Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Sports

Softball finishes up league schedule with busy week

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Reporter

After weeks of rainouts, cancellations and postponements, the Orchard Park softball team finally had a weather-free week of games. The Lady Quakers played seven games last week, going 5-2 and finishing up the league schedule.

After starting things off with a 5-1 win over West Seneca West Monday, the team swept Hamburg in a doubleheader. They took the first game 4-0 on the strength of a Liz Lis complete-game shutout. Kayla Raymond led off the second inning with a walk to get the offense going. She got to second base on a Penny Lenard fielder’s choice. Amber Piniewski then hit an RBI single to knock in Raymond, and Lily Wozniak hit a single to score Piniewski.

In the fourth inning, Lenard walked and was eventually knocked in by a Wozniak sacrifice fly. Lenard led the sixth off with a double and was knocked home by a Piniewski single.

The next game was a tad more lopsided as the Lady Quakers got an 11-2 win. Raymond went 3-3 with two RBIs, Sheehy was 2-4 with a home run and two RBIs and Jaden Swiatek went 2-3.

“The girls did a nice job,” Schermerhorn said. “We’re not used to playing doubleheaders in high school. You have to keep that energy up for two games. Everyone got some playing time. We were all supporting each other all game. It was a good couple games.”

The next day featured a 5-4 victory over Frontier. Orchard Park led early but the teams went back and forth. After the Lady Quakers had taken a 4-2 lead, Frontier tied things up in the top of the seventh inning. Raymond led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. Lenard got a single after that, as did Sydney Bielicki. Megan Giese came off the bench to hit a double that scored the winning run.

“I think that was huge to go back and forth all game and keep fighting,” Schermerhorn said. “We’ve been scoring runs, but the bats haven’t been where we want sometimes. It was huge for us to keep fighting. We put lots of runners on, but we haven’t always been able to get that key hit. But we were able to do it in this game. It was a big relief.”

Next up was an impressive 9-4 win over Clarence. Sheehy was again stellar at the plate, going 3-4 with three RBIs. Raymond was 2-4 with three RBIs. Lis pitched that game and got the win.

That set up a showdown with Lancaster that would go a long way in deciding the winner of ECIC I’s regular-season title. The Lady Legends ultimately prevailed 7-2 to take the season series 2-0. But the Lady Quakers believe they can compete with Lancaster in the playoffs.

“Lancaster is definitely a tough team, but I think we’re capable of competing with them,” Schermerhorn said. “It just wasn’t our day. We had several errors in the field and we just couldn’t get those runs back.”

The Lady Quakers closed out the busy week with a 3-2 non-league loss to Olean. The game was tied at two for quite a while before the Lady Huskies knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“It was a good game,” Schermerhorn said. “Their pitcher had 10 strikeouts. We could have done a better job being more selective at the plate.”

The team will play one more non-league game before the playoffs begin. They’ll then take on the winner of Jamestown and Lockport in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA playoffs next week. While the regular season has been kind to the Lady Quakers, they know full well that the postseason is an entirely different game.

“You never what is going to happen in the playoffs,” Schermerhorn said. “Last year we were ranked seventh and ended up winning the section. You have to take every game as if it’s your last and play your heart out. We’re hoping that our new field might be ready by the time we play. That will give the girls a lot of excitement, on top of being excited for the playoffs. We all believe that we haven’t really played up to our potential. We’re hoping it will all fall into place for the playoffs.”

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