Panthers rally out of early hole
HOOSICK, N.Y. -- Hoosick Falls Central School sophomore pitcher Erika Quackenbush was off her game through three innings on Wednesday afternoon against Granville.
But her teammates picked her up in a big way at the plate and, after surrendering five runs early, she settled down and allowed one run over the final four innings to guide her team to a 9-6 decision in a Wasaren League matchup.
"It was a difficult day to pitch, tough to get a feel on the ball and get a rhythm," said Hoosick Falls coach Chris Farley. "Once we scored some runs, she turned into a bulldog."
But in what turned out to be a cold, and windy, day at Hoosick Falls, the Golden Horde took advantage of some bad placement by Quackenbush to get on the board early.
Granville loaded the bases in the first with a two walks and a hit batsman, and then Kelsie Jonas took a ball to the body to score the first run. Three batters later, Morgan Granger roped a single down the right field line to bring in two and give Granville an early 3-0 lead.
The Panthers would pull two back in the bottom of the first, with Liz Ryan scoring from third after Granville's Bri Ettori caught a foul ball but ran out of play. Two batters later, Chelsea Stevens brought in Maddy Ryan with an RBI single off Granville starter Jordan Harrison to make it 3-2.
In the second, Quackenbush found herself in trouble again, walking the first two batters. The sophomore was able to control the damage, though, striking out Jen Roberts after a teammate had been caught stealing then forcing a groundout to end the inning.
Hoosick Falls took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning when Madeline Atherton, Liz Ryan and Maddy Ryan all had RBIs to make it 5-3 before Stevens hit her second RBI on the day on a single to make it 6-3.
The Golden Horde had a chance to tie things up in the top of the third when Quackenbush had two pitches sail on her to allow two more runs to come in. But with runners on the corners and two outs, Quackenbush struck out her fourth batter of the day to end the jam.
"When [Quackenbush] settled in, she became very tough," said Granville assistant coach Larry Bullock. "[It's tough] to try and put the ball in play when every time you put the ball in play your hands are ringing, it definitely had an effect. She is a dominating pitcher."
Hoosick Falls sealed the game in the next half-inning, with Alyssa Ellis ripping an RBI double to the warning track in left field then scoring on the next at bat after two wild pitches.
Overall in the game, eight of the nine Hoosick Falls players recorded a hit and seven of the nine recorded a run.
"This is the first time that we have had production from top to bottom in our lineup," Farley said. "Even some of our outs were hard outs. That's encouraging when we see our girls, top to bottom, having good swings."
Quackenbush ended up with seven walks and two hit batters, but her nine strikeouts, including six looking, helped her get through the complete game effort. She scattered three hits. Harrison also went the distance, giving up 10 hits and three walks on three strikeouts.
Liz Ryan went 2-4 at the plate with a run and an RBI and Quackenbush scored twice on a 1-3 day at the plate. Stevens had the other multi-hit effort, going 2-3 for the Panthers, while Granger was 2-3 for Granville in the loss.
Hoosick Falls improves to 4-3 on the year and 4-1 in the Wasaren League. The Panthers return to action today against Hoosic Valley in another key Wasaren League game. Granville falls to 1-4, 1-3 with the loss.
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