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IAC SOFTBALL: TIOGA KNOCKS OFF S-VE IN EARLY SHOWDOWN FOR DIVISION LEAD (2022-04-30)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
SPENCER — Tioga rode a late four-run surge to a 7-1 victory over previously unbeaten S-VE in IAC South Small School softball action here Saturday.

RaeAnne Feeko reached first on an error to lead off the sixth inning, then MJ Thetga blasted a shot over the center fielder’s head and beat the throw home to turn a 2-0 lead into a 4-0 advantage.

Erin Luther followed with a triple to left. Courtesy runner Megan Vance and Julia Bellis scored moments later to give the Tigers a 6-0 cushion.

“It is a very big win for our program,” Tioga coach Stephanie Hills said. “The girls did awesome. They came focused. It's against a great pitcher and a great team, ao it feels really good and all the girls should be very proud of.”

S-VE coach Ron Miller summed up his team’s day in five words.

“We made too many mistakes,” he said.

“We didn't play well defensively and we didn't hit the ball today. I think they had three earned runs.”

Tioga put the ball in play most of the game and forced the Panthers to make the plays.

“I think that was the biggest thing is we were able to wake up our bats and keep them awake for the whole game,” Hills said. “We didn't settle down. Once we started hitting, we carried them through.”

Tioga opened the game with two runs. Lead-off hitter Abby Foley bunted safely down the third-base line and Feeko walked. Abby Foley was thrown out stealing, MJ Thetga reached on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice attempt and Feeko would score on the play. Courtesy runner Gabby Foley would score what turned out to be the game-winning run on a Luther single.

Panther pitcher Rhiana Lawrence would settle in and strike out the next three batters.

S-VE would put two on with a walk and a single in the home half of the first, but came away empty.

Tioga connected for two singles in the second, another in the third and picked up a base on balls in the fifth, but wasn’t able to take advantage of any of the situations.

Gillian Jackman smacked a double for S-VE in the second, but the Tigers turned an inning-ending double play to remove the threat.

The Panthers added a single and a walk in the third, and a single in the fourth, but like Tioga, came away empty.

S-VE tallied its run in the sixth after Katelyn Klym doubled, advanced to third on an error off the bat of Hannah Martinez and scored on Hannah Smith’s sacrifice fly.

Tioga made some nice defensive plays and only had a couple of hiccups in the field.

“We have a few things to work on defensively, but I think they did OK and I'm proud of them,” Hine said.

“They’re a good team,” Miller said. “We knew we had to have our ‘A’ game today, and we were making errors right off the bat, not covering bases. It hurt us. We did some things OK, but again, when you play against a good team you can’t make all those mistakes.

“We have to regroup. They’re one game up on us in the league.”

Luther went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and Thetga was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI to pace Tioga. Feeko scored three runs and Abby Foley added a pair of hits. Bellis, Megan Vance and Gabby Foley scored one run apiece while Felicia Lantz and Bombard tacked on one hit each.

Klym went 2-for-3 with a run and Jackman contributed a hit and RBI for S-VE. Sudnikovich, Martinez and Smith had one hit each.

Tiger pitcher Alissa Hine gave up one unearned run as she scattered six hits and three walks, striking out four.

“Alissa does an awesome job,” Hine said. “She really sticks with us and she worked hard all seven.”

Lawrence surrendered four unearned runs on nine hits and three walks, striking out nine in the process.

On Monday, Tioga hosts Edison and S-VE visits Newark Valley.

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IN PHOTO 1: Tioga’s Molly Bombard. … PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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