Pray homers for 100th hit as Juniata drops Tigers

COCOLAMUS – Wednesday night was a great night to be an Indian.

Just ask senior softball standout Kristen Pray.

In her first at bat, the Juniata lead-off hitter needed just one hit to join the 100-hit club for her career.

She stepped to the plate and blistered the first pitch see saw and sent it deep into the left-center field gap. With no fence, the ball kept rolling and in a puff of smoke Prey rolled in home with an inside-the-park home run.

With the fete, the game was stopped momentarily and the game ball was given to the standout hitter.

However, Pray’s hit would be just one of 16 for Juniata as the Indians outscored rival East Juniata 19-1 in a rule-shortened three-inning contest at East Juniata High School.

Picking up the win for the Indians was Autumn Young while Cassandra Minium took the loss for the Tigers. Young allowed only three hits and one run in the game.

“All year we have hit the ball well. We’ve outhit most of our opponents,” Juniata manager Brian Scheaffer said. “It was nice to come here tonight and hit like we did. We were definitely hitting the ball well tonight.”

One in particular will stand as the most memorable in the game.

“I was very happy with Kristen getting her 100th hit. It was quite an accomplishment,” he said.

But it’s still a team game.

“I am very proud of them. I am challenging them to win the last five and get ready for districts,” he said.

Juniata’s offense came early and often as the Indians had six players finish with multiple hits. Victoria Cisney was 3-for-4) and Hannah Welfley 3-for-3 to lead the effort.

After Pray’s homer, Cisney kept the hits coming, roping a single into left field. Micheh Horning was smooth swinging from the third spot, posting a liner into right field.

With one out, Megan Shoop also went into right, scoring Cisney and Horning and in the process landed on second with a two-run double, making it 3-0.

Saner made the most of a Tiger miscue, reaching base on a miss by East Juniata’s first baseman.

Facing two outs and two runners on base, Mady Marrone was cool under pressure, tripling home Saner and Shoop with a gapper to left field. When she stopped, Marrone had a triple.

Hannah Welfley made Marrone’s time on base a short one, poking a single into right, increasing the Juniata lead to 6-0.

After a walk to Pray, Cisney hit a simple single loading the bases. Horning’s second single of the inning brought home Welfley.

Summer Swab took one for the team, loading the bases once again.

Shoop and Saner hit consecutive singles, and by the end of the inning the Indians were holding a 12-0 advantage.

“Its just a game they will have to look at it and then refocus for the next game coming,” East Juniata coach Joe Schilling said. “Juniata did a heck of a job hitting the ball. You can’t take that away from them. They were hitting the gaps and its hard to defend a gap hit. They hit the ball hard. This isn’t the way the girls wanted this game to end but we just have to have them regroup and refocus and bounce back. Hopefully, quickly.”

Juniata’s defense held in the bottom of the first while the offense got reenergized in the second, plating five more runs.

In the bottom of the second, East Juniata picked up its only run on a Lydia Hunter RBI single.

However, the Indians scored two in the third and held on tight in the bottom of the inning to go on to the victory.

Juniata (6-5, 6-5 Tri-Valley League) travels to Halifax today. East Juniata visits Midd-West Friday.