Fonda-Fultonville turns back Johnstown for non-league win

JOHNSTOWN – After being shut out 17-0 to Cobleskill-Richmondville in their Colonial Council opener, the Fonda-Fultonville softball team was looking to put that game far behind them and move forward.

Thursday night the Lady Braves did just that, defeating Johnstown 8-5 in a non-league contest at Johnstown High School.

“We have done a ton of work since that first game,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Kari MacDougall said. “We were outside a couple of days but not on our outfield and infield at the same time because of the weather. We had a lot of work to do and we saw all of our weaknesses that day, plus we also had a lot of jitters. We are a young team with a seventh-grader, a ninth-grader and eight sophomores.”

For Johnstown, Thursday was the Lady Bills’ first time on their field this spring.

“We had a few mental errors but we haven’t been able to work on the field,” Lady Bills’ coach Brittany Tomek said. “We had some jitters and it was our first time on the dirt and what we did I think we did OK.”

Fonda-Fultonville (1-1 overall, 0-1 Colonial Council) eliminated the possibility of a second-straight shutout by pushing a pair of runs across the plate in the first inning.

Gianna Cruz worked her way on with a two-out walk, and Miranda Nethaway delivered her to the plate with an RBI double and scored on Cory Lais’ single to stake the Lady Braves to a 2-0 lead.

Johnstown (0-1 overall, 0-0 Foothills Council) got a run back in the bottom of the second.

Briana Esposito led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Esposito put the Lady Bills on the board when she slid under the tag at home to score on Meghan Ledoux’s RBI single.

Fonda-Fultonville built the lead back to two runs in the top of the fourth by capitalizing on a Johnstown error that allowed Annie Sinicropi to reach base. She came around to score on Haley Frederick’s RBI double to build a 3-1 advantage.

Fonda-Fultonville made the most of four walks in the top of the fifth to tack on two more runs.

Cassandra Egelston led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a passed ball and Monica Derby’s sacrifice fly. She raced home on Cruz’s bunt single. Cruz later scored to put the Lady Braves up 5-1.

Johnstown cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Jackie Claburn and an RBI single from Madison Dillenbeck.

Fonda-Fultonville used extra base hits to take its lead to 7-2 in the sixth.

Cassendra Egelston connected for a home run, while Cruz tripled and Nethaway had an RBI double to account for the Lady Braves’ hits and scoring in the inning.

Johnstown answered with two runs of its own in the inning.

Jordyn Hale and Mallory Baldwin led off with back-to-back singles and Ellen Praught reached on an error that allowed Hale to score. Esposito picked up an RBI with her ground out and put the score at 7-4.

The Lady Braves added another run in the top of the seventh when Egelston walked, stole second and scored on an error on a play of the bat of Cruz.

Johnstown answered in the bottom of the seventh with Ledoux reaching on a fielding error and scoring on Hale’s RBI single.

Lady Braves’ pitcher, seventh-grader Brianna Egelston, got out of the jam with three strikeouts in the inning to lock up her first career varsity win.

“She [Brianna] is fortunate to have an experienced catcher [Cassandra Egelston] behind the plate to help her,” MacDougall said. “A lot of people have said I must be crazy to have sisters as a battery. But Cassandra is her biggest support system. She is tough on her but they are tough girls and I think having that support system helps her through the tough spots and put things behind her.”

Brianna Egelston finished the game allowing eight hits, while striking out seven and walking one.

Cassandra Egelston finished the game with a home run and three runs scored, while Cruz had a double, single and three runs scored. Nethaway added a double and a single and Frederick had a double for Fonda-Fultonville.

Danielle Aceto went the distance in the circle for Johnstown, giving up eight hits and striking out three, while inducing 12 ground outs.

“My pitcher [Aceto] did a good job being it was her first time pitching either on JV or varsity,” Tomek said. “I feel she did a very good job. I think the girls did pretty well. I was looking at our errors and we only had three, so if we can pick it up a bit on our defense and get our bats going a little bit earlier I think we will be OK.”

Ledoux had a double for Johnstown, while Esposito, Praught, Baldwin Claburn, Hale and Dillenbeck all singled.

Johnstown will open its Foothills Council campaign Monday at Broadalbin-Perth, while Fonda-Fultonville returns to the diamond tonight for a league game at Ichabod Crane.

Fonda-Fultonville 8, Johnstown 5

Fonda-Fultonville200 122 1 – 8 8 4

Johnstown010 012 1 – 5 7 3

B. Egelston and C. Egelston; Aceto and Esposito.