WILLIAMSPORT — Danville was two outs away from having its season end Saturday in the District 4 Class 4A softball championship game.
However with a runner on second base — and after fouling off three pitches — Kira Snyder hit a game-tying RBI single to keep the Ironmen alive.
Two innings later, Snyder was in the opposite position when the Ironmen guaranteed themselves another game. After hitting a one-out single, Snyder stole second before Cara Bohner stepped two the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Bohner drove a double to knock in Snyder with a game-winning run, giving Danville the district title with a 3-2 win over Shamokin.
“It’s outstanding,” Danville coach Jamie Strausser said. “They earned it. They did everything we asked them and more.”
The Ironmen open the PIAA tournament Monday against Tunkhannock at 3:30 p.m. at Marywood University.
Danville (19-1) is on a 10-game winning streak heading into states, but the Indians (16-6) didn't make it easy for the Ironmen in the third meeting between the two teams. Danville won the two regular-season games by a combined score of 19-1.
However, Shamokin scored more runs in the second inning of the district final than they did in two games.
Brooke Sebasovich led off the second with a walk, and Lauren Noll drew a one-out walk to put two runners on.
Lindsey Glosek followed with an RBI single to give Shamokin the lead. Noll then scored on a passed ball to put the Indians ahead 2-0.
Danville ace Morgan Wagner allowed four hits — Glosek also singled in the fourth — but issued six walks. Wagner walked two batters in each of the first three innings.
“I was a little frustrated, but I knew I had my team behind me,” Wagner said. “It took me a little bit. I just spun the ball in the zone and made them swing.”
Wagner finished with 19 strikeouts and retired the final seven batters she faced to allow the Ironmen to rally and win in extra-innings.
“I think it was my team behind me,” Wagner said. “Not only that, but I also worked the zone. I saw what they were swinging at, and I just pounded that.”
Shamokin pitcher Annie Hornberger also kept the Ironmen largely off-balance. Hornberger struck out 11 and did not walk a batter, giving up eight hits.
Bohner — who finished with three of Danville's hits — singled to lead off the third and took second on a bad throw. She advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on an RBI groundout by Lindsey Cashner to halve Shamokin's lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Hornberger retired the leadoff batter to put Shamokin two outs away from a district crown. However, Emily Herriman reached on a bunt single and stole second before scoring on Snyder's single.
Snyder avoided a tag at first base with a headfirst slide, and Herriman just beat the throw.
Neither team scored in the eighth, setting up the heroics of Snyder and Bohner in the bottom of the ninth.
“Nobody hits the ball better than her,” Strausser said of Bohner. “She is just an animal at the plate — all year long. I was hoping she was going to get up.”
The walkoff win was a special moment for the Ironmen, and Strausser, in particular. As a child, Strausser was coached by Rich Davies, who was the last coach to lead the Ironmen to a district softball title before Saturday.
“He taught me a lot about the game when I was a kid,” Strausser said. “It’s just awesome I was the next coach to help get this done for these kids. Rich Davies has taught a lot of boys and girls a lot about the game of baseball and softball.”
DISTRICT 4 PLAYOFFS
CLASS 4A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
at Elm Park, Williamsport
DANVILLE 3, SHAMOKIN 2, 9 inn.
Shamokin;020;000;000 — 2-4-3
Danville;001;000;101 — 3-8-0
Annie Hornberger and Kate Glosek. Morgan Wagner and Lindsey Cashner.
WP: Wagner; LP: Hornberger.
Shamokin: Lindsey Glosek 2-for-3, RBI.
Danville: Cara Bohner 3-for-5, double, RBI; Lindsey Cashner 1-for-4, RBI; Kira Snyder 2-for-4, RBI.