By: Tim Birney | | May 14, 2022 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


ATHENS — Athens used a five-run fourth-inning rally to erase an early deficit on its way to an 8-4 win over Tioga here Saturday morning in the opening game of the softball “Battle at the Border.”

“Savanah (Persun) threw really well,” said Athens coach Mickey Farrell. “Defensively, we only committed three errors.

“Offensively, we only struck out three times, so we put the ball in play.

“Overall, we did a pretty good job,” added Farrell.

Tioga scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning on a lead-off double by senior Austyn Vance, and a one-out RBI single by senior Abby Foley, but Athens tied the game in the home half of the frame on an RBI groundout off the bat of freshman Jules Pack.

Freshman McKenzie Williams and senior Alissa Hine rapped back-to-back one-out doubles in the fourth inning to put Tioga up 2-1. Hine later scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the third, sophomore Marissa Butler led off with a walk, and freshman Savannah Persun, and senior Macie Coyle followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases.

An error plated one run, and a fielder’s choice another to tie the game at 3-3, then senior Caydence Macik ripped a two-run double to center field to give the Lady Wildcats the lead for good, at 5-3.

After a single by senior Aliyah Butler, Macik scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pack to push the lead to 6-3.

Junior M.J. Thetga launched a one-out home run over the center field fence in the top of the fifth to close the gap to 6-4.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Athens added a pair of insurance runs. Macik and Aliyah Butler started things off with back-to-back singles to put runners at first and third. An error on Butler’s hit allowed Macik to score to make it 7-4.

Pack provided the final run of the game with a line-drive RBI double.

Eighth-grader RaeAnne Feeko rapped a one-out double in the top of the seventh, but Persun recorded the final two outs to finish off the complete game.

Persun allowed four runs — three earned — on seven hits in seven innings, while striking out eight and walking two in the win.

Aliyah Butler stroked three singles and scored one run to lead Athens’ nine-hit attack, while Macik doubled and singled, scored three runs, and drove in two runs, and Persun added a pair of singles.

Pack doubled and drove in three runs in the win, while Macie Coyle singled and scored one run, Braelynn Wood and Mackenzie Morgan each scored one run and drove in one run, and Marissa Butler crossed the plate once.

Foley singled twice and drove in one run to pace Tioga at the plate, while Thetga hit a sole home run, Williams, Vance, and Hine each doubled and scored one run, and Feeko added a double.

Freshman Erin Luther was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs — four earned — on four hits, while striking out three and walking one in three innings of work.

Hine finished off the game, allowing three runs — two earned — on five hits, while striking out one and walking nine in three innings.

Athens improves to 8-10, while Tioga falls to 11-5.


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).