The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 15, 2014

High School Softball: Shamokin qualifies for districts

COAL TOWNSHIP — Before coach Rich Kashner started to talk to the media following the game, Shamokin seniors Olivia Bonshock and Jenny Hornberger came running from behind the dugout and emptied the team’s water cooler on him.

The first-year Indians coach simply laughed with cold water down his back. That was pretty much the only response Kashner could have given since the celebration meant one thing: Shamokin’s District 4 bound again.

After losing two straight games to Southern Columbia and Jersey Shore, Shamokin hosted Columbia Montour Vo-Tech in a do-or-die regular season finale to get into the District 4 Class AAA playoffs. And they came through big on Shamokin’s Senior Day with a 10-3 rout of the Rams on Thursday at Eddie M. Griffiths II Memorial Field at Shamokin High School.

“It’s great. It feels awesome. It took all season, but it’s all that matters now,” Bonshock said of clinching a district berth. “It’s a new game now. Everyone’s 0-0 right now.”

After stranding runners in each of the first two innings, which included six strikeouts, Shamokin (10-9) finally got its offense going in the third.

After Hornberger reached on a single, Brie Bonshock came through with a shallow single into right to bring Hornberger home. Olivia Bonshock reached two batters later on an error that brought Helana Supsic home.

With just one out, Kelsey Forbes hit a deep single into center that drove in another run after Olivia Bonshock went home on a passed ball.

CMVT (13-6) answered right back in the top of the fourth inning with three runs thanks to a string of three straight hits, including a deep double by pitcher Hope Witchey (who recorded 13 strikeouts) to start the inning off. The Rams went through seven batters before Shamokin got out of the inning.

Despite giving up the three runs, Shamokin never let the lead go and tacked on two runs in the fifth to lead 6-3 before blowing the game open with a four-run sixth inning.

“That (four-run sixth) was big. Kind of gives you a breath, especially the way we’ve been going (giving up leads),” Kashner said. “That was very exciting to get those few runs.”

Shamokin went all through the lineup in the sixth. After the first two batters got out, Supsic hit a shallow single to second base before Olivia Bonshock crushed a home run into center field to put Shamokin ahead 8-3. Natalie Wolfe would reach on a hit batter before Forbes came through with another single. Madison Rodarmel reached on an error, allowing Wolfe and Forbes to both score.

Forbes led the Indians with a 3-for-3 day.

“We needed those insurance runs, that was really important,” Olivia Bonshock said. “In case we went out and things got shaky in the field, we needed a couple runs to give ourselves some distance.”

While she didn’t record a strikeout in the win, Shamokin junior Carley Nash threw a solid game for the Indians. Other than a four-hit fourth inning, Nash allowed just one hit in the other six innings, and four times she forced three up, three down innings as Shamokin’s defense yielded very little. Of CMVT’s five hits, only one was for an extra base.

“We let her know that we have her back at all times. She doesn’t get nervous at all because she knows that we’re all back there and all talking to her,” Hornberger said. “She’s not by herself, we help her out.”

“She’s not a shutdown pitcher that’s going to blow it by people, but she’s going to throw strikes and give us the chance to get outs,” Kashner added.

Shamokin added two runs in the fifth when Olivia Bonshock and Forbes both scored on passed balls.

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