McCarthy, Shuman propel Montoursville

The Montoursville offense ran through Jordan McCarthy’s hitting as the sophomore catcher accounted for five of Montoursville’s eight runs and Montoursville pitcher Taylor Shuman held off Hughesville in an 8-1 win Saturday afternoon at McCall Field.

Montoursville (4-4) got back to a .500 record as it went 3-0 last week with wins over Milton, Lewisburg and Hughesville hoping to hit its stride and surpass its five-win total from a year ago. McCarthy was joined by Shuman, Madison Shaffer and Kaitlyn Klotz who each earned two hits in the game.

After a leadoff single by Shuman and Shaffer reaching on a bunt attempt in the first inning, McCarthy lived up to her position in the batting order as the cleanup hitter and drove in both runners with a double just out of reach for Megan Ryder in left field. Two batters later Jaylyn Cochran mimicked McCarthy and drive her in with a double hit to the same exact spot to make it a 3-0 lead after one inning.

“She’s been working hard and trying to be patient in the box and it paid off today,” Montoursville coach Mike Tate. “She has put in a lot of effort in to get where she is at.”

Staring at a 3-0 deficit for much of the game, Hughesville never quit. All nine girls kept stepping in determined to find a soft spot in the defense, but each time the ball was hit hard right at an infielder. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that Chylee Stroup found a spot for the ball between the right fielder and second baseman in the fifth inning.

Olivia Miller followed it up with a hard hit ground ball to Alexis Hartland at shortstop who got a force out at second, Miller the stole second and advanced to third on a ground out by Rachel Baxter, Miller later scored on a 2-2 pitch that got away from McCarthy for Hughesville’s only run.

“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way and today was one of those days,” Hughesville coach David Dimoff said. “The offense is there, we’ve played really good teams in Milton, Bloomsburg and Warrior Run, so we are still battling and hopefully the second half of the season will turn itself around. Defensively we made some mistakes that need to be corrected and we will work on.”

Shuman’s pitching made it difficult for Hughesville to make solid contact and gave up just three hits in a complete game.

“She did a stellar job today, she hasn’t pitched a lot over the years and is finally coming around,” Tate said.

After Hughesville’s run in the top of the fifth inning, Montoursville settled in and added five runs in its final two at-bats.

Bre O’Dell and Shuman led off with back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the fifth and both advanced a base when Shaffer laid down a sac bunt. O’Dell scored on a Weaver sac fly to deep center field and Shuman scored on McCarthy’s third RBI with another single to left.

“We saw the ball from (Lambert) very well today and we all were talking about her location in the dugout which made it pretty easy to jump on the good pitches,” McCarthy said.

The Warriors again found solid contact in the sixth inning and the leadoff hitters, Kristen George and Bre O’Dell hit two hard infield singles and were on first and second, Shuman filed out and Shaffer hit a single into left field which scored George and ended Lambert’s day with 98 pitches. Weaver ripped an RBI double off Hughesville reliever Rachel Baxter into center field that scored O’Dell, and McCarthy finished her day with an RBI sac fly to score Shaffer and extend Montoursville’s lead to 8-1.

“Defensively we were very sound today, offensively the girls adjusted to the pitcher very well and overall the girls played the way they are capable of playing throughout the whole game,” Tate said.

Montoursville 8,

Hughesville 1

Hughesville 000 010 0 — 1 3 2

Montoursville 300 023 x — 8 11 1

Taryn Lambert, Rachel Baxter (6) and Jenna Davis. Taylor Shuman and Jordan McCarthy. W: Shuman. L: Lambert.

Top Hughesville hitters: Mean Ryder 1-3; Lambert 1-3; Chylee Stroup 1-3. Top Montoursville hitters: Shuman 2-4, 2 runs; Madison Shaffer 2-3, 2 runs, RBI; Mackenzie Weaver 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; McCarthy 2-4, 2B, run, 4 RBIs; Kaitlyn Klotz 2-3; Jaylyn Cochran 1-2, run, RBI; Bre O’Dell 1-3, 2 runs.

Record: Hughesville (3-5), Montoursville (4-4). Next game: Hughesville at Loyalsock, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.; Central Columbia at Montoursville, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.