Ten games into the season, Altoona softball coach Christie Klausman believes her team is starting to hit its stride.
The Lady Lions (4-6) won their second straight Thursday with a 14-4 victory over Hollidaysburg at the Logan Elementary Field.
"The girls were really focused," Klausman said. "It's been hard to stay focused with all the rain we've had. Our practices have been our games, but I think we're finally coming together."
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Altoona’s Hayley Weaver slides into third base safely as Hollidaysburg’s Hannah Mercer gets the throw during Thursday afternoon action at Logan Elementary School.
Altoona banged out 13 hits in the win and took advantage of nine walks and four hit-batsmen. Six Lady Lions had at least two hits, and Kristie Mulhollem pitched five strong innings to get the win.
"Her changeup was working really well. That set up her fastball," Klausman said.
Mulhollem also knocked in three runs as did Didi Rizzo and Amanda Parrish. Bailey Sinai went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and Brooke Kudlawiec had a pair of doubles and scored four times.
"We really got the bats around. One through nine, all the girls really stepped up the whole way through the lineup," Klausman said.
Hollidaysburg (0-7) grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Courtney Storm knocked in Ashley Creamer with a single to center in the top of the first.
Altoona grabbed the lead with a five-run third inning. Rizzo drove home two runs with a double to left centerfield. Madeline Berry brought home two more with a single to center.
Altoona took a 6-1 lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth before Hollidaysburg climbed back in the game with three runs in the fifth. Hannah Mercer doubled home two runs then came around to score on a Biz Carter single.
The Lady Lions answered immediately with four runs in the bottom half of the inning and four more in the sixth, bringing the mercy rule into effect.
Making just her second varsity start, Hollidaysburg pitcher Brooke Ickes seemed to run out of gas in the fifth and sixth innings, walking six batters and hitting two others.
"We've got a really young team that's working hard and learning to play the game," Hollidaysburg coach Mike Harris said. "They've got good attitudes, but it's tough when you get down early."
HOLLIDAYSBURG (4): Brustle lf 301, Creamer cf 121, Mercer ss 211, Carter 3b 301, Storm 2b 301, Ickes p 300, Herr c 300, Stubbs rf 300, Sheehan 110, Dengler 1b 000. Totals - 22 4 5.
ALTOONA (14): Sinai ss 423, Kudlawiec c 242, Rizzo 3b-p 322, Parrish 1b 422, Mulhollem p-3b 312, Weaver rf 100, Montgomery cf 210, Berry 2b 402, Feathers lf 220. Totals - 25 14 13.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Hollidaysburg100 003 x-4 5 1
Altoona005 144 x-14 13 1
2B-Mercer, Kudlawiec 2, Rizzo. RBI-Mercer 2, Carter, Storm, Sinai, Kudlawiec, Rizzo 3, Parrish 3, Mulhollem 3, Montgomery 1, Berry 2. WP-Mulhollem. LP-Ickes. SO-Ickes 4, Mulhollem 2. BB-Ickes 9, Mulhollem 3, Rizzo 1.
Records: Hollidaysburg (0-7); Altoona (4-6).