It may have gotten a little closer than Youngsville's coaching staff would've liked. In the end, a win is a win.
The Lady Eagles built a seven-run lead, staved off a furious seventh-inning Eisenhower rally and won the season opener for both teams, 13-10, Tuesday at Youngsville High School.
"There were some first-game jitters for sure," said Eagles assistant coach Brian Reynolds. "Both teams have a lot of young girls at key positions and there were some mistakes made today. But we couldn't be happier to start the season with a victory.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Not in time
Youngsville’s Kennedy Cratty, right, slides safely into third base ahead of the tag by Eisenhower shortstop Jessica Byrd during a softball game Tuesday at Youngsville High School. The Eagles won the county rivalry game, 13-10.
"We did a great job hitting the ball and were aggressive on the bases," he added. "We struggled in the field, but that should get better with time."
Knights coach R.J. Williams didn't want to start the season with a loss, but was pleased with the way his Knights responded to deficits of 6-0 and 13-6.
"I'm very encouraged with how the team responded to being down in the game," said Williams. "It really says a lot about the resiliency of our young team. There really was a playoff atmosphere out there today and Youngsville got the first win. But it's a long season."
After a scoreless inning and a half to start the game, the Eagles broke through in a big way, scoring five times in the bottom of the second.
With one out, Jessica Jameson was hit by a pitch and Julia Sveda followed by hitting a slow roller in the infield. After a series of throwing errors by the Knights, Jameson scored to make it 1-0 and Sveda found herself standing on third. Moments later, Sveda scored on a perfectly placed squeeze bunt by the Eagles' Kelsey Anderson. Anderson was safe at first on the play, allowing the rally to continue.
Colleen Rex and Kennedy Cratty followed Anderson's RBI with back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out. Amber Fox drove home the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly and Shelby Anderson delivered an RBI to make it 4-0. The final run of the inning scored when Cratty raced home on a passed ball.
Youngsville extended the lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third when a groundout by Kelsey Anderson allowed Karissa Cratty to score from third.
The Eagles appeared to be cruising toward victory, but Eisenhower had other plans, exploding for six runs in their half of the fourth inning.
Freshman Haylie Birt led off the big inning with a single and moved to second on a groundout by Brooke Stanton. The next five Knights batters would all reach base. Dakota Williams walked and Kristen Williams delivered an RBI fielder's choice. Ashley Barnett followed with an RBI single and two more runs scored when a ball put into play by Natasha Morrison was misplayed.
After Kearsten Maine also reached on an error, Ike got a sacrifice fly from Kelsey Repke and an RBI single from Jessica Byrd to tie things at 6-6 before the Eagles finally recorded the third out.
The game didn't stay tied for long as the Eagles plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth. The biggest hit of the inning was a clutch two-out, two run single by Jameson and Youngsville's third run of the frame came when Karissa Cratty scored on a passed ball to make it 9-6.
The 9-6 score held up until the bottom of the sixth when the Eagles got what would prove to be some very important insurance runs. Sveda was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 10-6 and Elise Dunn scored on a passed ball to make it 11-6. Finally, Kennedy Cratty drove home a pair with a two-run single and the Eagles led 13-6 after six full.
The Lady Knights had one more rally in the tank.
The rally started quickly when Birt crushed a pitch to deep left for the season's first homer. Stanton and Dakota Williams followed with back-to-back singles and Kristen Williams walked to load the bases with nobody out.
Barnett was hit by a pitch to close the gap to 13-8 and, after the first out, a ball hit by Maine was misplayed allowing two runs to score and the lead to be cut to 13-10.
With one out and the potential tying run now at the plate, Youngsville pitcher Fox got a strikeout and a groundout in succession to end the wild game.
Birt was the offensive star for the Knights, finishing 3-of-4 with a home run. Despite being the losing pitcher, she did strike out four Eagles. Repke, Byrd, Stanton, Barnett and Dakota Williams all finished with one hit and Barnett had two RBI.
Rex, Kennedy Cratty and Jameson all had two hits in the Youngsville win. Kennedy Cratty, Shelby Anderson and Kelsey Anderson all drove in two runs and Fox was the winning pitcher with eight strikeouts.
Youngsville (1-0) returns to action Thursday, hosting Fairview. The Knights (0-1) are in action that same day, hosting Villa Maria.
EISENHOWER (10): ab-r-h-rbi: Repke, 1b, 3-0-1-1, Byrd, ss, 5-0-1-1, Birt, p, 4-2-3-1, Stanton, c, 3-0-1-0, D. Williams, 2b, 3-2-1-0, K. Williams, cf, 3-2-0-1, Barnett, rf, 3-1-1-2, Morrison, 3b, 4-1-0-0, Maine, lf, 4-1-0-0, Schwanke, pr,0-1-0-0, Totals: 32-10-8-6
YOUNGSVILLE (13): ab-r-h-rbi: Rex, c, 4-1-2-0, Ke. Cratty, ss, 3-1-2-2, Fox, p, 4-0-0-1, S. Anderson, 3b, 2-1-0-1, Dunn, 1b, 3-2-1-0, Ka. Cratty, lf, 2-2-0-0, Jameson, cf, 2-2-2-2, Sveda, rf, 3-2-0-1, K. Anderson, 2b, 3-1-0-2, Lewis, pr, 0-1-0-0, Totals: 26-13-7-9
Eisenhower 000 600 4 - 10 8
Youngsville 051 304 x - 13 7
HR-Birt (E). WP-Fox. LP-Birt.
Sheffield 22, Johnsonburg 12
JOHNSONBURG - May 17, 2010.
Until Tuesday, that was the last time that the Sheffield softball team walked off the diamond victorious.
A string of 18 straight losses was broken in Tuesday's season opener as the Wolverines earned a 22-12 road victory over the Johnsonburg Rams.
"I'm so happy for the girls," said Sheffield coach Tracey Vile. "After the way last season went, it was great to see them hit the ball hard and get a victory so early in the season."
In addition to the way the Wolverines hit the ball, Vile also credited the strong pitching of freshman pitcher Maddie Fiscus. Fiscus struck out 10 Rams batters and walked just one in Tuesday's impressive win.
Trailing 3-1, the Wolverines pulled ahead for good in the top of the second inning. A six-run outburst by the visitors was highlighted by RBI singles from Anna Baldensperger and Fiscus and a three-run bases clearing single by Rachel Maines.
The strong second inning was only outdone by the seven runs scored by Sheffield in the seventh. A two-run triple by Hannah Vile and a two-run double by Baldensperger were the key hits in the inning as Sheffield turned a 15-11 edge into a 22-11 advantage.
Seven Sheffield batters finished with at least two hits. Vile and Erin Fry recorded three hits each and Baldensperger, Fiscus, Sammy Pollock, Maines and Brooke Hoffman had two apiece. Vile led the team with four RBI and Baldensperger and Maines chipped in three each.
Sheffield will try to make it two in a row Thursday when it visits East Forest.
SHEFFIELD (22): ab-r-h-rbi: Barr, ss, 5-2-1-0, Baldensperger, cf, 6-3-2-3, Fiscus, p, 6-2-2-0, Vile, 1b, 5-3-3-4, Pollock, 2b, 4-2-2-1, Maines, 3b, 6-2-2-3, Pratz, lf, 3-3-1-0, Hoffman, c, 5-2-2-0, Fry, rf, 4-3-3-0, Totals: 42-22-18-11
JOHNSONBURG (12): ab-r-h-rbi: Kocjancic, 2b, 5-2-2-0, Dwyer, c, 4-2-0-1, Myers, ss, 5-4-4-5, Galsick, 1b, 4-0-1-1, Hefright, cf, 4-1-1-0, Wildnauer, lf, 4-0-1-1, Fabris, 3b, 4-0-0-0, Akers, rf, 1-0-0-0, Sollario, rf, 3-2-0-0, Marciniak, p, 4-1-0-0, Totals: 38-12-9-8
Sheffield 161 304 7 - 22 18
Johnsonburg 302 303 1 - 12 9
2b-Baldensperger (S), Fry (S), Myers (J) 2. 3b-Vile (S). HR-Myers (J). WP-Fiscus. LP-Marciniak.
Warren 8, Harbor Creek 1
HARBORCREEK - Warren battled Harbor Creek in three close games last season, including an extra-inning play-in game to move on in the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
This year's Lady Dragons jumped out to an early lead over the Huskies and never looked back, winning its Region 6 and season opener, 8-1, on the road.
"Like us, they graduated just one senior and have much of their nucleus back," said Warren coach Mark Bupp. "I was very pleased with the way we came out and hit the ball. I was happy for Rachel (Hasselman) and Kaitlin (Ishman) to hit the ball out of the park as well. We had a lot of hard hits today. Even a number of our outs were on hard hit balls. It was great to see many of the positives we saw in our scrimmages carry over into the season opener."
The Dragons scored the season's first run in the top of the first inning. Jaimie Eaton walked and stole second before scoring on Hasselman's RBI double to start the scoring. The Huskies would tie things in the bottom of the first, but it would prove to be their lone run of the day.
Warren (1-0) went ahead for good in the second when Erica Blair led off with a single and moved to second on Sam Bevevino's walk. Taylor Mineweaser then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Harbor Creek's throw was wild, allowing Blair to score. Moments later, Eaton knocked in a pair with a single and the Dragons lead swelled to 4-1.
Warren's next three runs all came via the long ball. Hasselman led off the third with a solo shot and Ishman added a two-run dinger in the top of the fourth. Warren's final run came in the seventh when pinch runner Meghan Loutzenhiser scored on an RBI single by Bevevino.
Hasselman finished 3-for-4 in the win with a pair of RBI. Ishman, Eaton, Blair, Bevevino and Kennedy Walter all added one hit each and Ishman and Eaton contributed two RBI each.
Alexa Bupp was solid on the mound, earning the win and allowing just one run on two hits while striking out six.
"I thought (catcher) Shaley (Williams) did a fantastic job working together with Lex," said Bupp. "It was nice way to start the season."
The Dragons return to action Tuesday, visiting Cambridge Springs.
WARREN (8): ab-r-h-rbi, Ishman, 2b 4-2-1-2, Eaton, ss 3-1-1-2, Hultquist, rf 4-0-0-0, Hasselman, 1b 4-1-3-2, Bupp, p 4-0-1-0, Blair, lf 4-1-1-0, Bevevino, 3b 2-0-1-1, Mineweaser, dp 3-1-0-0, Walter, cf 4-1-1-0, Williams, c 0-0-0-0, Meghan Loutzenhiser, pr, 0-1-0-0, Totals 32-8-9-7.
HARBOR CREEK (1): Pasierb, 3b 3-1-1-0, Reichenback, cf 3-0-0-0, N. Rzodkiewicz, c 3-0-0-0, K. Rzodkiewicz, p 2-0-1-0, Angelo, cr 0-0-0-0, Reilly, 1b 3-0-0-0, D. Faipler, rf 3-0-0-0, A. Faipler, 2b 3-0-0-0, Miller, ss 2-0-0-0, Dougan, lf 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-1-2-0.
Warren 131 200 1 - 8 9 1
Harbor Creek 100 000 0 - 1 2 5
2B-Hasselman (W), Bupp (W), Pasierb (H). HR-Ishman (W), Hasselman (W). IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO: W-Bupp 7-2-1-1-1-6, HC-K. Rzodkiewicz 7-9-8-5-3-7.
Junior varsity game
Harbor Creek 8, Warren 1
East Forest 26, TCCS 0
MARIENVILLE - East Forest scored 22 runs in the second inning of a 26-0 win over Tidioute on Tuesday.
TCCS coach Jackie Nuttall has said from the onset that the Lady Bulldogs are just learning the game, with a lot of new players.
"They really are improving," she said, noting that you can't tell from the box score.
TCCS (0): ab-r-h-rbi, Kitelinger ss 0-0-0, Wolford p-3b 2-0-0, A.Lindemuth c 2-0-0, L. Lindemuth 3b-p 1-0-0, McChesney 2b 0-0-0, Sonney 1B 1-0-0, Weilacher rf 1-0-0, Schaberl cf 1-0-0, Pyle lf 1-0-0. Totals 9-0-0.
EAST FOREST (26): Harriger p 2-4-1-3, McLaughlin ss 2-4-2-2, Kahle c 1-4-1-0, Motter lf 2-1-2-3, Niner lf 1-1-1-0, Clow cf 2-2-1-0, Holman cf 1-1-0-0, Minich 3b 1-2-1-3, Smith 3b 1-2-1-1, Songer 1b 1-1-1-2, Harp 1b 1-0-0-1, Lugo dp 0-1-0-1, Parrett dp 0 1-0-2, King 2b 1-1-0-1, Spicer 0-1-0-2. Totals 16-26-11
TCCS 000 - 0 0
East Forest 4(22) - 26 11