Even though Marion Center ace Megan Risinger has oozed consistency in each of her 10 starts this year, longtime coach Ed Peterson knew she could find a higher gear.
Risinger, a sophomore, struck out 14 and tossed her second career no-hitter to guide the second-place Stingers to a 3-0 win over visiting Penns Manor in a Heritage Conference softball game Wednesday.
Risinger, who has amassed 127 strikeouts in 10 games, fired a one-hit shutout to best Northern Cambria, 7-0, in her previous outing Tuesday. Risinger has notched a complete game in each of her 10 starts and has surrendered just 12 hits in her last 35 innings. She faced the minimum of 21 batters against Penns Manor
“To say the least, we’re pleasantly surprised with her,” Peterson said. “We know she’s always going to give us a good game when she pitches, but she just blows us away with the number of strikeouts she gets. She has four of five different pitches, and she almost always hits her spots. That’s the difference: her control. She basically puts the ball wherever she wants to put it.”
Risinger outdueled the Comets’ Megan McCunn, who tossed a one-hitter and did not yield an earned run.
Marion Center made it 1-0 in the first when Kimmi Donaldson reached base on error and scored on Karlie Snyder’s sacrifice fly.
In the third, Courtney McMahan drew a walk and scored on a throwing error to extend Marion Center’s lead to 2-0.
Katie Dotts smacked Marion Center’s lone hit, a single, in the fourth inning, and scored on a passed ball to stretch the Stingers’ lead to 3-0.
Both teams play today. Marion Center (9-1) plays host to Indiana today, and Penns Manor (3-8) welcomes Purchase Line.
CAMBRIA HEIGHTS 5, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 4: Host Northern Cambria outhit Cambria Heights 8-5 and mounted a late rally, but the Colts couldn’t erase and early five-run deficit and fell in a non-conference game.
The Colts trailed 5-0 before plating two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to make it a 5-4 game.
Northern Cambria then put runners on second and third with no outs in the seventh, but Bre Sabella and Ashley Farabaugh struck out and Jenna Lecorchick grounded out to end the game.
“We could have tied the score had we just put a ball in play, but those first two hitters struck out. It was definitely a tough break,” Northern Cambria coach Paul Artley said.
Zoey Gailey and Sabella banged out two singles apiece to lead Northern Cambria.
Northern Cambria (7-9) plays host to Blairsville on Tuesday.
PURCHASE LINE 12, HOMER-CENTER 2: Purchase Line cruised to an early 6-0 lead and ran its winning streak to four games with a win over Homer-Center in a Heritage Conference game at Floodway Park.
The Red Dragons added to their 1-0 first-inning lead by scoring five runs on three hits, a walk and an error in the second.
Amanda Fetterman doubled and singled twice to pace Purchase Line. Danielle Thornton singled three times, and Shawna Yeager singled and doubled.
Winning pitcher Kyra Smith fired a five-hitter, striking out seven and walking one.
Julia Buggey went 3-for-3 with a double to lead Homer-Center. Breonna Ruffner smacked a pair of singles.
Homer-Center’s Abby Plowcha struck out four, walked three and allowed 10 hits in a complete-game effort.
Both teams play today. Purchase Line (6-7) travels to Penns Manor, and Homer-Center (3-9) visits to Ligonier Valley.
NORWIN 7, LIGONIER VALLEY 6: Host Norwin racked up 16 hits and plated four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to outlast Ligonier Valley in a non-conference game.
Ligonier Valley plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game 3-3.
The Rams scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning, but then they yielded four in the bottom half of the inning in their second loss of the year.
Jackie Berry led Ligonier Valley by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Courtney Frappier singled twice and drove in three runs.
Losing pitcher Hailey Umbaugh struck out six and walked two.
Ligonier Valley (8-2) plays host to Homer-Center today.
KITTANNING 12, WEST SHAMOKIN 1: Host Kittanning jumped on West Shamokin early and racked up five extra-base hits to earn a win in a WPIAL non-section game.
Kelly Clowser singled twice for West Shamokin.
Losing pitcher Stephanie Schreckongost struck out three and allowed five hits in two innings.
West Shamokin (5-11, 5-8) plays host to Ford City today.