LEWISTOWN - When Mifflin County's Allessa Morrison opened the bottom of the second with a first-pitch solo home run down the left field baseline to mark the Huskies' first score against Central Dauphin East, she was already having a good night. One inning later, it was evident the home run was only a preview of what she and the rest of the Huskies could do.
With 15 hits from the team, two of which came from Morrison for three RBIs in the second, Mifflin County lit up the scoreboard time and again to rout the Panthers 11-1 in six innings to mark their first Commonwealth Division win.
In the first three and a half innings the Huskies and Panthers were neck-and-neck, as each had plated one run by that point, and had runners in scoring position at the conclusion of each half. The bottom half of the third, however, proved to be the inning when the Huskies took the game away.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY?KREITZER
Mifflin County’s Jordan Myers, right, slides safely into second base as Central Dauphin East’s Nina Bruno waits for the throw from home Thursday evening in Lewistown. Mifflin County won the game 11-1 in six innings. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
In an inning which hosted the entire Mifflin County lineup - four Huskies batted twice in the stanza - the Huskies put together seven hits and took advantage of a few Panther errors to put up eight runs, only one of which was unearned, to make the score 9-1 in the Huskies' favor at the end of the third. It took Morrison's three RBIs, two from Tara Kibe and one apiece from Jordan Myers and Kali Hunter to get the Huskies' seven earned runs. Starting pitcher Taylor Boyer got the unearned run when she scored from third on an overthrown pickoff attempt by the catcher which allowed Taylor to advance home.
Mifflin County coach Jack McCurdy said Shania Brooks, the Panthers' starting pitcher, threw slower than the hard-throwing Kayla Sullenberger the Huskies faced in their first game against Cumberland Valley, but they eventually caught on.
"The kids had to make that adjustment today. We faced that Sullenberger kid from Cumberland Valley the other night who threw pretty hard, so I think they were having a little trouble dealing with the velocity of (Brooks). But they caught on. They made the adjustment," he said.
IF YOU GO
Mifflin County hosts Chambersburg Monday
Mifflin County scored its remaining two runs to end the game in six innings at 11-1 when Maggie Wray crossed home plate on a called balk, then five at bats latter Macie Lucas brought Mara Rhodes home from third with a walk-off RBI single to left field.
On the defensive end, Mifflin County got the win out of starting pitcher Boyer. In her first start, Boyer allowed four hits in four innings and didn't give up a single earned run. Boyer threw to contact, as every out while she was in the circle was recorded from the field, but for the most part she prevented the Panthers from putting anything dangerous into play.
One key out from the Huskies was Hunter's diving stop at second then calm throw to first to end the Panthers' half of the third inning, leaving runners stranded at third and first.
"The kids are going to put the ball in play, but (Boyer) has to be smart in terms of where she's throwing it," McCurdy said, explaining that with Boyer's style, the other team might put the ball in play a lot, but she won't give it much chance to get many solid hits.
Mifflin County's Rachel Zimmerman finished from the mound for the Huskies, allowing two walks to her three strikeouts.
In the top of the sixth, Central Dauphin East had runners at first and third with no outs, but with the next three batters Zimmerman threw a strikeout, forced a 5-3 groundout for the second out, then closed the half when she caught Nicole Neikens looking on a 2-2 count for the third out.
Mifflin County (1-1, 1-1) hosts Chambersburg on Monday.