By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
COAL TOWNSHIP -- As soon as Carley Nash let go of the pitch, Shamokin's Christi Cryder could have started to shake her head.
The Indians coach was hoping for an outside pitch against Southern Columbia's Taylor Hoffman in the top of the third inning, but instead Nash threw it right down the middle.
Hoffman hit her second three-run home run, just past the scoreboard in left field at Eddie M. Griffiths II Memorial Field, and all but sealed the game early. The Tigers defeated the Indians, 11-3, in a Heartland Athletic Conference crossover game on a chilly Monday.
"You got to give it to her -- she hit the ball," Cryder said. "Two pitches, two home runs. That pretty much (was the game) right there."
Hoffman (3-for-4, 6 RBIs, 3 runs) blasted a pair of towering homers against Shamokin (9-9), the first coming in the first inning to put Southern Columbia (14-6) ahead 3-0 on a shot that hit the outer fence located behind the field.
Both homers came on first pitches.
"They were really big, especially from everything last year," Southern Columbia pitcher Mallory Tomaschik said, in reference to the Tigers' 3-1 loss in extra innings last year to the Indians. "It really kind of gave us revenge to just show them we are the team that we really are."
The Tigers' offense sparked right from the first at-bat when Kirstin Blass and Tomaschik reached on back-to-back at-bats with a double and single, respectively, before Hoffman's first home run.
In the third inning, after Hoffman's second shot, McKenna Lupold nailed a double to the center-field fence and then scored when Erin Troup reached on an error, increasing the Tigers' lead to 7-0.
Following two straight 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and fifth, Southern Columbia's offense heated up in the sixth thanks to a Blass sacrifice fly and a Tomaschik RBI-single on a hard grounder for a 9-0 lead.