Mifflin County rallies, defeats State
Huskies grab 8-5 victory over D6 rival
LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County found itself in a familiar spot Friday afternoon, but the Huskies’ bats made sure that the result wouldn’t be the same after a disappointing result against Central Dauphin the day before.
The Huskies fell behind early, but timely hitting and clutch pitching in the circle led the way as Mifflin County topped District 6 rival State College, 8-5, in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth softball contest in Lewistown.
Mifflin County’s Gianna Hoppel drove in two, Mackenzie Burdge had three hits and an RBI and Devanie Condrack and Madison Myers dominated in relief as the Huskies clawed by the Little Lions.
State College’s Olivia McTavish led off the evening with a home run to left-center field before the Little Lions plated two more runs in the second inning.
Meredith Meengs walked to begin the second before a sacrifice bunt by Ella McDyre allowed Meengs to move from first to third due to smart baserunning. McTavish finished the inning with a two-run single to put the Little Lions up 3-0.
Mifflin County (4-3, 4-2 Commonwealth) responded with a big bottom half of the inning to take the lead as Josie Kibe scored on an error by the State College shortstop before Hoppel delivered a two-out RBI single to center field to plate Jaylyn Moore and Alexis O’Brien. Burdge also scored on a wild pitch in the frame.
“We got down a little bit early again, but we kept battling back. We strung a couple of hits together and that was a big thing,” Mifflin County coach Craig Weston said. “We used three pitchers tonight and they did everything we asked of them. That’s the way this team has to be. We just have to keep grinding and playing hard.”
The Little Lions tried to answer in the third inning after back-to-back walks to start the frame, but Condrack came in halted any momentum State College could gather, getting Ava Babcock to pop out to second base before striking out Gabbi Todd and Meengs to end the threat.
Condrack then struck out three more in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to finish with eight strikeouts in 3.2 innings of relief.
Mifflin County pulled away in the fifth as Alyssa Souders walked and later scored on a wild pitch and O’Brien delivered a clutch double down the right field line to extend the Mifflin County lead to 7-3. State College struck for two more in the sixth before a two-out double by Kibe and an RBI double by Burdge — who advanced to third on a fielding error by the right fielder — made it 8-5 through six.
“That’s really our motto. We are going to just keep grinding,” Weston said. “Whether we are up by five or down by whatever, we’re going to keep grinding and let it all out on the field and we will see what happens. This team has done that to this point and that’s how we are going to play.”
Condrack yielded just two hits and two runs, both of which were unearned as she picked up the victory for Mifflin County. Madison Wolfgang came on in relief with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth for Mifflin County, striking out four of the five batters she faced on the way to a four-out save.
“You can’t ask anything more of them,” Weston said. “All three of them did great. You’re going to miss a pitch here and there, but I couldn’t have asked for much more out of all three of them.”
With the win, the Huskies bounced back nicely from Thursday’s 8-1 loss to the Rams and are firmly in first place in the District 6 softball rankings through seven games.
While Weston downplayed the significance of an early season victory over State College, he is pleased with the effort he’s seen out of his team and the direction the Huskies are headed going into a pair of road contests against Chambersburg and Cumberland Valley next week.
“State College is a rivalry, but it doesn’t matter who is across from you on the diamond you have to come out and play,” Weston said. “You have to come ready every day and in this league, — you can’t take a day off. That’s what I’ve said to the girls from Day 1.”
Mifflin County 8, State College 5
MC 040 031 X — 8 7 2
SC 120 002 0 — 5 4 3
WP: Devanie Condrack. LP: Zia Bodnar. SV: Madison Wolfgang. SO: Condrack 8, Wolfgang 4, Leesha Shilling 2 (MC); Bodnar 7 (SC). BB: Shilling 3, Condrack 3, Wolfgang 1 (MC); Bodnar 5 (SC). HR: Olivia McTavish (SC). 2B: Josie Kibe, Alexis O’Brien, Mackenzie Burdge (MC). MH: Burdge 3-4 (MC); McTavish 3-4 (SC). RBI: O’Brien 3, Gianna Hoppel 2, Burdge (MC); McTavish 4 (SC).