Strodes Mills takes MCLL Minors championship

YEAGERTOWN – And then there were two.

With the Mifflin County Little League Majors having their championship last week, it was the Minor League’s turn to display its top two teams as Reedsville and Strodes Mills played a winner-take-all last game to decide who would be crowned this year’s champion.

After tough pitching on both sides, it would be the Strodes Mills defensive prowess and its pitching that would power them to an 11-3 victory over the Rockets.

Offensively, Strodes Mills got two hits each from Sarah Henry, Kaitlyn Bickhart, Lauren Fike and Julie Diven.

Leading the way offensively for Reedsville with one hit apiece were Jodi Attick, Maddie McCarter, Gracie Brittan, Audrey Jordan and Megan Olsen.

“We came out and we played Strodes ball tonight. We hit the ball well, we fielded it well and pitched well. We played a complete game tonight,” Strodes coach Ron Bickhart said. “We tell the girls to go out there and swing away. We try to hit the ball and run.”

Hitting along with some patience played combined to get Strodes Mills off to a strong start.

Teammate and fellow hurlers, Julie Diven and Bickhart combined for a six hits and three runs. Diven struck out three while Bickhart totaled four.

For Reedsville, Audrey Jordan looked strong in the final three innings, striking out seven and allowing a lone run.

Reedsville hit the ball well but it couldn’t find holes in the Strodes Mills defense.

“Basically, their team played better defense tonight. It was very good defense. I don’t want to take anything away from our girls but they fielded the ball and the pitchers threw strikes,” Reedsville assistant coach Todd McCurdy said. “At this level that basically what you want. If you can throw strikes and field it you have a chance of winning. We have a lot of great girls on our team and we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. My hats off to our girls for making it this far.”

It was a close game in the first two innings.

Strodes Mills opened the game posting a five-run inning. Henry got the game going with an infield single.

Chasity Woods watched patiently for four balls and jumped on first via the walk.

Bickhart’s single between shortstop and third allowed Henry to score the game’s first run.

Sarah Diehl loaded the bases as she walked to set up and bases-loaded walk by teammate Justice Sheaffer, making it 2-0.

Lauren Fike brought in run number three thanks to hustling out an infield single.

Julie Diven ended the inning on a positive note, blasting a 2RBI single, giving Strodes the maximum amount of runs it could score, 5-0.

Defensively, Strodes Mills shut Reedsville down in the bottom of the first and the Rockets did the same to Strodes in the top of the second.

Reedsville got its bats going in the bottom of the inning.

Ella Knepp got the Rockets going leading off with a slow rolling infield single. She proceeded to steal second.

Jordan made the most of her opportunity to bring in Knepp when she roped a single into left field, cutting it to 5-1.

Megan Olsen reached on a single of her own, putting runners on the corners with only one out.

Morgan Bowersox reached on an error and both Jordan and Olsen hustled around third, making it a 5-3 contest as the game went into the third.

Once again, the Strodes Offense came alive and posted another five runs in the third. The inning was sparked by a Justine Reehorst walk and consecutive singles by Henry, Woods, Bickhart and Diehl, putting Strodes up for good 10-3.

From there, the Strodes defense took control allowing only two hits the rest of the way for Reedsville.

The game ended and both teams, as it should, celebrated their seasons after the 11-3 Strodes Mills win went final.v