RIDGWAY – Trying to squeeze out a complete game became impossible Thursday night for the Curwensville Area High School Softball team as their game with AML foe Ridgway was suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning due to inclement weather. The game will be completed on May 4 prior to the second meeting of the two teams when the Lady Elkers visit Riverside Stadium in Curwensville. The Golden Tide holds a 28-2 lead and, barring an offensive spurt by the Elkers would end the game with three outs due to the 10-run mercy rule after five innings.
To this point in the game, Stacey Johnson has been stellar both offensively and defensively. The senior pitcher has given up just three hits while striking out nine and walking no one. At the plate Johnson is 4-for-4 with a home run and a double, five RBI’s and has scored five times. Sara Clark has hit safely in 3-of-4 at bats including two triples and five RBI’s while other triples were hit by Molly Demchak and Lindsay Barrett. Demchak, Rachel Holland and Maddie Peterman all have contributed doubles to the cause. In all the Lady Tide have taken advantage of 16 hits, 15 walks and six errors by the Lady Elkers to post their 28 runs.
The start of the contest was delayed because of the rains that moved into the area prior to game time. After a brief stoppage, however, the two squads played most of the game under wet and windy conditions. Curwensville wasted no time making things more miserable for the Elkers. Clark led off the game with a single, and after a one-out walk to Stacey Johnson, Molly Demchak drilled a triple to the fence for a 2-0 lead. Rachel Holland followed with an RBI double to set the first inning mark at 3-0.
Johnson opened the botom of the first inning with two strikeouts before Chelsea Bryndel slapped a triple to center. The threat was quickly stopped as Barrett fielded a grounder at first and stepped on the bag for the third out.
Curwensville went back to work in the second as Clark reached base via an error and Johnson found a Morgan Herzing offering to her liking for a fence-clearing drive to left that set the score at 5-0.
Ridgway answered in its half of the second as Sydney Kovalyak was hit by the first pitch of the inning. After two strikeouts, Kovalyak scored on a double error that slipped by the right side of the Tide defense.
The Elker excitement was short lived as the Lady Tide sent 12 batters to the plate in the third inning and scored eight times. Triples by Clark and Barrett along with Peterman’s double highlighted the six-hit frame. The offensive burst by Curwensville set the score at 13-1.
Ridgway posted its final run in the bottom of the third when Bekka Leitzel singled and quickly stole second and third. After two more Elker strike outs, Samantha Kovalyak singled to the right side to plate Leitzel.
The visitors rallied for three runs in the fourth after two outs. Tess Bloom reached base on a fielder’s choice and Johnson drew a two-out walk before Demchak’s double plated both runners. An error off the bat of Holland allowed Demchak to score for the 16-2 lead. That lead proved to be one run short of a 15-run lead that would have ended the game after four innings as Johnson recorded two more strike outs in a three-up-three-down bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth the flood gates opened once again. The sky was relentless and so was the Tide as the rain increased and Curwensville sent 16 more batters to the plate. With the help of six walks, every player in the line-up crossed the plate in the fifth for the Tide as Herzog was chased from the mound and Bri Stenta took over to give up three more runs before recording the final out of the day.
Before the Elkers could take their bats in the fifth, the game was suspended, with the final outcome to be determined on May 4. A complete box score for this contest will be posted after the game is made official.