Decaturs square off for title
YEAGERTOWN – Decatur 1 became champions of the Mifflin County Little League Minor Softball Super Series with a 17-10 victory over Decatur 2 Friday night in Yeagertown.
Despite the final outcome, it was Decatur 2 making its presence felt right away as starting pitcher Leesha Shilling tossed a scoreless top half of the first. The Decatur 2 offense then took advantage of Decatur 1 starting pitcher Maddie Reminger’s control problems by drawing six walks in the bottom of the frame en route to scoring five runs, which is the maximum amount of runs allowed per inning in Little League softball at this level.
Decatur 1 quickly stole back the momentum and plated five runs of their own the next inning as Shilling’s control left her, allowing all five runs to score on either walks or passed balls that reached the backstop.
Decatur 2 pushed across another run in the second to take the lead and extended it in the third with a four-run frame despite not recording a single hit. It used six walks and a hit-by-pitch by Decatur 1 reliever Taylor Ciccolini to take a commanding 10-5 lead into the fourth inning.
Those runs, however, would be the last that Decatur 2 would score. Ciccolini was dominant over the next two innings, recording five strikeouts and allowing zero runs.
“She’s a good pitcher,” Decatur 2 manager Matt Sheetz said. “She was around the plate. I think if we would have swung the bats better it would have been a little different, but that’s the way it works.”
Ciccolini’s offense helped the cause by cutting the lead to 10-8 in the fourth, spearheaded by a pair of RBI singles from Kirsten Druckenmiller and Reminger. Decatur 2 reliever Brenna Dobson was able to get out of the inning with the lead intact, however, when she retired Tosha Shirk on a harmless ground ball to end the inning.
After Ciccolini’s first scoreless frame, Decatur 1 quickly scored a run and then took the lead for good when Druckenmiller laced a two-run triple down the right field line to give her squad an 11-10 lead.
Decatur 1 pulled away in the top of the sixth and final inning, racking up three hits and drawing three walks en route to a six-run frame that only ended because every member of the team had an at-bat in the inning, which forced the inning to end, again according to Little League rules.
Reminger came back in and relieved Ciccolini in the sixth and easily retired Decatur 2 to secure the championship.
“They have strived for this the entire season,” said Decatur 1 manager Jen Rubel. “They did everything they needed to do and I’m very proud of each and every one of them. I’m very proud of all of Decatur for being in this game.”