The St. Marys Little League Softball Major League all-star softball team won the Section 1 title on Friday in Brookville with a 7-3 victory over Cochranton.
St. Marys was the undefeated team headed into the championship game.
Avery Eckels went the distance in the circle for St. Marys, giving up seven hits, walking three, and striking out nine.
Mara Schwartz worked one-third of an inning for Cochranton, giving up three hits and walking three, and then Jayden Frayer took over for four and two-thirds innings, giving up six hits and striking out eight.
Alison Mertz, Kaylen Eozzo, and Avery Eckels each had a double for St. Marys.
Cochranton left a pair of runners stranded in the top of the opening inning following a two-out triple by Claudia Lippert and a walk issued to Paige Simmerman. A strikeout prevented either from scoring.
St. Marys scored their first five runs in the home half of the inning.
Eozzo got things going with a one-out double, and then Molly Hanslovan drew a walk to join her on base. A double by Eckels scored both to put St. Marys on the board 2-0. Sidney Reider and Mertz drew back-to-back walks, and then both Eckels and Reider scored on a single by Sophie Surra. Mertz would also later score, while a popup and a strikeout left Surra stranded.
Maggie Jackson drew a leadoff walk for Cochranton to start the second inning. She advanced to second on a passed ball and then stole third, but Eckels struck out the next three batters to leave her stranded.
Bailey Thorwart led off the home half of the inning with a single for St. Marys, but the next three batters went down in order to leave her stranded.
Cochranton scored all three of their runs in the top of the third inning.
Schwartz led off with a single and later scored on an error. Claire McCartney and Lippert each also singled, and then both scored on a single by Simmerman, cutting St. Marys’ lead to 5-3. Frayer also singled in the inning, but both she and Simmerman were left stranded.
Batters for St. Marys went down in order in the home half of the inning.
Batters for Cochranton also went down in order in the top of the fourth, and St. Marys scored another run in the home half of the inning.
Giuliana Muccio led off with a single, stole second, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Addison Beimel. Muccio went on to score on a single by Bailey Thorwart. Eozzo followed that up by reaching base on a single. Following a flyout, Eckels reached on a dropped third strike, but Thorwart was out trying to score on the play, ending the inning with St. Marys now leading 6-3.
Jackson hit a two-out single for Cochranton in the top of the fifth but was left stranded.
Mertz hit a one-out double for St. Marys in the bottom of the fifth and then scored on a single by Surra, increasing St. Marys’ lead to 7-3.
Batters for Cochranton went down in order in the top of the sixth on a strikeout and a pair of groundouts, ending the game with St. Marys claiming the Section 1 title with the 7-3 victory.
As the Section 1 champion, St. Marys now advances to the 2021 Pennsylvania Major League Softball State Girls Softball Tournament, which is being hosted by Caln Little League in Thorndale from July 13-19.