GLOVERSVILLE - When the Gloversville and Johnstown softball teams met in frigid conditions on April 20, the Lady Bills squandered a big lead and had to rally back to claim a 13-12 win.
On Tuesday, Johnstown again broke out to a big early lead, putting up eight runs in the first three innings. Gloversville again fought back and closed the gap to five. This time the Lady Bills did not let Gloversville come all the way back and earned an 8-3 Foothills Council victory at Gloversville Middle School.
"It seems that being four or five runs up is never enough, especially with the bats that they have," Johnstown coach Ron Savoie said. "The last time we played them we were up 10-3 and we ended up winning it 13-12. They weren't going to stop coming, I knew that. We have a tendency to let down a bit and, hopefully, we will get that corrected. This was a nice win against our crosstown rival."
Johnstown catcher Brianna Esposito blocks the plate and tags Gloversville’s Megan Patterson during Tuesday’s Foothills Council game at the Gloversville Middle School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Johnstown shortstop Morgan Colasanti throws to first after forcing Gloversville’s Shawna Funk for a double play during Tuesday’s game at Gloversville Middle School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Lady Bills (5-6 overall, 3-5 Foothills) came out swinging the bats and quickly put up three first-inning runs with the help of a two-run triple by Brianna Esposito and back-to-back singles from Alyssa Palmateer and Abby Bobbette.
Johnstown also was ready defensively behind Palmateer, the Lady Bills' starting pitcher.
After committing an error, allowing Shawna Funk to reach base with one out, the Johnstown infield turned a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the inning.
The momentum carried over to the plate as the Lady Bills put up four more runs with Lexi Swatt, Esposito, and Bobbette delivering RBI singles, while Ellen Praught also picked up an RBI to build a 7-0 lead.
The Lady Bills tacked on another run in the top of the third with Swatt hitting an RBI triple to up the Lady Bills' lead to 8-0.
The Huskies started to rally back in the bottom of the fifth.
Natalie Ozea reached on an error to open the inning and Sammy Stewart followed with a bunt single. Both runners scored on Ashley Ostrander's triple. Funk followed with a walk, but the Lady Bills came up with the big play they were looking for. Although Ostrander scored, Johnstown turned its second double play of the game to slow the Gloversville rally.
"Two double plays," Savoie said. "You work on them in practice all the time but you don't see it very often."
Gloversville showed it also could make the big play, turning a double play for the first two outs in the top of the seventh. The timing worked out as Jordyn Hale and Morgan Colasanti followed the play with consecutive base hits, before the Huskies got the final out.
"Johnstown was hitting the ball early," Gloversville coach Mark Schneider said. "They had some solid hits and scored some runs in the first couple of innings. It wasn't that we were making errors . . . it was because they were hitting the ball hard.
"Once ET [Gloversville pitcher Emily Towne] settled down, she started throwing the ball a lot better, hitting her spots and her pitches were working a little bit more. After the second inning, it was a whole different ball game. We fought back and I am proud of the girls for being able to do that."
Bobbette finished with three hits for the Lady Bills, while Swatt and Esposito each had a triple and a single and Hale and Palmateer had two hits apiece.
For Gloversville, Ostrander had a triple and Alexis Capasso had a double, while Shawna Funk, Ashley and Stewart all singled.
Gloversville (2-9 overall, 0-8 Foothills) will travel to play Scotia-Glenville today, while Broadalbin-Perth will host the Lady Bills today at 4:30 p.m.
Johnstown 8, Gloversville 3
Johnstown341 000 0 - 8 13 3
Gloversville000 030 0 - 3 5 1
Palmateer and Esposito; Towne and Patterson.