BALLSTON SPA — Ballston Spa starting pitcher Livia Wiltsie stepped up for her teammates with a three-run, go-ahead blast to propel the Scotties past South Glens Falls in a non-league softball tilt Tuesday in Ballston Spa.
Wiltsie started in the circle for Ballston Spa, but was lifted in the fifth inning after giving up a two-run home run to South Glens Falls’ Emily Kamber, and with it, the lead.
“It’s just good to mix things up, to switch pitchers and force the offense to see another person because we have two different-style pitchers,” Ballston Spa coach Amanda Fifield said. “Later in the game, sometimes you need to make that change.”
The move paid off.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, down, 3-1, Ballston Spa sophomore Abigail Stagl reached on a one-out walk and Kendyl Wasserman entered as a courtesy runner in her place.
“My plan was to get on base [by] any means necessary so that anybody behind me could set us up for when [anything happened],” Stagl said. “I did my job.”
Freshman Avery Santoro followed with a one-out single to right field, advancing Wasserman to second base.
“Coach told me I might bunt, so my original plan was to get that down, but when that didn’t work out I had to get on base a different way,” Santoro said about fouling off her first bunt attempt. “I just took the first strike I saw and I tried to drive it as far as I could.”
Santoro took an inside pitch from South Glens Falls pitcher Tori Young into right field to put runners at first and second.
Natalie Guthrie successfully sacrificed the Ballston Spa pair into scoring position, setting the table for Wiltsie.
Facing a full count, the game hung in the balance for the sophomore batter.
“I knew I had to get on somehow,” Wiltsie said. “My teammates found their way on base and I had to do my job. Anything in the strike zone I just had to barrel up and they just gave me the right pitch.”
Wiltsie drove the ball so high up and over the left field fence that the South Glens Falls outfielder turned and jumped over the fence before it landed, just to track down the blast.
“As soon as it came off the bat I was like, there’s no way that’s not gone,” Wiltsie said. “It might be my longest home run.”
The thrill of hitting the go-ahead home run was only topped by the reception Wiltsie received at home plate by her teammates.
“When you’re pitching, you feel like you’re supposed to lead the team,” Wiltsie said, disappointed with her start. “It made me feel like I picked my team back up and made up for it.”
With the 4-3 lead, Ballston Spa reliever Hadley Donnelly closed out the contest, striking out four more batters in the last two innings for the win.
The win was a solid start for Ballston Spa, is are scheduled to face Colonie, Shaker, Schuylerville and Webster-Schroeder to close out the vacation week schedule.
“It’s really good for us because we did come off a tough loss to Shen,” Wiltsie said. “This was a really good way to pick up our energy against a good team. It’s a good way to get our momentum back and we should carry it through the rest of the week.”
Contact Stan Hudy at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @StanHudy.
South Glens Falls 000 120 0 — 3 5 0
Ballston Spa 100 030 X — 4 4 0