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Loyalsock softball defeats Montgomery in Summer Town League finale at Short Park

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Montgomery's Jocelyn McCracken looks to throw toward first base as a Loyalsock player runs by her at James Short Park.

When Jenna Waring was in the circle for Montgomery, Loyalsock’s offense couldn’t seem to get the spark it wanted. Waring had limited Loyalsock to just four hits through four innings of work, but when Montgomery put in a new pitcher, it was the opportunity Loyalsock was hoping for.

The pitching change helped Loyalsock’s hitters get into a rhythm and get their timing down.

Loyalsock batted completely through the lineup in the bottom of the fifth inning, having 10 consecutive batters reach base before the first out was recorded and scored seven runs to break the close game wide open.

After trailing by one, Loyalsock suddenly was up by six and cruised the rest of the way, defeating Montgomery, 15-2, at James Short Park under the lights in the finale of the Summer Town League.

“Chris (Glenn) threw two or three pitchers out there and I think that fifth inning, they started getting their timing down and started hitting line drives and hitting it hard,” Loyalsock coach Eric McNulty said. “We always say ‘if you hit it hard, good things are going to happen.’ They started hitting the ball hard and were running the bases well.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Montgomery's Rachel Lorson fields a ground ball against Loyalsock during a game at James Short Park on Wednesday night.

“They just feed off each other. When you get one or two kids to get going, the rest get going.”

After a walk and single put two runners on to start the inning, Mari Houseknecht reached base with an error to drive in a run. Allyia Kennedy came up huge two batters later with bases loaded and crushed a deep double into left-center field to bring in two more runs.

Loyalsock used a five-hit performance that inning, coupled with a handful of walks and an error, to do damage.

“We were happy that we could come out and win this last game,” Loyalsock’s Marissa Helmrich said. “I’m kind of sad that it’s over because I like playing with my high school team, but I’m glad that we could come out here with a win in the last game.”

Helmrich helped stifle Montgomery in the final two innings as she recorded six strikeouts and allowed just one runner to reach base.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Loyalsock short stop Mallory Rodarmel fields a ground ball during Wednesday's game at James Short Park against Montgomery.

“I have a great group of girls behind me that can back me up pitching or wherever I’m playing,” Helmrich said. “I’m thankful for my infield when I’m pitching and my outfield backs me up very well.”

Maddie Jean pitched the game’s first three innings, scattering three hits, before Hannah Winner relieved her for two innings of work. Winner allowed just one hit and one run.

The game was a bit of a back-and-forth affair through the first four and a half innings.

Montgomery’s Grace Lorson opened the game with a hard double down the left-field line to reach and scored two batters later to put Montgomery ahead, 1-0, heading to the bottom of the first inning.

Loyalsock tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Maddie Jean hit a huge double deep in centerfield to reach and was driven in by Katie Schon the next batter who hit an RBI single into left.

In the top of the fifth, Shelby McRae led the inning off with a double into right and scored three batters later when Rachel Lorson hit a sacrifice fly into center to make it a 2-1 lead before Loyalsock’s offense exploded in the bottom of the inning.

Loyalsock ended the game with an impressive 17 hits and added four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The bottom of the seventh inning was played because Montgomery wanted to finish out the inning to give its players one last inning of defensive play.

Three of Montgomery’s four hits were doubles.

Loyalsock 15, Montgomery 2

Montgomery 100 010 0 – 2 4 3

Loyalsock 000 173 4 – 15 17 0

Jenna Waring, (n/a), Rachel Lorson (7) and Shelby McRae. Maddie Jean, Hannah Winner (4), Marissa Helmrich (6) and Rhiley French.

Top Montgomery hitters: Grace Lorson 2B, run; Taylor McRae 1B; Caroline Wacker 2B; Shelby McRae 2B, run. Top Loyalsock hitters: Mari Houseknecht 1B, RBI, run; Kathryn Schluter 1B, run; Katie Schon, 3 RBIs, run; Hailey Berkheiser 1B, RBI; Mallory Rodarmel 1B, RBI, run; Hannah Winner 2B, RBI, run; Maddie Jean 1B, 2B, 2 runs; Allyia Kennedy 2B, 2 RBIs.

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