The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 21, 2014

Little League Softball: Milton Majors take winners' bracket final

MIFFLINBURG — Alyse Goodwin made her short walk to the batter’s box and was greeted by near-silence as she dug in.

It was only when her name was announced that the chants of “Let’s go, Alyse” rained down on the Milton first baseman. With an ever-present smile on her face, Goodwin accomplished the same result as her previous three trips to the plate — finding a pitch to drive and reaching base safely.

Milton defeated Lewisburg, 9-3, in the District 13 Major Division softball winners’ bracket final at Harry Haney Field on Saturday behind Goodwin’s consistent hitting and a pair of dominant arms in the circle.

“The girls showed up today with a great attitude (and) enthusiasm and we were smart in the (batter’s) box,” Milton coach Tim East said. “These 15 (players) can hit and we showed that today.”

Along with 11 hits, Milton showed patience at the plate, working four walks.

With the win, Milton advanced to the championship game on June 27 against an opponent yet to be determined.

“It feels really good (to be in the championship),” Goodwin said. “I’m really excited.”

Goodwin finished 4-for-4 at the plate with two triples and three runs scored, using a patient approach at the plate and waiting to blast balls to the fence to keep the pressure on the Lewisburg defense.

“I was seeing the ball real well,” Goodwin said.

“Alyse Goodwin has been one of our better hitters and she seems to show up game-in and game-out,” East added. “When I tell her to smile in the box, she usually hits the ball. So as long as she’s smiling, we’re good.”

Goodwin made her presence felt early after Lewisburg grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. After Siara Buck brought a run home to cut Lewisburg’s lead in half, Goodwin stepped in with Mekayla Schrock on first, needing one swing to tie the game and put herself a short sprint down the line away from scoring.

Goodwin roped a triple to the fence in left field, bringing home Schrock to tie the game. Goodwin scored on a single from Caitlyn Solomon to give Milton a 3-2 lead.

Pitching with a lead, Buck calmed any jitters she may have been feeling in the circle and started to set aside Lewisburg hitters with ease.

Buck struck out the side in the second inning, starting a hitless stretch for Milton pitching that continued for the rest of the game.

Buck sent eight Lewisburg hitters back to the dugout after striking out, rarely showing the same pitches and locations to back-to-back hitters.

After Jillian East came out to the circle for the fifth inning, after spending the first four innings with a head-on view of the batter’s box while playing center field, she continued to make things difficult for Lewisburg hitters.

“Siara and Jillian are one and the same (in the circle),” East said. “At this point, either one could take us where we need to go.”

East struck out the last two hitters she faced in the fifth inning to work around a leadoff walk and went into the sixth with a six-run lead and needing three outs to seal a win.

East let one pitch get away from her, putting a runner on first to lead off the inning, but she calmly set down the next three hitters she faced.

With strong pitching, Milton’s offense quickly provided a comfortable cushion after Lewisburg answered a Milton run in the bottom of the second with one in the top of the third inning.

Milton stretched a one-run lead to four runs in the bottom of the third after loading the bases with no outs.

On the next at-bat, Cameron Guisewite locked herself into a battle with a chance to bring in runs, fouling pitches off before taking ball four on the eighth pitch that she saw to force home a run. East followed with a two-run single to stretch Milton’s lead to 7-3.

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