By Kenny Varner
LORETTO – Two rivals, one goal.
There are very few certain in life but one in local high school sports is that State College and MIfflin County will meet for the District 6 title in softball.
This season is no exception as the two come into the game tied at one win apiece through the regular season.
With a win, the Huskies were looking for their third straight D6 crown while the Little Lions were looking at breaking MIfflin County’s grasp on the hardware.
Like every time the two teams meet, the game is an instant classic, Wednesday’s contest was added another chapter to the rivaly as the game would not be decided until the seventh.
Both teams left everything on the field.
In the end it would be MIfflin Cointy lifting up the trophy with the 3-2 victory.
Jalee Bodtorf gave the Huskies the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a sacrifice fly into center.
“It was a heck of a game. You have to tip your hat to State College. In a game like this you hate to see a team lose. But Shawn always has his team ready,” said MIfflin County coach Craig Weston. “The story of our season has been a one run ball games. We were finally on the winning end of it.”
Mifflin County sent their ace Madison Wolfgang to the circle while State College countered with Addie Harpster.
State College’s Jess Hawbaker started the game off with an infield hit. But she would be stranded as the MIfflin County defense would step up.
“I thought our kids did everything we asked them to do. Just didn’t get everything to drop,” said State College coach Shawn Herncane.
Still scoreless going into third, the Lady Huskies made sure that State College would stay that was as Jalee Bodtorf and Dakota Hershberger flashed the leather on consecutive highlight catches.
Wolfgang helped her own cause hustling out an infield single and stealing second on the following pitch.
Riley Hine moved Wolfgang to third as she smoked a single into left field.
Arika Henry brought home Wolfgang in dramatic fashion as Wolfgang slid under the tag from the catcher.
With Hine on third Hershberger upped the lead to 2-0 a she roped a RBI single into left centerfield.
State College started to threaten in the fourth. Harpster blasted a double to start things out. She was replaced on base by pinch runner Ruby True.
With two out, Tori Krobetz singled in True.
But the Little Lions only settled for one, cutting it to a 2-1 contest going into the bottom of the inning.
Mifflin County started things back up in the fourth. Sophie McCurdy led off with a one out single to center.
However, this time the tough State College defense stiffened and held the Lady Huskies scoreless in the inning.
Going into the fifth the tension started to build on both sides.
Gabby McTavish got on to start the innings, blooping the ball into shallow left. She moved to third on consecutive sac bunts by Meredith Mengs and Paige Moriarta.
With two out, lead off hitter Hawbaker stood in the batters box and battled to a 3-2 count. Her patience at the plate prevailed walking, putting runners on first and third. A wild pitch later and the score was tied when McTavish scored.
The momentum suddenly switched to State College in the sixth.
A walk to Harpster and a single to center from Ava Babcock was again put runners in scoring position for the Lady Lions.
But Wolfgang, had ice water in her veins, struck out McTavish keeping the tie intact.
Small ball paid off for MIfflin County in the sixth.
Hershberger walked and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by MacKenna Yoder. McCurdy joined Hersberger on base with a walk of her own.
With one stroke off Falynn Reinard’s bat, the Huskies loaded the bases posting a single into center.
Jalee Bodtorf gave the Huskies the lead once again, blasting a sacrifice fly into center, making it a 3-2 advantage.
Wolfgang was stellar in the top of the seventh as she struck out two and forced a line out to capture the win.