Juniata punches ticket to TVL title tilt
May 15, 2023

By Kenny Varner

COCOLAMUS – Heading for history!

Less than a week ago, last Friday to be exact, familiar foes met when Juniata battled Susquenita to a 1-0 victory in Tri-Valley League regular season action.

Fast forward to Monday as they met once again, this time to advance to the TVL Championship game.

With Juniata ace hurler Liz Gaisior on the mound the game proved to be a tough one once again, striking out 13 helping her team advance with an 8-7 win for the Lady Indians.

“They (Juniata) fought hard. We stuck with it even after making a few mistakes. They shook it off and still played hard,” said Juniata coach Erin Cressman. “I’m proud of this win and we’re on to the finals.”

Taking the mound for the Blackhawks was Ayahna Fisher. She was replaced in the fourth by Hilary Kreider.

Despite Juniata building up a quick 7-1 advantage, the Blackhawks clawed and scratched their way back into the game, tying it in the top of the sixth plating four runs.

In the bottom of the sixth, Juniata took back the lead for good, scoring one run. Cheyenne Kirk reached on an Blackhawk’s miscue. She then scored on a smashing grounder into left, playing Kirk.

In the top of the seventh, Ryleigh Printz led the inning off with a single into left.

Gaisior followed with strikeouts to end the threat and clinch the trip to the TVL title tilt.

The lefty hurler was in mid-game form from the beginning striking out the first three Susquenita batters in the first.

Juniata started out by posting two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Regan Lowry reached on an error.

Gaisior helped her own cause as she smashed a laser shot down third baseline  scoring Lowry on a stand up double.

Alexea Frontz smashed home Gaisior on a shot into left.

Back battled Susquenita in the second, cutting the Lady Indian lead in half.

Leading off the inning, Tierney Steumpfle tripled right centerfield.

She later scored on a RBI bunt single by Hilary Kreider.

After holding down the Blackhawks scoreless in the third, Juniata got back onto the scoreboard.

Lowry led off with a single.

Gaisior posted a ground rule double, putting runners on second and third.

Frontz posted a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing both runner to tag up. Lowry scored and Gaisior moved up to third. She would score the Indians fourth run scoring on a wild pitch.

Teammates Savannah Marshall and Shalelyn Armstrong hit consecutive singles. Sophia Smith put down a sacrifice bunt moving them into scoring position.

Mackenzie Lyter brought both in as she hit a slow pop fly that landed just out of reach of the Blackhawk second baseman, making it a 6-1 contest.

Gaisior and company were cruising going into the fifth as she posted six strikeouts, three hits and just one run.

In the bottom of the fourth, Lowry added to her team’s run total finding the fence and sailing a shot over it.

Susquenita refused to go away without a fight, rallying to pick up a two runs in the fifth, cutting it to a 7-3 game.

With the win, Juniata has a chance to earn a TVL title, it would be a crowning achievement for this Lady squad, who is gearing up for post season glory.

Juniata  8, Susquenita 7

SUS  010 024 0 – 7 10 6

JUN  204 101 x –  8  9 7

WP: Liz Gaisior

LP: Hilary Kreider

Multiple hitters: SUS – Tierney Steumpfle 2-for-2, Shelby Wenrich, Hilary Kreider 2-for-3, Braelyn Printz 2-for-4. JUN – Liz Gaisior 3-for-4, Regan Lowry 3-for-4, Shalelyn Armstrong 2-for-3.

HR: JUN – Lowry . SUS – None.

3B: JUN -None. SUS – Tierney Steumpfle.

2B: JUN – Liz Gaisior 2, Shalelyn Armstrong. SUS –  Shelby Wenrich.

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