PERTH - A big inning by the Johnstown Lady Bills gave the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots the spark they needed in their season-opener.
Johnstown connected for four hits and delivered three runs across the plate in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead over B-P.
The Lady Patriots answered with a five-run bottom of the third, and a one-two-three inning in the field followed by a two-run bottom of the fourth to turn the game in their favor and pull away to a 12-4 Foothills Council victory Monday at Broadalbin-Perth Middle School.
Johnstown,s Madison Dillenbeck (2) is tagged out by Broadalbin-Perth shortstop Rachel Orapello, center, during Foothills Council action Monday at Broadalbin-Perth Middle School. Backing up the play is second baseman Zoe Simonson (11). (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"When they start hitting and things are going good, it is easy to continue," Broadalbin-Perth coach Carrie Spraker said. "The tide changed for us in that third inning, and then going 1-2-3 defensively allowed us to pick up again offensively."
Johnstown (0-2 overall, 0-1 Foothills) out hit the Lady Patriots 13-9, but could not bundle the hits to produce runs.
"They had key hits and capitalized on them, and we couldn't capitalize on the opportunities we had," Johnstown coach Brittany Tomek said. "We are young and know what we need to work on to get ready for the rest of the week."
Both teams pushed a run across the plate in the first inning before Johnstown came through with an offensive surge in the top of the third.
Jordyn Hale reached on an error and advanced on a wild pitch. She advanced to third on Ellen Praught's single. Hale was caught in a rundown along the thirdbase line.
The Lady Bills kept their offensive momentum going with two outs. Briana Esposito followed with a single and Meghan LeDoux delivered a two-RBI triple to deep left field. Jackie Claburn delivered LeDoux to the plate with a single to put Johnstown up 4-1.
With the top of the lineup at-bat, B-P answered the Lady Bills surge.
Nicole Traver led off and drew a walk, only to be caught stealing. Keyana Fariello reached base on an error and Brianna Westfall drew a walk before Rachel Orapello connected for an RBI single.
With two outs, Lauren Adamchick picked up an RBI with her single, and Gabby Smith followed with a two-RBI single that was just out of the reach of a leaping attempt by Johnstown second baseman Hale. Mackenzie Morrison doubled down the left-field line to score Smith and put the Lady Patriots up 6-4.
Traver got the Lady Patriots back to the plate quickly, throwing 10 pitches in the top of the fourth for two strike outs and a line out to short.
Traver again led off the inning with a walk and Fariello reached on a bunt single. Westfall moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt before Orapello plated them with a soft grounder to the right side to up the lead to 8-4.
Broadalbin-Perth extended its lead in the fifth with three more runs. Morrison doubled in the inning and came around to score.
Traver and Fariello worked their way on with walks and scored on Orapello's single to take the score to 11-4.
Johnstown threatened in the top of the sixth, with Claburn and Ieasha Gonzalez opening with back-to-back singles.
Traver picked up a strikeout before Danielle Aceto hit a hard line drive at Orapello who made the catch and quickly fired to third for a rally-ending double play.
The Lady Patriots took the lead to 12-4 in the bottom of the sixth when Gabby Smith singled and scored on Danielle Celenzo's double.
The Lady Bills again threatened in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with one out on a single by Mallory Baldwin, a walk to Praught and a fielding error on Esposito's drive to left field.
Traver bore down to strike out the final two batters and seal the 12-4 league win.
"We have been working a lot this year on defense and staying positive," Spraker said. "If you can play decent defense and can hit, you always have a shot."
Morrison led the Lady Patriots at the plate with two doubles, while Smith had two singles and Celenzo had a double.
Claburn had three singles for Johnstown, while LeDoux connected for a triple and a single and two RBIs. Gonzalez, Esposito and Hale had two hits apiece.
Johnstown returns to Foothills Council action Wednesday at home against Glens Falls, while Broadalbin-Perth hosts Hudson Falls at noon Wednesday at the Broadalbin-Perth Middle School field.
Broadalbin-Perth 12, Johnstown 4
Johnstown103 000 0 - 4 13 1
Broadalbin-Perth105 231 x - 12 9 2
Claburn, Aceto (5) and Esposito; Traver and Smith.