Livonia 6 Wayland-Cohocton 4
It had nothing to do with it being Friday the 13th, & everything to do with a red hot Livonia team playing some outstanding defense & getting some good pitching and timely hitting in defeating a strong Wayland-Cohocton club. Plain & simple ! Friday’s win at “the Nest” stopped the Golden Eagles 16 game winning streak that started when they headed north from Myrtle Beach at Eastertime. Not to say that Way-Coh skipper Dave Stewart likes to lose at any time, but if there was a time to do it, it was now in the final game of the regular season. The maroon & gold were much more accepting of the setback coming during the regular season, where the season goes on…instead of in the post-season when the loser goes home! If nothing else, for Coach Stewart it keeps some “balance” in the household as his daughter Molly got the win for Livonia.
Livonia would end Wayland-Cohocton’s win streak while extending their own. Coach Karen Schuster’s team were at the tail-end of a 5-game week & would win all 5 ! They had previously knocked off Avon (10-1), Hornell (8-7), Pal-Mac (10-6), & Greece Olympia (1-0). Eagles coach Dave Stewart simply stated, ” they’re playing some very good softball right now & they’re very well coached.” Most Livonia teams don’t make many mistakes, & they don’t beat themselves. That was the case on this day.
The Bulldogs took immediate advantage of a pair of first inning walks & plated both of them. With one out Molly Stewart & Audrey Minton each drew free tickets. Moments later, both crossed the plate when Gabby Reid hit a shot in the alley in left-center for a 2-run double. Danielle Bosch’s infield single put runners at the corners. Lily Gfeller’s grounder to short scored one run, while 8th grader Vanessa Galbraith’s hit made it 4-0 Livonia! In the Way-Coh first Jessie Hammers legged out a single, stole second, but was left stranded at 3rd when the final out was made. Molly Stewart would then retire the next 9 Eagles she faced. In the meantime Livonia added to their lead by taking advantage of a Wayland-Cohocton error that allowed a pair of unearned runs to score. Those runs would wind up being very important runs as they would later become the difference in the ballgame. The 3rd opened as Audrey Minton singled & stole second. With one out Danielle Bosch’s infield grounder was thrown to first where the fielder covering the bag dropped the ball & the runner from second came all the way around to score the first of 2 unearned runs. Moments later Vanessa Galbraith doubled to right center to make it 6-0 ! Wayland-Cohocton would leave 2 runners on board in the home half of the 4th.
In the top of the 5th the Golden Eagles made a nice defensive play when Gabby Reid hit a smash wide of third. Way-Coh 3rd sacker Madison Gregorius flashed the glove out there & would deflect it toward the shortstop hole. A very alert Jessie Hammers raced over, took the deflection in the hole, & fired it quickly to first to record the 5-6-3 putout! The Golden Eagles took the momentum from that fine defensive effort to the plate & turned around to score 3 times, erasing half of Livonia’s lead. Alex Button opened with a seeing eye-single. An infield roller to the right side moved her to second. Mia Forsythe beat out an infield hit on which the ball got away allowing runners to both move into scoring position. Mikaela Nielsen’s single put Way-Coh on the board. Jessie Hammers infield hit brought home another run while the senior speed-burner wound up at 2nd. Ashlee Schumacher’s outfield fly produced another run as the Golden Eagles cut the deficit in half at 6-3.
The Golden Eagles were seeking a “momentum shift” in the game. There was a glimmer of hope when Wayland-Cohocton picked a runner off of first to end Livonia’s 6th inning. Eighth grader Vanessa Galbraith came on to pitch for Livonia & Way-Coh would leave another runner on board in the 6th. It looked like Livonia would break the game open in the top of the 7th as Alex Button was in her 4th inning of relief work. Singles by Maddie Herzog, Morgan Hyde & Rachel Hoh loaded the bases with nobody out ! Button induced the next 2 hitters to bounce to short & 3rd where Jessie Hammers & Maidson Gregorius each fired to the plate for the force. The final out was made on an infield pop fly as Alex Button wiggled out of trouble in the top of the 7th. Hopes faded quickly as the first 2 batters for Wayland-Cohocton bounced to the pitcher & flied to right field. Jessie Hammers stepped in as the final hope for the maroon & gold. Livonia prepared for Jessie’s “short game”. The senior shortstop quickly reminded the Bulldogs that “she could HIT”, & also reminded them she can RUN as well. Hammers took a pitch on the outside part of the plate, went with it & served it over the left fielders head. What followed was “a blur” as Jessie “touched ’em all” for the quickest inside-the-park homer on record! (Is that a “home run” trot?!?) It was now 6-4. Livonia would record the final out on an infield pop to first & the Bullodgs would snap Wayland-Cohocton’s 16 game winning streak on the final day of the regular season, while winning their last 5 in a row heading into the Sectionals.
Molly Schuster got the win working 5 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while striking out 2 without walking anyone. Vanessa Galbraith secured the save with 2 innings of pitching giving up one run on 2 hits, striking out one without a walk. Strangely enough they say “walks can kill you”. The Bulldogs pitching staff did not walk anybody, while Way-Coh walked just 2. Both of those runs scored & may have been the difference in the ballgame. Livonia finishes at 12-5 & will probably be the # 2 seed in class B-1. Inside the offense for the orange & blue Rachel Hog was 1-4…Molly Stewart scored a run….Audrey Minton 1-3 & scored twice with a stolen base…Gabby Reid doubled, drove in 2 runs & scored one…Danielle Bosch 1-3 & scored a pair of runs…Lily Gfeller had one rbi…Vanessa Galbraith was 3-3 with a double & drove in 2 runs…& Morgan Hyde was 1-3 for coach Karen Schuster’s team.
For Wayland-Cohocton (17-3), they will most likely be the # 2 seed in class B-2…Ashlee Schumacher took the loss as she worked the first 3 innings allowing 6 runs, 4 earned on 5 hits, struck out 3 & walked 2. Alex Button pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief giving up 4 hits & fanning one without a walk. Offensively Jessie Hammers was 3-4 with a homer, 2 rbis, stole a base & scored a run…Mikaela Nielsen 1-4 with an rbi & scored once…Ashlee Schumacher 1-3 with a sacrifice & an rbi…Hannah James & Shailynn Celentano were each 1-3…Alex Button 1-2 & scored a run and had a sacrifice…& Mia Forsythe was 1-3 & scored a run. Wayland-Cohocton coach Dave Stewart knows better than anybody, “you never take a Livonia team lightly, especially when they’re coached by Karen Schuster.” Speculation has a strong possibility of Wayland-Cohocton hosting rival Dansville in the first round of Sectionals on Thursday May 19th at 4:30pm if the numbers play out right. Official seeding will take place on Sunday, May 15th.