Even as the first pitch sailed past Alissa DePadua for a ball, the threat of thunderstorms loomed as a collection of dark clouds hovered near Elm Park.
The game needed to be quick, and Williamsport delivered.
The No. 1 seeded Millionaires had five of their nine starters go for multiple hits and Alexis Bower carry a one-hitter through six innings as they defeated the No. 4 seeded Delaware Valley Warriors, 8-0. It was the only District 4 playoff game completed before storms hit late Tuesday afternoon. All games were postponed. See page C-4 for a revised schedule.
Brooke Pompeo of Williamsport rounds third base and heads for home on a hit in the second inning Tuesday at Elm Park. In back is Delaware Valley’s Brittney Midlarsky.
The win advanced Williamsport into the District 2/4 Class AAAA championship to face the winner of No. 3 Hazleton. Williamsport defeated Wallenpaupack in last year's championship, 1-0.
Williamsport's (17-3) offense rallied to score six second inning runs after being blanked in the first inning.
A tough seven-pitch count opened the bottom of the second inning, with Kaitlyn Caringi winning the battle and reaching safely with a single down the left-field line. Caringi finished going 3-for-3 on the day.
"Caringi has been doing a really good job for us," Quint Bower said. "When Mikayla (Bower) went down we needed somebody in the middle of the order to drive runs in. She has done a great job for us in the middle."
Caringi was quickly brought around when Dru Heller drove the first pitch of her at-bat through the defense for a triple. A walk and single by Heather Inners and Taylor Brooks, respectively, then loaded the bases.
Williamsport's No. 9 hitter, Tiana McCormick, added to the rally with a single, which Brooke Pompeo followed with her second single of the contest to drive in another run.
The chain of Millionaires reaching safely ended when Samantha Fischer hit into a fielder's choice. Despite the interruption, Fischer still managed to drive another run in.
The next three Williamsport batters all connected with hits.
Alexis Bower drove a hard ground ball past the third baseman for an RBI double, Dominique Thomas connected with an RBI single and, on her second at-bat of the inning, Caringi drove an RBI single into left field.
When the second finally came to a close, Williamsport had tallied six runs on seven hits.
"I'm really pleased with the hitting tonight," Quint Bower said. "We've been hitting all year, but other teams have been able to come up with key hits. We hit, but we didn't always get the key hits."
Alexis Bower was her usual hard-throwing self, striking out 14 batters in six innings of work. Only three Delaware Valley (9-7) hitters reached first, with just one advancing any further.
Nicoletta Cuccio whose single squeezed between two strikeouts in the first inning was Delaware Valley's only hit, opened the fourth drawing a four-pitch walk. Cuccio then stole second, but Bower fanned the next two batters and got the third out with a groundout to first base.
"I'm really proud of the kids tonight," Quint Bower said.
Pompeo helped add an insurance run in the third, driving Heather Inners home by hitting into a fielder's choice. Inners opened the inning with a single and was advanced to third thanks to consecutive hits from Brooks and McCormick.
The Millionaires capped the scoring in the fourth when Thomas opened with a five-pitch walk. Caringi and Heller then added two straight singles before thunderstorms did the rest.
Delaware Valley 000 00-0 1 1
Williamsport 061 10-8 13 0
Lia Matz, Natalie Mickles (5) and Nicoletta Cuccio. Alexis Bower and Heather Inners. WP-Bower. LP-Matz.
Top Delaware Valley hitters: Cuccio 1-2, RBI, SB. Top Williamsport hitters: Brooke Pompeo 2-4, run, 2 RBI; Bower 2B, run, RBI; Kaitlin Caringi 3-3, run, RBI; Dru Heller 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, run; Inners 1-2, 2 runs; Tiana McCormick 2-3, RBI.
Records: Delaware Valley 9-7. Williamsport 17-3.
Next: Williamsport vs. winner of No. 3 Hazleton/No. 2 Wallenpaupack, TBA.