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SECTION IV SOFTBALL: SVEC TOPS DELHI/DOWNSVILLE, 6-2, IN CLASS C OPENER (24 PHOTOS) (2023-05-17)

By TIM BIRNEY
Tioga County Sports Report
SPENCER — Things looked a little bleak early for SVEC in its Section IV, Class C opening-round softball game against Delhi / Downsville here Wednesday afternoon.

The eighth-seeded Lady Eagles trailed 1-0 in the top of the second, and the ninth-seeded Lady Bulldogs had the bases loaded with no outs, but SVEC ace Roni Presher and her defense escaped the jam unscathed, and riding that momentum, the offense pushed four runs across the plate in the home half of the inning to propel SVEC to a 6-2 win.

“That was big, to get out of that inning without giving up a run was really big,” said SVEC first-year coach Megan Friscia.

“Our defense was strong today, more than I could ask for in an important game like this,” she noted. “It was a great defensive effort.

“Every single player on the team did great today,” added Friscia. “We had some great catches, some great defensive plays, and some big hits.”

Alli Ferrara gave Delhi / Downsville a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a two-out, inside-the-park solo home run over the left fielder’s head.

In the top of the second, three consecutive singles loaded the bases for Delhi-Downsville, but SVEC third baseman Jillian Holmes fielded a hard grounder and fired home to catcher Reagan Sudnikovich for a force out, then Presher registered back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

Presher allowed just one run on five hits over the final five innings.

“Once Roni (Presher) got settled in, I thought she pitched a great game,” said Friscia. “She was moving the ball around well.

“And, once we got settled in as a team, we played great,” she added.

Katelyn Klym ignited the rally in the home half of the second with a line-drive double down the left-field line, and scored on an RBI triple by Presher to tie the game at 1-1.

On the next pitch, Grace Handy singled up the middle to score Presher and put SVEC up 2-1.

Adriana Farmer followed with a perfect bunt single to put runners on first and second. The runners moved up on a groundout off the bat of Mikayla Duncanson, then both scored on a two-out, two-RBI single through the hole at shortstop to cap the rally by Sudnikovich.

Delhi-Downsville turned a pair of hits into a run in the top of the fourth inning to close the gap to 4-2, but Presher limited the damage, and escaped further harm.

Ferrara kept SVEC’s bats at bay until the bottom of the fifth inning when Faith Brenchley led off with a line-drive single to left field, and Kylm delivered a two-run inside-the-park home run down the left-field line to make it 6-2.

Moments later, Presher was hit by a pitch, and Farmer reached on a two-out bunt single, but the runners were stranded on second and third to end the inning.

Presher retired Delhi / Downsville in order in the top of the sixth inning, then pitched around a lead-off single in the top of seventh inning to nail down the win.

Klym was 3-for-3 with a home run, a double, two runs scored, and two RBI to pace SVEC’s nine-hit attack, while Farmer had two hits and one run scored, and Sudnikovich singled, and drove in two runs.

Presher tripled, scored one run, and drove in one run in the win, while Handy singled, scored one run, and knocked in one run, and Brenchley singled and scored one run.

Presher earned the win, allowing two runs on nine hits, while striking out four and walking none in seven innings of work.

Friscia was thrilled to get her first postseason win under her belt.

“As a first-year coach, this (win) means a lot,” she said. “First of all, to get a home game is big, and to win it is more than I could ask for from this group of girls.”

SVEC, now 9-9, will travel to face top-seeded Edison in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

“I’m excited about next week,” noted Friscia. “We’ve seen Edison before, so we have an idea of what to expect.

“And, I’m excited because I’m bringing back most of my team next year,” she added.

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IN PHOTO 1: SVEC’s Roni Presher. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.


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