ELLICOTTVILLE — Ally Haskell successfully battled the elements, and the Eagles, to escape with another shutout Friday night.
The St. Bonaventure-bound Haskell has only allowed one run in seven starts now for the Franklinville softball team, finishing her sixth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over five innings. The teams played through rain showers and paused for a lightning delay in the fourth, but resumed play to finish the CCAA East II game before field conditions worsened by the end of the fifth.
But Franklinville coach Allan Dunlap welcomes the opportunity to merely finish a game after an April schedule marred by weather postponements or cancellations.
“It's a credit to Matt (Finn, Ellicottville’s coach) for getting the field ready,” Dunlap said. “I got here at 3:15 and he's working on the field by himself. So for him to get the field ready so the kids could play is a credit to (Ellicottville). It was nice to get it in with the few openings we have left and teams to fill in spots.”
Haskell struck out 10 in a two-hitter and had two hits of her own and an RBI. Amy O’Neal and Amy O'Neal and Renee Szymanski drove in the Panthers’ other two runs.
Ellicottville’s Evie Cortez struck out three and held the Panthers to three hits in her first pitching start of the season after mostly playing shortstop. Cortez, who plans to play at Niagara University next year, also had a hit Friday and owns the only run off of Haskell this year, hitting a solo homer in a 10-1 loss April 23.
“I moved a freshman up and she is in Quebec today, our other pitcher pulled a muscle in her hip so she's out and our third pitcher, Linnea Jimerson, tore something in her shoulder,” Finn said. “So I said, 'Evie, I need you to throw today.' This was the most she's thrown — she's put in one other inning for us this year — and for the situation, she did an excellent job.”
Finn hopes his Eagles (3-5) showed enough to give some hope in the event of a Section 6 Class D playoff rematch.
“You want to be disappointed because you lost,” he said. “But they're a quality team and we actually got some solid contact off of her today so that's promising. I don't know if we'll see them again, but if we do at least we know we can hit. I feel a little better about it, you know?”
The Eagles visit first-place North Collins on Monday.
The Panthers (7-1) have only lost to North Collins, 23-1, in a game with Haskell unavailable, but get a rematch Wednesday in Franklinville. A half-game behind in the league standings, Franklinville kept pace with North Collins this week thanks to a doubleheader sweep of Cattaraugus-Little Valley. The weather made it hard to judge performances too much Friday, but Dunlap likes the way his team is playing of late.
“You can't take anything from this game: you can't say either team played well or either team played bad,” Dunlap said. “It's so sloppy. But to this point, I think we're playing as best as we can play under the circumstances of not being outside enough with all the bad weather. We talk lately about how you've got to be playing your best softball at the end of the year. Well, when we started our season, really it was the end of the year already, so we have to play good now and we're playing pretty well. As well as could be expected, I would say.”