8 Jun 2010
Lady Vikings take Section 9 title
June 8th, 2010
Their seasons collided during the Section 9, Class AA softball final Saturday, and the difference was decided early in the first inning.
Amber Corrign opens the bottom of the first for Valley Central with a double. She would later score on a wild pitch.
Pine Bush made the trip to Slate Hill for the final with Valley Central by battering Kingston 9-4 in the semis, scoring six runs in the first inning Thursday, June 3 and forcing the second-seed to unsuccessfully fight back.
Later that evening in Maybrook, the Lady Vikings had to come back in the bottom of the eighth to beat Minisink 4-3 when Tessa Brown singled home Sam Maier for a return trip to the finals.
Less than 48 hours later, Crysti Eichner and Anna Mallory both hit RBI doubles and put the Lady Vikings down 2-0 to start that bottom of the first. Amber Corrigan opened the game for Valley Central with a double and would score on a wild pitch. Leanna Feerick would add another run on a fielder’s choice.
Tied 2-2, Jane Pinckney would shut down Pine Bush for the rest of the game as her teammates scored two more in the fifth to win 4-2.
“It’s mind boggling. It’s hard to take in right now,” said Pinckney, who gave up just three hits, all the first inning.
Pinckney’s match-up with Anna Mallory, Pine Bush’s starter, suggested a close final. Mallory pitched a no-hitter against Saugerties in the season opener, and Pinckney fired both a no-hitter and a perfect game this season.
And in the end, it came down to Pinckney, who struck out the side in the top of the seventh, and the team’s prowess at that plate, speed on the bases and defense in the field.
“Pine Bush came out fired up, and we had to respond,” said Frank Jordan Valley Central’s coach, on the first-inning comeback. “Once we did that, we settled the game down a little bit.”
And that coming back to win the sectional title was seeded by the host school in Slate Hill when Valley Central was down 3-2 to start the bottom of the eighth in the semis.
“When we were down 3-2, they (the team) said we weren’t losing. They said that this is their year, and they weren’t taking it away from us. I didn’t have to say a word. It was all them. They wanted this badly, and they came through,” said Jordan.
The Lady Vikings left Minisink downtrodden a year ago after losing to FDR 2-0 in the 2009 Class AA final. Brown said the loss lingered through this season.
“That was the driving force,” said Brown. “We got back here and that wasn’t going to happen again.”
Throughout the season, many anticipated a Valley Central/Kingston final. The Lady Vikings beat Kingston a year ago in the semis and twice this year, including a 1-0, 11-inning thriller in April on a drizzly Friday afternoon.
But then Pine Bush emerged this year and made it very interesting and dismissed those predictions.
“We were counted out by everybody. But we believed and kept working hard, and we got here,” said Mike Mancuso, Pine Bush’s coach.
And Pine Bush showed they might be able to pull it off – until the Lady Vikings had their chance to hit.
“We were ready, and we swung the bat extremely well in the beginning,” said Mancuso. “We hit the ball hard, but what are you going to do.”
By Bond Brungard