Mifflin County enjoys return of its ace

Kanagy allows three hits in shutout

LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County softball coach Jack McCurdy is mighty grateful he has Hanna Kanagy on his team. The Husky senior, back in the circle after missing three games due to tendonitis, tossed a three-hit shutout as the Huskies took out Mid-Penn Commonwealth champion Chambersburg 4-0 in their regular season finale on Monday.

“It’s nice to see her back. The rest did her well. She had one of those days where everything was working,” McCurdy said. “She displayed a lot of confidence today. She doesn’t always have that kind of confidence. Today, she pitched what was called and trusted her pitches.”

Kanagy returned and the rest suited her. She fanned eight, walked one, throwing first pitch strikes on 20 of 25 batters. The Trojans (13-7, 11-3) managed to get only three runners in scoring position.

“I actually think it was better to get a little rest. This is the best I’ve felt all season,” Kanagy said. “My screwball and my curveball were working like crazy today. I knew when I got the two strikeouts in the first inning it was going to be a good day. It definitely got the momentum going, not only for me, but my teammates as well. We are feeling it. We want a district title and we want states. I think the momentum will continue.”

Mifflin County (15-5, 10-4) avenged last week’s 14-9 loss to the Trojans by scoring three runs off losing pitcher Brooklyn Miller in the first two innings.

The Huskies scored two in the first when Sydney Orwig walked, Eleana Eckley doubled off the fence in left to move Orwig to third, Kanagy brought home Orwig with a sacrifice fly to center, Eckley advance to third on a wild pitch and Olivia Ahern plated Eckley with a hard single over third base.

Mifflin County added a run in the third, thanks to a double by Hannah Fitzgerald and an RBI bloop base hit to right by Alyssa Schnell.

“They are a good team. Chambersburg is the Mid-Penn Commonwealth champions and it was nice to end the regular season with a win,” McCurdy said. “Overall, the game didn’t affect our season but it does mean something. This win builds confidence for the team. We are a solid team who went through a tough conference schedule with a solid record, so we must be doing something right.”

Chambersburg had its best chance to score in the first when Taylor Myers singled to left and stole second with no outs. The Huskies shut the Trojans’ momentum down with two strikeouts from Kanagy and a groundout to third.

Mifflin County had arguably its best fielding day with Sabrina Stuck stopping every ball hit to her at third, Maxie Johnson playing standout short and the rest of the squad playing shut-down defense.

“When you have great pitching, solid defense and timely hitting — that’s winning softball. We need to execute our short game here at some point,” McCurdy said. “We haven’t focused on it much but it’s something we need to do. As you get into the playoffs, it’s one or two runs that are going to win games.”

The Huskies are off until the District 6 championship game scheduled for May 23 at St. Francis University. Mifflin County meets the State College-Altoona winner.

“We are going to get a scrimmage in here sometime. We need to get somewhere were we can practice on turf, because we are playing at St. Francis. We need to get the kids fielding the ball off that turf,” McCurdy said. “It’s a fast game but it’s even faster on turf. They’re going to get true hops for sure, but some of them are going to skip and they are going to be fast. We have to get ready for that.”

Mifflin County 4, Chambersburg 0

Chambersburg 000 000 0 — 0-3-1

Mifflin County 211 000 x — 4-6-0

WP: Hanna Kanagy. LP: Brooklyn Miller. SO: Erin Patillo 2 (C); Kanagy 8 (MC). BB: Miller , Patillo 2 (C); Kanagy (MC). 2B: Eleana Eckley, Hannah Fitzgerald (MC). RBI: Sydney Orwig, Kanagy, Olivia Ahern, Alyssa Schnell (MC).