JERSEY SHORE - It has been an exhausting three days for the Jersey Shore softball team.
The Bulldogs opened the season on Tuesday against Midd-West before traveling to Mifflinburg for another road game on Wednesday. The Bulldogs finally came home to play league rival Selinsgrove on Thursday.
Despite the demanding schedule, Jersey Shore has answered every challenge and they did so again against the Seals after scoring four first-inning runs and receiving a solid effort in the circle from Brianna Stetts en route to an 8-3 win.
Averie Lorson took care of the offense, finishing with two hits and an RBI from the leadoff spot.
"It's really important, because you have to get everybody up for the game," Lorson said of being the leadoff hitter. "Everybody looks up to you, and once you get them fired up the entire team is ready to go."
Lorson's efforts helped Jersey Shore take advantage of Selinsgrove's decision to keep its outfielders in.
"We noticed they pulled their left fielder in, especially after they switched pitchers," Jersey Shore coach Chris Glenn said. "I was really happy with our hitters being able to recognize it. We hit several balls over their heads in left field. We made them pay for it."
Jess Allen took advantage of the shift in the first inning and sent a ball over the left fielder's head. The hit scored Lorson and gave Allen a double. Allen later scored when Rachel Duda, who finished with four hits, singled into left field.
Both Shelbie Wenner and Erin Engel also hit singles into left field in the opening inning. Engel drove in Duda to give Jersey Shore (3-0, 2-0) the early 4-0 lead. Wenner also hit a single in the third inning to score a run.
And it wasn't just her offense that helped the Bulldogs.
"I was really happy with Shelbie's (Wenner) performance. She played up today," Glenn said. "That's a spot we are replacing (center field) and I thought she did a fine job."
Wenner ended the first inning with a diving grab in shallow left field.
"I was really happy to see that, because our outfield has been struggling a little bit," Glenn said. "I saw a lot of improvement today. We had three games in a row and this was the first time we played on our field. I was really happy with the outfield's performance."
As the defense kept Selinsgrove at bay, the offense pushed the lead, scoring at least a run in five innings.
Jessica Willits helped set the final score by taking advantage of the outfield's alignment. She sent a ball over the left fielder's head and legged out a triple. Duda then recorded her second RBI with a single.
Selinsgrove (0-3) finally cracked Jersey Shore's defense late, scoring two runs in the sixth and posting another run in the seventh inning.
Selinsgrove 000 002 1 - 3 6 2
Jersey Shore 401 111 X -8 11 1
Liz Mosey, Jordan Wilt (4), and Jess Kerstetter. Brianna Stetts and Jess Willits. W -Stetts. L - Mosey.
Top Selinsgrove hitters: Liz Mosey 3-4, run; Katie Rice 2B, 3 RBI. Top Jersey Shore hitters: Averie Lorson 2-3, run, RBI; Jess Allen 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Willits 3B, 2 runs; Rachel Duda 3-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs.
Records: Selinsgrove 0-4. Jersey Shore 3-0. Next: Bald Eagle Area at Jersey Shore, Saturday, noon.