HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Southern Columbia defeats Lewisburg
CATAWISSA R.R. - That stench in the air above Southern Columbia's softball field was not the Tigers' offense.
As tough as that is to believe after the Tigers were held scoreless in the first two innings, the source was from the annual manure spreading in the nearby fields.
But unlike the fields, the Southern offense ended up smelling like a rose after an 11-run explosion in the bottom of the third inning, winning easily by a margin of 15-0 in four innings over Lewisburg Thursday.
Southern had trouble getting its timing against Lewisburg pitcher Tiffany Bardole, who held the Tigers to just one hit over the first two innings.
What helped the Tigers was that their pitcher, Mallory Tomaschik, was equally unhittable, allowing just one hit over the same span. The senior hurler also struck out six and didn't issue a walk.
It was the only hit the Green Dragons had. They never advanced a runner farther than first base.
Then in the third inning, as if on cue, the Tigers woke up.
They nearly batted around twice, using six hits and taking advantage of five walks.
"I thought this was going to go on forever," Southern Columbia head coach Al Cihocki said. "It took us a while to get going."
The big hits in the 11-run outburst came from Kayla Lavella, who had two doubles, one of which drove in three runs while the other plated one, and Blair Johnston, a freshman who hit her first career home run.
"Once they got going, they were fine, but we're not used to seeing that type of pitching," Cihocki said. "You get kids that throw a little slower and it screws you up after you're hitting off machines. It takes a while to get in on it.
"They got it done any way."
Southern tacked on four runs in the bottom of the fourth to end the game by mercy rule, using three hits, three walks and advanced on a couple wild pitches.
The final two runs were driven in on a single by Taylor Hoffman.
The Tigers may not be so lucky with a stunted start over the next week as they were Thursday.
In the next eight days, the Tigers face a virtual murders row of softball programs that will show exactly of what this year's team is made.
Starting today Southern hosts Central Columbia, travles to Montoursville Monday, goes to Warrior Run Tuesday and then hosts Loyalsock and Columbia Montour Vo Tech on back-to-back days to close the stretch.
"Next week is brutal," Cihocki said.
"We have some tough teams, but we'll take them as they come."
LEWISBURG (AB-R-H-BI) - Blakeslee 2-0-0-0, Herman 2-0-0-0, Bardole 2-0-1-0, Faux 2-0-0-0, Benfer 1-0-0-0, Deubler 1-0-0-0, Kateinek 1-0-0-0, Cumming 1-0-0-0, Bertram 1-0-0-0, Grabow 0-0-0-0. Totals 13-0-1-0.
SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (AB-R-H-BI) - Blass 2-2-1-0, H. Levan 1-1-1-0, Tomaschik 2-2-0-0, K. Levan 1-1-0-1, Lavella 3-1-2-3, Vought 0-0-0-0, T. Hoffman 2-1-2-2, Johnston 2-1-2-3, Lupold 2-1-0-0, Troup 2-1-1-1, Dunkleberger 0-1-0-0, Yoder 1-1-0-0, N. Hoffman 1-0-0-0, Reigle 1-1-0-0, Herr 1-1-1-0, Chaundy 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-15-10-10.
Extra-base hits: 2B - Lavella 2. HR - Johnston.
IP H R ER BB K
Bardole 3.1 10 15 13 9 3
Tomaschik 4 1 0 0 0 6