By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Before Cooperstown would celebrate a section championship in baseball, it had to endure a crushing defeat in softball, as visiting Pulaski won the Section III Class C softball championship Saturday, June 12, beating top seeded Cooperstown, 18-0, at Cooperstown Central School.
Pulaski took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and then got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second inning. The combination seemed to rattle the Hawkeyes, who played uncharacteristically sloppy in the field and could get nothing strung together at the plate.
Pulaski pitcher Emily Birmingham struck out six and gave up five hits, including doubles to Dani Seamon and Abby Miller, but she had movement inside that kept Cooperstown’s hitter off balance.
When Cooperstown loaded the bases in the second inning, Jeana Geertgens responded with a sharp line drive, only to see Pulaski shortstop Clare Reynolds stretch high to make a great defensive play to keep Cooperstown off the scoreboard.
After that, the Blue Devils scattered runs, many of them unearned. Seamon replaced Lippitt in the circle with the score 9-0 in midway through the top of the third inning, and combined with some defensive changes, Cooperstown got through the middle innings.
However, Seamon began the sixth by issuing two walks, leading to a three-run home run to left field by Danielle Birmingham. Cooperstown seemed rerattled, and Pulaski closed the game with four runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
“Obviously, that wasn’t the result we wanted,” Cooperstown Coach Buddy Lippitt said. “We just didn’t bring our hitting today.”
After the game, Lippitt told his team they did were never able to shake off the first inning shock.
Assistant Coach Lynn Casale told the team they had accomplished great things.
“Heads up. I don’t think you understand what you’re accomplished this season,” she said. “You’ve shown improvement in every part of the game over the course of this season.”
Cooperstown (13-2) will graduate six seniors, Miller, Emile Amore, Ellie Hotaling, Anna Lambert, Carly Erway and Jenny Burch.