COAL TOWNSHIP — The final score of Tuesday’s softball matchup between Shamokin and Central Columbia would give you the wrong idea of how tight most of the contest was. Before the Blue Jays scored five runs in the seventh inning, the Indians were just a few plays away from getting the momentum on their side which could’ve turned the tide in their favor.
In the top of the first, Shamokin’s Payton Whary — who had a strong outing recording five strikeouts in the five innings she pitched — retired the first two batters. But a late two out rally got the Blue Jays on the board.
Following a base hit, Central’s Mia Cunningham popped one up in foul territory. However, the Indians were unable to record the out which would have ended the top half of the inning. Cunningham took advantage of the extra opportunity at the plate by powering the next pitch over the centerfield fence for a two-run homer.
In the bottom half of the inning, Shamokin’s Chloe Kramer was able to reach first on an error and advance to second. But the Indians couldn’t capitalize and left its runner in scoring position stranded.
“Every mistake we made, they scored runs off of them,” said Shamokin’s head coach Rick Kashner. “We need to learn to do the basic things like move runners over and get outs. Until we do those things, we’re going to struggle.”
Despite the mistakes made by the young ball club, Whary was able to pitch out of some tough situations and limit any damage that could have been done by Central’s offense. Her supporting cast also helped matters by making some nice plays defensively, including a nice catch behind the mound by Kramer and a quick reaction by right fielder Kaitlyn Merlino to gather in a hard hit line drive.
Still, Central scored a run in both the second and third innings to make things a 4-0 ballgame, which is where the score stayed until the final inning.
Shamokin was unable to do any damage offensively as baserunners were limited. The team was only able to record two hits in Tuesday’s contest.
The Blue Jays put the game out of reach in the top half of the seventh when they tallied five more runs off of a few base hits.
“We’re just going to try and keep building, keep working and improving everyday,” said Kashner.
The Indians are at home Thursday afternoon, where they will take on Danville at 4:30.