ONEONTA _ Jessica Kruh's winning hit for Schenevus seemed appropriate given the weather for the Tri-Valley League softball final Monday.
With rain coming down intermittently in drips and drabs, the Dragons senior dropped a blooper into shallow left-center to score Taylor Spranger and lead Schenevus to its fifth straight T-V title with an 11-10 win over Franklin at Oneonta State.
"It wasn't an outstanding hit," Kruh said of her lone hit on the day, a single with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, "but it found the right spot. I haven't been hitting well lately, but it felt good to get that one. It was lucky."
Franklin (13-2) scored three times in each of the fifth and sixth innings to take a 10-9 lead.
But a pair of Purple Devils errors in the bottom of the sixth helped Schenevus re-take the lead.
Amy Weber started the rally with a one-out double to center. Spranger then reached when center fielder Alexis Hurlburt dropped a flyball as Weber advanced to third. Spranger then stole second and Weber scored the tying run when catcher Haley Downin's throw to second sailed over shortstop Jessie Terrano and into center field.
Spranger went to third on the play and scored on Kruh's soft hit to left-center.
"I had complete faith in her in that situation," Spranger said of Kruh. "She always comes up big."
After struggling in the fifth and sixth innings, Spranger got two quick outs in the top of the seventh. She had Franklin down to its final strike, when Jordan Beers singled up the middle and stole second base. That brought Franklin's No. 3 hitter, Terrano, to the plate and Marisa Cawley to the on-deck circle. The duo had combined for six hits, five runs and five RBIs.
"I was pretty nervous at that point," said Schenevus coach Ron Spranger, who is Taylor's dad. "I definitely did not want to see the next batter. Cawley had blistered us all day."
Terrano did hit the ball sharply, but right at shortstop Weber, who fielded the grounder and threw to Kruh at first to end it.
East champ Schenevus (12-6) and West winner Franklin shared the league title last season when rain prevented a cross-over game. The Dragons won the title outright from 2008-2011, including a 7-0 victory over the Purple Devils in 2009.
Early on, the Dragons appeared to enjoy the steady rain that fell throughout most of the first four innings, building a 9-4 lead.
"This was our fifth game in this kind of weather," Ron Spranger said. "The Franklin pitcher (Angie Willert), the wet ball seemed to bother her. It didn't bother Taylor at all. We seem to like the nasty stuff. In fact, when the rain stopped, they pitched better and we pitched worse."
Added Taylor Spranger: "Rain is my kind of pitching weather. I think I get better traction on the ball."
The rain had the opposite effect on Franklin's Willert. Schenevus scored two runs in the first inning on a double by Weber, a triple by Spranger and a double by Maura Harrington.
The Dragons scored three more in the second inning and four in the third, when Willert walked three and threw a wild pitch. There was also a passed ball that scored a run, and Weber scored two with a double.
Franklin scored two runs apiece in the second and third innings. Katie Allen hit an RBI double in the second inning and Cawley had a two-run double in the third.
After falling behind, 9-4, the Purple Devils got back into the game in the fifth and sixth innings.
Cawley contributed a two-run triple in the fifth inning and scored on Willert's RBI single as Franklin closed to 9-7. The Purple Devils still had the bases loaded with one out, but Spranger caught a liner by Sarah Gladding and popup by Downin.
"I don't ever feel pressure in situations like that," Spranger said. "I like situations like that."
In the sixth, Beers and Terrano led off with back-to-back doubles to make it 9-8. Terrano then stole third and scored the tying run on Willert's single. Hurlburt followed with an RBI single to give the Purple Devils a 10-9 lead.
Coach Spranger said he never considered taking his daughter out of the circle.
"It never even crossed my mind," he said. "She was made for situations like that.
"I have faith in my girls," Spranger continued. "It worried me a little bit when they came back on us, because Franklin is a good-hitting team. They had all the momentum, but we gutted it out."
For Schenevus, Weber hit three doubles, scored twice and had two RBIs.
Franklin held a 15-8 advantage in hits. Beers went 3-for-4 and scored three runs, Terrano went 3-for-5 with three runs and Cawley went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs.
Despite winning the Tri-Valley League title, Schenevus will start the Section Four Class D playoffs on the road Thursday. The 10th-seeded Dragons will play at No. 7 Gilbersville-Mount Upton. Top-seeded Franklin has a first-round bye and will host the Milford-Margaretville winner May 29.
Schenevus 11, Franklin 10
TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
at Oneonta State
Franklin 022 033 0 _ 10 15 3
Schenevus 234 002 x _ 11 8 1
Angie Willert (L) and Haley Downin. Taylor Spranger (W) and Maura Harrington. 2B _ Amy Weber (S) 3, Maura Harrington (S), Jordan Beers (F), Jessie Terrano (F), Katie Allen (F), Marisa Cawley (F). 3B _ Taylor Spranger (S), Marisa Cawley (F).