STATE COLLEGE - On a day where temperatures reached above 90 degrees - well above the comfort level for many girls on the field - the Mifflin County All-Stars were able to put the blazing sun out of their minds and instead turn up the heat on the Kress All-Stars, winning 11-0 in a four-inning game eclipsed by the 10-run rule.
Starting pitcher Chloe Fitzgerald got her team off on the right foot, knocking out the first three batters to face her and make it a quick inning. The home team then wasted no time getting the momentum going in the bottom of the first inning.
Bailee Zendt, who was able to easily steal home after a bad throw down to third, scored the first of many runs. The errant throw also advanced Madison Ream and Tori Nichols into scoring position.
Sentinel photo by CHRISTOPHER?SHANNON
Mifflin County’s Bailee Zendt scores a run as Kress catcher Ally Shultees awaits the throw during Mifflin County’s 11-0 win in the Little League Section 4 9-10 softball tournament Tuesday in State College.
Kaitlyn Treaster then came up to the plate and sent the ball into play, reaching first base on a bad throw that allowed Ream to safely reach home.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Jaylyn Moore came up to the plate and knocked in two runs on a single, making the score 4-0.
"Once you get the first couple runs you can open it up, take some chances and take a breather." Mifflin County manager Jason Treaster said.
Fitzgerald then cruised through her second inning on the mound just as easily as the first, throwing out Abby Osterling on her way to first and striking out the next two batters to end the inning. She, Ream and Taylor Ciccolini combined for a no-hitter, striking out 10 of the 15 batters they faced.
Zendt came up in the bottom of the second inning and blasted a two-run double to make the score 6-0.
Treaster then ripped an RBI double of her own, followed by the same from Ciccolini that added two more runs to the score. Ciccolini later stole home on a passed ball to lock up the score a 10-0 by the bottom of the second inning.
Mifflin County made a pitching change in the top of the third, putting Ciccolini on the mound. She had no problem maintaining the shutout and striking out two batters along the way.
With the 10-run rule ready to take effect, Mifflin County notched one more run in the bottom of the third as Tori Nichols reached home on a single by Ciccolini to make the score 11-0.
Ream came in to close out the game in the top of the fourth inning as the third pitcher for Mifflin County. She easily struck out three batters to end the game on a high note.
"You can't say anything other than awesome about these girls," Treaster said after the win. "It makes me feel very good about going into the next game when you have players that are so well rounded."
Mifflin County will play either Mount Union or face Kress for a second time on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the section championship game. With a win, the locals advance to states; a loss forces a second title game Friday.