Reffner reflective on career in Everett defeat

By Michael Boytim

mboytim@altoonamirror.com

DuBOIS — Sydney Reffner’s high school softball career came to an end Wednesday afternoon after a game that did not reflect how good she’s been as an Everett Lady Warrior.

But moments after making the final out and wrapping up an 0-for-4 day at the plate in Everett’s 6-2 loss to Karns City in the District 5-8-9 Class 3A subregional at Rose & Dennis Heindl Memorial Field, Reffner was hugging and encouraging teammates with a smile on her face.

“We’re a family,” Reffner said. “When I came in as a freshman, I felt right at home. I didn’t feel like a little freshman. I always felt welcomed, and we just had a very successful four years.

“Our team has been to the district championship in three of the four years, and we do so well because we all care about each other and not stats. It’s all about team support.”

Reffner came into the game hitting .544 with 23 RBIs in 17 games but could not get the better of Karns City pitcher Logan Byers.

“She was jamming us,” Reffner said. “Every pitch was inside, inside and inside again. We have been working on hitting outside pitching. Inside pitching should be easier to adjust to, but me personally, I just didn’t do well adjusting to it.”

Though it may have seemed like a strategic ploy by Karns City to work Reffner and her teammates inside, it was just the Lady Gremlins doing what they’re best at and letting it fly.

“We never looked ahead or the team we were playing,” Karns City coach Mike Stitt said. “The only thing we can control is how we play. I didn’t look up their lineup or look to see who did what for them. I just made sure our girls were ready to go.”

Karns City was in control for most of the game, but it was actually Everett that scored first. Brooke Colledge beat out an infield single with two out in the first inning, stole second and scored on Alex Iseminger’s single.

The Lady Gremlins, however, tied the game in the bottom of the inning with an unearned run, something that has become a theme for the Lady Warriors this season.

While starting pitcher Jacie Martin had pitched her way to a stunning 0.92 ERA coming into Wednesday’s game, she had allowed 24 unearned runs. That continued in the subregional game when just two of Karns City’s six runs were earned.

“We usually have a lot more hits and put the ball in play a little more,” Everett coach Jackie Levy said. “Softball is a game of inches, and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Reffner, Martin and Brittany Ewing are among the seniors who played in their final game for the Lady Warriors.

“These girls played their heart out all season,” Levy said. “No matter what, they had good attitudes today. It’s sad to see the seniors we had this year go, because they’ve been great over the years for us, especially our middle infielders.”

Karns City’s McKenzie Dann came up with the biggest hit of the game, an RBI triple to right field which nearly bounced over the fence thanks to the artificial turf. If it had, Alyssa Stitt, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, would have had to go back to third and Dann to second. As it stood, Kate Allen grounded out three pitches later to bring home Dann and give Karns City a 3-1 lead.

“These girls came to play,” Stitt said. “This was the best game they played all year long.”

Karns City tacked on three more unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to provide some insurance.

The Lady Warriors scored a run in the seventh inning on back-to-back doubles by Katie Price and Martin, but Reffner flew out with the tying run on deck.

Stitt was relieved to see his team close the game out, noting they’d allowed some big innings in earlier games.

“This game they showed more maturity than previous games before,” Stitt said. “It was nice to see them come through.”

Despite losing some talented seniors, Colledge and Iseminger highlight a solid group of returnees for next year’s Everett squad.

“We have some really good underclassmen,” Levy said. “We have good kids coming in from junior high. We have a lot to look forward to, and I tell the kids all the time, like they say at Alabama, tradition doesn’t graduate.”

EVERETT (2): Reffner ss 400, B. Ewing 2b 301, Colledge cf 311, Iseminger c 301, Price 3b 311, Martin p 301, Schleinkofer rf 300, Grubb lf 300, K. Ewing 1b 300. Totals — 28-2-4.

KARNS CITY (6): Byers p 100, Milochik cr 010, Stitt ss 410, Dann 3b 312, Allen 2b 300, Ekis 1b 302, Fetterman pr 010, Grazioli rf 310, Wolfe cf 312, Neff lf 100, Clark ph 100, Fritters dp 200, Shay ph 101, Huff c 000. Totals — 25-6-7.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Everett 100 000 1 — 2 4 3

Karns City 102 003 X — 6 7 3

E–Price, K. Ewing, Reffner, Dann, Stitt, Ekis. 2B–Ewing, Price, Martin, Wolfe. 3B–Dann. SB–Iseminger, Colledge, Grazioli, Wolfe. CS–K. Ewing, Dann. RBI–Iseminger, Martin; Dann, Allen, Wolfe, Clark.

PITCHING

EVERETT: Martin (L)–6 IP, 7H, 4K, 2BB, 6R, 2ER, 104 pitches.

KARNS CITY: Byers (W)–7 IP, 4H, 4K, 0BB, 2R, 2ER, 116 pitches.

Umpires: Colleen Shannon, Joe Shick, Jim Pullman, Byron Quinton

Records: Everett (15-3); Karns City (16-2).

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