CURWENSVILLE – The Curwensville Area High School softball team has gotten into a habit that head coach Allen Leigey would like to break. Sluggish first innings in the last two games have forced the Lady Tide to struggle from behind in losing efforts. On Wednesday the slow start gave Elk County Catholic an edge that helped to a 10-5 win.
The visitors appeared to have this game well in hand early, but it wasn’t totally decided until the sixth inning when the ECC bats sealed the game.
With three swings of the bat the Lady Crusaders jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Marissa Heary led off the game with a pop single to short right field. A passed ball moved her to second and she scored on a single by Michaela Cashmer. Pitcher Abbey Bauer followed with a two-run home run to center for the 3-0 start.
“If we could take the first inning away, I think the game would be different,” said Leigey. ”We did the same thing against Johnsonburg (Tuesday) in the first inning and had to try to catch up. It just seems like we don’t come to play and it takes too many innings to get into it.”
ECC was able to put two more runs on the board in the second inning with a pair of hits. Sierra Meyer opened with a double and stood at third after two outs. Bauer was walked, and Carli Schneider hit a slow roller toward the mound. Lady Tide pitcher Tierra Shope fielded the ball but Meyer was able to elude the tag at the plate. Jollene Renwick followed with a double to plate Bauer for the 5-0 advantage.
However, in the third inning, Curwensville put their game into gear. With two outs in the frame Shope singled and catcher Alaina Stiles cleared the left field fence for a 5-2 margin.
After two outs in the fourth, Melanie Milliron drew a walk, and Bethany Carns slapped a double to the fence in right field. Milliron was able to score from first on the play to close the score to 5-3.
“We could have easily folded after the 5-0 start and gone home,” Leigey noted. ”When we got to the fifth inning, I truly thought we were going to win. I was happy with the battle in them.”
The battery mates set the table again for the hosts in the bottom of the fifth. Shope led off with a single up the middle and Stiles doubled to put two on with no outs. First baseman Nikki Harker grounded to short, and Shope scored on the play to first. Stiles was left stranded, however, and the score stood at 5-4 for the moment.
The sixth inning was a nightmare for the Lady Tide as five runs were plated despite Shope striking out the side. Cashmer started the agony with a one-out single, and Bauer hit her second homer of the game to up the score to 7-4. Schneider and Renwick followed with singles to set the stage for Rachel Stauffer’s three-run round-tripper and a 10-4 back-breaker.
Stiles refused to be showed up in the bottom of the seventh as she pounded her second home run of the game to set the final at 10-5.
Stiles finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with two homers and a double. Shope was the only other Tide hitter with multiple hits. In the circle, Shope struck out 10 ECC hitters and walked two batters (Bauer twice intentionally). However, the Lady Crusaders punched out 14 hits on the day to aid the win.
Shope also reinjured her leg in the seventh inning and had to yield the circle to sophomore Riley Young. Leigey has already made the decision not to pitch Shope against DuBois Central.
“She’s been hurting all season, and we need to get her healthy before the post-season,”Leigey said. ”Tierra has pitched five games in five days and needs to take a day off in the circle. She’ll be on the field, but just not in the usual position.”
That rest will come this afternoon against DCC at Riverside Stadium. Curwensville (8-6) will play two double-headers on the road next week to end their regular season.
ELK COUNTY — 10
Marissa Heary ss 5110, Michaela Cashmer lf 5231, Abbey Bauer p 3324. Jessica Tettis cr 0000, Carli Schneider 1b 5111, Jollene Renwick c 4131, Rachel Stauffer 3b 4113, Maddy Schneider cf 4010, Sophie Yanak DP 4010, Sierra Meyer 2b 4110, S. Hoffman Flex/rf 0000, TOTALS – 38 AB 10 R 14 H 10 RBI.
CURWENSVILLE — 5
Abby Dugo ss 4010, Tierra Shope p 3220, Jourdan Round 3b 0000, Camryn Richards ph 1000, Alaina Stiles c 4233, Nikki Harker 1b 3001, Megan McCartney lf 3010, Riley Young 2b/p 3000, Kealy Wassil DP 3000, Melanie Milliron rf 2100, Bethany Carns 3b 3011, Marissa Kuntz pr 0000, Hannah Dixon Flex/cf 0000, TOTALS – 29 AB 5 R 98 H 5 RBI.
SCORES BY INNINGS – R H E
Elk County 320 005 0 – 10 14 0
Curwensville 002 110 1 – 5 8 5
ERRORS – Shope Stiles 3, McCartney. LOB – ECC 9; Curwensville 5. 2B – Renwick , Meyer, Yanak; Carns. HR - Bauer 2, Stauffer; Stiles 2. SB - Cashmer. PB – Stiles. WP – Shope.
Elk County - Bauer 7 IP 8 H 5 R 5 ER 2 BB 4 K 0 HB
Curwensville - Shope 6.1 IP 14 H 10 R 9 ER 2 BB 10 K 0 HB
WP – Bauer. LP -Shope (5-6).
Lady Tide Scoreboard:
|3/24||@ Johnsonburg||ppd.||0 – 0|
|3/26||DUBOIS CENTRAL||ppd.||0 – 0|
|3/31||BROOKVILLE||9 – 8||1 – 0|
|4/02||@ Sheffield (DH)||ppd.||1 – 0|
|4/04||HARMONY||ppd.||1 – 0|
|4/07||KANE||ppd.||1 – 0|
|4/09||@ Elk County Catholic||6 – 7 (8 inn)||1 – 1|
|4/11||@ West Branch||ppd.||1 – 1|
|4/14||BROCKWAY||susp.||1 – 1|
|4/15||@ Johnsonburg||ppd.||1 – 1|
|4/16||@ West Branch||2 – 7||1 – 2|
|4/17||@ Harmony||11 – 1||2 – 2|
|4/21||@ Mo Valley||5 – 6||2 – 3|
|4/23||JOHNSONBURG||8 – 7||3 – 3|
|4/24||@ Sheffield (DH)||13 – 1||4 – 3|
|4/24||@ Sheffield||10 – 1||5 – 3|
|4/28||@ DuBois Central||1 – 9||5 – 4|
|4/29||@ Johnsonburg||ppd.||5 – 4|
|4/30||CLARION-LIMESTONE||ppd.||5 – 4|
|5/01||GLENDALE||ppd.||5 – 4|
|5/03||REDBANK VALLEY||cancelled||5 – 4|
|5/03||GLENDALE||4 – 1||6 – 4|
|5/05||@ Kane||10 – 0||7 – 4|
|5/05||@ Kane||11 – 1||8 – 4|
|5/06||@ Johnsonburg||3 – 4||8 – 5|
|5/07||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC||5 – 10||8 – 6|
|5/12||@ Brockway (DH)|
|5/14||@ Clarion-Limestone (DH)|