HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Stingers take step in title hunt
Marion Center outhit visiting United 9-3 and moved within two wins of clinching its first conference title with a 13-0 win in a Heritage Conference softball game that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule Thursday.
The Stingers (13-1, 10-1 conference) can take the inside track for the conference title if they can best Blairsville (11-1) on the road Monday. The Stingers beat the Bobcats, 11-2, in their first meeting on April 28.
“Our conference has gotten better, but we knew we had the ingredients to be in this position at this time of year,” eighth-year Marion Center coach Ed Peterson said. “We’ve stayed humble and surpassed our goal of getting double-digit wins. Now we just have to take care of business come Monday.”
Marion Center ace Megan Risinger tossed a three-hitter. Risinger, who scattered three base hits, struck out 11 and walked none. In her last four games, Risinger has struck out 34, walked three and allowed eight hits.
Katie Dotts paced Marion Center with a single, a double and three RBIs. Laken Ryen singled and doubled, Karlie Snyder singled and drove in two runs, and Risinger scored three runs.
United’s Hope Hixson struck out five and walked eight.
United plays host to Blairsville today.
HOMER-CENTER 12, PENNS MANOR 0: Homer-Center ace Abby Plowcha tossed a gem and got more than enough run support to guide the Wildcats to a win over Penns Manor in a Heritage Conference game at Floodway Park.
The game was shortened to six innings due to the mercy rule.
Plowcha, who has pitched five complete games this week and 40 innings in the last six days, tossed a one-hitter. She struck out eight and walked three.
“She’s allowed to walk a couple people,” Homer-Center coach Randy Thomas said. “Abby worked very hard in the offseason, and she worked on more than just pitching strength. She took the offseason very serious and now it’s really paying off.”
Megan Topeka drove in three runs to power the Wildcats.
Mallory Drahnak recorded Penns Manor’s lone hit, a single in the top of the third inning.
Homer-Center (7-8) plays host to Bishop McCort on Monday.
LIGONIER VALLEY 13, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 5: Ligonier Valley amassed 14 hits and scored eight runs in the last two innings to ease past visiting Northern Cambria in a Heritage Conference game.
Caitlin Michaels went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for the Rams. Jamie Wynn singled twice and drove in three runs, and Hannah Yeskey singled twice and scored three runs.
Kailee Lear struck out five, walked two and allowed nine hits in a complete-game win.
Northern Cambria’s Lakyn Fornari struck out one and walked three in a complete-game effort.
Both teams play Tuesday. Ligonier Valley (10-6, 8-4) travels to Homer-Center, and Northern Cambria (3-10) visits Marion Center for a doubleheader.