Three-Run Fifth Helps Clarion Softball Overcome Cranberry
CLARION, Pa. (D9Sports) – Clarion plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning without hitting a ball out of the infield to rally past Cranberry, 10-8, in KSAC softball action Wednesday at Paul A. Weaver Park in Clarion.
(A story with a Cranberry take can be found here at ExploreVenango.com)
The Lady Cats, who led 5-0 at the end of one inning, trailed 7-5 after 2 ½ but tied the game at seven with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third.
The game stayed that way until the fifth when Clarion scored three runs on one hit, two walks, a key Cranberry error and a sacrifice fly to the catcher.
Maya Thornton led off the inning with an infield single to third and then moved to second when Carly Best drew a walk. MacKenzie DiTullio then hit a comeback to the mound. But Natalie Barcinas’ throw to second went into left-center field allowing Thornton to come all the way around from first and score with Best going to third and DiTullio to second giving Clarion an 807 lead.
A wild pitch pushed Clarion’s lead to 9-7, and, following a walk to Keeana Over to put runners on the corners, Anna Reed popped up to catcher Kendra Schreck in foul territory along the first-base line. But no one covered the plate, and DiTullio sprinted home to give Clarion a 10-7 advantage.
The bottom three hitters in the Lady Cats’ lineup – Thornton, Best and DiTullio – were also responsible for tying the game in the third.
With one out, Thornton reached on an infield single and then scored on an errant throw by the Barcinas trying to get her at second on a comebacker by Best, who then scored on a wild pitch.
The fact Clarion’s bottom of the lineup was so productive pretty much summed up the Lady Cats day on offense. Eight of the nine batters scored at least one run paced by Thornton and Best each scoring two, while all nine batters reached base at least once.
“When you have a tough out the whole way through the lineup, it just makes things go better for you,” Clarion head coach Dan Shofestall said. “It makes it tougher for the opposing pitcher, because she has to work every better down through the lineup.”
Clarion’s offensive production started early with a five-run first inning that saw 11 batters come to the play and that was aided by four walks from Cranberry starter Sarah Barcinas, who lasted just ⅓ of an inning.
Sadie Rudesyle had an infield single to score one run, while Cora Zerfoss brought home another with a fielder’s choice and walks to Alexis Constantino and Best also scored runs as did an infield single by Keanna Over, who had started the inning with a walk.
Watch Rudesyle drive home Over in the first inning for Clarion
“It’s always important to start off well,” Shofestall said. “I always say if you come out and jump on them quick, a lot of good things usually happen. Even though they came back and went ahead, at least we had that foundation of the early runs that we weren’t way behind.
“We didn’t hit the ball real hard, but we ran the bases real good (in the first inning) and took advantage of the opportunities that we had.”
Cranberry fought back scoring two unearned runs in the second to get within three, and then the Berries tied the game when freshman Malliah Schreck hit a 3-run home run to left in the third. A wild pitch and an RBI fielder’s choice by Tori Flinspach then gave Cranberry the 7-5 lead.
“We’ve been talking all year about responding when negative plays happen,” Shofestall said. “We had some plays go against us early. We responded well and didn’t let it get us down like we have in the past. That’s a good team over there.”
Constantino was one of the reasons Clarion was able to rally.
The sophomore pitcher allowed just one run, a seventh-inning run on a Libby Kiefer base hit, and five base runners over the final four innings. She finished the game giving up four earned runs on 10 hits. She walked two and struck out three.
“Alexis hung in there,” Shofestall said. “She did a very good job.”
Natalie Barcinas took the loss despite pitching well in relief giving up five runs, two earned, in 5 ⅔ innings of work. She allowed three hits, all infield singles, and walked four while striking out seven including a stretch of four in a row from the second through the third.
NOTES – Clarion scored 10 runs on just five hits, all of the infield variety, but were aided by eight walks and three Cranberry errors.
CLARION 10, CRANBERRY 8
Score by Innings
Cranberry 025 000 1 – 8
Clarion 502 030 x – 10
CRANBERRY – 8
Natalie Barcinas lf/p 4010, Andrea Watson rf 3120, Bree Swartzfager 3b 4110, Kendra Schreck c 3000 Kaylee Weaver ph 1110, Malliah Schreck ss 3223, Libby Kiefer 1b 4211, Hannah Duncan pr 0000, Lakyn Vonada cf 4110, Rachael McCauley dp 2001, Nicole Hutchinson ph/dp 2000, Tori Flinspach 2b 3012, Sarah Barcinas p 0000, Kaila Yashinski lf 0000. Totals 33-8-10-7.
CLARION – 10
Keanna Over ss 2111, Anna Reed 2b 2111, Johnna Rapp c 3100, Sadie Rudesyle 1b 4111, Cora Zerfoss 3b 4101, Alexis Constantino p 3001, Maya Thornton lf 3220, Carly Best cf 2201, MacKenzie DiTullio dp 3100, Liz Sarver rf 0000. Totals 26-10-5-6.
LOB: Cranberry 5, Clarion 7. 2b: Watson. HR: M. Schreck. SB: Zerfoss. E: N. Barcinas (2), Vonda, Over (3), Reed, Zerfoss. SF: Reed.
Cranberry – S. Barcinas 0.1 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 1 K. N. Barcinas 5.2 IP, 5 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 7 K.
Clarion – Constantino 7 IP, 8 R, 4 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 3 K.
Winning pitcher: Constantino
Losing pitcher: N. Barcinas
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