Allison Lininger’s RBI double helps spark Central Mountain softball to a win
MILL HALL — Allison Lininger rocketed an RBI double into the right-center gap during the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Wildcats a two-run lead over Shikellamy during Tuesday’s game. Lininger strolled into second base as Central Mountain’s lead over the Braves began to build. The sophomore’s RBI double was the start of a four-run inning.
That four-run fourth inning was truly the difference maker in Central Mountain’s 7-2 victory over Shikellamy.
Another difference maker? Lininger.
She made a plethora of plays for the Wildcats as she managed to pitch a solid game in the circle while going 2 for 3 at the plate. Lininger pitched six and two-thirds innings for the Wildcats and struck out eight batters in the victory.
“She’s surprising. She did a great job in the circle, she is a very good pitcher,” Wildcats coach Fred Caldwell said. “For being a sophomore and not having a freshman season, she does very well. She’s got a lot of pop at the plate as well.”
It was until the top of the fourth inning when Shikellamy first was able to register a hit against Lininger. Prior to Shikellamy’s first hit of the game, the sophomore retired seven hitters in a row.
Caldwell was impressed with his team’s ability to hit the ball. The Wildcats recorded 10 hits and pushed seven across the plate.
“I thought we hit very well. Even the balls hit right at girls were nice shots, I thought we were very patient at the plate. We’re getting better, it’s a step. That’s what we want to see,” Caldwell said.
Outside of Lininger’s two hits, Central Mountain got production at the plate out of Caitlyn Watson and Madison Hardy. Both Watson and Hardy tallied two hits apiece and combined to score four of Central Mountain’s seven runs.
The Wildcats managed to score runs late when it mattered due to unselfishness packed inside of their lineup. Many batters moved up runners via sacrifice deep into the game to provide some insurance runs for CM.
After jumping out to a 6-0 lead at the end of five, CM allowed its first run of the game when Shikellamy managed to score on Reagan Wiest’s RBI double in the top of the sixth inning. The Braves had the potential for a solid inning but thanks to some stingy defense and Lininger’s ability to paint corners inside the circle, Central Mountain got out of the sixth with the bases loaded.
In the bottom part of the sixth inning, Central Mountain tacked on one more run to protect its lead. Riley Houser’s single late pushed across the Wildcats final run and it was up to their defense to close things out in the final inning.
The Wildcats trotted out Lininger for the seventh inning as she had just tossed six innings of impressive pitching. The Braves managed to put a couple runners on base as it was time for CM to make a move to its bullpen. The Wildcats replaced Lininger with freshman pitcher Adalynn McKeague who was able to close out the game for CM and hold off the Braves.
CM is back in action Friday as it travels to Jersey Shore.
Shikellamy 000 002 0 — 2 4 2
Central Mountain 100 321 x — 7 10 1
W–Allison Lininger. L–Sydnee Lesser.
Top Shikellamy hitters: Blaire Balestrini 1-4, 2B, run; Reagan Wiest 1-4, 2 RBIs; Allison Minnier 1-3. Top Central Mountain hitters: Caitlyn Wilson 2-4, 2B, 2 runs; Allison Lininger 2-3, 2B, RBI; Madison Hardy 2-3, 2B, 2 runs; Alexis Strouse 1-2, 2B, 2 RBIs.