Wildcats rout EJ, 15-0

COCOLAMUS – Greenwood pounced on East Juniata early and often en route to a 15-0 Tri-Valley League win in a softball game at East Juniata High School.

“We’re real pleased,” Greenwood coach Troy Gantt said, whose team got the win in six innings. “We had some success at the end of the game yesterday and I think we built on that today. That’s what we ask them to do.”

Amy Heggenstaller tossed a six-inning, complete game shutout and knocked in five of the Wildcats’ runs.

“It’s a great performance for (Amy),” Gantt said. “She’s been pitching well for us. It’s nice to see the bats come alive and support her.”

Back-to-back-to-back singles in the first inning by Heggenstaller, Mackenzie McCoy and Kelsey Stemler gave the Wildcats the first run of the game to take a quick 1-0 lead.

That was pretty much all Heggenstaller needed in the circle, as the Greenwood starter struck out 10 East Juniata batters and only surrendered two hits.

After two more Greenwood runs in the top of the inning, the first baserunner for the Tigers came in the second when catcher Lydia Hunter was nailed on the thigh by Heggenstaller’s pitch.

Heggenstaller struck out East Juniata first baseman Sam Lash to end the inning and retain the 3-0 early advantage.

The Wildcats were right back at it when they went to the plate to start the third inning.

Becca Stalvey walked and Kiera Walton followed with a triple to right-center to score Stalvey and make it 4-0.

Bree Paden hit a grounder to short, which Kasi Horning fielded and threw to first.

Lash couldn’t hold the bag and Walton scored to make it 5-0 after two and a half innings.

“We’re just very disappointed,” East Juniata coach Joe Schilling said. “They just weren’t playing at all.”

Heggenstaller went right back to work in the circle in the home half of the third.

She struck out her counterpart, Allison Beaver, then Brooke Marker before she fielded an inning-ending grounder and threw to first.

Madison Plesce ripped a double down the third baseline to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and end Heggenstaller’s potential no-hitter.

Plesce advanced to third with no outs on a Greenwood passed ball, but got no further.

Heggenstaller got the three-hole hitter, Horning, to pop out to short and struck out the next two Tigers to keep them off the scoreboard.

“I think (Amy) really pitched a very good game,” Schilling said. “We really struggled getting our bat on the ball. I don’t know where our struggle was. Pitching-wise, I think Amy did a heck of a job.”

Just like how the game started, Greenwood put up runs against East Juniata in the top of the fifth.

Stalvey walked to start the inning and Eve Lesperance singled to put runners on first and second.

Paden singled to bring in Stalvey and Nikki Willi followed with a two-run single.

Heggenstaller doubled to center and Madison Pyle scored to make it 9-0 Greenwood.

“We’ve been losing a lot, so it was nice to get the win and (score) a lot of runs,” Heggenstaller said.

Cassandra Minimum came in for East Juniata and got the remaining two outs to end the inning.

The Wildcat starter went right back to work in the bottom half of the inning and pitched around an error that allowed the leadoff hitter to reach with two strikeouts and a groundout.

Greenwood jumped on Minium the second time around for six runs, with the big blow being Heggenstaller’s three-run double to end the Wildcats’ scoring for the day.

Greenwood will travel to Upper Dauphin today at 4:30 p.m. while East Juniata will host Newport on Tuesday.

“We turn around and play Upper Dauphin (today), so we don’t have much time to think about it,” Gantt said. “Hopefully the success continues.”