Constantino, Zerfoss, Thornton Pace Clarion Softball Past Rival C-L
STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (D9sports) – The Clarion softball team is quickly putting a six-game losing streak behind it picking up win its fourth straight victory with a 9-0 win over rival Clarion-Limestone Wednesday afternoon at C-L.
The Lady Cats rode a strong pitching performance from Alexis Constantino, who was back in the circle for the first time since suffering a leg injury April 27 vs. Punxsutawney, and three-hit games from Cora Zerfoss and Maya Thornton to the victory.
Constantino, who got back on the field in Monday’s 6-0 win at Brockway for the first time since the injury, returned to the circle and showed fine form in throwing a three-hit shutout. She walked five and struck out three while working her way out of trouble a few times stranding five C-L base runners in scoring position including working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second.
Zerfoss and Thornton, meanwhile, led a 13-hit attack that took a bit to get going – seven of Clarion’s runs came in the final three innings.
Zerfoss was 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored, while Thornton went 3-for-4 with a pair of infield singles, an RBI and a run scored.
Here is what Zerfoss had to say about her performance and how she believes her team is playing.
Zerfoss scored Clarion’s first run, in the second inning, thanks in part to a C-L error, something that hurt the Lady Lions all day long with C-L committing five errors leading to four unearned Clarion runs.
In the second, Zerfoss led off with a single, stole second and went to third on a groundout by Thornton to shortstop. But when first baseman Emilie Miller tried to throw Zerfoss out at third, the throw got away allowing the speedy junior to score.
C-L threatened in its half of the second with a leadoff single by Abby Carl and back-to-back one-out walks to Miller and Dawn McLaine. But Constantino got Paige Aaron to ground back to the mound with the Clarion sophomore pitcher throwing home for the force out and Ariel Rhoads to pop up to second baseman Anna Reed, who played a solid game defensively.
Clarion added to its lead with a run in the fourth, although C-L pitcher Alyssa Kiser did a good job of limiting the damage after three straight singles by Sadie Rudesyle, Zerfoss and Thornton loaded the bases with one out.
The run came home on a groundout to third by Sydney Kiser with C-L third baseman Megan Schimp taking the force out at third. Kiser then got Carly Best to popup to shortstop ending the inning.
The Lady Cats, however, put the game away with a four-run fifth.
Constantino got the inning started with a single to center and was replaced by courtesy runner MacKenzie Ditullio. Keanna Over then hit a line shot off the pitcher Kiser for a base hit with Ditullio going to third on an error by Miller, who missed the throw to first. Over then stole second putting runners on second and third, and Reed hit a grounder that Schimp couldn’t field at third scoring two runs, one of which got Reed an RBI. Reed was actually out on the play at home following another C-L throwing error and two run downs.
After a second out was recorded, Rudesyle kept the inning alive with a double to right-center field, and Zerfoss followed with an RBI triple down the line in left. Thornton then beat out an infield single to shortstop scoring Zerfoss and making it 6-0 Clarion.
Just for good measure, the Lady Cats added three more runs in the seventh thanks in part to a pair of C-L errors.
Sydney Kiser had a two-run single to right that scored Johnna Rapp and Thornton, and Kiser scored when leftfielder McLaine dropped a fly ball by Best.
Alyssa Kiser took the loss allowing nine runs, five earned, in 13 hits and one walk. She struck out three. Carl had a pair of hits for the Lady Lions.
Clarion is now 11-7 on the season. The Lady Cats host Keystone at 3:30 p.m. Thursday before closing out the regular season by hosting Johnsonburg Monday.
C-L falls to 5-10 on the year. The Lady Lions are at Redbank Valley Thursday before hosting Venango Catholic Monday and traveling to play Forest Area at East Forest Tuesday.
NOTES – Prior to the game, C-L honored its four seniors – Miller, Kiser, Rhoads and Switzer.
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