By Gib Snyder III
FREDONIA - No. 12 Falconer (15-4) scored two runs in the first, sixth and seventh innings as they upset No. 4 Fredonia (16-2), 6-1, during Section 6 Class B-1 quarterfinal softball action on Tuesday.
"They were relaxed, there was no pressure and I told them Fredonia's supposed to beat us, they're the higher seed," Falconer head coach Dan Morales said. "And to just go out and have fun and play the game. And that's what they did."
The Lady Golden Falcons' two runs in the first inning proved to be all starting pitcher Abby Courtney needed as she went the distance, allowed a run on five hits, struck out five and walked four.
"I think she hit her spots excellently," Morales said. "Her placement was perfect and a lot of (Fredonia's batters) were crowding the plate and she was putting it on the inside and jammed them a little bit."
Fredonia's Baylee Tarnowski got Jenna Fellows to fly out to center to start the game, but Brianna McFall reached base on a walk, stole second base and scored on a single by Kaylei Russell, who later came around on a single off the bat of Courtney.
"We're the ones that took advantage of having our first (at-bat)" Morales said. "Our top of the lineup is solid and they went ahead and did their job. And it was key, because we were never trailing from that point on."
The Lady Hillbillies cut the Lady Golden Falcons' lead in half in the bottom of the first after Cassie Essek walked with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Alicia Deering.
"She did a good job of mixing in her changeup," Fredonia coach Joe Pucciarelli said of Courtney. "She didn't throw too many for strikes, but she mixed it in enough to keep us off balance."
Fredonia's only other real scoring threat came in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Morgan Genovese singled, stole second and moved to third after a pair of two-out walks to Mekenna Leid and Essek loaded the bases. However, Deering flew out to left field to end the inning.
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Falconer's two runs in the top of the sixth salted the game away, but they did not come without some controversy.
Molly Arrance singled and Fellows reached on an error, before McFall singled to load the bases.
Then, Russell was called out on an infield fly. However, the base umpire did not call the play verbally, rather signaled the call by raising his arm. On the play, Leid dropped the fly ball and Arrance scored.
After the dust settled, an intentional walk to Courtney re-loaded the bases for Katie Hines, who promptly singled home Fellows with the Lady Golden Falcons' fourth run of the afternoon.
In the top of the seventh, Falconer scored a pair of runs on a two-run single off the bat of Russell, who finished the game 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
"They were huge," Morales said of the runs his team scored late. "Some people say it's luck, but I think it's just our preparation and meeting the opportunity."
In the top of the seventh, Falconer scored a pair of runs on a two-run single off the bat of Russell, who finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
"She got a base knock and that scored two (runs)," Morales said of Russell's single in the top of the seventh inning. "And that was the insurance (we needed) and we could have given up two, three runs and they still wouldn't have been able to catch us."
Baylee Tarnowski suffered the loss in the circle, as she allowed six runs on 12 hits, struck out two and walked five.
Hines ended the day 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.