EVERETT — Trailing by two runs and down to its last at-bat in Thursday’s PIAA class A quarterfinal against Glendale, the Millersburg softball team made the most of an opportunity.
The Indians scored two unearned runs in the top of the seventh to send the game to extra innings where they piled on three more to rally for a 6-3 victory over the Vikings to send them to the semifinal round Monday.
“We play to the last out,” Millersburg head coach Steve Allman said. “I preach that. I don’t care if we are up 10 or down 10. We play to the last out.”
Glendale led 3-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh when Millersburg’s Morgan Long’s infield dribbler went for a base hit. Hannah Dyer was hit by a Kyla Campbell pitch to put two runners on with no outs, and Maddi Etzweiler reached on a fielder’s choice when Glendale committed an infield error — its first error in the game — trying to get the lead runner at third, allowing Long to score.
Campbell got the Indian No. 3 and No. 4 hitters — Lacy Stait and Lydia Troutman — each to pop up in the infield for two outs, and had Taylor Bowman down in the count when she drilled a base hit to left field to plate Dyer, tying the game at 3-3 and sending it to extra innings.
The Lady Vikings threatened in the bottom of the seventh when Breanna Vereshack reached on a one-out infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. But she got caught too far off second base between pitches and was thrown out at third base to end the inning.
Millersburg then scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning, aided by a controversial call that prolonged the frame.
Lexi Lebo surprised the Vikings with a bunt single on a 1-2 count, and Kierstyn Smith reached on an infield error to put the Indians in business.
However, Campbell nearly pitched out of the jam again, this time getting Long to pop out to shortstop Alaney Vereshack before striking out Dyer for the second out.
It then appeared Glendale had escaped the inning when the Vikings threw out Etzweiler at first after she hit a ground ball. But the third base umpire ruled the ball hit her as she came out of the box, giving the Indian another chance.
The Glendale coaching staff questioned the call, asking the rest of the four-man crew for help. After a conference, the call stood.
Etzweiler made the most of the second chance, knocking in Lebo with a base hit, and Strait followed with a two-run triple to give Millersburg a 6-3 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth.
Alaney Vereshack smacked a one-out single to try to get a rally started and Lilley Vereshack followed with a double off Smith.
But Brooke Smeal’s and Campbell’s hard hits were caught by first baseman Shannon Seiders and third baseman Strait, respectively, to end the threat and Glendale’s season.
Millersburg (18-4) advances to the PIAA class A semifinals Monday against Williams Valley, which defeated Old Forge 14-0 in the quarterfinals.
PIAA SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS
CLASS A QUARTERFINAL
at Everett H.S.
MILLERSBURG 6, GLENDALE 3 (8 INN.)
Millersburg`100`000`23 — 6-10-1
Glendale`000`300`00 — 3-10-2
Kierstyn Smith and Lydia Troutman. Kyla Campbell and Brooke Smeal.
WP: Smith; LP Campbell.
Millersburg: Hannah Dyer 1-for-3, double; runs; Maddi Etzweiler 2-for-5, run, RBI; Lacy Strait 2-for-3, double, triple, 3 RBIs; Taylor Bowman, 2-for-4, RBI; Lexi Lebo 1-for-3, run; Morgan Long 2-for-4.
Glendale: Alanie Vereshack 2-for-4, run; Lilley Vereshack 3-for-4, double, run.