LEWISTOWN - It took the Panthers five innings to wake up their bats, but it didn't take long before Lewistown's softball team had a commanding lead, cruising to an 8-1 victory over cross-county rival Indian Valley Thursday.
"Lewistown played a great game," Indian Valley coach Greg Evans said. "They hit the ball well. They played defense and (Maddie) Amspacker pitched a good game."
The Panthers scored all eight of their runs in the final two innings, getting the clutch hits they couldn't find earlier in the game. Indian Valley's Dani Treaster battled through four tough innings, striking out three and stranding six runners during Lewistown's first four at bats.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Lewistown cather Emily Tomasello (25) tags out Indian Valley’s Peyton Wise as she slides into home plate Thursday afternoon in Lewistown.
Jess Henry reached first on a fielder's choice with one out in the fifth for Lewistown, and that's when the game got really interesting. Maddie Amspacker hit a ball to left that was misplayed by Dyanna Lepley, allowing Henry to score and Amspacker to advance to second. Amspacker advanced to third on a passed ball, and Indian Valley catcher Erica Kauffman overthrew third on the pickoff attempt, allowing Amspacker to score.
"I think it was just all confidence," Lewistown shortstop Alexis Eby said. "We've seen (Treaster) before so we knew what we had to expect. It took alittle while to warm up, but after our confidence kicked in, we took off."
Meanwhile, Amspacker was pitching a gem for the Panthers. She struck out six and surrendered only three hits.
Lewistown travels to Philipsburg Saturday
Indian Valley plays at Central Mountain Tuesday
"I'm glad she got the chance to show what she really truly has," Eby said. "This is her first full game this season. She brought it. She knew to bring it."
The Warriors threatened to break what was then a scoreless game in the fourth inning when Autumn Coffey lined a ball of the third baseman's mit, sending Kauffman arounf the bases and toward home. Johnson backed up the play perfectly in left and threw a strike to the plate to rob Indian Valley of a run.
"We needed to get some clutch hits early in the game," Evans said.
Indian Valley scored its only run in the sixth on an RBI double by Katelyn Glick.
Treaster came out in the sixth inning and retired the first Panther easily, but it was no omen of things to come. Lauren Snyder reached on a walk, followed by a Johnson single. Eby was up next and ripped an RBI single to right, then Henry hit an RBI single to left. Amspacker reached on an error in left field. Cheyenne Stonerook reached next on a fielder's choice, followed by Brooke Morningstar reaching on another error, scoring Amspacker. The inning to forget for the Warriors continued with a two-run single by Emily Tomasello, who reached third as Indian Valley carelessly threw the ball.
Treaster looked exausted on the mound.
"Sure, she's going to be tired," Evans said. "But she's going to fight. She's going to keep us in the game. We have to play defense behind her. There were a lot of balls that were dropped that shouldn't have been dropped."
The Warriors went quietly in the seventh to finish out the game.
"We made some mistakes that were tough," Evans said. "We need to make fewer mistakes. We need to be more consistent to win. We need to hit the ball better to win, but we have good kids and we'll keep plugging away."
Lewistown also won the JV game, 12-9. The winning pitcher was Morgan Stimely.
Indian Valley (2-3) travels to Central Mountain on Tuesday.
Lewistown (2-3) will travel to Philipsburg-Osceola on Saturday.