Freshmen Kayla Gee and Kendall Watkins shined in their postseason debuts Thursday at Short Park, combining to help Loyalsock edge Towanda 1-0 in a nine-inning District 4 Class AA quarterfinal. Gee threw a three-hit complete game and struck out 14, while Watkins drilled a walk-off single that scored Amanda Daneker.
Loyalsock (16-5) advanced to Tuesday's semifinals for the first time since 2009 and will meet Central Columbia, a 7-0 winner of Troy.
Gee dominated Towanda (13-8) throughout and Daneker helped thwart two of its few rallies, throwing out runners trying to steal. Center fielder Ally Kennedy made a brilliant catch at the fence in the ninth inning, robbing Alaina Wickwire of a potential go-ahead hit and setting the stage for the winning rally.
Daneker hit a hard grounder to shortstop to start the inning and reached on the ensuing error before going to second on a wild pitch. Allison Czap bunted her to third and Watkins then ripped the game-winning single into left field. Gee left a runner on third in the eighth inning and threw her best game this season while also going 2 for 3. Kennedy went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice. Loyalsock and Central split two one-run games earlier this season.
Towanda000 000 000-0 3 3
Loyalsock000 000 001-1 5 1
Kayla Gee and Amanda Daneker. Aliana Wickwire and Sam Dawsey.
Top Towanda hitters: Wickwire 1-3; Sam Schoonover 1-3; Laura Manning 1-3. Top Loyalsock hitters: Gee 2-3; Allison Czap 1-3, sacrifice; Kendall Watkins 1-4, GW RBI; Ally Kennedy 1-2, sacrifice.
Records: Loyalsock 16-5.