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Jersey Shore softball scores 12 to easily beat Milton in 5

Addison Koch of Jersey Shore is caught in a run down between home and third as Ana Doyle of Milton tries to make the play at Jersey Shore May 17, 2022. Jersey Shore won 12-2. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

JERSEY SHORE–Jersey Shore players stood by cancer survivor Eric Wenner and saluted him before playing Tuesday’s game against Milton. It was a Pink Out game and the Bulldogs wore special jerseys, featuring pink numbers, honoring both Wenner and all those impacted by cancer.

Then they took the field and offered Wenner, a Jersey Shore resident, their own special tribute. This time, their play provided it.

Every starter reached base, eight players produced hits, Isabelle Engel threw a six-hitter and the defense played an error-less game as Jersey Shore thumped Milton, 12-2 in five innings. The Bulldogs (13-5) raised money for cancer awareness, showcased their depth and won their fifth straight game.

“It was so cool. We’re glad we could support him (Wenner),” shortstop Carolyn Wacker said after going 3 for 4 and scoring three runs. “He’s part of the community and a lot of us know him and we wanted to play well.”

Mission accomplished.

Grace Lorson (left) and Rachel Lorson (right) of Jersey Shore celebrate after Grace scored against Milton at Jersey Shore May 17, 2022. Jersey Shore won 12-2. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

Milton gave Jersey Shore a serious scare last Friday and the Bulldogs had to rally from three down to win there, 12-9, in extra innings. This time, Jersey Shore was focused before and during the game and attacked from the start, scoring six first-inning runs. The Bulldogs added three more in the second inning before ending the game with three in the fifth.

Jersey Shore banged out eight hits in the first two innings before Rachel Lorson ended the game early, hitting a two-out walk-off double which scored Wacker and made it 12-2. In addition to every starter reaching base, nine players also scored at least one run.

“It was one of those nights (last Friday) where we got on the bus and I saw the players’ demeanor and I told the coaches, ‘We’re in trouble,'” Jersey Shore coach Chris Lorson said. “We harp on nothing is given. You have to go out there and earn it and hopefully that sunk in.”

“The last game we started out kind of weak. We weren’t playing together as a team,” Wacker said. “Tonight we came out together and won. We all went in and we’re like, ‘They only have a few wins, this will be easy,’ and you can never do that to a team. They came out strong, so we learned our lesson.”

Wacker was a big reason why. The senior broke out of a slump and reached base all four times before scoring the winning run. She hit an RBI single to score the game’s first run after Grace Lorson opened it with a single and a stolen base. Wacker also sparked the second-inning rally with a lead-off single.

Isabelle Engel of Jersey Shore pitches in the first inning against Milton at Jersey Shore May 17, 2022. Jersey Shore won 12-2.DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

As it has throughout the season, the quality hitting spread from there and Jersey Shore kept pounding the softball. The Bulldogs’ home field is one of the biggest in District 4 and also features a big fence that surrounds out, so home runs are rare. That probably was a good thing for Milton because if not, the Bulldogs would have likely had at least four home runs with several plays driving long fly balls and line drives.

Rachel Lorson may have had three home runs and Jocelyn McCracken definitely would have had one when she launched an RBI double to the left field fence and scored Wacker to make it 2-0. Emma Pfirman added an RBI later that inning and Mackenzie Gardner capped the six-run flurry with a two-out, two-run double. Lorson’s walk-off double also reached the left field fence.

“Honestly, I told the girls I’ll put our defense against anybody’s and our lineup against anybody’s,” Chris Lorson said. “I feel like we’re that strong all the way through.”

Jersey Shore has especially shown that throughout its five-game winning streak, scoring at least seven runs in each game. The Bulldogs kept the pressure on Milton in the second inning with Pfirman hitting a long RBI double and Kaitlyn Herman an RBI single as they went ahead, 9-0. Jaymison Stellfox (2 for 3) also singled that inning and helped ignite the fifth-inning rally with a single.

Even when Jersey Shore hitters were retired they often were done so on well-hit softballs. If not for Milton center fielder Kiersten Stork (2 for 3) looking like Willie Mayes and making some brilliant catches, Jersey Shore would have had even more hits.

Jocelyn McCracken of Jersey Shore scores as Ana Doyle of Milton tries to make the play at home at Jersey Shore May 17, 2022. Jersey Shore won 12-2. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

Freshman Isabelle Engel continued her strong season in the circle as well, taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning. Three of Milton’s hits over the final two innings were infield ones and Engel walked none. Her defense again was strong behind her as well as Jersey Shore did both the little things and big things right.

Jersey Shore concludes its regular season Thursday at home against Shamokin. Those two teams currently are the top two seeds in District 4 and, even if Shamokin won, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which it would pass the Bulldogs. If Montgomery defeats Athens today, that likely would mean the tournament will feature a three-team field and the top seed would earn a bye into the championship.

Regardless, the Bulldogs are focusing on themselves and getting better each day as the playoffs approach. They honored Wenner and all those effected by cancer yesterday and now they would like to carry out that tribute as long as possible.

“We’re just going to keep working every day,” Wacker said. “We’re going to try and get it done.”

“We told them tonight in the huddle we want to have the practice we’ve had all year (Wednesday) night,” Chris Lorson said. “We want to keep the train rolling along.”

Carolyn Wacker of Jersey Shore crosses the plate to score the 12th run against Milton at Jersey Shore May 17, 2022. Jersey Shore won 12-2. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

Milton 000 02–2 6 6

Jersey Shore 630 03–12 11 0

Kendall Fedder and Alecia Doyle. Isabelle Engel and Kaitlyn Herman. W: Engel, (11-4). L: Fedder.

Top Milton hitters: Kiersten Stork 2-3, RBI; K. Nickles 1-2, run; Fedder 1-2, run; Doy 1-2. Top Jersey Shore hitters: Carolyn Wacker 3-4, RBI, 3R; Jaymison Stellfox 2-3, run; Herman 1-2, RBI; Grace Lorson 1-3, RBI, run, SB; Rachel Lorson 1-4, 2B, RBI, 2 runs; Jocelyn McCracken 1-3, 2B, RBI, run; Emma Pfirman 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, run; Mackenzie Gardner 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, run.

Records: Jersey Shore (13-5), Milton (2-15).

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