Juniata silences county, Tri-Valley foe East Juniata

Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
East Juniata’s shortstop Tianna Terry, right, picks up a ground ball hit by Lexie Berry as Juniata’s Mya Rush advances from second to third base Thursday in Mifflintown.

MIFFLINTOWN — Juniata softball coach Dave Cisney had high hopes for the Indians’ offense and after having little to show for it Wednesday, the girls recovered rather nicely Thursday.

The Indians had six batters drive in a pair of runs, five batsmen collect multiple hits and four hitters with extra-base hits, all in three innings of work. The offense was so lethal, it batted around twice. The explosive offense amounted to a 15-0 win over East Juniata in Tri-Valley League play.

“We had a case of the nerves in the first game, and I think we got over them pretty quick,” Cisney said. “We didn’t like that feeling at the end of the game last night so we came out and tried to change that.”

The Indians first batted around in the second inning, sending 11 to the plate and collecting six hits along the way.

Olivia Laub got the scoring started for the Indians when she lined a single into right that plated Kali Foltz, who reached on a leadoff single. Sandwiched between was Ally Misal working a walk. She came around to score on a fielder’s choice that moved Laub into scoring postion.

Mya Rush kept the train moving with a single before she and Laub both scored on an infield error hit into by Lexie Berry. Berry, too, didn’t have to wait long to come around as Maci Kreider crushed a pitch off the fencing in center for an RBI double.

The biggest hit of the frame occurred two batters later when Hunter Jones took Tigers’ pitcher Carlee Berrick deep for a two-run homer. If there was a positive sign for East Juniata, it was that center fielder Alyssa Robinson didn’t give up on the ball, ultimately flipping over the fence in an attempt to run it down.

The Indians (1-1) didn’t let up any in the third, striking for eight more runs that ultimately ended the game.

Juniata had six hitters reach base via five hits and an error before the Tigers could record an out.

Juniata pitcher Abby Adair continued to help her cause in the circle with a double to left that scored Laub. Emma Pannebaker pinch ran for Adair and scored on an infield error off the bat of Rush.

The Indians then struck for three consecutive singles from Berry, Kreider and Laney Dowling — the last two driving in a run. The errors continued for the Tigers (0-2) as Foltz reached on one. Maisel then came up with her first hit of the game — a two-run double that scored both Dowling and Foltz.

Laub drove in the last run after hitting a ground ball to the right side. Misal advanced to third on contact, and scored on the play.

“I had a lot of confidence in that group of kids. They’re all good hitters,” Cisney said. “I think sometimes, they like to swing for the fence a little too much and I tell them ‘we need to focus on making more contact’ and they’re strong, good hitters. When you make good contact, the ball’s going to go.”

There were no clear indicators that the Tigers were going to have mounting struggles. In fact, the offense picked up a double from Tiana Terry.

After unsucessfully bringing her in, the Tigers found themselves in a bit of jam as the Indians managed to get runners on second and third with no outs. Barrick, though, got herself out with a pair of infield flyouts before the final flyout was made in center.

“I started getting that feeling and going ‘Oh no, here we go again,'” Cisney said.

Tigers’ coach Lauren Maguire wasn’t shy about what’s hurting the team in the early portion of the season.

“(This is) the same thing that happened last year. Our weakness was defense. We play one solid, two solid innings of defense and then we fall apart,” she said. “We have four returning girls from last year, three which played the field. We have six new positions out there and they’re all learning to work together.”

Barrick, too, had her struggles in a complete game, but Maguire isn’t one to give up on her for a variety of reasons. In fact, Maguire was holding her accountable throughout the game as one could hear Maguire ask her about certain pitch locations midgame.

“She wasn’t hitting her spots so we were confused as to what was going on there,” Maguire said. “She’s battling a little bit of (injury), her legs and hips are bothering her so we need to figure out what’s going on there for us to call our pitches and for her to hit her spots.”

Rush, Berry, Kreider, Foltz and Laub all went 2-for-3 for the Indians with three of them — Kreider, Foltz and Laub — driving in two runs. Adair and Ally Maisel also recorded two RBIs.

In the circle, Adair allowed two hits in the shutout.

Both teams return to action next week against the same team as East Juniata travels to Line Mountain Monday while Juniata hosts Line Mountain Tuesday.

Juniata 15, East Juniata 0 (3 inn).

East Juniata 000 — 0-2-3

Juniata 078 –15-14-2

WP: Abby Adair. LP: Carlee Barrick. SO: Barrick (EJ); Adair 2 (J). BB: Barrick (EJ). HR: Hunter Jones. 2B: Ashlynn Searer (EJ); Maci Kreider, Ally Maisel, Abby Adair (J). MH: Mya Rush 2-for-3, Lexie Berry 2-for-3, Kreider 2-for-3, Kali Foltz 2-for-3, Olivia Laub 2-for-3 (J). RBIs: Kreider 2, Jones 2, Foltz 2, Laub 2, Adair 2, Ally Maisel 2 (J)