Hornberger's hard-luck season has turned around
ATHENS - Jenny Hornberger has had a hard-luck season.
Shamokin Area's starter in center field during her first two years, the junior was asked to play catcher this season, and she did for the first couple games
before injuring her foot.
She made it back to the lineup, resumed her rightful place in center field and has been a spark for the Indians since.
On Thursday, Hornberger had her fingerprints all over a 4-3 upset victory for Shamokin over Athens in the quarterfinal round of the District 4 Class AAA playoffs. The Indians advance to play No.-2 seed Milton, Tuesday at Elm Park.
"It was a good win and the girls never quit," Shamokin head coach Christi Cryder said. "When we got down, they fought and fought and fought. They never said quit."
Hornberger was the epitome of never-say-die.
She quite literally took one on the chin from Athens' Christin Dunkling at first base to allow the Indians first run to score in the first inning, and then, with two strikes and two on, hit a double to right center that scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh.
"I was thinking that I wasn't striking out and that I was going to hit the ball," Hornberber said. "I had to hit the ball and get my teammates around."
And that she did.
Kourtnee Chapman, who was pinch-running after Jackie Augustitus opened the inning with a single, and Kelsey Forbes, who reached on an error, both scored on Hornberger's double.
It was also an error in the first inning when Dunkling drifted into Hornberger's path and then let the ball get away from her as Hornberger was in a heap in front of first base that allowed Natalie Wolfe to race around the bases and score Shamokin's first run.
Hornberger stayed in the game, to Athens' ultimate demise, and scored on an RBI single by Bre Bonshock.
The Indians stranded three runners in that inning and didn't collect another hit until Augustitus' in the seventh. The three baserunners the Indians had in the interim were all hit by pitches, and none advanced past second base.
Athens took advantage and the lead in the middle innings.
The Wildcats' Morgan Westbrook got on base in the third inning with an infield single and then scored when Rica Dimon doubled to left to cut the Indians' lead.
Athens took the lead in the next inning when two singles and a Miranda Peterson double scored two runs.
Athens seemed poised for more after its first two batters of the fifth inning hit singles up the middle, but Shamokin pitcher Carley Nash settled down and found her early-game groove.
Nash retired the next nine batters in order and got the last two of the game to pop out to none other than Hornberger.
"She (Nash) was hitting her spots," Cryder said. "She's not going to overpower any team, and she knows that, but she hit her spots and she pitched a great game.
"Nobody expects anything from us and that's how we like it."
SHAMOKIN (AB-R-H-BI) - Wolfe 4-1-1-0, Hornberger 4-1-1-2, Supsic 2-0-0-0, O. Bonshock 4-0-1-0, McGrath 4-0-0-0, B. Bonshock 1-0-1-1, C. Augustitus 3-0-0-0, J. Augustitus 3-0-1-0, Chapman 0-1-0-0, Forbes 3-1-0-0, Nash 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-4-5-3.
ATHENS (AB-R-H-BI) - Hafer 4-0-0-0, Dimon 4-0-2-1, J. Dunkling 3-0-1-0, C. Dunkling 3-0-0-0, Warner 3-1-1-0, Winters 3-0-1-0, Serfass 3-1-1-1, Peterson 3-0-1-1, Westbrook 3-1-1-0, Kennedy 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-3-8-3.
Extra-base hits: 2B - Hornberger, Dimon, Peterson.
IP H R ER BB K
Nash (W) 7 8 3 3 0 1
Serfass 7 5 4 2 1 4