Stunted by a defensive shift and their own defensive miscues Blue Ridge fell short in its quest for the District II Class A softball title falling to Old Forge 12-7.
The Lady Raiders fell behind early 5-0 as Old Forge scored three runs in the second and two in the third. The Lady Blue Devils took advantage of a couple Blue Ridge errors and provided big hits of their own.
“They had five or six runs without the ball leaving the infield,” observed Blue Ridge Coach Joe Collins.
Collins also thought another key was the production Old Forge received from the six through nine spots in the lineup.
“The bottom half of their order came through for them,” said Collins. “We did a nice job on their one and two hitters, but the lower half stepped up.”
Old Forge stymied the Blue Ridge attack with a defensive alignment that Coach Pat Revello put into play midway through the regular season. Placing two fielders in the shortstop position and going with only two outfielders Old Forge was able to take away five possible Blue Ridge hits.
Blue Ridge answered with a run in the bottom of the third, but Old Forge tacked on five more runs in the fifth before Blue Ridge had its biggest inning.
The Lady Raiders scored four in the bottom of the fifth getting three of those on a double by Savannah Glover.
Glover added a triple to lead the offensive attack along with Pitcher Danielle Goff who went 3-4 at the plate with a double and scored twice.
“We never quit,” said Collins. “We’re down and we kept battling, you could hear them in the dugout pulling for each other and wanting every call.”
Goff took the loss on the mound surrendering the 12 runs, only seven earned, on 12 hits while striking out four.
Despite the loss Collins felt Blue Ridge had a great season and noted that aside from capturing the league title and reaching the District final the team had significant games in their exhibition schedule.
“It was an awesome year for us,” added Collins. “We started to come around last year, won 16 games this year.”
“We had Honesdale 3-1, and they were one of the better teams in their class,” said Collins, referring to Lady Hornets who compete at the 4A level.
Collins praised Goff and the other seniors and while he doesn’t look forward to replacing them, he is optimistic about his team’s future.
“We had some young players who stepped up this year and we’re excited about the future,” said Collins. “But our Dani and Megan (Somers) and the others will be missed.”