South majors roll past Back Mountain
PLYMOUTH — In Tuesday’s opening round of the Pennsylvania major softball tournament, South Williamsport’s first lead of the game didn’t come until the final swing of the bat.
On Wednesday, the result was much more certain.
It took just five innings Wednesday for South Williamsport to roll into the winners’ bracket final, as the team took care of Back Mountain, 10-0, due to the mercy rule.
South will get a day off before facing Lakeland on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. here in Plymouth. The winner there will get a spot in Saturday’s championship game, and would have to win one game in two tries to become the state champ.
“We fixed some mistakes we made yesterday, and we put the ball in play and they helped us out a bit defensively,” said coach Cory Goodman. “We got up on them early and our pitcher got stronger as the game went on and played great defense today.”
South came out strong defensively, which led to a 1-2-3 first inning and some early momentum. That was in stark contrast to Tuesday’s opener, when South started off slow and came back in the final inning to win in walk-off fashion.
South Pitcher Alizabeth Schuler and left fielder Kendall Cardone both had great games, with Schuler striking out six Back Mountain hitters and going 2 for 4 at the plate, and Cardone going 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
“I was a little nervous at first because we faced them last year in the 8, 9, 10 division, but then I thought, ‘we beat them last year and they were basically the same team and we have better bats this year,'” Schuler said. “I felt pretty good because I was very loose before the game with pitching and then my dad helped me in the cage with my hitting, so I felt pretty good overall.”
“I felt real happy and confident in myself,” said Cardone, who believes her team won’t take the day off for granted. “I feel like we need to have a little bit of fun in there because you can’t just be by yourself and lazy all day, but to have some fun and not wear yourself out for Friday.”
Lynna Clark, Lily Reidy and Sage Lorson each had two hits on the day and contributed at least one RBI. Schuler led off the game with the lone triple of the day, and Reidy and Cardone each had doubles. Clark clinched the mercy rule win with the game-ending RBI.
“We had great approaches at the plate and we’re playing good defense,” Goodman said. “And I think that we will be good.”
South looks to keep the momentum rolling into Friday, and will try to focus on not letting their foot off the gas.
“We look to keep the same intensity going into Friday,” Goodman said. “And if these girls are focused, the sky is the limit for them.”