#tbTHR – Minisink Valley softball wins second state title in 1993

In our second edition of Throwback Times Herald-Record (#tbTHR), we celebrate the second state softball championship won by Minisink Valley in June 1993.
On Saturday, Minisink Valley will try to win its third state title when it competes in the Class AA Final Four in South Glens Falls.

(from June 13, 1993)

Minisink repeats at state champ

By Marc Berman
Staff Writer

BINGHAMTON – It took nearly a minute for Minisink Valley to realize it had won the game and its second straight Class B state softball championship.
It was the most bizarre of endings. Minisink Valley’s three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning was capped by a two-run, two-out bloop single by Wendy Herm. That gave the Warriors a 6-5 victory in the Class B finals against Chenango Forks.
But nobody seemed to know it, not the players nor the umpires.
When Herm’s shallow fly glanced off the glove of lunging right fielder Tammy Hovancik, two runs scored to give the Warriors the victory. No spontaneous wild celebration ensued, however.
The umpires had lost track of the score and the inning. They were ready to play on. So was Minisink Valley senior Carolyn Copcutt, was about to step into the batter’s box. The Chenango Forks players stayed on the field. Herm stayed on second base. Welcome to the twilight zone.
Before a pitch was thrown, the umpires were called to the scorer’s table an informed the game was over.
It was only then that the Warriors, who beat Queensbury 5-0 in yesterday’s semifinals, began their wild, spontaneous celebration, rolling around on the infield at Broome Community College.
Why the confusion? Copcutt thought the game was in the sixth inning. Minisink Valley coach Bruce Guyette said he thought the winning runs had scored, but when he saw the umpires not leaving the field, he was confused and thought there might be an appeal play. Liz Stivers knew she had crossed the plate with the winning run and was shouting, “We won, we won,’’ as she approached the bench, but her teammates told her to pipe down.
“I guess everything happened so quick,’’ Herm said.
Indeed, it did. On several occasions in the seventh inning, it appeared as if the Warriors’ bid for a second straight state title was dead in the water. Especially dead when Herm’s shallow two-out fly to right field wasn’t dropping fast enough.
Chenango Forks’ Hovancik, after a long run, stretched for the ball, got a glove on it but the ball popped out. If she hung on, Chenango Forks (23-2) would have been breaking the Warriors’ 38-game winning streak, broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the top of the seventh off Copcutt.
Minisink Valley had just three hits – two by Copcutt – entering the last inning off Jenn Markert, whose fastball overpowered Minisink Valley.
“I can’t say I didn’t have any doubts but we’ve come back in a lot of games,’’ Herm said. “We weren’t going to roll over.’’
Said Guyette: “I didn’t expect this team to lay down and die. It took every last bit of luck and we came up with it. I knew it was a longshot but sometimes long shots pay off.’’
Down 5-3, but Maile Cestero led off with a walk and Jenn Hanson rocked eight ground rule double down the left-field line. Kerry Gildea reached first on a bunt, which loaded the bases, then a run scored on a Stivers’ grounder that was misplayed at second base.
“I knew it was possible it would be caught, but I thought it was trouble,’’ said Herm.
Chenango Forks beat Minisink Valley 2-1 in a non-league game on May 15.
There was still nobody out, the Warriors were down and run and the bases were loaded. Suddenly, things took a giant a turn for the worse as Amy Smith struck out, the ball got the past the catcher and, on a close play at the plate, pinch runner Kerry Canazon was ruled out. It stood as a double play, since Smith was not allowed to reach base because first base was occupied.
With two outs, runners on second and third, Herm blooped her hit.
“What was I thinking?’’ Guyette said. “Get down, get down, get down. An unbelievable end to an unbelievable season.’’
“I’m so proud of this team, they never gave up,’’ said Copcutt, the 1992 Sunday Record player of the year who ended a brilliant high school career. “I love them for that. I’m in a state of shock, I’m so happy we won.’’
After pitching a complete game, two-hit, nine-strikeout shutout in the semifinals, Copcutt didn’t have her best stuff from the fourth inning on in the finals. Copcutt, who didn’t post a strikeout all game, blanked Chenango Forks for the first three innings. Chenango scored five runs in the final four innings, notching nine of their 11 hits.
In the semifinals against Queensbury, Copcutt carried a perfect game into the fifth inning before allowing her first base runner.
In the semis, Minisink Valley led only 1-0 after four before breaking open the game in the fifth with four runs on just two hits and three errors.
Minisink Valley committed no errors in the semis and just one in the finals. Chenango Forks committed three, not including Herm’s game-winner.
“I’m glad it dropped, though I didn’t know we had won it,’’ Copcutt said.

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