Dow Series, take 1

Groton head coach Ed Dow, Sr. and the Groton captains meet with Dryden head coach Ed Dow, Jr. and the Dryden captains before the team's first of three games this year. 

The Groton and Dryden softball teams finally took the field with each other Friday afternoon at Dryden, continuing the school rivalry and beginning the "Dow Series." 

Ed Dow, Sr. is the head coach of the Groton softball squad, a 13-7 victor over his son Ed Dow's Dryden Lions. The two teams will go again Saturday, weather permitting, at 11:30 a.m. during the Groton Tournament in Groton. 

The Indians scored seven runs in the second inning, going through 13 batters with two hits, five walks and two hit batters. It broke the 2-2 tie, making it 9-2 in the deciding frame.

Paige Graham had an RBI-single in the inning and Kara Conklin had a two-RBI double that tipped by the shortstop's glove.

Graham was the largest catalyst for Groton, hitting 4-for-4 with a monstrous RBI-triple in the sixth inning. She also worked a walk in her first of five appearances. 

Dryden's Dow made a pitching change after the first Graham blast, taking out starter Breanna Wendel and putting Kelly Melepe in for five innings. Dow said Wendel tweaked something in the first inning and attempted to play through it. She went through 17 batters and one inning of work with two strikeouts, three hits, six walks and three hit batters. 

Melepe gave up seven hits, walking six and hitting two batters -- it was actually the same batter in fellow pitcher J.J. Harriott, who reached base three of five appearances while taking one. 

Brianna Stafford pitched the final inning, going through three quick outs with a flyout to center, a groundout to second and a batter down looking. 

Trailing 13-3, it set up a comeback attempt by Dryden, a possibility Groton's Dow had warned of earlier in the game when the Indians made blunders on the base paths. The Lions scored four, batting around once before a flyout to center ended the game.

Kerri Calkins, batting clean-up, cleared the bases with a two-out hit that plated the final two runs and made it 13-7. 

Calkins was Graham's counterpart, hitting 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. She also scored a run in the sixth on a passed ball. 

"She was phenomenal for us tonight," Dow said. 

Melepe was also pivotal at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored in the final innning. 

Harriott got the start for Groton, going three innings and allowing three hits. She walked one batter over 13 faced and struck out one. 

Courney Parr again came in in relief, throwing four innings and walking one while allowing seven hits, six of which came on hard-hit balls in the final frame. She struck out three. 

Dryden collected 10 hits total to Groton's nine. 

For more on the Dow Series and what it's like to face your family in a coaching affair, see next week's Finger Lakes Community Newspapers. 

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