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Sports

West Shamokin takes advantage of young Elderton

| Tuesday, April 24, 2001

ELDERTON - The Elderton softball team was supposed to have 10 games under its belt by the time it hosted West Shamokin yesterday.

But Mother Nature has played a cruel joke on just about every team in the WPIAL this year, and no team has felt its wrath more than the Lady Bobcats.

In just its second game of the season, Elderton was no match for West Shamokin in a 12-3 loss.

'We've had no game time and our practices have been limited,' said Elderton first-year head coach Mike Wood. 'It has hurt us a lot.'

West Shamokin used a six-run fourth inning to put the game out of reach and to earn its second section win of the season.

'I thought we were a little flat, but I'm glad we pulled out the win,' said West Shamokin head coach Sue Meixelberger.

The Lady Wolves have also been affected by the recent run of bad weather.

'We haven't been able to get in any kind of groove,' Meixelberger said.

The Lady Wolves didn't need a groove Monday, as they took advantage of several Elderton miscues.

'Out of their 12 runs, we probably gave them seven or eight,' Wood said.

West Shamokin scored three runs in the top of the second. Sharon Clever led off with a single and Keri Pelky followed with a walk. Clever stole third and stole home as Pelky stole second. Pelky scored on an error and Katie Hudak, who reached on an error, scored on pitcher Sam Rankin's one-out single.

Elderton got a run back in the bottom of the frame when designated hitter Annette Polof drove home Jessica Thomas with a double to center field.

The fourth was a disaster for Elderton, as West Shamokin scored six runs on just two hits.

'All in all, we're very young,' said Wood, who starts four freshmen and three sophomores. 'They need to learn how to play as a team.'

Elderton got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Thomas scored on an error and Krista Nordby scored on Lupita Smith's single.

Elderton center fielder Jenny Brown made the play of the game in the top of the fifth.

West Shamokin leadoff hitter Alicia Gahagan lined a soft fly ball into shallow center that looked as if it was going to drop in for a single. But Brown raced in, laid out and made a spectacular diving catch to rob Gahagan.

West Shamokin added two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to make it 12-3.

The Lady Wolves, who had only seven hits, benefitted from 10 walks and four Elderton errors. Pelky went 3-for-3 with a double, two walks, one RBI and three runs.

Rankin tossed a complete game, striking out three batters with no walks.

Thomas went 3-for-3 with two runs and Nordby went 2-for-3 with one run for Elderton.

'Overall I'm not disappointed,' Wood said. 'We're working hard and coming together. If we can keep a positive attitude we'll win some games. There's a good future for this team.'

Sports Writer Bill Mayer can be reached for comment at KMB0915@excite.com .

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