Lady Rams Blank Old Forge in PIAA Class A Quarterfinal
Freshman Ciera Holland drove in four runs with three hits to lead the Wyalusing Valley softball team to a 10-0 five-inning victory over Old Forge in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals at Bloomsburg University on June 9.
It was the fifth straight shutout for Lady Ram pitcher Brianna Jennings.
Jennings held the Blue Devils to just three hits, while recording nine strikeouts. She allowed three walks.
“It’s so exciting,” said Jennings afterward. “I never thought we’d go this far.”
Wyalusing’s defense continued to play well behind the senior hurler. A third-inning error off the bat of Old Forge’s Laura Carey in the third inning snapped a 27-inning errorless streak by the Lady Rams during the playoffs.
“The defense has been making great plays,” Jennings said. “They haven’t made any errors and have been solid.”
Old Forge, on the other hand, struggled in the field, finishing with four errors, including three in the second inning when Wyalusing plated three runs.
With two out, Cathryn Pugh reached on an infield hit and went to second on a throwing error.
Holland plated Pugh with a single up the middle and took second base on the throw to the plate.
“We’ve been working a lot on hitting,” Holland said. “I had to step my game up and work at doing what we’ve done in practice.”
She credited a mental adjustment with her hitting success in the postseason.
“Keep calm and I can hit it,” she said. “I need to believe in myself.”
An error off the bat of Mackenzie Martin, who made the start in center field, resulted in runners at the corner for Laci Holdren.
Holdren, who was under the weather, reached on an infield single that scored Holland.
Martin came home on an error off the bat of Bobbi Jo Loyack. Holdren was thrown out at home trying to score on the play.
In the third inning, Jennings helped her own cause with a double to deep left.
Gabby Edsell’s ensuing double down the left field line scored Lauren Chadwick, who was Jennings’s courtesy runner.
After Arielle Kneller walked, Chelsea Epler advanced the runners with a groundout to shortstop.
Pugh followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Edsell.
Holland added her second RBI with a single to plate Kneller.
Wyalusing ended the game with four runs in the fifth inning.
Consecutive walks to Chadwick and Pugh to open the frame set the table for Holland’s two-run single to right.
Another walk to Martin and fielder’s choice off the bat of Holdren, in which Old Forge failed to record the out, loaded the bases.
Loyack’s ensuing single plated Holland and Martin, ending the game under the 10-run rule.
“I had a couple of bloopers (that resulted in errors),” Loyack said. “It felt really good to end the game (with a hit).”
It was the second mercy-rule victory for the Lady Rams this postseason.