Glendale falls on tough call

EVERETT — For a moment in the top of the eighth inning, Glendale thought it was out of a jam with the third out.

However, the foul ball call quickly came — negating the out at first — and Millersburg had another chance.

With the game knotted, the Lady Indians took advantage of the second chance by plating three runs, while the Lady Vikings were unable to push across any runs of their own in the bottom half of the extra inning in a 6-3 loss that ended their season in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals at Everett Area Elementary School.

“Sometimes you can only battle so much,” Glendale interim coach Beth Campbell said. “I just think that we had a few struggles today that were a little different. They played hard — every single player on this team played hard.”

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Millersburg’s Maddi Etzweiler was ruled to have been hit with the ball off the bat. The ball rolled in front of the plate, where Glendale catcher Brooke Smeal picked it up and fired it to Breanna Vereshack at first base in what would have ended the inning and left the Lady Indians with two runners stranded on base.

Immediately, following the call, the Lady Vikings’ coaches erupted in disapproval. Mostly notably was interim assistant Jim Campbell, himself a PIAA umpire, who asked for an appeal.

When the call still didn’t go his team’s way, Campbell exited and stormed behind the dugout all the while loudly voicing his displeasure for several minutes.

“It did hit her. I don’t care what he (Jim Campbell) says. It hit her,” Millersburg coach Steve Allman said. “I actually thought he went to a point where he was soon going to get ejected.”

Despite the protest, the game went on and Etzweiler made the most of the second chance by singling up the middle to score Lexi Lebo, who had reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning.

Lacy Strait smacked a triple to the right-center field fence — which pushed Kierstyn Smith and Etzweiler across the plate to set the eventual final score.

“The bad call. I mean, it really stinks to go down on a call like that,” Beth Campbell said. “But if we (had) done a couple of things differently in the seventh inning and a little bit earlier, it wouldn’t have come to that call. But, it does, I’m not going to lie, it hurts to have that call made. It was absolutely wrong.”

After Olivia Reese led off the bottom of the eighth by popping out to Strait at third, Alaney Vereshack singled up the middle before Lilley Vereshack pushed her to third on a double.

The two Glendale runners would be left on base as Smeal fouled out to first baseman Shannon Seiders before Kyla Campbell lined out to Strait to end the game.

“I think we play defense as well as anybody,” Allman said. “I’ll always take my chances with this team. Sometimes, we’re a little sluggish with the hitting, but defensively we can play with anybody.”

After surrendering a run in the first inning on a Strait RBI double that gave the Lady Indians the early 1-0 lead, the Glendale (21-5) defense dug in and kept the Millersburg offense off the board.

While starting pitcher Kyla Campbell was holding the Lady Indian batters in check, her team wasn’t having any success pushing its own runs across until the Lady Vikings broke loose in the fourth to take the lead.

Alaney Vereshack led off the inning with a single that went under the glove of the right fielder Lebo, who raced to get it. However, the cut-off man, Etzweiler, bobbled the exchange — allowing Vereshack to race all the way home to put the Lady Vikings on the board.

Lilley Vereshack singled, moved to second on Smeal’s sacrifice bunt and then scored on Hanna Noel’s single to left field. Noel scored on Madison Lukehart’s RBI double that sailed over Morgan Long’s head in left field to make the score 3-1 in Glendale’s favor.

“It was a good inning, and I think we actually started hitting her (Smith) a little better,” Beth Campbell said. “We just couldn’t string the hits together after that … We were flat — a little bit flat. But, the effort was there.”

Millersburg (18-4) rallied in its final chance in the seventh inning to knot the game. Long reached on a bunt single, than scored on an error by shortstop Alaney Vereshack.

Hannah Dyer, who reached after being hit by a Kyla Campbell pitch, came around to score when Taylor Bowman singled to left field with two outs to make the score 3-3.

“We put some balls in play but we couldn’t continue it. We did it in spurts, but I said ‘spurts ain’t going to cut it’,” Allman said. “I tell them, ‘we play to the last out. I don’t care if you’re up 10 (runs) or you’re down 10. We play to the last out’. They don’t quit.”

Breanna Vereshack reached in the bottom of the seventh on an error by Strait, then was followed up by leadoff hitter Lexi Mulhollen, who put together a 14-pitch at-bat, including fouling off 10 pitches, before striking out for the fourth time in the contest. Breanna Vereshack was picked off at third base to send the game into extra innings.

Glendale was once again without head coach Phil Barroner who missed the last six games due to unspecified reasons.

MILLERSBURG (6): Dyer ss 321, Etzweiler 2b 512, Strait 3b 302, Troutman c 500, T. Bowman cf 402, Seiders 1b-flex 000, H. Meyers dp 300, Lebo rf 311, Smith p 410, Long lf 412. Totals — 34 6 10.

GLENDALE (3): Mulhollen 3b 400, Reese 2b 400, A. Vereshack ss 412, L. Vereshack cf 413, Smeal c 301, Campbell p 300, McElheny cr-ph 100, Noel lf 311, Lukehart rf 301, B. Vereshack 1b 300. Totals — 29 3 8.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Millersburg 100 000 23–6 10 4

Glendale 000 300 00–3 8 2

E–Strait 2, Lebo, Etzweiler, A. Vereshack 2. 2B–Strait, Dyer, Lukehart, L. Vereshack. 3B–Strait. RBI–Strait 3, T. Bowman, Etzweiler, Noel, Lukehart. CS–Reese. HBP–Dyer.

PITCHING

Millersburg: Smith (W) — 8 innings, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO, 1 WP

Glendale: Campbell (L) — 8 innings, 10 H 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 3 WP

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