With one on and none out in the top of the seventh, Allegany-Limestone's Amanda Roosa stepped to the plate, dug in and then connected on a Shelby Lunz pitch, sending the ball high into the air and over a Southwestern outfielder's head.
A few seconds later, a winded Roosa rounded third, trotted across home plate and was greeted by her teammates, each eager to give her a high-five and congratulate her on a job well done.
On Friday, with her squad still searching for their first victory of the season, the senior did it all.
Southwestern’s Summer Borysoff slides safely into home plate after a wild pitch during Friday’s Division 1 softball game against Allegany-Limestone. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Rob Tucker
At the plate Roosa went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and, thanks to the home run, two driven in. In the circle, meanwhile, the right-hander had what Allegany-Limestone coach Karen Loucks called "her best performance of the season" as she went seven innings, fanned six and surrendered just two hits, two walks and two runs - only one of which was earned - to lead the Lady Gators to a 12-2 victory over host and Division 1 foe Southwestern.
Roosa, now 1-3 on the year, sent down nine in a row at one point before walking Jenna Rauh in the bottom of the seventh.
"The girls really needed this," Loucks said. "We were 0-2 in league and 0-3 overall coming into this game, so they needed this for a confidence boost and they needed this just to show themselves they could do it."
Though her defense has been suspect in the previous three outings, Loucks noted that today, with Roosa firing strikes and the Lady Trojans putting the ball in play, the seven players behind Roosa were ready to make plays.
As a team, Allegany-Limestone committed just one error.
"We had a complete game today," Loucks said. "The last couple (of games) our defense has fallen apart and we've had one or two bad innings where we'd give the game away, but this time the girls focused and concentrated and it was a great performance."
While the Lady Gators played a clean defensive game, they were able to put runs on the board due to a number of Southwestern miscues - there were seven errors in all made by the Lady Trojans - out on the field.
After the opening inning ended with the two squads knotted at a run apiece, Allegany-Limestone broke it open and took the lead for good in the second, as the Lady Trojans committed three errors to extend what might well have been a harmless and, most importantly, scoreless inning.
Melanie Hudson opened the frame by reaching third on an error by the Southwestern centerfielder, Rachel Smith followed Hudson and drove her in by hitting a single to right, but was then able to reach third as the ball scooted by the outfielder. Two batters later Shelby Marra reached on an infield error and came around to score when Lindsey Forness delivered a hit to right field. By the end of their half of the second, four runs had scored and the Lady Gators had taken a commanding, 5-1 lead.
"It's been one or two errors here and there all season," Southwestern coach Jen Anderson said, "and (our opponents) have been able to turn (those mistakes) into big innings."
Allegany-Limestone added to their total with two runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, and also had one in the sixth.
Southwestern, at 0-7 overall and 0-3 in league play, is still searching for its first victory of the season.
Despite taking the loss, Lunz had a solid game in which she sent down seven on strikes and walked just four.
"Shelby has done a real nice job," Anderson said. "She came up last year as a sophomore, so she doesn't have a lot of experience, but she's playing well for us."
Leading the way for the Lady Trojans' hitters was sophomore catcher Summer Borysoff, who in the first inning drove in Sara Graham and then in the fourth belted a triple deep into left centerfield. Borysoff would scored that inning on a wild pitch for Southwestern's final run of the contest.
Rauh accounted for Southwestern's only other hit as she smacked a single over third base in the second.