The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 20, 2014

Little League Softball: Warrior Run rebounds with big win

MIFFLINBURG — It was exactly the kind of start Madi Waltman needed in Thursday’s elimination game in the District 13 Major Division tournament at Eighth Street Field.

Coming off a rugged outing in a loss to Lewisburg, Waltman and her teammates jumped on Danville in the first inning for five runs en route to a 14-4 win. Then Waltman struck out the side, around a hit batsman, in the home first.

Warrior Run, which stays alive to face the winner of today’s Mifflinburg-North Columbia game, was never in danger; Waltman and her defense worked their way around 11 walks.

“She was pretty dominant tonight and the other 11 girls supported her,” Warrior Run manager Greg Watson said.

Warrior Run took advantage of walks and got singles from Hannah Michael (3-for-4) and Sammy Ferguson, and a sacrifice bunt by Amber Pentycofe to get the early lead. Lauren Watson was hit by a pitch in the second and scored on a passed ball for a 6-0 lead.

Waltman struck out the side again in the second, but also issued four walks.

The Warrior Run pitcher tossed a no-hitter in Sunday’s tournament opener, but walked 19 in a loss to Lewisburg in the second game.

“I was very upset about our loss to Lewisburg,” said Waltman, who said she was happy with the support of her teammates against Danville.

Danville settled down and kept Warrior Run off the board in the third and closed the gap to 6-2 with a pair of runs without a hit in the third, but could have had more. But a strikeout by Waltman and a successful pickoff of a runner at third (catcher Jane Swartz to third baseman Watson) ended the threat.

Warrior Run’s bats really came alive in the fourth to make sure that Danville would have little room for error. The winners sent 15 batters to the plate that inning to put the score into the mercy rule at 14-3.

Warrior Run smacked seven hits that inning to go with two walks and a hit batsman. Waltman, Sammy Ferguson, Alyssa Mitchell and Mackenzie Psarakis each had an RBI in the rally.

Despite that hit barrage, Watson said he thought his team hit well throughout the tournament.

But Danville manager George Nye said a difference in the game was that Warrior Run’s hits were dropping and Danville’s didn’t.

“I think we did a really good job. The first inning was hard. You get down that many runs with a team of that caliber, it’s hard to come back, but they did battle back,” Nye said.

Danville needed to score twice in the home fourth to continue the game and almost got it done.

After Waltman retired the first two batters on a strikeout and a dribbler to the circle, Danville got a pinch-hit single by Regan Hess, who took second on a passed ball and eventually scored on a single by Lydia Gordner. After issuing another walk, Waltman ended the game with her ninth strikeout.

Nye said that Waltman did a great job, especially from where she came from her previous game.

“I’m proud of her,” he said.

Although Watson said he would have been just as happy if Danville had extended the game another inning or two, Waltman said, “I was overthrowing and I was really tired because of the heat and I was a little bit dehydrated in that inning before.

“I was really happy (to end the game in four innings),” she added.

The Warrior Run manager said, “I was very happy with our whole game. Our girls were ready to play.”

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