DALLAS TWP. — Many factors contributed to keeping the 37th annual Robert Dolbear Senior All-Star Softball Game from being a close contest.
None of them could reduce the competitive spirit, including that shown by Jill Ambrose and Jordan Hodle, Lake-Lehman’s two representatives in the game.
Ambrose came up with one of the game’s top defensive plays and Hodle was one of two West players to reach base at least four times during a 15-2 loss to the East June 26 at the Dallas Little League Field.
Working with a smaller-than-usual list of available senior players to begin with, the game required some last-minute adjustments because of no-shows.
The West was left without a pitcher with recent experience and had to play shorthanded.
The East jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning, scoring the first four runs on a grand slam by its Most Valuable Player, Taylor Baloga from Pittston Area, before the first out was recorded.
Ambrose and Hodle joined Wyoming Area’s Bree Bednarski in keeping the game as competitive as possible.
Bednarski reached above the fence to take away a potential three-run homer by Baloga that would have pushed the first-inning outburst to 11 runs. As it was, Baloga still managed two homers and eight RBI.
Hanover Area’s Haylee Bobos drove in three runs for the West. Ambrose went low to prevent her from adding two more in the sixth inning.
Ambrose, playing right field, raced into the gap to make a diving catch inches off the grass. She got up to throw the ball into the field for what turned into an inning-ending double play on an appeal.
Bednarski had three hits, drew two walks and scored a run from the top of the West order.
Hodle and Ambrose occupied the bottom two spots.
Hodle went 2-for-3 with two walks and scored the team’s first run after leading off the fourth inning with a single to right field.
Ambrose singled, following a Hodle walk, with one out in the bottom of the seventh to create one last scoring threat.
Tunkhannock’s Bob Hegedty coached the West with help from his assistant, Ron Hampsey.
The Dallas Kiwanis Club sponsored the game.
Dolbear, who started the game for top players from the Wyoming Valley Conference back in 1980, was in attendance.
Bob Law from Dallas has worked as umpire for all 37 games.
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