EL wins showdown with Lady Raiders

BY MARTY MYERS, Times-Shamrock Writer

The way Elk Lake’s Brooke Darling and Blue Ridge’s Gabby Wolfe were dealing in the circle, Thursday’s Lackawanna League Division III softball showdown was clearly going to be decided by which defense made a miscue.

In the bottom of the eighth, Blue Ridge blinked.

Kyla Marcy’s leadoff single was followed by a throwing error on Debbie Harvey’s sacrifice bunt, and Gabby Baltzley followed with a sacrifice fly to give Elk Lake a 2-1 win and at least a tie for the division title.

“I was ready for it,” Baltzley said of her game-winning fly to shallow center. “I wanted to get the run in so bad. It would have been better on a line drive, but I’ll take the pop fly.”

Baltzley hit several long foul balls off Wolfe earlier in the game and also drove a 200-foot fly out to left, but Wolfe got the better of her with a third-inning changeup for a strikeout. Baltzley wasn’t going to let that happen twice.

“I wasn’t going to strike out on the changeup again,” Baltzley said. “I had more confidence going up there because I know what I was doing wrong. I kept dropping my hands, but I knew I could do it.”

So did Elk Lake coach Tony Blaisure, especially when Blue Ridge opted to pitch to her with an open base.

“She’s been hitting the ball hard for us all year long,” Blaisure said. “She was the right girl in the right spot at the right time in today’s game. I knew she would put it in play.”

Blaisure also gave credit to Marcy and Harvey for putting the winning rally in motion.

“It started with our No. 8 eight hitter (Marcy) getting that key base hit up the middle, and our nine hitter (Harvey), after making that mistake defensively by letting that ball go by and they tied the game, she comes up and puts down a perfect bunt and they make a mistake.

“Obviously, that brought up the top of our order.”

Elk Lake took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Darling smoked the first pitch over the left fielder’s head and circled the bases.

“She just went with it, just smooth,” Blue Ridge coach Bob Pavelski said. “I told her it was a really nice hit. You have to tell them because it was.”

Darling had retired 12 straight before Wolfe leveled the score, leading off the sixth with a single.

“She’s a tough out,” Darling said. “She’s always been. She always gets on. She has such a nice swing and she’s smart when she’s running.”

With Elk Lake playing in against slap hitter Jackie Furch, Wolfe stole second and Baltzley’s throw went over the bag and into center field, then skipped away from Harvey as Wolfe circled the bases.

“As soon as we saw Tony call them in, that’s open,” Pavelski said. “It opens it up. After that, you have to come up with a hit here or there. Defense is only going to hold for so long. You have to create runs.

“I knew it was going to come down to one hit, one error, something, and Tony knew the same thing.”

Montrose

The Montrose Area softball team handed Lackawanna Trail a 10-0 shutout loss at home on Thursday afternoon.

Montrose scored three in the first, five in the second and two in the fifth to overtake the Lady Lions.

Andrea Hinds pitched a two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and Katie Grrover had two triples and three RBIs to lead Montrose.

Sara Krupinski had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.

Shelby Stewart added a double for the Meteors.

Susquehanna

The Susquehanna softball team picked up an 8-6 home victory over Forest City at home on Wednesday evening in a Lackawanna League Division III matchup.

Danielle Barnes ripped a three-run double in the third inning to lift Susquehanna over the Foresters, to overtake an early 4-0 Forest City lead.

Kacey Norris added two hits for the winners, while Mashawna Hargett added a triple and Micaela Rhone grabbed a double.

Taylor Tammero and Briana Pavalone each had two hits for the Foresters as Katie Yale took the pitching loss giving up eight hits, six earned runs and four walks while striking out four in six innings in the pitcher’s circle.

Mountain View

The Mountain View softball team handed Susquehanna a 2-1 loss at home on Thursday evening.

The Eagles scored on run in the third before the Sabers would tie it up in the top of the fourth.

After the game entered extra innings, Andrea Beeman singled home Alix Taylor with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth for Mountain View.

Taylor allowed only three hits and struck out 17 batters for the Eagles. Taylor also added a double.

Danielle Burke took the pitching loss for Susquehanna giving up six hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out seven.

Forest City

Forest City’s girls’ softball team took a pair of victories over Western Wayne at home on Thursday evening in a doubleheader, 8-5 and 5-3.

The first game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Foresters scored five runs, followed by three in the sixth while the Wildcats had two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh.

Katie Yale had two hits and two RBIs as Forest City won the first game 8-5. Emily Zerby doubled and singled for the winners while Yale took the pitching win giving up six hits, two earned runs and two walks with seven strikeouts.

In the second game, Yale tripled and drove in three runs as Forest City took the win.

Kara Zerby had a double and Yale pitched a seven inning win giving up four hits, three earned runs and two walks while striking out seven.