By Kenny Varner
STATE COLLEGE – A loss by just a simple touch of a glove.
The MIfflin County softball team had runners on second and third as Arika Henry came to bat with two out.
Henry smashed a come backer that was slowed as State College pitcher Zia Bodner stretched out and slowed the grounder as it tipped of her glove. It was enough for second baseman Sidney Wells to pick up the grounder and get the final out a first, giving the Little Lions a 4-2 victory Tuesday.
“So far this year. We are right there,” said MIfflin County coach Craig Weston. “We just got to keep battling and make our own good luck. Like I told the girls just come to practice tomorrow and keep going.”
It would be the second consecutive games the Huskies lost a close contest to veteran opponents.
Despite the loss, Madison Wolfgang was strong on the mound as she went the distance, striking out 10 and scattering six hits.
In a rainy afternoon that saw the MIfflin County softball team have to give up its friendly confines of MIfflin County because of bad field condition and Instead the Huskies had to travel back up to State College for the team’s Mid-Penn Commonwealth rivalry game.
The Huskies again, got a 2-hit performance from Dakota Hershberger as she finished with a double, single and an RBI.
State College made the most of two Huskies miscues to break out to an early lead in the first.
Sidney Wells led off the game with a single past Riley Hine.
Jess Hawbaker laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Wells home as Hawbaker was thrown out at first.
But an error by the Huskies trying to catch Wells to third when the ball was overthrown at third, allowing Wells to plate the first run of the ball game.
With one out, Maddie Burkey was hit by a Wolfgang offering. She later moved up to second on a wild pitch.
Olivia McTavish moved Burkey over to third on a fielders choice.
Burkey then scored on a wild pitch, upping the State College lead to 2-0.
Ana Bierly kept the inning alive as she reached on a MIfflin County error. She scored moments later on a RBI single by Meredith Meengs.
The Huskies settled in and got out of the inning limiting the Little Lions to just three runs.
Mifflin County cut into the Little Lions lead, posting a run in the bottom of the inning.
Alexis O’Brien led off the inning with a single to into left.
She was moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Henry.
With two out, Hershberger blasted a shot into left that scored O’Brien and allowed her to motor into second.
However, Bodner readjusted and was able to get out of the inning.
Both pitchers took control of the second as neither team failed to score.
In the bottom of the third, the Huskies once again added to the scoreboard.
Henry reached base on a State College error. She made the most of it as she was able to later score on a wild pitch, cutting the lead to just one, 3-2.
But in the fourth, Bodner helped her own cause. She blasted an opposite field home run that easily cleared the fence, extending the State College lead back to two at 4-2.
Mifflin County started a rally in their last at bats.
After just being called up to the varsity roster today, Jalee Bodtorf stepped in and hit a single into center.
Wolfgang followed with a very patient plate appearance, walking to put Huskies on first and second with no one out.
Catcher Alaina Sharp moved the runners up a base putting down a successful sacrifice bunt.
With two outs, Henry stepped in and took a Bodner pitch back up the middle. It looked like it had clear shot to go up the middle but a last second graze of Bodner’s glove slowed down the ball and gave Wells enough time to pick the suddenly slow roller and get Henry out, ending the contest.
State College 4, MIfflin County 2
SC 300 100 0 – 4 6 1
MC 101 000 0 – 2 5 2
WP: Zia Bodner
LP: Madison Wolfgang
Multiple hitters: State College – Sidney Wells 2-for-4. MIfflin County – Dakota Hershberger 2-for-3.
HR: State College -Bodner. Mifflin County -None.
2B: State College – Wells. Mifflin County – Hershberger.