By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
As the umpire said “ball” following a pitch, Selinsgrove’s Ellen Spriggle bolted from first base to try and steal second. The speedy center fielder managed to slide and just beat the throw from Line Mountain catcher Kiana Lukoskie.
As the infield umpire signaled Spriggle was safe, Selinsgrove senior Brynn Musser did a little fist pump just outside of the batter’s box.
Everything seemed to align perfectly for Musser to come through for the Seals.
With a 1-2 count, Musser swung and drove the pitch deep over the head of Line Mountain’s left fielder for a walk-off, inside-the-park home run in Selinsgrove’s 12-10 win over Line Mountain in a nonleague game Monday at Selinsgrove H.S.
“I tell myself every time I’m up to bat, ‘just a little hit.’ I wasn’t expecting that,” Musser said laughing. “That’s a nice way to come back and just win the game.”
Musser was huge for Selinsgrove (4-2, 3-2 HAC-I), falling a double shy of the cycle. The senior hit a triple deep to center in the second inning to bring in two runs, and had an RBI single into shallow right in the fifth.
“That’s what she’s capable of doing and that’s what we needed her to do,” Selinsgrove coach Joel Rogers said. “She can hit the ball hard.”
Line Mountain (1-4, 1-1 TVL) found itself in a big early hole.
The Seals’ offense exploded in the second inning to score six runs with a string of five consective hits. Rachel Goodling started the rally with an RBI single that dropped just behind the first baseman.
That was followed by a two-run single down the third-base line from Spriggle before Musser’s huge two-run triple. Jess Kerstetter knocked a single to center that drove in the final run of the second inning and put Selinsgrove ahead, 6-1.
The Seals added to their lead in the third inning when Line Mountain walked in two runners for an 8-2 margin.
Line Mountain began to move runners in the top of the fifth inning. Back-to-back doubles by Sarah Lahr and Casey Masser with just one out accounted for all four runs in the inning and cut the Seals’ lead to 8-6.
“Give them credit,” Rogers said. “They just kept coming and they hit. They started hitting Katie (Spriggle) and she wasn’t real effective the last couple innings she pitched, and Jordan (Wilt) got us out of that last inning, but credit to them. They played well and they hit the ball and they did what they needed to do.”
In the sixth inning, the Eagles’ Bre Boyer grounded out with bases loaded, but brought in a run. Lahr followed two batters later with an RBI-single into right field that tied the game at 9 before Selinsgrove walked home the go-ahead run.
“We’ve been preaching all year that they’ve needed to overcome adversity; that’s why you have 21 outs in a game,” Line Mountain coach Jordan Taraschuk said. “They kept after it with the sticks and put us into a position to win, but credit to Selinsgrove. Their girls killed the ball when it mattered, too.
“I thought when we hit the ball hard — we seemed to hit it right to them or off them — but it seemed when they hit the ball hard, it was in the gap somewhere and we had to run it down,” Taraschuk added.
Line Mountain’s defense forced Selinsgrove to strand runners all game. The Seals left runners on base in all but one of the first six innings and left the bases loaded in the third.