By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- It was your typical hard shot into left field that the outfielder catches up to, scoops into her glove and gets away with just giving up a single.
So when Milton's Taylor Batman drilled a ball to left, it looked like precisely that. Unfortunately, the Shamokin left fielder didn't read the ball quite right, and it took an unfortunately bounce past her glove.The error proved more than costly, allowing three Milton runs to cross the plate to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Black Panthers rallied for an 8-5 win in the District 4 Class AAA semifinals on Thursday at Elm Park.
Milton returns to the District 4 Class AAA final for the eighth consecutive year and will meet Jersey Shore today for the crown at 2 p.m.
"It seems like we always have one bad inning, but that wasn't the only thing that happened," Shamokin coach Christi Cryder said. "We had errors that cost us runs other than that. They'll get it. I'm excited for next year. We only have one senior and I'll take that senior any time, but I'm very proud of the girls. They fought and fought."
Milton (14-7) batted around the lineup in that six-run fifth inning, including a string of five straight batters reaching. Batman's deep single came with just one out. The Black Panthers also accounted for five hits in the inning, the same amount they had the first four combined.
The Indians (11-11) jumped out to an early lead against Milton, the district's No. 2 seed.
Courtney McGrath came through for Shamokin with a deep triple down the left field line to bring in two Indian runs. Shamokin then held a lead until the top of the fifth inning when it added on two more runs thanks to an Olivia Bonshock single to build a 4-1 lead over Milton.