First-place Mars capitalized on its few opportunities in a pitcher’s duel and plated a run in each of the first and fourth innings to nip visiting Indiana, 2-1, in a WPIAL Section 5-AAA softball game Tuesday.
The Indians (2-5), who lost for the fourth time in five games, play host to West Shamokin today.
The Planets were nursing a 1-0 lead when Kasey Jones scored the deciding run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jones doubled off Indiana’s Adrian Smith, stole second, and scored on a fielder’s choice to third base.
The Indians plated a run in the sixth off Mars ace Taylor Rotz, who gave up just five hits.
“Both of them pitched well today,” Indiana coach Harold Wilson said of Rotz and Smith. “We were shy a few players and didn’t get the hits we needed. It was just a very well-pitched game and they took advantage of their opportunities.”
Smith tossed a four-hitter, striking out four and walking two.
Kaitlyn Palmer doubled to lead Indiana.
APOLLO-RIDGE 7-15, SHADY SIDE ACADEMY 3-1: Apollo-Ridge built big leads early in both games and rolled to its first wins of the season with a sweep of Shady Side Academy in a WPIAL Section 3-AA doubleheader.
The second game was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
In Game 1, the Vikings bolted to a 4-0 second-inning lead before plating two runs on a hit and two errors in the third.
Sammy Geracia singled, doubled and drove in two runs for Apollo-Ridge. Winning pitcher Ashley Emminger struck out three and allowed two hits in five innings.
The Vikings amassed a season-high 15 hits in the second game and raced to a 13-0 third-inning lead.
Geracia paced the Vikings with a two-run homer, a triple and four RBIs. Dana Speranza added two doubles and four RBIs, and Taylor Dilick chipped in two doubles and two RBIs.
Mariah Laird tossed a three-hitter, striking out two and walking four.
“It was pretty exciting. We really needed a big win to get over the hump,” Apollo-Ridge coach Jim Ferguson said. “We’re going to be OK. I knew once we got rolling we’d do just fine. Now we got to try and make it three in a row against Valley.”
Apollo-Ridge (2-5) travels to Valley today.