Game delayed, then suspended

LEWISTOWN – The forecast for Wednesday seemed appropriate for a softball game – uncharacteristically warm temperatures with a slight chance of a thunderstorm.

Following an inning and a half of play, the chance became a certainty and the Huskies’ Mid-Penn Conference game was suspended with Central Dauphin leading, 2-1.

According to the PIAA, thunder and lightning are interchangeable – meaning if an umpire hears thunder, he or she must take the same precautions as if lightning was spotted. That happened early Wednesday, delaying the game for 30 minutes. Resumption was expected around 5:10 p.m. but another round of thunder and a subsequent flash of lightning delayed the game further. The rain started to fall and then intensify – changing to hail. A stampede of players and team personnel signaled that the game had been postponed to a day and time to be determined.

Mifflin County’s pitcher Taylor Boyer had it going early – striking out the Rams’ leadoff hitter and then inducing a flyout and groundout to end the opening half of the first. The quick inning led to a quick run in the Huskies’ half as Mara Rhodes took a 2-2 pitch down the left field line for a round tripper – plating the game’s first run and giving the Huskies the early lead.

After a weak groundball back to the pitcher, Mifflin County’s Jordan Myers rolled one over to the shortstop who came up and threw the ball into the dirt at first. Central Dauphin’s Macy Koontz picked it but Myers was called safe – giving Boyer a runner on with one out. The cleanup hitter smacked a single back through the box, advancing Myers and giving teammate Macie Lucas an RBI opportunity with a runner in scoring position. Lucas answered the call – or so spectators thought – as she drove a ball up the middle but the centerfielder threw a perfect strike to home, cutting down Myers in her attempt to score – a throw from the catcher to third caught Boyer in her attempt to advance on the throw, ending the threat and the inning.

“We came out and hit the ball,” Mifflin County coach Jack McCurdy said. “Unfortunately you take that chance and try to score that runner and they made a great defensive play.”

The Rams took the momentum of the bang-bang douple play to the second and the visitors’ cleanup hitter initiated the action with a single. The next batter followed suit with a single of her own and Central Dauphin appeared to be adjusting to Boyer.

“Taylor looked really good in the first inning,” McCurdy said. “In the second inning, I think they started to get the bat on the ball a little bit more – once they settled in they knew what kind of pitches she was throwing.”

Boyer gathered herself and induced a flyout – made possible by a nice play by centerfielder Mara Rhodes – and then a fielder’s choice to post the second out. The hope to escape the inning unscaved was dashed by Central Dauphin’s Alli Culp as she hit a two-run single that plated the tying and go-ahead runs.

When the Huskies made their way to the plate in the second, the inclement weather reared its ugly head.

“It looked like it was going to be a good game,” McCurdy said. “I anticipated our kids were going to come back in and keep hitting.”

That conjecture will have to wait for another day. Mifflin County (2-1) travels to Carlisle Friday.