Mounties win thriller over MU

PHILIPSBURG — One of the toughest playoff games the Philipsburg-Osceola softball team played last year en route to a state title was a come-from-behind one-run win over Tyrone in the first round of the District 6 Class 3A playoffs.

Time will tell if the third-seeded Lady Mounties’ 6-5 win over sixth-seeded Mount Union in the district quarterfinals on Monday at the Curtis Park Athletic Complex will be their toughest in the playoffs, but P-O found a way to advance.

Sophomore leadoff hitter Jordyn McDonald, who was 3-for-4, singled in London Cutler in the bottom of the sixth inning of a tie game, and relief pitcher Kylie Adams stranded a Mount Union runner at third base in the seventh with a strikeout and a ground ball out to preserve the win.

“Maybe that’s good,” P-O coach Jim Gonder said with a laugh. “Hopefully it’s a harbinger of things that happened last year for us.”

“It was definitely a team win,” Adams said. “I love the support each girl has for each player on the team. Our confidence has definitely improved since last week. I think we’re working a lot harder now that we know it’s a win or we’re done.”

P-O (17-4) advanced to the semifinals, where it will play at rival and second-seeded Bald Eagle Area at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

The Lady Mounties used the long ball early to take the lead, hitting three of them as a stiff wind howled toward right field.

After the Lady Trojans (16-5) scored a run off of Kam Harris in the top of the first, Madison Lucas launched a two-run home run (her sixth of the season) to right-center in the bottom of the inning. Harris followed by pounding a Karrigan Woodward pitch in nearly the same spot as Lucas’ shot for her fifth homer.

Rachel Simpson led off the fourth inning by hitting her first home run over the center field fence. McDonald nearly hit the fourth homer when she doubled off of the left field fence in the fourth, scoring Kendra Carns and making the score 5-1.

Mount Union, though, made things interesting in the fifth against Harris, who had nine strikeouts in the first four innings. Leadoff hitter Kadyn Crisswell, who was 3-for-4, chased Destine Myers home with a single to center.

Following a one-out error, Morgan Brumbaugh, who had four RBIs, tied the game with a three-run home run over the left-center fence.

“We came in here and never gave up,” Mount Union coach Matt Fiscus said. “That shows with the five spot we put on the board in the fifth. We gave them everything they could handle. I can’t say enough about Brumbaugh. She put one out to get us three runs. I think that was real big.”

P-O took the lead back in the sixth when Cutler singled to right, moved to second on a Carns sacrifice bunt and scored when McDonald laced a single to center.

“I just wanted to get the runner home,” McDonald said. “I was a little nervous, but I just had to think positive so I could get the run scored. I’ve kind of been in a slump lately, but Coach says to write your new beginning instead of having a bad end.”

“Kendra is a great sacrifice bunter and Jordyn delivered in the clutch,” Gonder said. “That was a big run, obviously. Jordyn is hitting the ball much better and getting a little more confidence as the year goes on.”

Adams, who made a tremendous play in left field when she caught a McKenna Shields fly ball high off of the fence in the second, twice stranded MU runners at third base after coming in to pitch in the sixth.

With Shields on third and two outs in the sixth, Adams recorded a strikeout, thrilling the P-O side. Crisswell led off the seventh with a double to right, and she moved to third on a Woodward sacrifice bunt.

Brumbaugh, who hit the homer in the fifth, was next up. Gonder chose to pitch to her, and Adams struck her out. She then got cleanup hitter McKenzie Boozel to bounce to shortstop Cutler for the final out.

“I was still a little nervous because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” Adams said, “or what pitches (Brumbaugh) was going to hit. I made sure to keep it off the plate with her.

“Kylie has been throwing well,” Gonder said. “She has a little bit more zip on her fastball. She did great. We’ve got to clean up our defense a little bit and keep getting some clutch hits.”

Mount Union (5): Crisswell 3b 423, Woodward p 110, Brumbaugh c 412, Boozel dp 401, Danish pr-lf 000, Harris ss 300, Shields 1b 301, Arnold rf 200, Spriggs ph 100, Myers 2b 211, Low cf 200. Totals: 26-5-8.

Philipsburg-Osceola (6): McDonald 2b 403, Minarchick dp-lf 311, Lucas rf 411, Harris p-dp 311, Weaver 1b 303, Adams lf-p 300, Simpson 3b 211, Kephart 3b 100, Cutler ss 211, Jarrett ph 100, Carns cf 211, Lewis c 000. Totals: 27-6-12.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Mount Union……………100 040 0 — 5 8 0

Philipsburg-Osceola…..300 201 x — 6 12 2

E–Adams, Cutler. 2B–Crisswell, McDonald, 3B–Minarchick. HR–Brumbaugh; Lucas, Harris, Simpson. RBIs–Brumbaugh 4, Crisswell; McDonald 2, Lucas 2, Harris, Simpson. SAC–Woodward 2, Myers, Low; Carns. SB–McDonald, Minarchick. DP–Mount Union. LOB–Mount Union 5, Philipsburg-Osceola 5.

PITCHING

Mount Union: Woodward (L)–6 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.

Philipsburg-Osceola: Harris–5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO; Adams (W)–2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO.

Records: Mount Union (16-5); Philipsburg-Osceola (17-4)

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