COAL TOWNSHIP — Shamokin softball trailed 2-1 entering the fifth inning, but then North Schuylkill opened the flood gates for a 10-1 romp, Saturday afternoon.
North Schuylkill’s Karlie Kessler led off the fifth with an opposite field single to right. Then, after Emma Sacco’s ground out to third, Violet Ryan doubled to left. An error by Shamokin allowed Danni Holmes to reach third and the miscue also sent Kessler and Ryan across home plate, giving the Spartans a 4-1 lead.
“They came out and hit the ball. We can’t take anything away from them. The one inning we made a couple mistakes. I try to teach to them to do the basics. Basics are what wins games on this level and we didn’t do them that inning,” Shamokin head coach Rick Kashner said about the fifth inning.
“We had mistakes, a couple throwing errors, dropped balls and it opened the door for them. You can’t give a team like that extra at-bats.”
The inning continued when North Schuylkill pitcher Schuyler Ossman drove in Holmes on a suicide squeeze, but reached first base for a single and due to an error zipped to third, concluding a nightmarish frame for the Indians defense and giving the visitors a 5-1 advantage.
The Indians were patient at the plate, but struggled to get enough runners on base and develop runs of their own.
It looked as if Shamokin was on its way to a big inning in the third inning when Andrea Segura hit a laser to the left field corner with two outs and scored on a passed ball. However, Ossman got Kramer to ground out to third to end the frame.
As for the pitching side of the contest, Payton Whary did not have her best day, allowing 15 hits and six earned runs, but Kashner thought his team had to step up and give her some help.
“It was one of those days. Wednesday, at Montoursville she was hitting every spot. Today she wasn’t hitting her spots that well, but we didn’t support her that well. She pitched well enough to win a game, but we didn’t give her the support she needed on the field. She’ll be fine throughout the year. I have all the confidence in the world in Payton,” Kashner said about his team coming together to get better production defensively.
The Indians will try to bounce back on Tuesday when they host Central Columbia.
Kashner believes that if his team is going to make positive strides offensively, they are going to need to punish the softball when they make contact.
“We took the pitches we should have, but we didn’t get good swings on the pitches we swung at. That translated into pop flies and little nubber ground balls and stuff like that. A couple of the girls had some nice swings and some good hits, but overall we need to get better in that area,” Shamokin’s AD and softball coach explained.