By Kenny Varner
BELLEFONTE- Mifflin County and Nittany Valley met up Tuesday in the first round of the 10u All-Star softball competition held at Bellefonte’s Panik Field.
The future of both the MIfflin County and Bellefonte softball programs seem to have a bright future as the players from both teams showed off their talents in the contest.
Both battled from the first pitch to the final out but in the end, Nittany Valley notched the victory 17-5.
Mifflin County won the coin toss and was the home team.
Nittany Valley got on the board in the first, Saige Moore walked and proceeded to steal second.
Teammate Graycen Bair walked.
Moore later scored on a stolen base, making it a 1-0 advantage.
With the bases loaded, Avery Smelter brought in Bair on a fielders choice.
Riley Solt roped a double to bring in two of her teammates, upping the lead to 4-0. She later scored to make it a 5-0 advantage.
Remmi Stringer pulled down a tough fly ball at second to end the inning.
Nittany Valley hurler Saige Moore opened up the bottom of the first with three consecutive strike outs.
Mifflin County pitcher Sophia Herto pitched tough striking out 3-of-4.
In the second, Moore singled and ended up at third with one out.
From there, Herto finished off the batters with consecutive strike outs.
Mifflin County picked up its first hit when Sydni Stein took a Moore offering and hit it into right field. She stole second and put herself in scoring position with two outs.
But Moore and company kept Stein stranded, pushing the game into the third inning.
Nittany Valley added another run in the third.
Adalynn Emery hustled out an infield single. She scored on an RBI double into left by Fisher, upping it to a 6-0 advantage.
Herto and Stringer took care of the outs. Stringer and Herto both caught a fly ball while Herto notched strikeout number five, ending the inning.
Mifflin County’s Mia Kuhns got the bottom of the inning started with a lead off walk.
With one out, Kuhns stole second.
Teammate Gianna Grenninger joined Kuhns on base posting a walk of her own, putting runners on first and second.
Both stole their respective bases, putting runners on second and third.
Callie Muhns brought home Mia Kuhns as she roped a single past the Nittany Valley first baseman.
Alivia Rhoades continued the hitting as she notched an TBI single into shallow center, scoring Grenninger.
Payson Ross kept the rally going posting an RBI double, cutting the Valley lead to 6-3.
Stringer was clutch at second, posting three strong catches in four innings. She picked up the third in the fourth.
Nittany Valley added to its lead in the fourth, plating three.
However, MIfflin County shortstop Callie Kuhns caught an awkward fly ball, keeping the visitors from scoring more.
Moore continued to battle from the circle, striking out two quick strikeouts.
Trying to find some 2-out lightning, Josie Sunderland continued the inning with a walk and two stolen bases.
Sunderland added to the scoreboard as she stole home while teammate Mia Kuhns walked, making it a 9-4 contest.
When the two teams headed into the fifth, Moore had tallied 11 strike outs.
Callie Kuhns started where she left, making an acrobatic catch for the first out of the fifth.
Herto notched a strike out, putting two outs up on the board.
Morgan Campbell-Tubbs walked and stole second and third.
But Kuhns bookended the inning, gunning out the runner after a grounder to her.
Bair highlighted the final stanza with a 2RBI single. She also stole home, adding to the lead at 12-4.
Smelter blasted a 3-run triple as well.
Playing for pride, Mifflin County refused to go away quietly.
Rhoades started the last inning off with a single. She moved up to third on a slow chopper by Payson Ross.
Herto picked up an RBI on a fielders choice, scoring Rhoades.
However, Nittany Valley was too much for MIfflin County on this night, posting a 17-5 victory.