Clinton cruises to open Section 3 tournament with convincing win

LOCK HAVEN — Any Little League coach will tell you how critical dynamic pitching is to a team’s success. So when Clinton’s Reagan Weaver opened the game with six consecutive strikeouts, coach Shawn Weaver knew his squad was headed toward a victory.

Clinton smacked 13 hits en route to a dominating 23-2 win over Minersville in the opening round of of the Section 3 tournament. The win advanced Clinton in the winners’ bracket, where it faces Mifflinburg today at 5:30 p.m.

“We came out swinging, we were aggressive at the plate and that was our game plan,” Shawn Weaver said. “They were aggressive and executed. Our girls just came out ready from the get-go.”

Reagan Weaver threw a game-high eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings.

“We threw a lot of strikes today,” Shawn Weaver said. “We didn’t give them extra base runners, which always helps. And defensively we played well.”

Clinton jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the first. After Camdyn Weaver ripped a lead-off single, and Eva Sockman was hit by a pitch, Reagan Weaver smacked a two-run single to put Clinton ahead, 2-0. Aubrey Eiler followed with an RBI triple to extend the lead, 3-0.

“We jumped out early to that 3-0 lead, which is always good,” Weaver said. “Especially at this age range. If you can get out to a lead the other girls start to get a doubt in their mind, and that’s what our game plan is.”

Keystone posted eight runs in the third after a scoreless second inning. Eiler scored on a wild pitch before Elise McKean smacked a one-run single and Lilly Germello followed with a an RBI double, making it 7-0. Sierra Kemmerer added to the lead with a one-run single, before Camdyn Weaver’s RBI triple made it 9-0. Eva Sockman and Reagan Weaver ended the inning with back-to-back RBIs to make it 11-0.

Reagan Weaver allowed her first base runner in the third after walking the two lead off batters, but she ended the inning unscathed with a pair of strikeouts.

“She has been throwing the ball well,” coach Weaver said of Reagan. “Pitching and defense wins championships, and I think if we continue to pitch well, and do the things right at the plate, we’re going to have a chance at winning sectionals.”

With patience Clinton manufactured an additional five runs in the fourth. Already ahead 15-0, Aubrey Eiler, Cheyenne Weaver, Elly Scarborogh, Kassie Williams and Emily Motter all drew RBI walks to stretch the lead, 20-0 in the inning.

“At this level a lot of it is just playing disciplined and not chasing pitches,” Weaver said. “Our girls understand the strike zone, and they understand a pitch they can hit hard, as opposed to a pitch they can just hit. I’m just super proud of all of them.”

Clinton completed its scoring when Camdyn Weaver cracked a bases-clearing triple to widen the game, 23-0.