MONGAUP VALLEY – The Center for Discovery Diamonds pulled off what some thought was an impossible victory against top-seated rivals L&B Tack on Tuesday night, July 18. The Diamonds, in their second season in the A-Division of the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League, had squeaked out a single run win against veterans L&B Tack to start their best-of-three game series back in May. L&B Tack came out swinging in June when they defeated the Diamonds at their home field in Harris 14-7, tying the two powerhouse teams for first place in their division.
That tie held strong until the teams met at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park. The Diamonds lost the coin flip giving L&B Tack the home team advantage. The ladies of L&B Tack held the Diamonds in the first inning, not allowing any runs to score. The Diamonds let L&B pitcher Barb Merton sneak a run past them and the score at the end of the first was 1-0. The Diamonds countered with a two run second inning with second baseman Anji Bakos hitting a double knocking in Bari Allor, followed by third baseman Jamie VanderMeulen hitting a single, allowing Anji Bakos to score. L&B couldn’t break through the Diamonds’ defense in the second, leaving the Diamonds ahead 2 -1.
The third inning saw both teams score. Diamonds shortstop Nicole Kothe and left fielder Sam Cohn tagged the plate and L&B’s pitcher Barb Merton also scored, bringing the score after three to 4-2, Diamonds. The top of the fourth brought in another Diamond run, while L&B countered with two of their own as the crowd grabbed the edge of their seats going into the fifth with the Diamonds leading 5-4.
First baseman Amanda Goddard led off the fifth inning with an impressive triple, starting a three-run inning countered by a single run scored by L&B’s Liz Stubits, bringing the score to 8-5 heading into the sixth.
Each team managed two runs in the sixth, making the score 10-7 in favor of the Diamonds heading into the final inning.
L&B Tack took the field in the top of the seventh with the determination that has kept them the league champions for five impressive seasons. They didn’t allow a single run to score in the top of the inning, and grabbed their bats looking to make a final rally to win in their last at bat.
L&B’s longtime first baseman, Fran Kaiser, hit a single, followed by shortstop Mary Smith with a single. Third baseman Trish Tuttle hit a roundball to shortstop Nicole Kothe, giving her a split second to go for the run or the out. She made the choice to take the out and allow Fran Kaiser to score, making the game that much more interesting at 10-8 with the tying run on base. Second baseman Autumn Ackerly then hit a single, but left fielder Holli Schoonmaker was caught out, leaving L&B with bases loaded and down to their final out as Jen “Jill” Wright stepped to the plate. She hit a rocket to left field, where Samantha Cohn raced to catch the final out.
This marked the 18th win of the season for the Diamonds against only one loss, to L&B Tack back in June. The Diamonds followed the July 18 win with a 24 to 3 victory in Swan Lake against Fosterdale Equipment the following evening, and there are only two games left in the season before the playoffs.