gone in the sixth. A ground out ended the threat and Lawrence retired the side in the seventh.
Lawrence finished the game with eight strikeouts, allowing three hits and one walk in the process.
“We’ve got some good kids,” Miller said. “I think they know they didn’t play well today. I mean, it’s Saturday, it’s something different. They’ve got to have their heads right all the time.”
S-VE hosts Candor Monday while Newark Valley visits Dryden.
The Panthers have recorded six shutouts in seven games, outscoring their opponents, 126-3. Dryden is the only team to reach home plate against them, but the Purple Lions are also the only team S-VE has faced so far this season to reach the postseason last year.
Miller is well aware that the road to the postseason gets bumpier from here on out.
“All the games from now on are tough,” he said. “We’ve got Candor, Tioga and Waverly next week. That's a big week for us and then we’ve got Notre Dame and Heights.”
NV has struggled to score in recent games, crossing home plate just once in the past four outings, however, the struggles have come against quality pitching.
“We're competitive with the teams that we need to be. We're winning the games that we should be,” Fischer said. “We're struggling in the box a little bit with these good pitchers, but the pitchers we've been facing have been top of the game.”
Still, Fischer knows there’s work to be done at the dish.
“Picking pitches that we should be swinging at, being smart up in the box, not helping the pitcher more than we need to — got to crank up the machine speed I think, just a little bit,” she said.
The Cardinals (2-5) just played four consecutive games against 2021 Section IV qualifiers and the next six are also against sectional qualifiers, starting with a road trip to Dryden Monday.
IN PHOTO 1: S-VE’s Hannah Martinez. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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