WVHS Softball: Back in Contention
With the advent of warmer weather, Wyalusing Valley’s bats have come alive, sparking a seven-game winning streak heading into last night’s (May 11) game at Canton.
The Lady Rams, now 13-2, overall, and 7-2, in the Northern Tier League East, benefitted from home runs from Cathryn Pugh and Brianna Jennings in wins over Troy, Athens and Towanda.
With the streak, and help from Towanda, which defeated Northeast Bradford on May 6, the Lady Rams pulled to within a game of the Lady Panthers.
If Wyalusing defeated Canton, the Lady Rams and Northeast Bradford, who faced Sayre last night, would meet at Wyalusing in a key league clash Friday (May 13).
Wyalusing 12, Towanda 4
At Wyalusing, on May 9, Jennings and Pugh both homered as the Lady Rams survived a sloppy game by both squads.
The two teams combined for eight errors, including four by Towanda in the five-run sixth inning, which clinched the win for Wyalusing.
Both teams entered the fray one game behind idle Northeast Bradford in the league standings.
Wyalusing struck first, plating three runs in the first inning.
Laci Holdren singled to open the frame and scored on Jennings’s two-run homer.
Gabby Edsell later walked and scored on an error.
Towanda cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the third.
Cassie Benjamin broke the seal for the Lady Knights with an RBI double, plating Abbey Smith, who had singled to open the inning. Benjamin scored on an error off the bat of Lexi Ripic.
Jennings got one run back in the bottom of the frame. After getting hit in the side by a pitch, Jennings scored on Edsell’s RBI single.
In the fourth, Towanda scored when Michelle Aronson was walked home with the bases loaded. She had reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Emily Gorman, who had singled, erased at second base. Back-to-back singles by Benjamin and Ripic loaded the bases for Koryn Wickwire, who walked.
In the fourth inning, Wyalusing’s Lauren Chadwick walked and Bobbi Jo Loyack was hit by a pitch. Jennings singled, scoring Chadwick. Loyack and Jennings came home on Arielle Kneller’s bases-clearing triple.
Errors killed Towanda in the sixth inning.
Holdren singled to open the stanza. Loyack then reached on an error, and another error on the play allowed Holdren to score.
Loyack scored on an error off the bat of Jennings. Edsell then reached on another error.
Pugh cleared the bases with a three-run home run.
Towanda got one run back in the seventh inning. Ripic reached on an infield hit, Koryn Wickwire reached on an error and Karen Esmus reached on a fielder’s choice that failed to produce an out. Ripic scored on Alaina Wickwire’s groundout.
Jennings had eight strikeouts, while allowing six hits and two walks.
Allison Wickwire started for Towanda, working five innings, allowing seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Alaina Wickwire pitched one inning, giving up one hit with two strikeouts.
Wyalusing 9, Athens 2
At Athens, on May 6, Jennings and Emily Faulkner combined for a four-hitter for the Lady Rams.
Jennings worked the first four innings, giving up both Athens runs and three hits, while striking out six batters.
Faulkner pitched three innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit, without a walk.
Wyalusing jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Jennings sacrificed Holdren home and Edsell flied out to score Loyack. Holdren walked to open the frame and Loyack doubled to reach base.
Athens halved the lead in its half of the first.
Alexa Daddona singled, was sacrificed to second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.
Wyalusing took control of the game in the third, plating four runs.
With one out, Holdren, Loyack, Jennings and Edsell reached on consecutive hits.
Holdren, who had singled, scored on Jennings’s single. Loyack, who doubled, came home on Edsell’s hit. Jennings and Edsell scored on Pugh’s two-run single.
In the fourth inning, Athens’ Christin Dunkling belted a solo home run, cutting Wyalusing’s lead to 6-2.
After Loyack opened the fifth inning with a single, Jennings cleared the bases with a two-run home run.
Edsell then doubled and eventually scored on an error.
Katelyn Serfass took the loss for Athens, giving up nine hits and a walk, while striking out five batters.
Wyalusing 8, Troy 3
At Wyalusing, on May 5, Pugh’s grand slam home run broke open a scoreless tie as Wyalusing Valley went on to defeat Troy.
With Jennings and Troy’s Hannah Jackson locked in a pitcher’s duel through the first half of the contest, it didn’t appear the two teams would combine for 11 runs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, that changed in dramatic fashion.
Loyack opened the frame for the Rams with a single, breaking up Jackson’s no-hit bid. She reached third on a groundout and a wild pitch.
After Edsell drew a two-out walk, Troy coach Brian Canfield opted to walk Kneller to pitch to Pugh.
On a 1-1 count, Pugh cleared the bases and the left-field fence, giving Jennings all the runs she needed.
Troy did put two runs across the plate in the top of the fifth.
Kelly Bridgham doubled to open the inning and eventually scored on Amanda Goodwin’s RBI triple.
Goodwin came home on an error on a pickoff throw later in the inning.
Wyalusing came back with three runs in the bottom of the frame.
Holdren reached on an error and Loyack was hit by a pitch to open the inning.
Jennings singled in Holdren and moved Loyack to third.
Loyack scored on Kneller’s RBI single. Jennings eventually came home on a passed ball.
Troy’s Tiffany Mattocks added a run in the sixth inning. She walked, took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth inning, Holdren scored an insurance run. She singled with one out and, after reaching third on an error off the bat of Loyack, scored on Jennings’s sacrifice fly.
Jennings struck out 13 batters to pick up the win. She allowed six hits and four walks.
Jackson gave up six hits and three walks with five strikeouts for Troy.