LEWISTOWN - A pitchers' duel that saw seven innings go by in an hour became an even tighter game when Huskies shortstop Brandi Sherwood sent the game into extras - but visiting Bald Eagle Area managed to scrape a run across in the top of the ninth and held on for a 3-2 win over Mifflin County on Thursday afternoon.
Huskies coach Jack McCurdy knew it was a hard-fought game between two solid teams.
"It was a great game, played well by both teams," McCurdy said. "Both starting pitchers were great."
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY?KREITZER
Mifflin County’s Kale Hunter, right, slides into second after driving in the game’s first run against Bald Eagle Area Thursday.
The first four innings were completed in less than half an hour as Huskies starter Shelby Lyter and Eagles hurler Megan Dudish made quick work of the opposing lineups. Neither team sent more than five batter s up in each of the first four innings.
The Huskies finally opened up the scoring in the bottom of the fifth when Sherwood beat out a ground ball before Jordan Myers hit a double to leftm scoring Sherwood.
With the score 1-0 in the top of the seventh, the game looked like it would be a nice win for the Huskies. But the Eagles finally got to Lyter when Cassondra Ross reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Taylor Kresovich's double to center. Malorie Bennett stepped into the box next and singled to center, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
Mifflin County travels to Juniata Monday
The Huskies didn't give up in the bottom of the seventh. After Emily Tomasello popped up and Tara Kibe struck out, Sherwood grounded to third and the game appeared over, but the third baseman made a low throw to first and Bennett couldn't scoop it, resulting in a two-base error. That brought up Myers, who singled for her second RBI of the game and kept the Huskies alive.
Both teams went scoreless in the eighth, but in the ninth, the Eagles got a leadoff walk from Emily Peters, who stole second on the next pitch. After Ross advanced Peters to third with a sacrifice bunt, Kresovich grounded to third; as soon as the ball left Kale Hunter's hand toward first, Peters took off toward home and didn't beat the throw, but catcher Alyssa Morrison couldn't handle the throw and the Eagles took a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth Alyssa Stackpole popped out to third and Tomasello struck out to start the inning, but Tara Kibe kept hope alive as she singled to center and stole second. But Sherwood couldn't advance her as she kept the bat on her shoulder for a called strike three to end the game.
McCurdy was pleased with Lyter, who is in her first season as a varsity pitcher.
"I was really proud with how Shelby did," McCurdy said. "For her first time out at varsity (as a starter), she pitched exceptionally well. That's a tough game to lose."
Lyter went six and two-thirds innings striking out seven and walking just one. Dudish went the distance for the Eagles as she pitched all nine innings and struck out nine while walking two. Myers, Sherwood and Kibe had two hits each for the Huskies.
McCurdy thought his team learned a valuable lesson.
"I hope that what they learned is they've got to relax," McCurdy said. "They're playing really tight right now. You can just feel the tension in some of these kids and they're good players, but they've just got to learn the approach to the game and slow it down a bit and let their shoulders hang a bit."
The Huskies drop to 6-3 on the season. They hit the road to take on the Juniata Indians on Monday.