By Jeff Fishbein
For the Mirror
LEWISTOWN - Huntingdon came to play.
That was pretty much the consensus Monday after the visiting Bearcats shelved Lewistown's hopes of advancing in the District 6 Class AAA softball bracket, defeating the Panthers, 8-1.
If offense sells tickets and defense wins games, Huntingdon went from the box office to the winner's circle without blinking. The Bearcats put five runs on the board with eight hits in the first two innings, and completely shut down the home team's efforts except for a two-run blip in the sixth.
The first batter at the plate set the tone. Huntingdon's Brionna Mort dropped a ball in center for a triple to lead off, and Alexyss Spencer dropped a sacrifice bunt to score the run in the No. 2 spot. Two more runners on base later in the frame didn't pay off, but the best was yet to come, offensively.
Toni Strait opened the second for the Bearcats with another triple; there were four more base hits in the inning, three of them after Lewistown recorded the second out. Spencer drove in her second run of the game, while Cheyanne Snyder plated two with a single. One run scored on a wild pitch, another runner was waiting on third after boarding when she was hit by a pitch - enough to force the first pitching change for the Panthers.
Bearcats coach Chris Patrick thought his team was reacting to its being taken lightly - not a huge surprise when the squad came into the bracket at 7-11.
"I think so, and I think it took the wind out of their sails a little bit," Patrick said. "We were able to deflate them and we were able to stay on an even keel."
"I told the girls, they could beat us, and they beat us," Lewistown coach Don Stonerook said. "Our problem was we gave them too many runs. We didn't make the plays. Today just wasn't our day."
On the other side of the book, Huntingdon simply didn't allow Lewistown the chance to do any damage in return. Three innings were almost over before the Panthers had a runner on base; two more passed before anyone on the home side got past first. Some of it was routine play in the infield, but there were some superb catches on lasers off the Lewistown bats - Spencer stopped two of those at short; Katie Kurtz dived for one to end the game.
"We put it all together, just not always at the same time. But we did enough to win," Patrick said. "I'm pleased with our effort today."
SCORE BY INNINGS
Huntingdon140 111 0 - 8 12 1
Lewistown000 002 0 - 2 4 3
WP-Snare. LP-Brooke Morningstar. Top hitters: Huntingdon - Brionna Mort 2-5, 3B; Alexyss Spencer 1-4, 2 RBIs; Casey Baird 3-5, 2B; Cheyanne Snyder 2-3, 2 RBIs; Leah Wilson 1-4, RBI; Toni Strait 1-3, 3B. Lewistown - Brooke Wilson 1-3, RBI.