BROCKWAY – The St. Marys Lady Dutch struggled to get their offense going and made a few errors on defense on Wednesday afternoon, allowing the Punxsutawney Lady Chucks to take a 7-1 victory for another D9 AAA softball title.
"[We made a few] early mistakes, and we couldn't recover from that," said St. Marys coach Manny Gerarge.
In terms of pitching, the contest was a close one, with both St. Marys Area's Rachel Ginther and Punxsy's Randa Depp putting up comparable numbers. Ginther gave up five hits, walked one, and struck out four, while Depp gave up five hits, walked two, and struck out five.
The Lady Chucks' ability to capitalize on St. Marys' errors made a big difference in the contest.
"We played good defense all year. We made a couple early mistakes, and when you're playing a quality team like Punxsy they're going to capitalize," Gerarge said.
St. Marys' five hits came on a triple by Mia Keener and singles by Kali Quagliani, Cassie Wonderling, Raelyn Cunningham, and Hayley McGowan.
"We didn't have many strikeouts. We were making contact. We just couldn't put it in the holes," Gerarge said.
Punxsy was led on offense by Chelsea Engeholm with a pair of singles. Janie Depp-Hutchinson doubled, and Ivy Phillips and Ashley Walls both singled.
The game was scoreless for the first three innings. The Lady Dutch had the first base runner of the contest in the top of the first as Ginther walked with two outs, but courtesy runner Jackie Lenze was unable to advance as Wonderling struck out. Punxsy's batters went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
Both teams' batters went down in order in the second inning.
St. Marys' batters again went down in order in the top of the third, and Punxsy got their first base runner in the bottom of the inning as Ashley Bacha walked. With one out, she advanced to second on a fielder's choice that saw Alex Magill out at first, but was left stranded as Engelholm flied out to left field, keeping the game scoreless.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, St. Marys recorded the first hit of the contest as Wonderling singled. Pinch runner Cassie Daniels was unable to advance as Keener grounded out to first. Punxsy scored their first two runs in the home half of the inning. Depp-Hutchinson started things off with a lead-off double. With one out, Ivy Phillips singled, advancing Depp-Hutchinson to third. With two outs, Phillips stole second, and both she and Depp-Hutchinson scored on an error as St. Marys' catcher Hayley McGowan went to retrieve a passed ball and overthrew to Ginther, who was covering home plate. Tori Martin grounded out to the shortstop, ending the inning with Punxsy ahead 2-0.
With one out in the top of the fifth, McGowan singled for St. Marys, advanced to second as Taylor Bellina walked, and later stole third. Savanah Krivonyak grounded out to the pitcher, sending Bellina to second. The next two batters both were out at first, preventing McGowan and Bellina from scoring. The Lady Chucks scored four more runs in the bottom of the inning. Bacha reached base on an error and made it to third on an error that allowed Lauren Ball to get on base. A fielder's choice by Alex Magill scored Bacha, and Ball scored on a single by Engeholm. With two outs, two runners on, and Ivy Phillips up to bat, both Magill and Engeholm scored on an error at third. Ivy Phillips also reached base on an error, advanced to second on a single by Ashley Walls, and both picked up another base on a passed ball. They were unable to continue to add to Punxsy's advantage, though, as Martin flied out to the shortstop, ending the inning with the Lady Chucks up 6-0.
Quagliani singled to start off the sixth inning for St. Marys, but was out on a double play that started with Ginther hitting a line drive to the second baseman. Wonderling grounded out, keeping St. Marys off the board for another inning. Punxsy scored their final run in the home half of the inning. Bacha reached base on an error and, after Ball struck out, advanced to second on a fielder's choice that saw Magill out at first. A single by Engeholm scored Bacha. Engeholm picked up an extra base on the play, but was unable to advance any further as Depp-Hutchinson grounded out to the shortstop, ending the inning with Punxsy holding on to a 7-0 lead.
Keener recorded a lead-off triple for the Lady Dutch in the top of the seventh inning and scored on a single by Raelyn Cunningham. On the next play, McGowan grounded to the second baseman, who threw to the shortstop, who tagged second to get Cunningham out and then threw to first for the double play. Bellina ended the game as she grounded out to the shortstop, giving the Lady Chucks the 7-1 win and another D9 AAA title.
The Lady Dutch finished their season with a 15-5 record. Playing in their final game were seniors Savanah Krivonyak, Erica Sorg, Raelyn Cunningham, Courtney Bankovich, and Mia Keener.
"It's sad to see them go," Gerarge said of the seniors. "They really led the team this year and hopefully the girls learned from them."
St. Marys 1
Erica Sorg 3-0-0, Kali Quagliani 3-0-1, Rachel Ginther 2-0-0, Cassie Wonderling 3-0-1, Mia Keener 3-1-1, Raelyn Cunningham 3-0-1, Hayley McGowan 3-0-1, Taylor Bellina 2-0-0, Savanah Krivonyak 2-0-0, Courtney Bankovich 0-0-0, Cassie Daniels 0-0-0, Jackie Lenze 0-0-0. Totals 24-1-5.
Chelsea Engeholm 4-1-2, Janie Depp-Hutchinson 4-1-1, Johnna Depp 3-0-0, Ivy Phillips 3-1-1, Sydney Phillips 2-0-0, Ashley Walls 1-0-1, Tori Martin 3-0-0, Ashley Bacha 2-1-0, Nicole Dipietro 0-1-0, Lauren Ball 3-1-0, Alex Magill 3-1-0, Randa Depp 0-0-0. Totals 28-7-5.
Score by innings R
St. Marys 000 000 1 1
Punxsy 000 241 x 7