O’Brien’s walk-off powers Huskies past Trojans
Huskies fend off Trojans’ rally, win late
LEWISTOWN–When Alexis O’Brien stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth, Mifflin County and Chamberburg were knotted at three and the winning run was on third base with only one out in the inning. Everyone in attendence knew what was at stake, including O’Brien, but the Huskies’ right fielder kept a level head and treated it like any other at bat.
Earlier in the game, O’Brien had been patient at the plate, drawing two walks and working deep into counts. She kept that same approach against Chambersburg’s reliever Erin Pattillo who was having trouble finding the strike zone.
O’Brien worked her way to a 2-1 count before making her move.
Pattillo’s pitch came in right over the heart of the plate and O’Brien took advantage, roping a line drive into the right-center field gap and over the pursuing outfielders’ heads, more than deep enough to drive home the winning run to give the Huskies a 4-3 win.
As O’Brien stood at second, her teammates and coaches came pouring out of the dugout in jubilation and in true walk-off fashion, the Huskies’ hero was doused with water from the team’s cooler.
“I went up thinking this was just another at bat and trying not to be nervous. If I was nervous, I probably would have done something else (at the plate),” O’Brien explained. “It feels pretty great.”
O’Brien’s heroics capped off a game that was all Huskies for the first five innings. Mifflin County held a 3-0 lead, only to see the Trojans rattle off three runs in the sixth inning, seemingly out of nowhere. Devanie Condrack had allowed just one hit before the Chambersburg offense exploded for five hits in the rally.
“Every win is big, but this one is the biggest win of our season,” Mifflin County coach Craig Weston said.
The Huskies got on the board during a two-out rally in the third inning. Caitlyn Kick doubled to right-center field to get the ball rolling. Madison Myers smacked a hit between the third baseman and shortstop which drove home Kick. Myers advanced to second as the Trojans tried to gun down Kick at the plate before a Gianna Hoppel single to center gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead.
“We got some good, timely hitting and it was just all around a good team win,” Weston said. “Our defense today was phenomenal. I can’t even name all of the plays that were made out there.”
Mackenzie Burdge was responsible for multiple web gems at the hot corner, using her lightning reflexes to snag hard-hit line drives. The Huskies defense was impeccable as a whole and when Chambersburg picked up hits, they earned them, placing them perfectly between Huskies defenders.
Pattillo singled to center to start the Trojans’ sixth inning which was followed by a single by Hannah Runk. Hoppel, playing second base, made a great play on a shallow fly ball into right field off the bat of Alyssa Brechbill. She made the catch on the run and with her back to the infield, which allowed Pattillo to tag up and score Chambersburg’s first run. Samantha Paetow doubled and Kenzie Boyd singled to tie the game at three.
Weston removed Condrack from the game and asked Madison Wolfgang to work out of a one-out jam with runners on second and third. Wolfgang was up to the task and got the next two batters to strike out looking and prevented the Trojans from taking the lead.
“They’re a bunch of hitters,” Weston said about the Trojans. “Our pitchers did well. Tonight, they just kept going.”
Chambersburg threatened in the seventh but came away with nothing as Wolfgang worked her way out of another jam. The Huskies’ reliever set down the Trojans in order in the eighth and allowed her offense to take matters into its own hands.
Jaylyn Moore hit a bullet right at the shortstop who let the ball go under her glove and between her legs, giving Mifflin County a much-needed base runner. Wolfgang pinch ran for Moore and took second on a wild pitch before Leesha Shilling put together a great at bat, resulting in a fly ball to center which allowed Wolfgang to take third, setting the stage for O’Brien to walk it off.
“Shilling comes up big and moves the runner over before O’Brien drove one in the gap,” Weston said. “Unfortunately, there have been other times when we are trailing, but the girls keep fighting and that’s all you can do.”
Mifflin County will look to build off their biggest win of the season on Monday as it hosts Central Mountain on Monday.
Mifflin County 4, Chambersburg 3, (8 innings)
C: 000 003 00–3-8-1
MC: 002 010 01–4-8-0
WP: Madison Wolfgang. LP: Erin Pattillo. SO: Devanie Condrack 4, Wolfgang 4 (MC); Mackenzie Slate 6 (C). BB: Condrack 2 (MU); Pattillo 2, Slate (C). 3B: Alyssa Souders (MC). 2B: Souders, Alexis O’Brien, Caitlyn Kick (MC); Samantha Paetow (C). MH: Souders 2-4 (MC); Pattillo 2-4, Hannah Runk 2-4 (C). RBI: Madison Myers, Gianna Hoppel, Josie Kibe, O’Brien (MC); Alyssa Brechbill, Paetow, Kenzie Boyd (C).