Bulldogs fall to unbeaten Valley View

SCRANTON – The greatest gift any departing senior can give her respective school is a career young teammates can emulate.

Jersey Shore opened the PIAA Class AAA softball playoffs at Marywood University against District 2 winner Valley View.

And, even though the Bulldogs fell, 5-0, to the Cougars, Holly Peacock put the final stamp on a four-year career worth emulating.

Peacock had a hand in five of the Bulldogs’ (15-9) first six putouts and notched the only hit of the day against Valley View’s Gina Chieffallo

“She is a quality player,” Valley View coach E.J. Weston said of Peacock. “She’s just an all around great player.”

After Peacock’s breakthrough single, Chieffallo retired the next 11 batters to close out the game.

That streak included Peacock, who struck out in her final at-bat, but never stopped supporting her teammates.

“She keeps the girls in the game,” Glenn said of Peacock. “Up until the last out, even after she struck out, she still is talking to the girls and keeping them up.”

Despite all that, Chieffallo was just too good.

The Cougars’ ace struck out 13, and faced just two over the limit to help Valley View remain perfect at 22-0. Bryce Hillyard, who was hit by a fastball in the elbow, was the only other Bulldog to reach base.

“She’s been consistent for us over the last three years,” Weston said. “She’s been in these big games before, and we’re just happy with the way she’s pitching.”

Weston, knowing any early runs for Chieffallo would amp up the pressure, bunted his first two hitters. Both reached safely.

“It’s all about gaining momentum,” Weston said. “We were able to read the defense. We saw something we liked, so we went with it.”

The bunts were followed by a Clare Sebastianelli single to load the bases.

It appeared for a moment the game was going to be busted open early, but Peacock made a tough stop on a hard grounder for the force out at third. Peacock was called on again when Rebecca Caputo fielded a ground ball and went with the force out at third. The inning ended with a pop-out to Peacock.

“We were focused and I thought we did a really good job on defense,” Glenn said.

The defense built on a solid showing in the District 4 final, receiving quality plays from Peacock and Hanna Yost at shortstop. Peacock made the final out of the first four innings, and Yost made a back-handed catch in the sixth inning.

“We’re going to take something good out of here, even though it’s a loss,” Glenn said. “We made some pretty good plays. I’m proud of what we accomplished this year.”

Jersey Shore 000 000 0-0 1 1

Valley View 201 101 x-5 9 0

Rebecca Caputo and Bryce Hillyard. Gina Chieffallo and Anna McElroy. WP-Chieffallo. LP-Caputo.

Top Jersey Shore hitters: Holly Peacock 1-3. Top Valley View hitters: Blayse Cholish 3-3, HR, 2 runs, RBI; Casey Pearce 2-3; Alex Wiltz 2-3, 2B, run.

Records: Jersey Shore 15-9. Valley View 22-0.