SENECA, Pa. – A big nine-run explosion in the bottom of the first inning helped the Cranberry softball team rout Clarion-Limestone 16-6 in five innings on Tuesday afternoon at Cranberry High School in Seneca.
C-L (2-2) scored two runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead before the big explosion in the bottom of the inning. Cranberry would add three runs in the third while the Lady Lions answered with four in the top of the fifth before the Lady Berries ended the game early with a four-run inning of their own in the bottom of the fifth.
“That first inning kind of took us out of things,” said C-L head coach Jason Craig. “They had a couple of hits that just snuck through the infield, and if those would have gone a foot or two the other way, we might have made the play, and they don’t score all those runs, and it’s a different game. But, they went through for hits, and you can’t take anything away from Cranberry as they are a good hitting team, and they were able to take advantage of those hits.”
Rayna Watson led the 14-hit Cranberry attack with a 4-for-4 effort with four runs scored, including one of six doubles for the Lady Berries. Alaina Hogue added three hits with four RBI’s, including a double and three runs scored. Olivia Plummer and Kendall Findlay each added two hits, with each hitting a double and driving in two. Jenna Reynolds, Makayla Kearns, and Alyssa Beggs each added one hit, with Kearns and Beggs driving in a run each.
Abby Himes collected two hits with two runs scored. Frances Milliron, Kendall Dunn, Regan Husted, and Jocalyn Henry each added one hit. Husted drove in two runs while Himes and Alyssa Wiant each drove in one.
In the top of the first, Milliron led off with a walk. Himes then singled, with Milliron taking third on the throw back to the infield. Himes then stole second with Milliron scoring on the throw to the shortstop, who cut in front of the bag to accept the throw. Himes then later scored on a single by Husted for a 2-0 C-L lead.
Cranberry answered with nine runs on seven hits in the bottom of the inning.
The Lady Berries would take a 12-2 lead with a three-run third inning. Findlay drove in two runs with a double while she scored on a single by Hogue.
C-L was able to score four runs in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 12-6. Milliron started the inning with a single and stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Himes drove in Milliron with a single. Dunn then reached on an error with Himes moving to second. A mistake by the home plate umpire helped the Lady Lions score their second run of the inning. Makray struck out, but the ball was dropped by the catcher, and Makray ran to first (which she should have been ruled out right away due to first base being occupied with less than two outs). The throw to first hit Makray, and Himes scored while Dunn moved to third and Makray to second. Husted drove in a run with a ground out while Wiant drove in Makray with the fourth run of the inning on an RBI fielder’s choice grounder that erased pinch-runner Kennedy Schwabenbauer for the second out.
“Our girls didn’t give up and kept fighting after that first inning,” said Craig. “We were able to scratch out a few runs, but they were able to answer, unfortunately, and that’s just how the game went.”
Jenna Biltz picked up the win allowing six runs, three earned in five innings. She allowed six hits, two walks, one hit batter, and three strikeouts.
Cassidy Makray lasted just 1/3 of an inning, allowing eight earned runs on five hits. She walked three. Regan Husted pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing eight runs and four earned on nine hits. She walked two.