Complete Effort Carries Falconer
Entire Lineup Produces In 8-1 Victory Over Trojans
Staked to a 5-0 first-inning lead, Falconer’s Courtnee Peterson could do no wrong.
The Golden Falcons’ sophomore hurler threw a three-hitter with five strikeouts and her offense added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings en route to an 8-1 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West victory over Southwestern on a blustery, overcast day in West Ellicott.
Falconer (2-1, 2-1) did most of its damage in the top of the first inning, thanks to a pair of walks, a hit batter and an error.
Macy Youngberg reached on a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning before Nicole Youngberg singled and Peterson walked to load the bases. Lauren Snyder was then hit by a pitch to force in the first run before the Trojans (2-2, 2-2) dropped a foul ball allowing Claudia Russell to extend her at-bat. The senior third baseman eventually walked to force in another run and No. 7 hitter Ashley Pierce cleared the bases with a double to left-center field to give the guests a 5-0 lead.
“It takes some of the pressure off,” Falconer coach Mike Youngberg said of the early offense.
Falconer’s No. 8 hitter, Emily Melquist, made it 6-1 in the top of the fourth inning when she tripled to right field and then scored on the play when an errant throw got in between Southwestern’s third baseman and shortstop.
The Golden Falcons added on an inning later as Nicole Youngberg led off with a triple to left-center field and scored one batter later on a throwing error after a pop out to second base.
In the sixth, eighth-grader Kayla Lynn — the No. 9 hitter in the Falconer lineup — hit the first pitch she saw down the left-field line and circled the bases for a home run to cap the scoring.
“That’s one thing I love about this team,” Youngberg said, “Nos. 1 through 9 we can score runs.”
That was plenty for Peterson and the Golden Falcons’ defense, which did not make an error on the afternoon.
“They did not make mistakes. They played a great game defensively,” Southwestern coach Jennifer Anderson said. “We were hitting it right at them, just missing things. I have to give them credit for that.”
In the first inning, Falconer cut down a Southwestern runner at the plate on a perfect relay from right field. In the bottom of the third inning, the Trojans’ leadoff batter reached on a walk, but was erased during the following at-bat when Golden Falcons catcher Alex Rivera threw her out trying to steal second base.
“We’ve been playing solid defense,” Youngberg said. “That coupled with putting the bat on the ball makes it very nice.”
Peterson got seven outs via ground balls and seven on fly balls.
“That was the first time she’s thrown all year,” Youngberg said.
“I think we just missed a lot of balls today. The wind held them up a little bit,” Anderson said. “Half an inch here, half an inch there makes a big difference in a game like this.”
Southwestern starting pitcher Ashton Beckerink settled in after the first inning, allowing just four hits and not walking a batter over the final six innings.
“(The umpire) called a tight corner. … I think that frustrated her a little bit,” Anderson said of Beckerink. “She adjusted much better later on, but that first inning is tough when you are trying to get used to the umpire and he’s trying to get used to you as well.”
NOTES: Nicole Youngberg went 4 for 4 with a triple and two runs scored for Falconer. … Katie Brinkley went 2 for 3 with an RBI while Erin Radack had the only other hit for the Trojans.