Indiana has looked like a different squad since dropping a section game to Kittanning on April 11.
Indiana broke the .500 mark for the first time this year and secured its fourth straight victory by edging Knoch, 4-3, in a WPIAL Section 5-AAA softball game Tuesday in Saxonburg.
Indiana (6-5, 3-5 section) has prevailed in five of six games since falling to Kittanning. The Indians play host to Highlands on Thursday.
“We had a little bit of a slow start to the year, but we’re starting to put it together as far as hitting and pitching and finishing games,” Indiana coach Harold Wilson said.
With the game knotted 3-3, Indiana’s Kaitlyn Palmer stroked a leadoff double to set up the eventual game-winning run. Two batters later, Adrian Smith lined a base hit to right-center field that scored Palmer, giving Indiana the lead for good.
Palmer finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Sarah Freehling went 2-for-3. Smith also singled twice and drove in three runs.
Smith struck out three, walked one and allowed six hits in a complete-game win.
MARION CENTER 8, HOMER-CENTER 1: Marion Center’s Megan Risinger fired a four-hitter for the second time in as many days, and the Stingers cranked out nine hits en route to a win over visiting Homer-Center in a Heritage Conference game.
Marion Center led 3-0 before plating five runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-0 lead.
“We put a lot of pressure on their defense in the fourth inning,” Marion Center coach Ed Peterson said. “We played small ball. You don’t have to hit the ball 200 feet to score runs.”
Risinger, who struck out 12 and walked one, also doubled, tripled and drove in three runs. Risinger has racked up 22 strikeouts and allowed one walk in her last 14 innings.
Kimmi Donaldson singled and doubled for Marion Center.
Allison Kishlock singled twice to lead the Wildcats.
Homer-Center’s Abby Plowcha struck out one and allowed nine hits.
Marion Center (6-1) travels to Blairsville today, and Homer-Center plays host to Northern Cambria on Thursday.
NORTHERN CAMBRIA 10-4, PURCHASE LINE 9-7: Purchase Line surrendered a run in the seventh inning and fell to host Northern Cambria in Game 1, but the Red Dragons responded and capitalized on just five hits in Game 2 to split a Heritage Conference doubleheader.
With runners on first and second and the score tied 9-9 in the bottom of the seventh in Game 1, Northern Cambria’s Zoey Gailey laid down a bunt that Purchase Line’s third baseman fielded cleanly and attempted to fire a throw to first base. The throw sailed over the head of the first baseman, allowing Alyssa Walters to score the game-winning run from second base.
Kelly Lieb singled and doubled twice to lead Northern Cambria. Megan Yuhas and Walters each singled three times, and Bre Sabella cracked a solo homer.
Lakyn Fornari struck out two and walked none in one inning of relief to get the win.
Tia Adams led Purchase Line with three singles.
In Game 2, Purchase Line was outhit 9-5, but the Red Dragons still managed to score seven of the game’s first eight runs.
Kyra Smith struck out eight, walked one and allowed nine hits in a complete-game win. Smith singled twice and doubled, and Koren McCullough singled twice.
Yuhas singled three times for Northern Cambria. Gailey and Lieb each singled twice.
Both teams play today. Northern Cambria (6-5) plays host to Penns Manor, and Purchase Line (2-5) welcomes Ligonier Valley.