Lady Vikings have rough day in quarters

CRESSON — The Glendale softball team’s memorable 2017 season ended Thursday in a manner the Lady Vikings would probably rather forget.

District 5 champion Meyersdale pounded out 17 hits on its way to a 15-2 win over Glendale in a PIAA 1A quarterfinal game at Mount Aloysius College.

Four players in the strong Meyersdale lineup combined for seven extra-base hits, and seven different Lady Raiders drove in runs.

Isabella Miller led the attack with five hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. The standout catcher had two doubles and a triple.

“We got a little out of what we do. They’re a great hitting team that kept the pressure on us,” Glendale coach Phil Barroner said. “Every time we’d fight back a little bit, they’d answer. They hit the fastball really well. We found out a little late that they seem to struggle a little bit with stuff off-speed. By then, it was too late.”

After Meyersdale pushed across a single run in the top of the first, Glendale scored a run in the bottom half of the inning.

Makenzie Lukehart doubled, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when the third baseman threw Kristen Hewitt’s groundball over the first baseman’s head.

Meyersdale wasted little time reclaiming the lead with one in the second and three in the third for a 5-1 lead.

The Lady Vikings cut the deficit to three with a run in the fourth when Cierra O’Shell doubled home Ellie Layo.

The Lady Raiders put the game away with a run in the fourth, four in the sixth and five more in the seventh.

“We came in knowing they had something. Their record’s really good,” Glendale second baseman Ellie Leyo said. “We were just kind of waiting to see if it was the offense or was it the defense. They played great both ways.”

Shawna Leonard hit a grand slam in the sixth for four of her five RBIs, and Miller tripled home two runs in the seventh. Miller scored on a Leonard single to set the final score.

“I was kind of concerned because their pitcher (Lexi Mulhollen) had a big, fast motion but the pitch was actually slower than that motion. We did well to sit back, let the ball get deep and open up,” Meyersdale coach Jessica Deakins said. “We showed good patience early. She was throwing a lot of low pitches, trying to get us to bite and ground out. Our kids laid off, and I think that helped them see the ball that was coming at the waist.”

Meyersdale moved on to the semifinals. Glendale’s season ended at 19-5. The Lady Vikings won their first district championship in any sport since 1992 and won their opening round playoff game to reach the state quarterfinals.

“Until two weeks ago, who knew where Glendale was when it comes to the softball world?” Barroner said. “I’m proud of the senior class. They’ve done the work they needed to do over the last four years. They’ve put a spark into it. I’m hoping the underclassmen see it and grow from it.”

“Winning the D6 championship is something we’ll never forget the rest of our lives,” Leyo added. “It’s been a great year. We won 19 games in one year when before it took couple years to get that many wins. We finally put Glendale on the map I think. We had another goal of 20 wins because that doesn’t happen a lot at Glendale, but we were one short. I couldn’t ask for anything more from my teammates.

Barroner sees no reason why the Lady Vikings can’t continue their success next year.

“We return a lot. Look through the starting lineup, there’s a lot of pieces still there,” he said. “Lexi returns, Hewitt behind the plate and a lot of pieces out in the field. I really do believe we come back pretty strong. Hopefully, some underclassman who didn’t get opportunities will showcase what they can do as well.”

MEYERSDALE (15): Cerreta 3b-ss 521, McKenzie cf 431, Miller c 535, Leonard ss-p 523, O. Kretchman 2b-3b 400, K. Kretchman 1b 310, Schafer rf 423, Deakins p-2b 412, Haer dp 402, Walker lf 010. TOTALS — 38 15 17.

GLENDALE (2): Mulhollen p 301, Lukehart cf 311, Hewitt c 300, A. Vereshack rf 300, Gallaher 1b 301, Leyo 2b 310, O’Shell lf 301, Smeal dp 200, Clarkson ph 100, Gustafson ss 200, B. Vereshack ph 100, Lemaster 3b 100. TOTALS — 27 2 4.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Meyersdale 113 014 5 — 15 17 2

Glendale 100 100 0 — 2 4 3

2B-Schafer, McKenzie, Miller 2, Leonard, Lukehart, O’Shell. 3B-Miller. HR-Leonard. RBI-Haer, Miller 3, Schafer, Deakins, K. Kretchman, Leonard 5, Cerreta. O’Shell. WP-Deakins. LP-Mulhollen. SO-Deakins 3, Leonard 3.

Records: Meyersdale (24-1); Glendale (19-5).

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