MARTINSBURG — After reeling off 12 straight wins to begin the season, the Ligonier Valley softball team suffered its first loss Wednesday, dropping an 8-2 decision to Central Martinsburg in a non-conference game.
Central starter Dylan Claycomb handcuffed the Rams’ high-powered offense, allowing just two hits and two walks in seven innings while recording 11 strikeouts.
Ligonier Valley entered the game averaging 10.1 runs per game, having scored 10 or more runs in eight of its first 12 completed games. But it was a different story on Wednesday.
Taylor Bojtos and Abi Cmar recorded the only hits for the Rams, both singles. Kaylee Colt and Cmar each had an RBI.
Central (8-5) did all its damage early, scoring all eight of its runs in the first three innings. The Scarlet Dragons plated a pair of runs in each of the first and third innings, sandwiched around a four-run inning in the second.
Leading the way for Central was Ashley Negley, who had a double and a home run among her three hits. She had two RBIs.
Ligonier Valley scored twice in the sixth to get on the board, but it was too little too late for the Rams.
Ligonier Valley (12-1) welcomes Indiana for another non-conference game Friday.
HOMER-CENTER 6, BLAIRSVILLE 4: Nathaniel Davis struck out 13 batters in 6 1-3 dominant innings to lead Homer-Center past the Bobcats in a Heritage Conference game Wednesday.
Jayke Saiani hit an RBI double in the first inning, Jonathan Gearhart added a two-run single, and Homer-Center took an early 3-0 lead to give Davis all the run support he would need.
Other than the third inning, when he ran into trouble, Davis was in control from the first pitch until he was pulled with one out in the seventh inning.
He gave up four walks, three hits and three runs, needing 102 pitches to get through 6 1-3 innings.
Blairsville’s three hits — all singles — came in the third inning when the Bobcats scored a pair of runs and cut Homer-Center’s lead to 3-2. After that, Davis allowed only three more baserunners on a pair of walks and an error.
He was relieved in the seventh after walking his final batter, the first of five consecutive walks given up by three Homer-Center pitchers that led to Blairsville’s final two runs and made things too close for comfort.
Ian Vilcek recorded the final out on a popout with the bases loaded.
Saiani and Canyon Rankin each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Gearhart finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
For Blairsville, CJ Ingmire and Devin Burkhart each had a run-scoring single in the third.
Burkhart also drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh and finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Ingmire was 1-for-2 with an RBI, and Brayde Furman was 1-for-1 with a pair of runs scored.
Winners of four straight games, Homer-Center (10-5) visits United on Friday. Blairsville (2-8) welcomes Marion Center on Friday.
PURCHASE LINE 15, HARMONY 5: Purchase Line’s offense erupted for 16 hits and 15 runs, and the Red Dragons snapped a seven-game losing streak with a resounding win in a mercy-rule shortened non-conference game in Westover.
Purchase Line sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning, scoring six runs on six hits, and the Red Dragons never took the foot off the gas pedal.
They also scored multiple runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings, enacting the mercy rule with a four-run sixth.
Leading the offensive outburst was Jonathan Leasure, who was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Connor McCoy was 2-for-5 with two RBIs, and Kyle Smith also had two RBIs.
Isaac Huey (2-for-3), Ryan Byers (2-for-4) and Jacob Himes (2-for-5) also had multiple hits. Huey and Byers each had a double.
Nine players had at least one RBI for the Red Dragons.
Levi Kephart scored a team-high three runs despite not recording an official at-bat, and five other Purchase Line players scored two runs.
For Harmony, Isaac Elias and Daniel Rorabaugh each went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Adam McGarvey and Kaylob Watson also went 2-for-3 for the Owls.
Both teams play Monday. Purchase Line (2-11) visits Blairsville, and Harmony (0-11) welcomes Glendale.
BISHOP McCORT 12, UNITED 2: Bishop McCort used a five-run fifth inning to put away the game and beat United in a mercy-rule shortened non-conference game Wednesday in Johnstown.
Holding a 7-2 lead entering the inning, the Crushers batted around in the fifth despite getting only three hits. They benefitted from three walks, a hit batsman, and a costly United error that led to three runs.
Bishop McCort opened the scoring with four runs in the first inning, but United responded immediately with two runs in the top of the second to get within 4-2. Hunter Cameron and leadoff hitter Camden Jamison delivered back-to-back bases-loaded RBI singles to get United on the board.
The Lions’ momentum was short-lived though, as Bishop McCort added three more runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back.
Neither team had an extra-base hit as the 16 combined hits were all singles.
Seven players had a hit for United, paced by Cameron, who was 1-for-2 with an RBI, and Jamison, who went 1-for-3 with and RBI.
Cameron took the loss, giving up seven runs on five hits in two innings. He struck out three and walked four.
United (6-5) lost its third straight game and has given up at least 12 runs in each loss.
MOUNT PLEASANT 8, INDIANA 2: Indiana committed six errors and Indians’ batters struck out 14 times in a loss to Mount Pleasant in a WPIAL Class 4A Section 1 game Wednesday.
Indiana scored first, taking a 2-0 lead in the third on an error and A.J. Ryan’s run-scoring single, but the Indians’ numerous mistakes were too much to overcome.
Mount Pleasant answered with four runs in the same inning, and the Vikings tacked on three more in the fourth to take control. Indiana committed all six of its errors in those two innings.
Austin Homer and Zach Tortorella each went 2-for-4 to lead Indiana. The Indians’ top four hitters in the batting order combined to go 6-for-15.
Alec Petroff took the loss. He allowed seven runs — three earned — on seven hits in four innings, striking out five. Meanwhile, Mount Pleasant pitchers John Wagner and Jonas King struck out 14 batters while walking only one.
Indiana (1-16) welcomes Greensburg Salem on Friday.