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Lady Elkers get bats swinging in 15-10 victory

April 12, 2012

Johnsonburg's Kassa Kocjancic, right, slides in at third base safely as Ridgway's Jenna Hoffman prepares to catch the ball.

JOHNSONBURG – A 17-hit outburst Thursday afternoon fueled a 15-10 win over rival Johnsonburg for the Lady Elkers' first win of the 2012 season.
Ridgway starting pitcher Taylor Roseto, going the distance for the first time this season after being on a pitch count due to injury rehabilitation, put up nine strikeouts and set down the side in order three times en route to her first win of the year.
"We hit the ball well and it's the first time [this season] where Taylor [Roseto] got to pitch the whole game," said Ridgway head varsity softball coach Gary Gerber II following the win. "[Roseto] was a bit rough here and there but that's the first time she stretched the whole way. With nine strikeouts and a win, you can't complain."
Roseto was boosted by a 10-run second inning as the Lady Elkers gave their starting pitcher a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Down 2-0 early, Ridgway sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the second inning and put 10 runs on the board. After Johnsonburg starting pitcher Kiana Myers got Ashley Viglione to go down swinging, Sam Kovalyak, Sydney Kovalyak, and Morgan Herzing hit consecutive singles to load the bases. With the bags full, Taylor Roseto beat out an infield single to plate Sam Kovalyak. A single to left field from Jill Gaio brought in courtesy runner Paige Grazioli and Herzing as Ridgway had a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish the rest of the day.
After Jenni Thomas hit into a fielder's choice, Jenna Hoffman reached safely after the ball was fielded at shortstop but the second baseman didn't reach the bag in time for an out. Melissa Wehler followed promptly with a double to plate Gaio and Thomas for a 5-2 advantage with two outs on the board.
Viglione replicated the trick with a double of her own to bring in Hoffman and Wehler for a 7-2 lead; an infield single from Sam Kovalyak put runners at the corners before Sam Kovalyak swiped second base to put both runners in scoring position.
Sydney Kovalyak then stroked a 2-out double to bring in Viglione and Sam Kovalyak for a 9-2 lead. Grazioli again came in as a courtesy runner and stole third base. The throw from Danie Jo Dwyer was high and Grazioli advanced home for the 10th run before Herzing hit into a 1-3 groundout to end the inning.
Ridgway would add three runs in the top of the third inning. With one out, Gaio and Thomas hit back-to-back singles before Hoffman tapped a soft flyout back to Myers for the second out. Undeterred, Wehler hit a roller to shortstop Brittany Watts but the throw to first base was high and rolled into foul territory, allowing Gaio and Thomas to score. Viglione then cracked a long triple off the wall in left field to bring home Wehler for a 13-2 lead before a Sam Kovalyak lineout to second baseman Kassa Kocjancic ended the inning.
Johnsonburg got their biggest hit in the home half of the third inning as the Ramettes tried to chip their way back into the game. Tommy Wildnauer led off with a bloop single and Myers walked. After Watts was out on the infield fly rule, Elena Solorio struck out looking. With two outs, Cassie Biondi connected with a long flyball to right field for a standup double to clear the bases and cut the lead to 13-5.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Watts connected with a 1-out single and advanced to second base after an error in center field. Two wild pitches would allow Watts to come home to trim the lead to 13-6.
Myers faced only four batters in the top of the sixth inning, allowing only a 1-out single to Herzing. However, Roseto was even more impressive in the bottom of the inning, catching Biondi looking and Galsick and Kocjancic swinging for a 1-2-3 inning with three strikeouts.
Ridgway would plate two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. Thomas would come all the way around to score on a dropped flyball to left field for a 14-6 lead. After a 1-3 groundout from Hoffman, Wehler hit a long triple and a Viglione single would plate her for the 15-6 advantage.
Sam Kovalyak hit a lineout to left field and Sydney Kovalyak tapped a soft flyout in foul territory that Alexa Marciniak gobbled up for the third out.
The Ramettes put up four runs in the home half of the seventh inning but couldn't muster the full comeback. Dwyer started off by reach on a 2-base error and Wildnauer followed by reaching safely after an error at first base; Dwyer would score on the play to cut the lead to 15-7. Myers followed with a single to left before Watts cracked a double, Johnsonburg's second multi-base hit of the game, to bring in Wildnauer and trim the margin to 15-8. Roseto would regroup to get Hefright to popout to second for the first out of the inning. A single from Brianna Fabris brought home Myers and Watts to get within five runs of a tie but a Biondi groundout and Galsick strikeout, Roseto's ninth of the day, preserved the win.
Ridgway's first error was in the bottom of the fifth inning but they followed with three in the seventh inning.
"We made some errors that let Johnsonburg get back into it at the end," Gerber II said. "Overall I'm pleased and we'll get back at it [today] against Coudersport."
Despite 11 hits, the Ramettes committed six errors, left four runners on base, and went down in order three times.
"It's really disappointing," Johnsonburg head varsity softball coach Jenny Lewis said. "Kiana [Myers] barely ever walks anybody so that was good but the second inning was the key. Other than that, we had it."
Myers set down the side in the top of the first inning and despite giving up 10 runs in the second inning, she scattered seven hits and five runs in the next five innings. Myers faced just four batters in the fourth and sixth innings.
Lewis indicated Thursday that she was disappointed with the nine strikeouts as well.
"We went down looking several times and I'm not happy with that at all," Lewis said. The Ramettes struck out looking four times out of nine strikeouts.
"We just weren't putting the bat on the ball," Lewis said. "I'm pretty disappointed after losing a 2-1 game to Brockway, then to give up 15 [yesterday]. Our players stayed up and tried to make a comeback in the seventh inning so you have to be happy with that."
Ridgway is set to host Coudersport today at 4 p.m. Johnsonburg plays at Port Allegany at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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