May 19, 2011
Early in Port Allegany’s softball game against visiting Sheffield on Monday afternoon, it looked like it was going to be a quiet day for the hometown bats.
Not for long. On the second trip through the lineup, the Gators started figuring out the Wolverines pitching. And once they started hitting they didn’t stop, bashing eight extra-base hits – highlighted by Kris-Ann Raymo’s inside-the-park home run – to rally from a 2-0 deficit for a wild 11-8 win.
“We just moved them up in the box and slowed their bat speed down. They were way out in front of it,” Port coach Dave Morey explained after watching his team win its sixth game in a row to improve to 9-6 on the season. “They’re starting to gel, and playing better. Feels good.”
Raymo (2-4, triple, HR, 3 RBI) and Kyley Mickle (3-4, triple, 3 RBI) powered the Gator attack, with Rachel Taylor (3-4, 1 RBI) adding two triples and Cora Bova drilling a double off the right-field fence on the fly. Becky Andrus and Jenny Shelley shared pitching duties for Port, with Andrus picking up the win.
Port’s winning streak began with a sweep against Oswayo Valley, but the real eye-opener came in a 9-4 victory over Otto-Eldred on Friday.
“We’d lost to them twice already, and that really helped turn things around,” Morey said.
The Gators followed that game up with another doubleheader sweep on Saturday, coming back to win both games against Northern Potter, before doing the same to Sheffield.
“The girls have been working really hard and hustling. That’s the key to it, really,” Morey said. “And they’re starting to believe they can win. That’s been our big problem; they’ve never believed in themselves, that they could actually do it. Now, they believe, and it’s happening.”