HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Shamokin defeats Danville
COAL TOWNSHIP - Shamokin's path to the District 4 playoffs isn't clear sailing, but the Indians made it much easier on themselves.
With six games left going into Tuesday's game, the Indians needed to win just two, but faced a decidedly uphill battle.
They had games against Heartland Conference Division I foes Danville, Jersey Shore, Milton and Mifflinburg, who the Indians went 0-4 against in the first run through the league schedule and were outscored by a 57-19 margin, plus games against Southern Columbia and Midd-West, who the Indians beat 15-5 the first time.
After Tuesday's 8-7 victory over the Ironmen, they need just one win to return to the District 4 Class AAA playoffs after a one-year hiatus.
With the win came a little revenge, a dash of redemption and a much needed sigh of relief.
"That was a big one and we needed that one," Shamokin head coach Christi Cryder said. We made it interesting, again."
That the Indians did.
Specifically, Cryder was talking about the top of the seventh when the Indians were leading 8-5, gave up two runs and allowed Danville to advance the potential tying run to third before Carley Nash got the Ironmen's No. 9 hitter, Jade Winstadt, to make a loud out to left field.
But honestly, Cryder could have been talking about the whole game.
The Indians found themselves
down 2-0 after Danville's first at-bat due in large part to two errors on the Indians.
But those were the last two errors Shamokin committed, whereas Danville had a severe case of the dropsies.
The Ironmen had a total of six errors, although only two of those runners scored.
"Unlike the last time we played them, when we had six errors, the defense was solid today," Cryder said. "(Danville) hit the ball today, but they hit in spots where we were there."
Shamokin's Jenny Hornberger and Helena Supsic were hit by pitches in back-to-back at-bats in the first inning, then Olivia Bonshock walked to load the bases.
Courtney McGrath grounded out but brought in Hornberger. Both Supsic and Olivia Bonshock scored when Bre Bonshock doubled to center.
Shamokin added another run in the second when Catie Augustitus, who led the Indians with three hits, singled. Courtesy runner Kourtney Chapman scored on a Hornberger groundout with the bases loaded again.
Danville tied the game, 4-4, in the top of the third, but Shamokin bounced right back.
Bre Bonshock reached on an dropped fly ball by the Danville infield and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kelsey Forbes.
But the Ironmen wouldn't go away and tied the game again in the sixth.
With two outs, Nash walked Zina Knight, who stole second and came around to score on a double by Kylie Edwards before Nash worked out of the inning.
That left the Indians with six outs to put away the Ironmen. Shamokin needed only the bottom of the sixth.
Supsic led off with a single, then slid into second on a late steal. That opened up first base for Olivia Bonshock and the Ironmen put her on intentionally.
Bonshock seemed perturbed at Danville's strategy, but made the Ironmen pay when she scored the Indians' second run of the inning.
"Walking Olivia hurt them and Olivia has to realize that," Cryder said. "She gets mad, but that's part of the game. She scored and we scored three runs that inning. If it wasn't for that run. ..."
Supsic and McGrath also scored to give the Indians some much needed cushion before Danville staged its seventh-inning rally that came up short.
DANVILLE (AB-R-H-BI) - Knight 3-1-0-0, Edwards 4-1-3-1, Dennen 4-1-0-0, T. Fritz 4-1-2-2, L. Fritz 2-2-1-0, Heath 4-1-2-1, Freedman 4-0-1-1, Burkland 4-0-0-1, Walker 0-0-0-0, Winstadt 2-0-0-0. Totals 31-7-9-6.
SHAMOKIN (AB-R-H-BI) - Wolfe 4-0-0-0, Hornberger 3-1-0-1, Supsic 2-2-1-0, O. Bonshock 1-2-0-0, McGrath 4-1-1-1, B. Bonshock 3-1-1-3, J. Augustitus 4-0-0-0, C. Augustitus 4-1-3-1, Forbes 3-0-0-1. Totals 28-8-6-7.
Extra-base hits: 2B - Edwards, Dennen, Heath, Freedman, B. Bonshock.
IP H R ER BB K
T. Fritz 6 6 8 6 4 1
Nash 7 9 7 5 3 1