The Pine Bush-Monticello major softball team put up some gaudy numbers during the District 19 tournament, scoring in double figures in two of the three games they played, leading up to the June 24 championship game.
Even when they didn’t put up double-digit runs, the game wasn’t close.
That changed when Pine Bush-Monticello played small ball and rode the arm of Avery Ogden to capture the District 19 championship with a 2-0 win over Warwick-Greenwood Lake.
“These girls work so hard; they really deserve this,” Pine Bush manager Alan Bavolar said. “My pitcher’s been busting her butt for years. Avery Ogden was the heart and soul of this team. Everyone contributed but she was the ace.”
Ogden faced two batters over the minimum, allowing only one hit, a third-inning single to Emily Romig. She walked only one and struck out 13.
At one point, she struck out seven straight batters between the fourth and sixth innings. She struck out the side in the fourth and fifth. She struck out three in the first inning after walking Meghan Tennant to start the game.
Tennant ended her strikeout streak with a fly ball to right field in the sixth inning. Ogden came right back to clinch the championship with a strike out of Penny Bieling.
“She just keeps battling,” Bavolar said. “She always wants the ball and will never give it up. She goes through any temperature. She really doesn’t care, and she gets stronger when the zone gets smaller. She’s amazing.”
Pine Bush-Monticello’s road to victory was different this time, as instead of putting up big offensive numbers, they scraped together their two runs in the first and second innings.
Ava Boffalo led off with a single and got herself to third base, putting herself in position to score on Silvana Zamonsky’s groundout.
The second inning looked similar as Amelia Bavolar dropped a one-out single into left-center field. She stole second base and went to third on a wild pitch. She scored on Caleigh Regan’s ground ball to third base.
“This is the toughest team we’ve ever faced,” Bavolar said. “Kudos to Warwick. They did a fantastic job from start to finish. They had really good pitching and it was a pleasure to share the field with them. They were outstanding.”
They clinched their berth in the championship game with a 16-0 win over Town of Newburgh-New Windsor.
Pine Bush had some time off before advancing to the next phase. They played in the Section 3 tournament, which was originally scheduled to begin last Saturday, but was postponed until Monday due to rain.
“There’s no rest for the weary,” Bavolar said. “It’s very exciting. We did it two years ago. We faced a lot of good teams, incredible pitching, very good hitting. We hope to bring these winning ways with us.”