GO HOME — As he checks out the outfield, to see the status of the ball, Drew Payne of Springville rounds third base, en route to home. Photos by Jessie Owen.
BOSTON — Neither inclement weather nor a false start could keep the softball team from Berean Free Presbyterian Church of Boston from staying focused on winning, when its season finally started.
Consistency on both offense and defense – which was lacking, during the team’s inaugural season, last year – helped BFPC to lead, throughout the game and brought about an eventual 14 – 5 victory against First Baptist of Marilla, to open the church’s second season participating in the Southtowns Softball League.
After the rain kept Berean from its first game, scheduled for May 9 against The Tabernacle, there was confusion, leading up to the church’s first, May 13 game.
Berean pulled out an early 3 – 0 lead, but it was against the wrong team, as players from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church had thought the May 13 game was a makeup, for their rained-out game against Hamburg Assembly of God, the prior week.
The switchup was rectified, however, and Berean kept its focus, through the change. The runs kept on coming, even when Marilla, Berean’s rightful opponent, took on the Boston church in unseasonably cold weather.
Three Marilla batters stepped up in the first inning, but Berean pitcher Eric Drake of West Valley sent them all packing.
PLAY BALL — Scott Overhoff of Boston sends the ball back to home base, after a Marilla player steps across first base.
In the bottom of the inning, Springville resident Aaron Breindel, East Concord resident and Coach Jared Owen, Boston resident Scott Overhoff and Springville resident Drew Payne, who led off his season with a home run, all came home, to establish a 4 – 0 lead for Berean.
In the second inning, it was three up and three out, again, for Marilla, and Berean extended its lead to 5 – 0, when Drake scored a run.
During season one, Berean finished fourth in the division, at 7 – 5. Marilla’s four straight runs, during the third, propelled the BFPC players to avoid their 2012 fate, as they watched their opponents creep back into the game.
Berean regained its composure and closed out the inning, holding onto a 1-run lead. That lead got padded, in the bottom of the inning, when Payne and teammate Steve Salisbury scored runs, to put the lead at 7 – 4, going into the fourth.
After shutting down the opposition, in the top of the inning, Berean pounded in 6 straight runs, to triple its lead, before the third out was made. The score, after five, was 13 – 4.
Another scoreless inning for Marilla and another run scored by Breindel brought the score to 14 – 4, going into the top of the seventh.
Berean went three-up-three-down, in the sixth but, with Marilla’s needing a 10-run inning, to tie the game, Berean sent in its substitutes, during the seventh inning.
The fielders held the road team to 1 run, to close the game out at 14 – 5.
“Our batters just focused on hitting the ball and getting on base, instead of trying to hit for power,” Owen said. “That mindset resulted in a lot more runs scored and fewer outs,” he added.
He added, “Minimizing, our errors, out on the field, resulted in fewer runs against.”
Berean, now at 1 – 0 in the young season, was scheduled to make up its rained-out game against The Tabernacle on May 16.
Following that game, the group will set its sights on a game against St. Paul’s Lutheran, on Monday, May 20. That game is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m.
All games are played at the Town of Hamburg Recreation Center, which is located at 2980 Lakeview Road in Hamburg.