MECO - The Gloversville Huskies gave starting pitcher Sammy Stewart plenty of support, hammering out 10 hits en route to a 17-7 victory over inter-city and Foothills Council rival Johnstown Friday night under the lights at the Meco Ball Park.
Stewart's strong outing limited the Lady Bills to eight hits, while recording 10 strike outs.
"[Stewart] definitely shut down these batters tonight," Gloversville coach Stephanie Luce said. "She was struggling at the beginning of the season but these past few games she has been doing a great job for us."
Johnstown's Jordyn Hale (11) beats out an infield single as Gloversville first baseman Emily Washburn catches the ball during Foothills Council action Friday night at the Meco Ball Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Playing its first home game under the lights at Meco Ball Park, the Huskies found themselves quickly in a hole as Johnstown's Meghan Ledoux connected for a first-inning home run.
Ledoux's home run and a single by Jordyn Hale were the only hits Stewart allowed through the first three innings as she struck out eight of the 11 batters she faced.
Gloversville got the run back when Emily Towne walked and Katlyn Pierce was hit by a pitch. Towne and Pierce pulled off a double steal with Towne scampering home on an over throw on the play to tie the game at one apiece.
The score remained knotted at one apiece until the bottom of the fourth when the Huskies pushed a pair of runs across the plate.
Stewart and Jennifer Vickery connected for a back-to-back two-out singles. Stewart scored on an RBI single from Towne. The Huskies remained aggressive on the base path as Towne broke from first and drew a run down, allowing Vickery to race home and build the Huskies lead to 3-1.
"Basically the girls were beginners on the bases when I started with them and they have developed their base running skills dramatically," Luce said. "They are listening to me when I give them signals and being aggressive to capitalize on the other teams errors."
Gloversville broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring five runs on four hits including a two RBI single from Towne to help extend the lead to 8-1.
The Lady Bills battled back, recording three runs in the top of the sixth.
Briana Esposito led off the inning with a double and and scored on Zoe Reid's RBI single. Jackie Claburn reached on a fielding error before both runners scored on Abby Bobbette's two out single to cut the lead to 8-4.
The Huskies capitalized on a shaky start to the bottom of the sixth inning by Johnstown pitchers Claburn and Danielle Aceto.
Gloversville first five batters reached base with walks and Towne kept the bases loaded reaching on a fielder's choice. Emily Washburn cleared the bases with a three RBI triple. Devon Davis also tripled in the inning but was cut down at the plate on a strong relay throw from center fielder Ieasha Gonzalez to Mallory Baldwin who threw a strike to Esposito to get Davis out at the plate.
"Jackie was getting a little tired and she battled but could not get out of that rut," Johnstown coach Brittany Tomek said. "Then when my next pitcher [Aceto] came on they fed off her. Walks have been killing us all season. We are trying to correct that. We were good for five innings until they started getting the walks."
As rain began to fall the Lady Bills cut into Gloversville's 17-4 lead in the top of the seventh.
Ledoux reached on a fielding error and Ellen Praught delivered her to the plate with an RBI double.
Baldwin was hit by a pitch before Madison Dillenbeck delivered a two-RBI single. The Johnstown rally and game ended with a runner's interference call on a grounder to the left side for the third out.
"We don't put our heads down," Tomek said. "That is one thing we don't do, but we don't capitalize when we should. We can't wait until the seventh inning to starting hitting, especially being down that much. I was happy with the beginning but we just got wore out."
For Gloversville (2-4 overall, 2-3 Foothills) the victory was the second-straight, while Johnstown falls to 0-7 overall and 0-6 in the league.
"A couple of the girls told me they were a little bit nervous because Gloversville and Johnstown are big rivals," Luce said. "But I think they liked the atmosphere of a night game here under the lights and we had a big showing of fans."
Gloversville 17, Johnstown 7
Johnstown100 003 3 - 7 8 2
Gloversville100 259 x - 17 10 3
Claburn, Aceto (6) and Esposito; Stewart and Pierce.