Mounties too much for Mount Union

PHILIPSBURG – Both Mount Union pitcher Marissa Aurand and Philipsburg-Osceola’s Chelsey Henry were great early on, breezing through the first two innings with no runs allowed and low pitch counts.

That changed in the third inning when Philipsburg got to Aurand for four runs starting with an opposite-field triple that peppered the line.

Henry went on to finish off a complete game shutout and hand Mount Union an 8-0 loss in the quarterfinals of the District 6 Class AA softball playoffs at Philipsburg-Osceola High School Monday.

“She was keeping the ball down,” Mount Union coach Matt Fiscus said. “She had some movement on things. She’s just a good pitcher.”

Henry got through the top of the first with eight pitches, while Aurand did it twice as efficiently, recording two first-pitch outs along the way.

Aurand allowed back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the second, but got two pop outs and a strikeout of Tiffani Wagner to get out of the inning unscathed.

After the Trojans went down in order in the third, Philipsburg took advantage of a lead-off triple just past MaKenzie Goodrich’s dive in right field.

Abby Showers followed with a two-run single and Haylee Hayward drove in another Mounties run with one of her three hits on the day to make it 3-0.

Philipsburg added another RBI single and made it 4-0 with only one out.

A ground ball to Chapin Guiliante resulted in an unassisted double play to evade any further damage for the Trojans.

Mount Union threatened in the top of the fourth.

Liza Feagley lined a one-out single to center and Brittany Brumbaugh followed with a single of her own.

Kristin Miles’ fielder’s choice erased Brumbaugh’s courtesy runner at second to give the Trojans runners on the corners and two outs.

Henry got Lauren Shugarts to ground out to third and escape the inning.

Philipsburg started to add on in the bottom of the fifth when McKenzie Burge started a spree of four baserunners to start the inning.

Aurand did a great job of limiting the damage when she struck out Maggie Peck.

A force out at home brought the second out of the innings and Aurand got Annie Kost looking to end the inning.

“I though Aurand really pitched a heck of a ball game, she just had that one (troublesome) inning” – the third, Fiscus said. “We didn’t get a couple calls that we would have liked, but that’s what’s going to happen when you go on the road. She pitched a heck of a game.”

Showers doubled to start the sixth inning and Burge singled to bring her in.

That was the point when Miles and the Trojans showed their fight.

The Mount Union first baseman dove for a ball off the end of the bat even though she didn’t have much of a shot of coming up with it.

“That’s what we want here, that’s what we expect here,” Fiscus said. “We never give up here. We play to the end. That’s (Kristin) and that’s us.”

Haylee Hayward tripled two batters later to plate another run and she later came around to score on Henry’s sacrifice fly.

Aurand got Megan Bainey swinging to end the innings.

Miles singled off the fence in right field and Guiliante singled after a fielder’s choice erased Miles.

Philipsburg ended the game on an unconventional 4-3-5 double play where they got Shugarts attempting to advance to third.

Mount Union said goodbye to five seniors including Miles, Brumbaugh and Shugarts.

“It’s going to tough to see them go,” Fiscus said. “They’ve all been great. They have been a great bunch of girls to be around. I’m real proud to be associated with them. They’re quality girls that are going to go far in life and softball is just one aspect of that life. They have bright futures ahead of them.”

The Trojans finish the season 14-8.