Just give the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons softball team a field to play on, the Lady Knights will take care of the rest.
Bishop Gibbons used a four-run home sixth inning to beat Ichabod Crane, 7-3, Wednesday in a first-round game of the Section II Class BB tournament, played at Scotia-Glenville Middle School.
“It was a little different, getting off the bus for a home game, and then seeing there was no fence,” said catcher Alyssa Salisbury, as she and her teammates used Scotia’s varsity field after their own was determined to be unsuitable for sectional play.
“We just wanted to play,” said Victoria Maddelone, who drove in a pair of runs. “We didn’t know until this morning where we would be playing.”
After being turned away by a couple of nearby schools, Bishop Gibbons got an OK from Union College on Tuesday, only to be told Wednesday morning that was not an option, as the college playing field did not have breakaway bases.
“Our emphasis all week was to not let them get distracted by all of that,” said coach Doug Holden. “But not a lot bothers this group.”
That was evident in the first inning, when Joelle Salisbury struck out the side in order, then lined a single that turned into two runs when Ichabod Crane center fielder Jenna Rutkey let the ball go under her glove.
The Lady Riders took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, using three of their five hits and a Bishop Gibbons error to score twice.
Maddelone got that run back in the bottom of the inning, her long fly-ball double scoring Joelle Salisbury, who had led off with a single.
The Salisbury twins and Maddlone were in the middle of the four-run sixth.
Joelle Salisbury doubled, moving Perrie Megyeri to third base. Alyssa Salisbury singled in a run, Maddelone knocked in a run and two runs scored on Ichabod Crane errors.
Armed with a four-run lead, and needing only three outs to get her fourth-seeded team to the quarterfinals, Joelle Salisbury got two groundball outs and her 11th strikeout.
“Most of our games this year have been close,” Joelle Salisbury said. “We haven’t had a lot of leads like that, so that was nice.”
“Most people didn’t think we’d get this far, because we only have five players with any kind of varsity experience,” said Alyssa Salisbury.
“We have players who haven’t played before,” said Joelle Salisbury. “But they’ve come along, and we’ve become a team.”
“The girls that have played, you don’t see them getting upset if we make an error, or something goes wrong,” said Holden. “They’ve been very supportive of each other.”
Reaching Friday’s quarterfinals means the Lady Knights will again be playing on a field other than their own. This time, it was a goal.
With Class B split into “BB” and “B” brackets this year, Clifton Common — the site of the championship games — will be used for the semifinal round.
“We’ve never played at Clifton Common in sectionals,” said Joelle Salisbury. “That will be nice.”
Ichabod Crane 010 200 0 — 3 5 5
ND-BG 201 004 x — 7 7 3
Mazzariello and VanAlphen; J.Salisbury and A.Salisbury.