By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
MONTOURSVILLE -- Prior to Sunday's Section 3 Junior Division Softball championship game, Warrior Run manager Ted Reynolds knew his players would have their work cut out for themselves versus Montoursville starting pitcher Kelsey Dangle.
Dangle was as good as advertised. She scattered six hits in a complete-game gem as Montoursville ended Warrior Run's season with a 12-0, six-inning victory at Montoursville Middle School.
Montoursville now advances to the Pennsylvania state tournament hosted by West Point Little League in Greensburg beginning Wednesday.
Warrior Run's abbreviated season came to an end after just three games, and the team can now start building for the future.
"(Dangle) brought some serious heat up to the plate and some of the girls were intimidated. Dangle was probably the fastest pitcher they've seen all year," said Reynolds.
"Megan Herriman and Maddie Beyer both hit the ball well off Dangle, but (my girls) played against a level (of competition) they're not used to playing. Now they've seen it, and they can get ready for next year."
Beyer and Herriman went 3-for-3 and 2-for-3, respectively, to lead Warrior Run. Dangle though, struck out nine batters and she also benefitted from two double plays in the contest.
But it was Montoursville's offense that made the first big impact of the game. The team opened with two runs in the first — the first on an unearned run prior to Dangle helping her cause by ripping an RBI single to center.
If Montoursville's quick start wasn't deflating enough for Warrior Run, a failed chance to answer in the bottom half of the inning certainly was.
That's because Warrior Run's best chance to score off Dangle came in the first.
Warrior Run had two runners on with two outs after Maddie Beyer led off with a single and Herriman singled to right, the latter coming when there were two outs. However, Dangle struck out Mikayla Griner to end the inning.
"Montoursville only got two in the first and that wasn't too bad," said Reynolds. "But as the game wears on and you don't get any runs, the girls probably lost a little bit emotionally there.
"But they fought to the end and I'm proud of them. It was a long season and they did well."
The game went from bad to worse in the second when Montoursville capitalized off two errors to score five runs for a 7-0 lead. A two-run double by Phillips was the big blow in the inning.
Kelsey Dangle's sister, Korin, got in on the action in the fourth inning when she hit an RBI single to give Montoursville a 9-0 lead. Later, a two-run single by No. 9 batter, Kim Foster, led to a three-run sixth that led to the shortened win for Montoursville.
Kelsey Dangle finished the game as strong as she started it in the sixth. Despite allowing a lead-off double by Jackie Vognetz, Dangle struck out the next two batters before she coaxed Alexis Neuer to ground out to first.
"Hat's off to Montoursville. They are a good team," said Reynolds. "They all swing the bat very well, they field the ball well and they make quick throws.
"They deserved to win, and good luck to them at states," added the Warrior Run manager.