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Johnson Motors - 877-816-0659
Lady Warriors hammer Glendale
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
ALLPORT - It was a pretty rough road trip for the Glendale softball team on Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Vikings were late getting to West Branch due to getting stuck in traffic behind an accident on Route 53.
And once Glendale arrived, the Lady Warriors didn't make it any easier on their guests.
West Branch smacked 12 hits, walked 12 times and reached base three more on hit by pitches on the way to a 22-1 victory over the Lady Vikings. The game lasted just three innings due to the 15-run rule.
The Lady Warriors did most of their damage off Glendale starter Katelyn Matthews, who left the game in the bottom of the second with shoulder tightness.
"In a game like this, it does make us watch the ball a little bit more because (Matthews) is a little bit more erratic," West Branch head coach Dave Breon said. "And the biggest thing I want my kids to do is concentrate on that strike zone and see the ball in that zone and not chases pitches out of it.
"We still chased a few pitches out of the zone, but overall a game like this will help us out at the plate."
The bottom of the Lady Warrior batting order had a huge day as 7-8-9 hitters Missy Croyle, Tosha Hahn and Rachel Myers combined to go 6-for-8 with 8 runs scored and 11 RBIs.
"That was nice to see," Breon said. "A lot of times most teams are weak for at least two or three at-bats. The kids are swinging the bats well. Even though we lost to Claysburg, 5-0, (Monday night), we didn't really chase a lot of pitches out of the zone. "We are attacking the strike zone. And that's something we want to see."
West Branch took a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, using five hits and three walks to plate its runs.
Croyle had a 2-run single, Hahn smacked an RBI single and Myers belted a 2-run double. Janene Couteret knocked in Myers with her own double and West Branch also scored a run on a wild pitch.
The Lady Warriors batted around twice in the second inning, sending 20 batters to the plate on the way to a 15-run frame.
MeLesha Ahlberg had two hits and a walk in the inning, scoring two runs and driving in two.
Hahn had a hit and a walk and three RBIs in the inning and Taylor Hall struck the big blow, a 3-run home run that put West Branch in front, 10-0, at the time.
"We have Taylor in there in that part of the order because she does have power," Breon said. "She's hit some balls really hard this year, but right at people.
"In the Curwensville game, for instance, she hit a rocket that was right at the left fielder. We just tell the kids to keep doing that stuff, and they'll fall."
The Lady Warriors had seven hits, drew eight walks and were hit by pitches twice in the second inning.
Glendale dented the scoreboard in the top of the second, getting a two-out double from Heather McCully, who scored two batters later when Kristin Shaffer reached on an infield error.
It was the only error West Branch made after an eight-miscue performance Monday at Claysburg-Kimmel.
"If we want to compete with the better teams and go toe-to-toe with them, we have to play cleaner," Breon said. "If our defense plays cleaner, I think we have a shot to get that gap shot we need to score a run and beat teams. We have to clean it up."
The unearned run was the only chink in Lady Warrior pitcher Morgan Rackish's armor as the West Branch sophomore allowed just two hits and struck out seven to get the win.
"She threw a good game," Breon said. "And she stayed focused. Her command was pretty good. She was hitting the corners, and I think her curveball was breaking pretty well. She was working her pitches and hitting her spots."
Glendale dipped to 1-5 overall, 0-4 in the Inter-County Conference and 1]-1 in the Moshannon Valley League.
West Branch improved to 3-4 overall, 1-2 in the ICC and 1-1 in the MVL.
The Lady Vikings host Williamsburg today, while the Lady Warriors entertain Mount Union on Thursday.
EXTRA INNINGS: West Branch cleanup hitters Madison McCracken and Dani Zelenky combined for four plate appearances, but did not have an official at-bat. McCracken walked twice and scored two runs, while Zelenky walked and was hit by a pitch, scoring once and knocking in one ... Ahlberg was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two RBIs ... Gabby Redmond had a single and two walks and scored three times.

Matier 2b 1000, Johnston ph 1000, McMurray rf 1000, Willett ph 1000, Matthews p 1000, Glass ss 1000, Whetstone 1b 1000, Heverly 3b 1000, McCully lf 1110, Strong c 1010, Shaffer cf 1000, Hamilton ss-p 1000. Totals: 12-1-2-0.
West Branch-22
Couteret cf 2212, Rackish p 2111, Ahlberg ss 2322, McCracken 3b 0200, Zelenky ph-3b 0101, Hall dp 1213, Sharer lf 1000, Redmond 2b 1311, Croyle 1b 3333, Prinkey 1b 0000, Hahn c 3324, Myers rf 2214. Totals: 17-22-12-21.
Score by Innings
Glendale          0    10-1  2 1
West Branch     7(15)x-22 12 1
Errors-McCully; Ahlberg. LOB-Glendale 2, West Branch 3. 2B-McCully; Myers, Couteret. HR-Hall (2 on, 2nd inning). SB-McCracken, Hall. HBP-Couteret, Zelenky (by Matthews), Rackish (by Hamilton). WP-Matthews 9.
Glendale: Matthews-1 2/3 IP, 12 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 9 BB, 0 SO; Hamilton-1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO.
West Branch: Rackish-3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO.
WP-Rackish (3-0). LP-Matthews (1-5).

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