District 6 stars swept by D4
UNIVERSITY PARK — Despite District 4 beating District 6 in both five-inning games in the District 6 Hall of Fame Game, 11-2 and 2-0, the District 6 players had a good time.
The annual contest at Penn State’s Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park on a warm Wednesday night was the last game in the high school careers of the graduates.
“It was pretty fun, actually,” said Moshannon Valley grad Chloe Blake, who was the starting catcher in the first game. “I’ve actually never played here before, so it meant a lot to play here. It has been (a goal) kind of, but I didn’t know I’d be selected to play or not, but I’m definitely happy I was selected to play.”
“It was so cool just to experience playing at Penn State since my team never made it out here,” Central’s Maddy Metzler said. “The adrenaline was so cool to play with, and all of these girls are great. All of these girls are devoted to the sport, and it’s just great to play with people who are passionate about it like you are.”
“It was really fun getting to know all of the girls who were on the team,” Philipsburg-Osceola star pitcher Kam Harris said. “We were rivals with a lot of them through the years, and then we had to join together.”
Harris, who wants to become a physician’s assistant, will continue her softball career at Penn College.
“I am looking forward to it,” Harris said. “After this softball chapter closes, I’m looking forward to getting a good education, getting a good job and moving on.”
District 4 dominates opener
District 4 dominated the first five-inning game, pounding out 11 runs and 12 hits while yielding only one hit.
Harris, who led the Lady Mounties to a Class 3A state title two years ago as a junior, got the start in the pitching circle, throwing to Blake.
“It was very exciting for me to be back on Beard Field,” Harris said. “It’s always a great atmosphere, and we’ve had a lot of memories here.”
“I felt pretty good getting the start at catcher,” Blake said, “and I enjoyed playing.”
After a 1-2-3 first inning, District 4’s Samantha Stopper doubled, and Lexi Kreisher singled her in. With two outs, Harris could have gotten out of the inning giving up just one run, but an error allowed two runs to score.
“They definitely had a lot of good hitters,” Harris said. “Anywhere you pitched it, if it was over the plate, they’d get a hold of it. But we’re in an all-star game. It’s the best of the best.”
Harris left the circle after the third, and the floodgates opened. District 4 scored eight runs over the next two innings off of Conemaugh Valley reliever Kasey McClain.
“They hit the ball very well and field the ball very well,” Blake said. “They’re a good team.”
District 4 had eight hits in the fourth and fifth, including two by Montoursville’s Madison Shaffer and Jersey Shore’s Daytona Wentzel. Wentzel and Loyalsock’s Samantha Stopper had three hits apiece in the game.
District 4 starting pitcher Savannah Doney and reliever Lynna Robertson had a no-hitter until Claysburg-Kimmel’s Emily Claar tripled in Harris, who had walked to start the inning. Mount Union’s Madison Harris plated Claar with a sacrifice fly.
“District 4 is really good,” West Branch’s Betts said after going 0-for-2 from the leadoff spot. “I think that they have a lot of good girls in their district to play against. It seems like they’re a very competitive district.
“It was a good experience. I really enjoyed playing with the girls who I usually play against. It was cool to play on a team with them, and it was really cool to get to know them.”
Scoring runs early
District 4 scored all of the runs it would need in the second game in a two-run first-inning.
Taylor Shuman and Elise Hessek induced walks off of State College pitcher Emma Wolfe, and Brooke Longacre knocked them in with a single.
District 6 only had two hits in the second game – by Glendale’s Lexi Mulhollen in the fourth and Bellefonte’s Emily Pugh in the second.
The District 6 hitters couldn’t get the ball past the District 4 pitchers, who handled six ground balls with ease, including a rare 1-5-3 double play.
“I think we could have played a lot better,” Metzler said with a laugh. “Maybe we should have practiced a bit more together. But for just meeting each other, I think we played them as well as we could have. District 4 has a pretty good team.”
Going into the Hall
Six former local players were inducted into the District 6 Hall of Fame after the first game.
Central’s Ashley Smith and Taylor Garmen, Altoona’s Amanda Parrish, Philipsburg-Osceola’s Haley Frank, Hollidaysburg’s Alyssa Erb and Bellwood-Antis’ Emily Nagle were honored for their high school accomplishments.
Mount Union’s Kristen Miles and Kassandra Wilson and Bellefonte’s Vanessa Cooper were also inducted.
Fochts present scholarships
Jamie and Dawn Focht, the parents of the late Mikayla Focht, who died in an ATV accident on April 14, 2017 as a senior at Hollidaysburg, presented four $1,000 college scholarships in Mikayla’s name at halftime.
Mulhollen, Kam Harris and Mount Union’s Madison Harris and Payton Low were presented scholarships.