Mounties stop Warrior rally in seventh inning
A low ball from South Williamsport’s Emily Hennigan allowed Jaylnn Cochran and Faith Foster to move over to third and second base, respectively. For Montoursville, it seemed like a possible rally was in the works.
With the two runners on, Montoursville not only had runners in scoring position, but only trailed by two. But the rally never materialized.
An opportunity for a huge hit resulted in a routine grounder toward third base which South Williamsport easily fielded. Just like that, any Montoursville rally attempt ended and South Williamsport escaped, 6-4 on Thursday.
“In all of our losses this year, that’s been the game: six inches foul instead of six inches fair or getting a timely hit when we need a timely hit. But they made some nice defensive plays,” Montoursville coach Mike Tate said. “That pitcher saved herself a couple times with those nice defensive players up the middle. Center fielder made a nice catch out there on a line drive. That’s difference in the game right there: six inches here, six inches there.”
“That was tough (in the seventh inning). A lot of freshmen and sophomores out there, and we’ve had some blowouts here this year and then we didn’t have a very good game on Tuesday, so we haven’t really been in that tight first-to-seventh inning tight game and they handled it,” South Williamsport coach Scott Stugart said. “Emmy, that’s only her third varsity start this year and they came through with some really, really big plays there when we needed them.”
South Williamsport scored three runs in the top of the first inning. It opened the game with three consecutive singles by Ashley Gardner, Sydney Bachman and Hanna Hennigan, then an error allowed Emily Hennigan to reach and bring in a run.
Alexis Schuler came through and took a 1-2 count and drilled a single into left field to bring in two runs.
South Williamsport had five players record two hits in Bachman (2 for 5), Hanna Hennigan (2 for 4), Schuler (2 for 4, two RBIs), Lilly Eiswerth (2 for 4, triple) and Haley Neidig (2 for 4).
“Maddy Jean has done so well for them, she’s been shutting a lot of good teams down. The girls, you could just tell when they warmed up they were ready to go and sometimes that doesn’t translate into the game right away, but they came right out shooting from there on,” Stugart said. “To be able to sustain that, I mean not at that pace, but at least to tack one on here and there and not be satisfied, that’s a neat thing for coaches to see for such a young team to not be satisfied.”
Montoursville (3-4) kept chipping away, scoring a run in the bottom of the first when Jordan McCarthy (2 for 3, walk, RBI, run) had an RBI single into center field to bring in Taylor Shuman (1 for 3, two runs) and make it a 3-1 deficit.
After the Mounties scored again in the top of the second when Bachman scored on an error to go ahead 4-1, Montoursville scored twice in the bottom of the inning to trail by just one run.
Jean went 2 for 4 for the Warriors and both Faith Foster and Maddy Probst also recorded hits.
“I can’t complain, they’re all fighters. They all want to win, they all play hard. You saw play shortstop made out there, Madison Shaffer, she’s a gamer on defense,” Tate said. “If we can get her bat in the game, she’ll be all the way around complete ball player. As far as the game goes, we gave ourselves a shot, we just couldn’t find a hole. We had tying run on second base, just couldn’t get her in.”
Shaffer made an excellent play at shortstop in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, the Montoursville sophomore dove to not only keep the ball infront of her, but scooped it and got her glove on second base for the inning-ending out.
Emily Hennigan did solid in just her third varsity start. After Montoursville collected four hits in the first two innings, Hennigan held the Warriors to just three singles over the final five innings and held the Warriors to 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and Montoursville stranded 10 base runners.
The Mounties tacked on a fifth run in the top of the third inning. After Eiswerth crushed a triple to the left field, Bella Bachman hit a single into shallow right to bring in the run and take a 5-3 lead.
The final run for South came in the top of the fifth when Neidig reached on a single, then was walked home with two outs for a 6-3 lead.
Jean only allowed one extra base hit to the Mounties and forced South Williamsport to strand 11 runners.
Montoursville scored one run in the bottom of the seventh inning when Foster hit an RBI single to right to allow Jordan McCarthy to score to cut the deficit to two runs. Montoursville’s next two batters however popped out to the pitcher and grounded to third to end the game.
South Williamsport 311 010 0 — 6 12 3
Montoursville 120 000 1 — 3 7 3
Emily Hennigan and Hanna Hennigan. Madi Jean and Jordan McCarthy. W: Hennigan. L: Jean.
Top South Williamsport hitters: Sydney Bachman 2-5, 2 runs; Hanna Hennigan 2-4, BB, run; Alexis Schuler 2-4, 2 RBIs; Lilly Eiswerth 2-4, 3B, run; Haley Neidig 2-4, run; Bella Bachman 1-4, RBI; Ashley Gardner 1-5. Top Montoursville hitters: Taylor Shuman 1-3, BB, 2 runs; Madi Jean 2-4; Jordan McCarthy 2-3, BB, RBI, run; Faith Foster 1-4, RBI; Maddy Probst 1-2, BB, run.
Records: South Williamsport (6-1), Montoursville (3-4).