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Walk-off Win: Parks Smashes Two-Run Homer to Lift A-C Valley Past Clarion-Limestone

PARKER, Pa. (EYT/D9) — As soon as Mackenzie Parks made contact, she knew it was a home run.

She stood there at the plate for a few seconds, watching the softball soar over the right-center field fence at the Perry Township Little League fields, and allowed the magnitude of her drive to wash over her.

(Mackenzie Parks smiles as she holds her walk-off home run ball)

Parks’ two-run blast with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the A-C Valley softball team an 8-7, walk-off win over Clarion-Limestone on a chilly Monday afternoon.

There was nothing frigid about Parks’ bat. She went 4-for-4 with five RBI in the victory. The homer was the first walk-off of the junior’s career.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

“I was just thinking I kinda just need to get on base,” Parks said of her mindset when she dug into the box with her team down 7-6. “I just told Meah Ielase that if she got on, since she was the top of the lineup, then the junior trio would get her home.”

Ielase did get on with one out and scored on a double by junior Avah Burke to bring the Falcons back within a run. Parks then ended it with her fourth hit of the day.

“I just thought to myself, ‘I need to come up clutch,’” Parks said.

The homer also made a winner out of her in the circle.

Parks, moving into the role as the primary pitcher for A-C Valley this season, fared well for the most part against Clarion-Limestone’s potent attack.

She struck out four, walked three and gave up seven runs — six earned — in seven innings.

Frances Milliron went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBI for the Lions.

Regan Husted got the loss for Clarion-Limestone. She went 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking just one.

Burke also had a big day at the plate for the Falcons.

Burke, who missed all but one game last season because of an elbow issue, went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI.

Rylan Stauser also had a pair of hits for A-C Valley, including a double and a RBI.

Alyssa Wiant had two hits for Clarion-Limestone. Olivia Smith drove home two runs and Husted and Sam Simpson also had RBIs for the Lions.

A-C Valley led 4-0 after the first inning and it stayed that way until the top of the fourth when C-L answered with four runs of its own.

The teams traded runs in the fifth inning before the wild seventh.

The Lions scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to take a 7-5 lead, setting up A-C Valley’s final at-bat heroics.

It was the first game for both teams, which have battled the poor weather and poor field conditions at their home fields.

Parks was just as thrilled with how she pitches than her performance at the plate.

“I thought that my first game pitching would have been worse, but I thought I did pretty well,” Parks said. “I was expecting them to hit since they are a hitting team, but I also trusted my defense and thought that they had it under control.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

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