LV?holds off Lady ’Cats
LIGONIER – Momentum can swing in the blink of an eye.
In the case of the Ligonier Valley softball team, it happened with one swing of the bat Thursday afternoon.
And then the hits piled on.
Courtney Frappier ended Morgan Glover’s bid for a perfect game, and Hannah Yesky took away the no-hitter two batters later to spark the Lady Rams’ four-run fifth inning and lift 10th-seeded Ligonier Valley to a 4-3 win over 14th-seeded Huntingdon in the District 6 Class AA semifinals at Donaldson Park.
“These teams from the Mountain League are good teams,” Ligonier Valley coach Mark Zimmerman said. “When you get a chance, you better score some runs because you never know when you’re going to get another chance to. We were glad to put those runs together and get out of here with a win.”
Frappier was the first Lady Ram to reach base when she hit a line drive to shortstop Sam Mansberger. Mansberger was charged with an error when the ball skidded off her glove and to her right.
Caitlin Michaels, who was running for Frappier, moved to second on Rachel Wallace’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Yesky’s single up the middle.
Brittany Lynch had a base hit and moved up on the throw to third to put two runners in scoring position.
Jeanie Markosky doubled off of second base, brought home two runs and later scored when Maddy Grimm reach base on an error by third baseman Cheyanne Snyder.
Other than giving up two more hits in the sixth inning, Glover tossed a respectable game, including retiring the first 12 batters she faced.
“She definitely was keeping them off-balance, changing speeds, mixing locations,” Huntingdon coach Chris Patrick said of Glover. “They were out on their front foot a lot. They were hitting balls right at us and we were making plays. She did a very, very nice job keeping a good lineup off balance.
“It was looking good, but with a team that hits the way they do, you figure you’re going to need more than one to win. They broke through [with a] couple of errors and then took advantage of some nice, solid hitting and just open the flood gates.”
After a one-hour weather delay for lightning and rain, the Lady Bearcats (10-12) got off to a quick start.
Brionna Mort drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on Mansberger’s single to center. Natanya Shingler and Janay McCrum had RBIs in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough to get Huntingdon out of its three-run hole.
“We went up there swinging the bats and good things happened,” Patrick said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get that last run home. But once they saw that first hit, the confidence came. It was just too little, too late.”
And despite the setback, Patrick was happy with the results this postseason.
“We finished strong,” he said. “There was a time in the middle of the season where the playoffs didn’t even look like they were a possibility. And then to finish the way we did, beating some quality teams to get in and knocking off quality teams [in the playoffs], I think, if anything, we proved we belonged.
“No shame in going in as a 14 seed being one run away from advancing to the finals. I couldn’t be any prouder of our girls than I am right now.”
Ligonier Valley (16-3), meanwhile, advances to Wednesday’s district title game against top-seeded Philipsburg-Osceola – the third team from the Mountain League that the Lady Rams will have to face in the playoffs.
The Lady Mounties upended fifth-seeded Bellwood-Antis, 5-2, on Thursday.
“It’s great for us, it’s great for the program to get a chance to get back there,” Zimmerman said. “[Philipsburg-Osceola is] a great program.”
HUNTINGDON (3): Mort c 211, Mansberger ss 401, Shea 1b 311, Shingler lf 311, Snyder 3b 301, Henney 2b 200, McCrum rf 301, Yoder cr 000, Glover p 000, Conner dp 300, Varner cf 300. Totals 26-3-6.
LIGONIER VALLEY (4): Grimm ss 300, Berry lf 300, B. Wallace 3b 301, Frappier 1b 300, Michaels cr 010, R. Wallace rf 201, Yesky 2b 311, Lynch c 201, Kuhn cr 010, Markosky cf 211, Umbaugh p 000, Lear dp 100. Totals 22-4-5.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Huntingdon100 002 0 3 6 2
Ligonier Valley 000 040 X 4 5 1
E-Snyder, Mansberger, Frappier. DP-Ligonier Valley 1. LOB-Huntingdon 5, Ligonier Valley 2. 2B-Shingler, Markosky. RBI-Mansberger, Shingler, McCrum, Yesky, Markosky 2. SAC-Wallace, Lear. SB-Mort 2. CS-Wallace.
Huntingdon-Glover (L), 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Ligonier Valley-Umbaugh (W), 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO.
Records: Huntingdon (10-12), Ligonier Valley (16-3).