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Bailey’s had a decade of softball success

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 July 2020 at 9:08 am

Contributed Photo – The 1983 season was one of several outstanding ones for the Bailey’s Drillettes softball team which captured both the Medina League regular season and playoff titles that summer and also earned a berth in the World championship Tournament. In all the Drillettes won four regular season and six Medina League playoff titles during the decade of 1976 to 1986. In front are Ann Hyndman, Cheryl Nudd, Tinker Romanowski, Karen Bezon, Judy Hapeman, Mary Guzik and Darcy Merle. In back are Coach Annette Finch, Lou Ann Gavenda, Karen Burns, Marian Gerhardy, Carol Corser, Debbie Butzback, Ellie Smith, Pat Mitchell, Karen Harclerode, Kate Dydo and team sponsor Paul Bailey.

Albion’s Bailey’s Drillettes softball team enjoyed an outstanding decade long Medina Women’s League title run from 1976 to 1986 capturing six playoff and four regular season division championships during that stretch.

Bailey’s captured both the regular season and playoff titles during the 1976, 1981, 1983 and 1986 seasons. The Drillettes also claimed the playoff crown in 1977 and 1980.

The 1983 season proved to be a most special one for Bailey’s as the Drillettes also placed second at the USSSA state tournament to earn a berth in the USSSA World Championships which were held that year n Peabody, Massachusetts. Bailey’s won a USSSA tournament at Batavia to advance to the state tourney.

The Drillettes shared the 1976 regular season title with Apple Depot with identical 9-1 records but went on to claim the playoff crown with a 17-7 win over Apple Depot. Home runs by Linda Chrzan, Ann Capacci and Cheryl Nudd along with triples by Annette Finch and Terry Condulucci highlighted the Bailey’s offense in the playoff title contest.

Bailey’s retained the playoff championship in 1977 by besting Sacred Heart 20-2 in the finals as Mary Ann O’Kussick had a home run, Capacci three hits and Chrzan and Donna Pinson two each.

Rival Apple Depot interrupted Bailey’s run by capturing both the regular season and playoff championship in both 1978 and 1979.

In 1978, Apple Depot nipped Bailey’s 7-5 in a special playoff game for the regular season title after the teams finished with identical 13-1 records. Apple Depot then took two in a row from Bailey’s by scores of 8-4 and 14- to claim the playoff crown.

The 1979 season was a virtual instant replay. First Apple Deport downed Bailey’s 11-2 in a special playoff game to decide the regular season title after the two teams again finished with identical 13-1 records. Then Apple Depot bested Bailey’s 10-4 in the playoff finals.

Bailey’s regained the playoff championship in 1980 downing Varley’s 17-6 in the finals as Marian Gerhardt had four hits, winning pitcher Pat Mitchell three and Finch two. Ann Hyndman and Finch both had triples and Lou Ann Watkins a double.

In 1981, Bailey’s went 14-1 to claim the regular season title and then downed Dave’s Ice Cream 18-6 to take the playoff crown as winning pitcher Tinker Eddy and Mary Guzik both had three hits and Gerhardy, Watkins and Carol Corser two each.

In 1982 Village Sports first bested Bailey’s 13-10 in a special playoff game for the regular season title and then took two in a row from the Drillettes in the finals by scores of 8-7 and 12-2 to claim the playoff championship.

Bailey’s got back into the winners circle in 1983 again claiming both the regular season and playoff titles.  The Drillettes went 16-2 during the regular season and then took two in a row in the finals from Village Sports by scores of 8-6 and 6-5 to claim the playoff crown. Guzik and Gerhady both had three hits and Kate Dydo two in the second and deciding contest.

Village Sports, which emerged as Bailey’s top rival in the early 1980’s, captured both the regular season and playoff titles in both 1984 and 1985.

Bailey’s regained top honors one more time by again claiming both the regular season and playoff titles in 1986. The Drillettes went 15-1 during the regular season and then downed Ranallo’s 17-13 in the finals to capture the playoff crown. A three- run first inning home run by Guzik put Bailey’s on top to stay in the second and deciding title round contest. The Drillettes quickly made it 7-0 in the second inning as Finch had a two-run single, Cheryl Nudd an RBI double and Karen Spiotta an RBI single.