YORK - Mifflin County High Intensity's 14U ASA softball team went 6-3 over the weekend, in the process clinching third place in the Class B state tournament.
All three of the Mifflin County losses came to the top two teams in the event; in fact, two of the three were to the eventual winner.
With their finish, the High Intensity squad qualified for the Eastern National tournament in Ohio, but the team opted not to enter that event due to a prior commitment for a charity fundraising event the same weekend.
Among the half dozen wins were two that proved key to the Intensity's success: a 7-5 victory over the Elysburg-based Susquehanna Valley Rebels that was split over two days, and a 6-5 nailbiter against York's Pa. Ball Hawks that ended after two innings of international tiebreaker play.
In the former, the game that began Saturday was suspended in the third inning due to lightning. When action picked up Sunday, Mifflin County - batting as the away team - sat the Rebels in two straight innings while scoring in the fourth and fifth to take the lead. The big runs came in the fifth, when Jordan Shirey, Jordan Kratzer, Courtney Page and Kaitlin Kratzer had consecutive hits to pace the local club to three runs.
The turnaround from that pitted High Intensity against the Ball Hawks, a back and forth game in the late innings after each team scored a run across the first five. The York team plated a pair in the sixth inning, but Mifflin County got those two back - a crucial score as the game was approaching the tournament's 90-minute time limit, which meant the final two frames would be played under the tiebreaker rule, which places a team's last batter from the previous inning on second base to start the subsequent turn.
Both teams scored a run in the seventh, keeping the game in play, then the Ball Hawks added another in the eighth.
But Mifflin County scored two. Allessa Morrison doubled to push Shirey, the tiebreaker runner, across the plate. Morrison stole third and became the winning run when Jordan Kratzer hit a sacrifice fly.
Three pitchers carried the team: Shannon Marks (2-1), Lizzie Drawl (1-1) and Emily Karn (3-1); Karn also registered a save.
Coach Doug Marks credited Jenna Miller and Alyssa Koontz with key catches in the field and several RBIs that kept the Intensity in position to advance.
Game by game, the team split in pool play on Friday, losing to the Elite of Duncansville, 13-8, before topping the Drums-based Valley Regional Warriors 13-1. In the first bracket game, also Friday, Mifflin County took out Blkoomsburg's Columbia County Rampage Black 8-4.
On Saturday, the eventual runner-up Wyoming Valley Vipers from Shaverstown won a 12-4 decision. The Intensity won their next two, 4-2 over Endless Mountain Blast of Dallas, Pa., and 4-3 over the Pottsville Pride 3.
After the completion of the Rebels and Ball Hawks games Sunday, the Elite, which lost in the top bracket to the Vipers, handed Mifflin County a 20-2 loss, their last of the tournament, before beating the Vipers twice for the title.
State College 11, Mifflin County 6
STATE COLLEGE - Mifflin County's American Legion baseball team closed the books on the regular season with an 11-6 loss at State College Monday.
State College had big innings to start and end the game, more than enough to keep the locals in the back seat after they held a 1-0 lead in the middle of the first.
"The real diffference in tonight's game was State College had a bases-clearing double in the first inning and a three-run double in the sixth," Mifflin County manager Larry Wolfe said. "We had opportunities with runners on base with two outs and didn't get the big hits."
Mifflin County (8-15, 7-7 Central Penn League) enters the CPL playoffs as the third seed from its division. The tournament gets under way Wednesday.
Line Mountain 12, West Snyder 1 (5 inn.)
BEAVER SPRINGS - West Snyder's debut in the Susquehanna Valley American Legion League playoffs turned sour Monday when Line Mountain's Brady Renn hit a grand slam, sparking the visitors to a 12-0 win in five innings in the play-in game.
Shane Connahan, who went 2-for-2, scored West Snyder's only run on a hit by Alex Lash.
West Snyder will travel to either Danville or Shamokin Wednesday, based on the outcome of first-round games today.
District 13 10-11
Juniata 9, Millville 7
MILTON - Juniata's 10-11 Little League all-star team is among the final four in the District 13 tournament after a win Sunday, 9-7 over Millville.
Juniata County got on the board in the first when leadoff hitter Trent Watts had an infield hit, stole two bases then scored on a passed ball.
Millville answered that with three runs in the first, but in the top of the third, Juniata County put four across the plate to take the lead for good.
Watts again led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI base hit by Payne Shirk. Bryce Leonard reached on an error, and with two outs, Bryce Dalpiaz ripped a single to score both Shirk and Leonard. Dalpiaz stole second and made it home on a throwing error.
Juniata County put another run across the board in the top of the fourth then in the top of the fifth inning Juniata scored two more thanks to timely hitting. Leonard singled, stole second and third and scored when Dalpiaz ripped a single up the middle. Dalpiaz was able to score when Logan Ewell roped a double to left-center field. Juniata County added an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Levi Harper belted a double and scored on a Leonard single.
Millville made it interesting in the bottom of the sixth by scoring two runs and having the tying runs on base but a fly ball to right field ended the game. Leonard got the win on the mound and Watts a save. The doubles by Ewell and Harper were the only extra-base hits in the win. Watts, Leonard and Dalpiaz each had a pair of hits.
Juniata County takes on Danville in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mary Byers Complex in Milton.