STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (EYT/D9) – It was a rough first inning in the circle for Regan Husted.
(Photo by Dave Cyphert/ProPoint Media Photography)
The senior pitcher on the Clarion-Limestone softball team coughed up five runs to Karns City, which has one of the deepest and most potent lineups around.
“Some of those girls I know pretty well how they hit,” Husted said. “I know who to keep the ball away from. Marra Patton hit a home run off of me (in the first inning) and I was like, ‘Yeah, we’re not giving her any more.'”
Husted didn’t. Even though C-L was down big early, the Lions rallied to take a 7-5 lead late. After Karns City turned the tables and scored twice in the top of the seventh, Husted stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the frame with a single to score Abby Himes from third for the walk-off win for the Class A Lions over the 3A Gremlins.
“I just knew it didn’t matter where I put the ball,” Husted said. “I was just trying to hit the ball and give Abby a chance to score. I wasn’t too worried about getting a hit, but when I did, I was shocked. We were all like, ‘We don’t want to go to extra innings. Let’s just get this done now.'”
Clarion-Limestone (8-7) has struggled recently against Karns City.
“Karns City has always been one of those teams when you play them, you don’t expect too much because of how many girls they have and how good they’ve always been,” Husted said.
Husted is hoping a win like this propels Clarion-Limestone to some big things in the District 9 playoffs.
“Going into the game it was more of we’re getting to the end of the regular season, let’s try to get as many wins as we possibly can because so many of us are graduating and moving on,” said Husted, who will attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania next year to study nursing. She won’t play softball there. “We got a pretty good outcome today.”
Karns City, which has started slowly in several games this season, certainly didn’t Wednesday against C-L.
The Gremlins scored all five runs in the top of the first with two outs. Sara Patton singled home the first run, Marra Patton hit a two-run homer and Ally Walker drove in two more with a single.
Clarion-Limestone, though, got two of those runs back in the bottom of the frame on a RBI single by Himes and a passed ball.
The Lions closed to 5-3 in the third and moved ahead 7-5 with a four-run fifth, keyed by a two-run double by Jenna Dunn and RBI singles by Alyssa Wiant and Husted.
Karns City rallied to tie in the top of the seventh on an error and a run-scoring single by Ashley Fox to set up Husted’s heroics in the bottom of the inning.
Husted got the win, even though she gave up 14 hits to Karns City. Rossi McMillen went 4-for-4 for the Gremlins.
Marra Patton got the loss in relief of Walker. She gave up five runs, but only one earned, in 2 1/3 innings.
Frances Milliron and Husted both went 3-for-4 for C-L. Milliron also had a triple.
It was the second loss in a row for Karns City (13-3) after the Gremlins had won 13 straight.
Clarion-Limestone also played St. Marys Wednesday and lost 11-7.
Husted is hoping she and the Lions can shake off an up-and-down season in the playoffs.
“There were some weeks where we wouldn’t play any games at all and there was one week where we played five games,” Husted said. “It’s just been a weird year.”