Campbell delivers for Glendale
SOMERSET — The Glendale softball team didn’t have time to soak in the atmosphere of its 2019 PIAA Class 1A opener against Shanksville-Stonycreek Monday at Somerset Area Junior High School.
That’s because in the blink of an eye, Glendale was down, 3-0, after the bottom of the first.
“Honestly, we work really hard and we never give up. We keep pushing,” Glendale junior Breanna Vereshack said. “I believe in (Glendale starting pitcher) Kyla (Campbell). She works really hard. We all work really hard. When one of us has a bad day, we are there to pick the other up.”
Campbell, a freshman, really only had a bad half of an inning. She gave up three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first and not another run after that, and then delivered a big hit late in the game to help Glendale to a 7-3 win, vaulting it into the second round of states this Thursday against District 3 champ Millersburg.
“That is our recipe … we come from behind pretty much every game. That is how we play,” said Glendale interim head coach Beth Campbell, who is in place for Phil Barroner, who has not coached the team for more than two weeks for unspecified reasons. “We don’t panic. They fully expect to win, whether we are behind or not.”
Shanksville (17-5), the No. 1 seed out of District 5, scored three times in the first on a two-run triple by Hannah Platt. Maggie Walker, a courtesy runner for Platt, later scored on a wild pitch.
Glendale’s bats were silent for three innings against Shanksville starter Lexus Wilt. That was until the fourth inning when Glendale sent nine batters to the plate and scored four times. Madison Lukehart and Vereshack each singled home a run, and Alexis Mulhollen delivered a two-run double for a 4-3 lead.
“It seems like someone in our batting order always picks us up. At different times it has been our 6-7-8-9 hitters. Some days it is 1-2-3-4. Doesn’t matter who comes through as long as somebody does,” Coach Campbell said.
Shanksville had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth against Campbell, getting two straight hits from Wilt and Abby Lohr to start the frame. However, that is when the sequence of the day took place.
“We wanted to move them up and get the one in to tie it,” Shanksville coach Kevin Wilt said.
What happened was that Platt bunted, but the ball was field by Campbell, who fired to first for an out. Wilt, running from second, rounded third to wide, and got caught in a rundown. Finally, Vereshack, a first baseman, was covering home when she received a throw from Mulhollen, the third baseman, and put the tag on Wilt for the second out.
“Everything about this season is about our team … just like that play,” Vereshack said. “Our team made that play.”
Coach Campbell was impressed that her team kept its composure in the rundown.
“Our girls made a heads-up play. That was coaching. That wasn’t me. That was a brilliant play,” she said, referring to Barroner’s work with the team on plays like that during the season.
After the twin killing, Campbell struck out Josie Snyder to end the frame with Glendale still up, 4-3. Coach Wilt knew that inning was crucial for his team.
“I still felt we were in it, but they got more momentum there by getting those outs,” he said. “After they went up 7-3, that was tough to overcome in one inning.”
Tough was Kyla Campbell, who sent the Glendale crowd into a tizzy with a towering three-run homer to right-center field for the four-run advantage. It was her only hit of the game.
“She is sporadic,” Coach Campbell said of her daughter. “She started out slow, then real good in the middle, then slumped, and then has come on again. She has been real good in the postseason.”
Subbing for Mulhollen, the regular starter who cannot pitch because of an injury to her pointer finger on her right hand, Campbell was more than solid for five of the seven innings. She walked only two, struck out six and gave up only three hits after the first inning.
“She’s a ballplayer,” the coach said of her daughter. “She’s tough. She is a tough freshman. I have four daughters and I’ve coached, and umped, all of them. Really, I try not to notice them as my kids.”
Shanksville was retired in order in the bottom of the seventh by Campbell, ending its season at 17-5, while Glendale moved on with a 21-4 mark.
“We hit some solid balls, but we were hitting it right at them,” said Coach Wilt, who pointed out that Glendale did not make an error. “We did not have a great day at the plate. She pitched good enough to get our batters off balance.”
Game notes: Mulhollen, Vereshack and Brooke Smeal each had two hits for Glendale. … Wilt and Lohr each had two hits for Shanksville, but the rest of the team could only muster two hits total. … Wilt had more walks (four) then strikeouts (three). … Shanksville left four runners on base while Glendale left seven runners on base. … Both clubs are called the Vikings and both teams’ colors are royal blue and gold … Millersburg beat Montgomery, 5-4, in eight innings Monday.
GLENDALE (7): Mulhollen 402, Reese 200, A. Vereshack ss 401, L. Vereshack cf 310, Smeal c 402, McElhenny cr 020, Campbell p 411, Noel lf 210, Lukehart rf 311, B. Vereshack 1b 312. Totals — 29-7-9.
SHANKSVILLE STONYCREEK (3): K. Platt cf 300, Mura ss 300, Wilt p 312, Lohr 2b 312, H. Platt c 301, Walker cr 010, Saltsgiver rf 100, J. Snyder lf 300, R. Snyder 1b 200, Walker ph 100, Zeigler 3b 301. Totals — 25-3-6.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Glendale 000 400 3–7 9 0
Shanksville Stonycreek 300 000 0–3 6 1
E–K. Platt. 2B–Mulhollen. 3B–H. Platt. HR–Campbell. RBI–H. Platt, Campbell 3, Mulhollen 2, Lukehart, B. Vereshack. WP–Campbell. LP–Wilt. SO–Campbell 6, Wilt 3. BB–Campbell 2, Wilt 4.
Records: Glendale (21-4), Shanksville Stonycreek (17-5).