Decided In Extras

Silver Creek Edges Falconer In 10 Innings

Falconer shortstop Nicole Youngberg, above, fields a groundball during Thursday’s Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West softball game. P-J photos by Lisa Monacelli

FALCONER — Thursday afternoon’s Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West softball contest between Falconer and visiting Silver Creek did not come to a close until 10 innings and 25 runs were in the books.

In the end, it was a five-run offensive spurt from the Black Knights (2-3, 2-3) that proved decisive in the top of the 10th, as Silver Creek held Falconer (6-2, 3-2) to four runs in the bottom half of the inning on the way to a 13-12 victory.

Sitting in a two-run hole heading into the bottom half of the sixth, Falconer’s Macy Youngberg ripped an RBI double to center field to tie things up and force extra innings.

The Golden Falcons failed to take advantage of a pair of runners in scoring position in the ninth, while the Black Knights were able to use an RBI single from Kiera Brennan, another RBI from Alycia Langan, a pair of errors and another RBI single by Adrianna Vara to pick up their game-winning lead.

“Yesterday all we did at practice was defense, because from the articles and hearing from other coaches about Falconer I knew they had good bats coming in to this game,” said Silver Creek coach Stacie Bauer. “I knew the twins (Macy and Nicole Youngberg) were going to be good on the basepaths so we only worked on defense yesterday. Maybe it was good that we rested our bats.”

Silver Creek pinch-runner Alycia Langan slides safely into third base as Falconer’s Claudia Russell awaits the throw.

The Golden Falcons went down swinging after giving up runs on a passed ball and an infield error in the top of the 10th.

In the bottom half, the hosts got started with a runner on second base thanks to a tiebreaker rule in extra innings. From there, Ashley Pierce ripped a single before Kayla Lynn sent the first run home with another single. Alex Rivera made it a one-run game as she ripped a triple and then was able to scamper home due to a misplay in the outfield, giving the Golden Falcons three runs on the play. Silver Creek looked to be in trouble following that series as Nicole Youngberg was sent to first on an error, but things would come to a close with Courtnee Peterson flying out for the third and final out.

“I knew it would be a tough game,” said Falconer head coach Mike Youngberg. “I heard some of their scores earlier in the year against teams that we played against, so I knew they could put runs on the board. That’s what happened. It is the first time that a lot of them have ever played with a girl starting at second base with the international rules. It is good to see that type of stuff. Just to be in tight games like this with a group that is as young as we have, it’ll pay off by the end of the year.”

Pierce tossed a completed game, walked eight batters and struck out 10 in the circle.

Julia Hill went the distance as well for Silver Creek, fanning 13 batters, and also getting her team’s offense started with a triple in the first inning. The visitors plated two runs in the opener while Falconer fired back in the bottom half with back-to-back runs on passed balls.

Silver Creek regained the lead once more at 5-4 in the third when Liberty Lawton plated a run on a bloop single and Adrianna Vara added another with a single.

Lynn tied the game, 5-5, with a line-drive home run for the hosts in the fourth, and Falconer took a 6-5 lead in the fifth as Nicole Youngberg hit a single and was sent home on a sacrifice fly from Tesika Kilmer.

The Black Knights earned their 8-6 lead following a two-RBI single from Bailey Watroba that was ripped over second base and another run off a passed ball before the Golden Falcons were able to tie things up in the bottom half to force extra innings.

“They are so motivated now to get through the rest of the season,” Bauer said of her team. “We know what teams Falconer has already beat that we haven’t faced yet, so now that momentum there, that confidence is there to go in and see the teams that we haven’t seen yet.”

Both Macey and Nicole Youngberg had a pair of hits as did Pierce, while Rivera finished with a single, double and triple to lead the Falconer offense.

Andrea Olsen (double), Jessica Pawlak and Watroba all had two hits for Silver Creek.