Softball squad advances to semifinal round
The Ligonier Valley High School softball team blew past Juniata for a 10-4 victory in the quarterfinal round of the District Six Playoffs. The Lady Rams scored all 10 runs by the end of the third inning, capitalizing on the seven errors Juniata committed.
“We knew we were going to see what we saw here. They made a lot of mistakes, but you could see they were a good team,” commented Coach Mark Zimmerman. “I told my team, from here on out we're seeing mirrors of ourselves. The only ones left are good teams. You've just got to go out there and play a good game to stay on top.”
At their first at bat, Maddy Grimm and Jackie Berry both hit singles. An error on a Courtney Frappier hit brought Grimm in to score. Another error saw Rachel Wallace make it on base and Berry in to score. A sacrifice ground ball from Hannah Yeskey brought in Frappier to score and an overthrow at third base allowed Rachel Wallace to score as well.
Juniata scored their first run on a hit that struck pitcher Hailey Umbaugh in the leg, slowing her just enough that she was unable to make the play at first for the third out. However, Ligonier fired back with five runs, coming from Courtney Lear, Grimm, Berry, Breanne Wallace and Rachel Wallace. They scored again in the third when Berry batted in Jeannie Markosky to score.
“The first two girls get on, and all of a sudden things are going helter skelter,” Zimmerman explained. “It makes it tough to get your composure. You start getting nervous and pretty soon the simple plays start getting hard. Juniata got themselves behind a little bit too far than what they could come back from.”
In a momentary lapse of composure, the Lady Rams made two errors that allowed two runs, followed by a double that brought in another Juniata run. Zimmerman said when the team got out of the inning, he told them to forget about it and keep going.
“They know you've got to let it go. I mean, it's done, it's over, there's nothing we can do about it. I told them we've just got to pick up, forget about it, and let's go. And they did; they got themselves back under control and we went out there and shut them down under that.”
The Rams regained their composure, blanking Juniata in the next two innings, finishing the game without another hit. Umbaugh pitched the entire game for Ligonier, striking out two, giving up a walk and three hits.
Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.