State College too much as Lady Lions end season

STATE COLLEGE — The Altoona Area High School softball team huddled down the left-field line for the 20th and last time this season after its 9-0 loss to State College in the District 6 Class 6A semifinals on Thrusday at Community Field.

And when it broke the huddle with the traditional “ALTOONA” you couldn’t tell from the gusto that it had lost the game.

Coach John Benson said that was typical of his young team. The results may not have been there but the effort always was.

“These girls never quit,” said Benson of his team that has 12 freshmen on the roster, six of whom got into yesterday’s game. “We may be young but the effort was always there. Pitching is always the key and we have some growing to do in pitching. We started a senior today (Alyson Adams) and she gave us what she could, but she’s a shortstop by trade.”

Adams found the going tough against the heart of the State College order as Nos. 4 and 5 hitters, Brandi Triebold and Allie Wasikonis went 5-for-7 with five RBI, two doubles and a home run.

The Little Lady Lions jumped on Adams for three runs in the first inning when Morgan Arnold doubled down the right-field line, Caitlyin Brannon reached on an error, and Brandi Triebold homered over the 200-foot sign in dead center.

State blew the game open with four runs in the third as Triebold, who went 4-for-4, opened with a single. One out later McKenzie Shannon worked Adams for a walk and Sara Conklin doubled off the fence in left center to chase both runners home. One out later Sara Benson drew a walk and Ashley Thomas and Arnold followed with RBI-singles to make it 7-0.

“A couple of big swings in key spots really hurt us,” Benson said. “They just outhit us. They play in a tough conference (Mid-Penn), and I think our opponents overall hit .600 against us. But these girls never quit.”

State College added two runs in the sixth on a walk to Brannon, a single by Triebold and a double by Alli Wasikonis.

State’s Emma Wolfe controlled the Altoona bats, allowing only two hits, one a double to the fence in center by Adams and the other on a line single to right by Izzy Zavalanski. Wolfe walked two and struck out three and her defense was flawless behind her.

“That’s the first full game she’s pitched this year; she’s been hurt,” said State High coach Jim Schaper. “We tried some different things today. We stayed away from the fastball for the most part. She threw the ball well. She needed this to build her confidence. This will help her.”

State College advances to the district finals against Mifflin County Wednesday in the third game of a tripleheader at Saint Francis University.

ALTOONA (0): Moist cf 200, Crider rf 200, Mandlay ph 100, Adams p 301, Merritts c 200, Tragor 1b 200, Worley ph 100, Zavalanski 3b 301, Benson lf 200, Beck ss 100, Sawtelle ph 100, Steinbugl 2b 200, Friiley ph 100. Totals — 22-0-2.

STATE COLLEGE (9): Thomas dp 301, Blumenthal ph 100, Arnold, 413, Brannon 1b 320, Triebold 3b 434, Wasikonis 2b 301, Shannon c 010, Harpster ph 000, Conklin cf 411, Shedlock rf 300, Bowman lf 111, Alexander ph 100. Totals — 27-9-11.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Altoona 000 000 0 — 0 2 1

State College 304 002 X — 9 11 0

E–Steinbugl. LOB–Altoona 6, State College 2. 2B–Arnold, Triebold, Wasikois, Conklin. HR–Triebold. RBI–Thomas, Arnold, Triebold 3, Wasikonis 2, Conklin 2.

Pitching

Altoona: Adams — 6 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 6 BB, 3 SO.

State College: Wolfe — 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2BB, 3 SO.

Records: Altoona, 0-20, State College, 8-11.

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