High School Softball:
Tuesday, April 6, 1999
By Greg Alvord
The sights and sounds of spring: birds singing, flowers blooming and the sky filled with cloudless sunshine. This is the time when a young woman's fancy turns to...Softball. At Cherokee field, the Chiefs (0-1) squared off against the Washington Township Minutemaids (1-1) on this beautiful spring afternoon. This entertaining contest featured two of South Jersey's softball powers and ended with the Minutemaids earning a 5-2 victory over Cherokee.
The first inning saw the Minutemaids go 3 up and 3 down. Mirorda Dautel singled, but was thrown out at second on an attempted steal. Cherokee catcher Loren Arnsberg's missile thrown down to second base beat Dautel to the base for the final out. The first inning for Cherokee would prove to be their best inning. Kirsteen Wyche and Lori Miller drew back to back walks. One out later, Kelly Rose smashed a ball over Township's centerfielder Dani Russo's head, scoring two runs. Russo never gave up on the play and gunned a one-hopper to third to nail the sliding Rose. The inning ended with the Chiefs up 2-0.
The second inning had the Minutemaids cut the lead in half. A single by Donna Wisnewski, who then proceeded to steal two bags, began the Washington Township scoring. With Wisnewski on third, Eileen Doyle singled up the middle to make the score 2-1. Cherokee went 3 up and 3 down. A defensive gem by catcher Dautel of Township helped the Minutemaids. Kristie Fletcher fouled off a pitch only to see a diving Dantel snag the ball before it hit the ground. This hustle seemed to ignite the Minutemaids.
The third inning saw the Minutemaids' Gina D'Amico, Gloria Neeld and Dautel place three straight singles. This was where Cherokee ace MariEllen Singley got down to business in Roger Clemens-like fashion. Singley forced three infield fly outs to get Cherokee out of a jam. Not to be outdone by Singley, Minutemaids' pitcher Cari Lynn Berry struck out the side with a tremendous fastball and a change up that would make Tug McGraw smile.
The fourth inning saw Jen Alvaro (2 for 4 on the day) and Doyle led off with singles. After a double steal, the Minutemaids sacrificed these players in to make the score 3-2 in Washington Township's favor.
The final inning saw Neeld and Dautel (3 for 4 hitting) lead off with singles for Township. Some miscommunication by the Chiefs' infield allowed the bases to get full with no outs. After the Chiefs settled down to get two outs, the balance of the game hung on Jen Alvaro's bat. On a 0-1 fastball, she ripped the ball past short scoring two runs. Cherokee attempted a comeback but it never happened, going down 1,2,3 in the last inning. Beray finished the game with that nice changeup for a strikeout. The final in this entertaining game was Washington Township 5, Cherokee 2. Township had 14 hits to Cherokee's 4.
Photos by Greg Alvord
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