AMSTERDAM — After a two-year wait to enter the batter’s box, Amsterdam softball’s Jordyn Wozniak’s senior season appeared — for at least a moment — to be a short one.
Wozniak ripped a line drive into left field Friday afternoon, scoring Sydney Szczepanik and Shelby LaMont easily, but Wozniak never made it to first base.
She took a couple steps toward first base, then the pain in her right knee was too much, and she stopped.
“It happened, same exact thing,” Wozniak said after Amsterdam’s 10-5 win against Johnstown, referencing a similar incident from several years ago. “I dislocated it and I was out for a weekend and then went back. I haven’t had problems with it for a while, but I guess it’s just a freak accident.”
Wozniak’s blast scored both runners, but she was tagged out after not making it more than a few feet out of the batter’s box.
Being tagged out was the least of her worries.
“Oh my god, it’s my senior season. What am I going to do?” Wozniak said was her initial reaction after she felt the pain in her knee. “I just started putting weight on it, walked around and then it was fine. I just got right back out there.”
She never missed a play at shortstop, and ended up with a 2 for 4 day at the plate with five RBIs in Amsterdam’s Foothills Council win.
Wozniak and all spring athletes had their 2020 spring season sidelined after less than a week of practices due to restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In the first game of the 2021 season, the sight of his team’s clean-up hitter appearing to suffer an injury was an unwelcome one for Amsterdam coach Brenden Cetnar.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Cetnar said. “Thank God she was fine.”
At first, Cetnar thought he needed a substitute. But Wozniak wasn’t giving up that easily in the first game of her senior year.
“We’re always going to err on the side of caution, but said she was all good. I talked to [her] dad and everybody, and we were good.”
Wozniak didn’t let the swinging scare stop her. In the third inning, she drilled a double down the third-base line to drive in two more runs as the Rams built a 5-1 lead in the third inning.
Johnstown plated four runs in the fifth, knotting the contest at 5.
“They came back, and I told them, ‘The good news is we’re tied,’” Cetnar said.
Amsterdam junior Shelby LaMont made sure it didn’t stay that way for long. In the home half of the fifth inning, she hit a solo home run over the right-field fence.
“Shelby gave us the lead and we didn’t have to look back,” Cetnar said.
Amsterdam (1-0) pushed four more runs across in the bottom of the sixth, a frame that included Wozniak’s second double on the day and her fifth RBI.
“I see the ball, I hit it. You just have to keep it simple,” Wozniak said.
Szczepanik pitched a complete game for Amsterdam, striking out nine in the win.
Johnstown starter Ariana Vuskalns struck out four in her five innings of work, her second consecutive day in the circle for the Lady Bills [0-2].
“She pitched a great game for me yesterday and she was a little bit tired going into today’s game,” Johnstown coach Katie McCumber said. “I had a talk with her and asked how do you feel? She has one of those attitudes of ‘Put me in, put me in, I’m good.’ I asked if I could throw her one more inning, she said ‘Sure, if you need me, throw me one more inning.’ She just never gives up.”
Johnstown 001 040 0 — 5 10 0
Amsterdam 203 014 x — 10 13 3