Connect with us


One, Two, Three: Trio of Pitchers Help Karns City to 6-2 Win Over Forest

KARNS CITY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Three pitchers are better than one.

At least for the Karns City softball team.

The trio of Ally Walker, Megan Whitmire and Marra Patton combined to toss a four-hitter as the Gremlins downed Forest, 6-2, at Diehl Stadium Monday evening.

“Ally did well,” said Karns City coach Mike Stitt. “Megan and Marra closed it out, just to give them some work. They did a nice job shutting them down.”

Whitmire didn’t know she was going to pitch until she was handed the ball to start the fourth inning with a 4-2 lead.

Walker pitched the first three innings, giving up two runs — one earned — on three hits and striking out three.

Whitmire threw two scoreless innings, giving up just bunt single to Emma McFarland, and struck out two.

Patton pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.

“We have a pretty deep pitching staff,” Whitmire said. “We all work really well and we all give different looks to a batter. Pretty much any day anyone can pitch at any time. It works really well for us.”

It’s a luxury few teams possess in high school softball. Stitt and his staff can mix and match their pitchers to suit the situation.

It also breaks competition.

“We warm up like four of five pitchers,” Stitt said. “We always see which one throws the best. That’s who we go with.”

Whitmire was happy to get some time in the circle. Walker and Patton have handled the bulk of the pitching duties so far this season for Karns City (7-1).

She also had a double, a walk and scored a run for the Gremlins, which had all they could handle from Forest.

The Fires, like most teams in District 9, have struggled to play games because of the poor weather this spring. This was only the second game Forest has been able to complete. Two other games — vs. Clarion and Cranberry — are suspended and will be completed at a later date.

(Megan Whitmire)

Forest didn’t look the part of a rusty team, especially in the field.

Madison McFarland made several highlight-reel plays at short — snagging a line drive in the hole and throwing a rope to first base for a double play, ranging far to her right to chase down a pop-up, venturing into shallow center to make an over-the-should catch.

Second baseman Alexis Oswald also made a leaping grab of a line drive and threw to first for another double play for the Fires.

“You can’t take anything away from that team,” Stitt said. “They made some great plays. The shortstop (Madison McFarland) was phenomenal. It was fun watching her play.”

Izzy Flick got the loss for the Fires, but she pitched well against one of the more formidable lineups in D9. She surrendered six runs, but only three earned.

“Coming in we had several smaller goals,” said Forest coach Eric Flick. “Our ultimate goal was to take the win. We wanted to upset a big team like Karns City, a team that will do very well in the district. Our other goals were to go seven innings, and we did that, make few errors or no errors and to hang in with them.”

And that the Fires did.

Forest had runners on first and second with no one out in a 4-2 game in the top of the sixth, but a double play quashed a potential rally.

Karns City got two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice groundout by Jada Polczynski and an error.

Forest led 1-0 in the first on a RBI single by Madison McFarland that scored her twin sister, Emma McFarland.

It stayed that way until Karns City put up four runs in the bottom of the second. Whitmire and Rossi McMillen had back-to-back doubles, Polczynski brought home a run with a fielder’s choice groundout, Ashely Fox brought home a run with a perfectly placed bunt single and Jess Dunn ripped an RBI single.

Forest cut the lead to 4-2 when Madison McFarland scored on a wild pitch in the third.

Dunn and Patton each went 2-for-3 and McMillen scored a pair of runs for Karns City, which has played all eight of its games so far this season on the football field at Diehl Stadium.

That will change this week as the Gremlins have road games ahead for the first time.

“These girls are ready. I just said this the other day, we need to get out of here,” Stitt said. “We need to go out, have some fun, and get on dirt. Let these girls do what they do.”