Lady Tigers capitalize in fourth inning to spoil Lady Chucks 'Senior Day'
PUNXSUTAWNEY — In an afternoon which felt more like late October than mid May, the Punxsy softball team saw one of its two toughest innings of the season on Monday.
Trailing 3-2, the visiting Lady Tigers of Hollidaysburg capitalized on three Punxsy errors and added some hard hits at the plate to score 10 times to spoil "Senior Day" by a 14-4 final score.
"We lengthened it (the inning) for them. They hit the ball hard as well," noted Lady Chucks' head coach Alan Pifer. "They capitalized on everything."
It was the first time Punxsy had allowed double figure runs to its opponent since falling 10-1 against Williamsport in the second game of the season on April 6.
The Lady Chucks did celebrate the eight senior players of Ashley Bacha, Lauren Ball, Monica Cameron, Chelsea Engeholm, Sarah London, Mary Sloniger, Ashley Walls and Lauren Wolfe before the contest.
The seniors will have one more home contest to play on Wednesday night against Brookville with a 7 p.m. first pitch.
Punxsy produced nine hits despite only plating four of its base runners.
Sloniger possessed the hot bat by ripping singles in each of her three at bats and came around to score one run.
"Mary hit the ball well. She has had two hits in two games in a row now," noted the Punxsy coach.
Engeholm added a pair of hits, including a run-scoring second-inning single and scored one run.
Bacha laced a two-run double as the lone extra-base hit and singled.
Shaina Painter singled to second as the final home hit and scored the team's last run.
Savannah Hallman had an RBI in her one trip to the plate with a sacrifice fly.
The Lady Tigers started off strong in the top of the first.
Leadoff hitter Alyssa Pheasant started the contest by drawing a walk.
Three hitters later, Hannah Mercer, who was a perfect 5 for 5 on the day, belted a two-run homer over the left field fence for a 2-0 tally.
The score did not change until the bottom of the second.
Sloniger led off by legging out a slow roller to shortstop for an infield single.
After an out, London drew a walk. Wolfe laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third.
Engeholm dropped an RBI single to shallow right field for the first Lady Chucks tally.
Bacha did one better than Engeholm by taking an outside pitch down the left field line for a two-run double to edge Punxsy ahead, 3-2.
Punxsy (12-5) held the advantage for only one frame of the third.
Hollidaysburg would make 16 plate appearances and score 10 of them in its big top of the fourth.
Following a leadoff single, the Lady Tigers took advantage of the first Lady Chucks' error before a fielder's choice loaded the bases.
Punxsy recorded the first out on a force at home before Peyton Civils singled to score the first Hollidaysburg run to tie the game at 3.
The visiting damage truly began when back-to-back two-run hits were preceeded by an RBI single to bust ahead, 8-3, still with only one out.
With the bases reloaded with Lady Tigers, the Lady Chucks committed back-to-back miscues to result in one run added on each play.
Civils lined her second RBI hit of the same at bat to chase Punxsy starting pitcher Bacha.
"A couple of pitches for Ashley weren't working today. I was trying to get out of the inning, as I was without another pitcher warmed up at that point," said Pifer.
Cameron took the ball but walked in the final Hollidaysburg run before a fielder's choice retired the side with the scoreboard showing 12-3.
Punxsy was held in check over its next three offensive turns until the top of the sixth.
Painter lined a hard single to second and Sloniger followed with her own identical hit.
After an out, Jensen Constantino reached on a fielder's choice when the Lady Tigers committed an error at second to load the bases.
Hallman lofted a fly ball to right field to plate Painter to make it a 12-4 score.
Hollidaysburg pushed across two final tallies in the top of the seventh for the eventual 14-4 final.
In the junior varsity season finale, Punxsy garnered its 16th victory in 18 contests.
The JV Lady Chucks overpowered the Lady Tigers, 13-0 in five innings.
Punxsy recorded six extra-base hits of its 12 for the five at bats.
Painter belted a pair of doubles and scored three times.
Nicole DiPietro, Constantino and Alyssa Reitz all doubled and singled. Anna Horner added a two-bagger for her one hit.
Beth Barnett singled two times and scored once.
DiPietro picked up the mound victory by allowing only two hits in five innings.
After being rained out on Saturday, Punxsy will make its final regular season road trip today in a contest at Philipsburg-Osceola starting at 4:15 p.m.