G&C denies Fogarty A.C. comeback, undefeated season

They were poised for yet one more dramatic comeback.

So many times over the years, G&C Petroleum has seen rival Fogarty Air Conditioning Service come from behind to break its heart in the North Fork Women’s Softball League. But not this time.

When Diana Stulsky stepped into the batter’s box after Elaine Milovich led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single on Friday night at the Polo Grounds in Greenport, it looked like Fogarty, trailing by 3-2, was on the verge of another stirring comeback. Stulsky, who normally takes the first pitch, ripped a line drive in the hole between first and second base. But Gracie Conklin, the G&C second baseman, snared the screaming liner and doubled Milovich off of first base.

G&C’s Jane van den Thoorn said the double play “knocked the wind out of them.”

G&C pitcher Kerry Tooker retired Lynn Eckhardt on a slow roller back to the mound to end the game.

G&C (8-4), which lost only one game on the field this season but had to forfeit three games because of a lack of players, held on for a heart-stopping 3-2 victory in the final game of the season.

“This was unbelievable,” van den Thoorn said. “This was a very, very good game. It was a great game.”

G&C took the early lead when Jackie Zilnicki doubled in the first inning and came in to score on Katie Mickaliger’s single. In the third, G&C added two more runs. With two outs, Emily Commins singled, Mickaliger doubled, Laurie Mickaliger singled in a run and Cathy Daniels singled home another.

Fogarty (11-1), the league champion for the third straight season, got a run back in the third when Milovich singled and eventually came in to score on Melissa Groeneveld’s single. Fogarty then trimmed the G&C lead to 3-2 in the fifth, as Eckhardt’s long drive in the right-center-field gap went for a home run. G&C had turned a double play earlier in the inning, preventing Fogarty from having a big inning.

Tooker dodged a Fogarty rally in the sixth, allowing three hits, but no runs. Then in the seventh, Stulsky’s smash was turned into a double play.

“I always take the first pitch, but this time I hit it,” Stulsky said. “Elaine was caught off-guard. I hit it good, but Gracie made a better catch. We were all set up for a big inning.”

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