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By Douglas Sciorra

A-P softball goes toe-to-toe with top team in class and wins; Hammondsport falls to Andover/Whitesville

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By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com

PRATTSBURGH — Friendship/Scio’s Nevaeh Ross and Avoca/Prattsburgh’s Annabella Putnam were dealing left and right from within the circle on Tuesday in Prattsburgh. While they were handling their respective defenses, as for the offense, the runs would come sparingly.

A bundle of scoreless innings were docked on the scoreboard, but when it mattered most, the bats for Avoca/Prattsburgh were poised to make some noise.

After a quick run from Friendship/Scio to open the game up, the hosts would string together a few of their own in the home half of the third inning, taking a lead away from their opposition that they would never give back to them, despite some pressure, as Avoca/Prattsburgh squeezed out a tremendous 6-2 victory on their home field.

The game would open up in the top of the third after two shutout innings by Ross and Putnam were recorded, as Friendship/Scio (10-4) saw Morghyn Ross collect an RBI to plate a run. Avoca/Prattsbugh in turn, would respond with four of their own off three different swings.

Putnam, Emma Carlton and Susie Moore all provided the big RBI swings to help break it open, with Moore blasting a crucial two-run single, while Carlton and Putnam each garnered one RBI on their singles.

The lead for the hosts was cut back down to half after Friendship/Scio saw Kiara Grover add to the attack with a deep double into the outfield to score Keely Sisson on the play, as the visitors now saw themselves down by a pair in good positioning to try and make a go-ahead move down the stretch.

But Avoca/Prattsburgh would deny that chance during their final at-bats of the game, as they scored two more massive pieces of insurance to spread their lead out against Friendship/Scio insurmountably to sustain the lead until the end.

Friendship/Scio collected two runs off just five hits on offense. In the circle, Nevaeh Ross fanned eight and walked two in her start, while Putnam handed out 14 strikeouts in turn for Avoca/Prattsburgh.

Up next, the Lady Saints of Lima Christian are coming to town to visit Friendship/Scio tonight for a 5 p.m. battle in Scio.

Friendship/Scio 001 100 0 – 2 5 6

Avoca/Prattsburgh 004 002 X – 6 6 0

F/S – Nevaeh Ross (LP) (CG, 8K, 2BB), and Morghyn Ross.

A/P – Annabella Putnam (WP) (CG, 14K, 6BB), and Riley Stowe.

Cuba-Rushford 7, Genesee Valley/Belfast 3

CUBA — Both Genesee Valley/Belfast and Cuba-Rushford alternated scoring innings from start to finish on Tuesday. But there was a common denominator in the midst of it all – it began and ended with the host Lady Rebels.

The ice was broken with a great start out of the gate by the hosts, and then was secured in the end with massive pieces of insurance paying a large amount of dividends coming down the stretch to close out the game, as the Lady Rebels took care of business with a 7-3 victory over the Lady JagDogs.

Cuba-Rushford (4-9) was the first to strike during their opening round of at-bats, as they scored two big runs which were driven in by Harlie Jones and her two-run double that she launched into the outfield to open up the scoring right away.

On the other hand, Genesee Valley/Belfast’s (6-8) three runs were scored all by running on the bases, scoring one in the second to cut their early deficit in half before doing it again later on in the top of the fourth with a two-run fame that saw them trail 5-3 at the end of the fourth.

After Jones and Laney Murphy contributed some big RBI singles in the third inning to push the Lady Rebels lead, it would now come down to brass tax in their final two stands of offense. The hosts would make sure the opportunity to provide some clutch hitting would not go unnoticed, as they scored two massive pieces of insurance that included a Murphy RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to push their lead out to four.

From that point on, the rest was on Sydney Howard, as she allowed a runner to reach on error before shutting down the Lady JagDogs offense with the next three batters tumbling in order to end the game.

Howard would record the win in the circle for the Lady Rebels, striking out nine and walking seven in the tossed two-hit victory. At the plate, Jones and Murphy each finished with three hits, while Lillian Forward had two.

As for Genesee Valley/Belfast, Harley Proctor had both of the team’s hits on the attack, recording two singles. In the circle, Ashley Burrows fanned five in her complete game effort for the Lady JagDogs, who now head home to Belmont to welcome in Friendship/Scio for a 5 p.m. visit on Thursday.

Cuba-Rushford is right back onto the field tonight, as they hit the road to visit the Bolivar-Richburg Lady Wolverines in a 5 p.m. first pitch of their own.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 010 200 0 – 3 2 4

Cuba-Rushford 203 011 X – 7 11 1

GVB – Ashley Burrows (LP) (CG, 5K), and Harley Proctor.

C-R – Sydney Howard (WP) (CG, 9K, 7BB), and Riley Keller.

Andover/Whitesville 8, Hammondsport 4

HAMMONDSPORT — Sometimes in the game of softball, you have to make enough noise on offense that will resonate from start to finish. For the Andover/Whitesville ladies over the road on Tuesday, that was exactly the case against Hammondsport.

The team would get off to a furious start at the plate to form a big early lead to hold on to. But little by little, the host Lady Lakers would chip away at Andover/Whitesivlle, scoring a pair of runs in the home half of their first at-bats, and later in the sixth.

But the clutch hitting on offense came through in a humongous way to keep Andover/Whitesville out in front in the end, as they returned home victorious with some key insurance runs in the seventh helping provide an 8-4 win to send them back up to .500 on the season.

“This was a great win tonight for the girls. Zoey (Lee) was outstanding keeping the batters off balance at the plate, and the defense behind her was stellar as well. This was one of those games to be a part of, for everyone.” said Andover/Whitesville co-coach Al Barber.

Special teams would play a key role early on for Andover/Whitesville (6-6) in the top of the first, during their first at-bats, as they capitalized on a series of walks handed out by Hammondsport because an RBI single from Makaila Brewster and a sacrifice fly from Emily Schweigart helped power up the opening outing.

In the bottom half however, Hammondsport’s response was just as fast, as Danica Dresser blasted a lead-off solo home run that left the park in a hurry. The home run would help set up a 5-2 deficit that would ultimately work its way down to one after four straight scoreless innings.

After hanging a crucial zero to Andover/Whitesville in the sixth, the Lady Lakers began to inch ever so closer to them with their final two runs coming across in the bottom of the sixth.

That would provide Andover/Whitesville one last chance to secure their lead for good. That help would wind up giving the visitors the room they needed to hang onto dear life for the win, as Aislinn Hamilton and Gabbi Hall both came through with massive hits, including an RBI double for Hamilton before Hall crushed a two-run triple in the seventh inning.

The two clutch hits would put a bow on Andover/Whitesville’s win, as Zoey Lee held off the opposition with three strikeouts and two walks. At the plate, Kennedy Bledsoe fronted the attack with two of the team’s five hits in all.

Andover/Whitesville is back on the road Thursday night with a 7 p.m. first pitch slated in Fillmore against the host Lady Eagles.

Andover/Whitesville 500 000 3 – 8 5 2

Hammondsport 200 002 0 – 4 7 2

A/W – Zoey Lee (WP) (CG, 3K, 2BB), and Gabbi Hall.

HAM – Alexia Swarthout (LP) (CG, K, 7BB), and Samantha Pratt.

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