Damsels down Lady Vikings|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
FLINTON - After grounding out to the pitcher in the sixth inning, Moshannon Valley softball player Chelsea Domanick jokingly told first base coach Heidi Krawczak that she was ready to quit. Little did Domanick know, but by the end of the game the Damsel senior couldn't be seen without an ear-to-ear smile.
A two-out error in the top of the seventh allowed Mo Valley to take its first lead of the contest, and Domanick put an exclamation point on the come-from-behind victory by belting a 2-run home run to add some insurance.
Domanick, who was 0-for-3 until the homer, was greeted, as she rounded third base, by head coach John Gallagher, who have her a double high-five on her way to the plate.
As she crossed home, Domanick set the final and kept the Damsels' winning streak against the Lady Vikings intact with a 7-4 win on Tuesday in Flinton.
"It was a very good moment," said Gallagher of Domanick, "even though I gave her the take sign. She hit it over the fence, though, and I'm proud that she hit the ball real well."
Mo Valley's last defeat to Glendale came in 1992, a span of 40 games. The Lady Vikings swept the season series, 8-5 and 4-0, en route to the state semifinals
Of the 40 straight Damsels wins, only 17 have gone a full seven innings. Glendale nearly knocked off Mo Valley in 2005, as it fell 11-8 in nine innings.
Another near miss came in the District 6 preliminary round in 2000, a 2-0 win for the Damsels.
Whether or not it was the pressure of keeping that streak going or the improved play of the Lady Vikings, the Damsels had trouble getting into a rhythm against pitcher Katelyn Matthews.
Fresh off her second win of the season a day earlier, Matthews kept the Mo Valley bats at bay and had her rival facing its final six outs and a 2-run deficit.
A one-out error in the sixth proved deadly for the Lady Vikings, as the Damsels got RBI singles from Brandee Keith and Carly Kitko to pull even at four.
"They kept on battling," Gallagher said. "They're going to give me a heart attack. We were down two, but we came back in the sixth and we hit the ball. They played the ball they know how to play, and in the seventh they came up big with two outs and scored three runs.
"I'm proud of them. They stuck in there, kept their heads up and they played ball."
It was a rare near-miss for Glendale, which has gone a full seven innings on just two other occasions this season.
The Lady Vikings, who defeated Penns Manor on Monday, couldn't complete their first consecutive wins since sweeping a doubleheader from Harmony during the 2011 season after committing five miscues in the contest and leaving six runners stranded in scoring position.
"We couldn't come up with a clutch hit or a clutch defensive play," said Glendale head coach Jay Arnold, whose team left nine runners on base in all. "It wasn't just one person, either. We lost as a team. I think we should have won the game. I'm kind of anxious to play them again."
While the Lady Vikings took a 2-0 lead on an RBI double from Matthews and a fielder's choice from Kyresten Whetstone in the first, Mo Valley pitcher Hannah Kitko was undeterred and worked through some jams that kept her team in the contest.
Kitko got out of a 1-out, bases-loaded jam in the second and fifth innings, while keeping Glendale with just one run in both the fourth and fifth when the hosts had chances to extend their lead.
"This one hurts," Arnold said. "I wanted this one. We haven't beaten them in my coaching career, and that's why I wanted it so bad. I've been coaching for 10 years. Maybe we'll be back to 100 percent, but we still have to play better as a team."
Kitko labored to the tune of 125 pitches in the contest, as she scattered seven hits, walked three and struck out four. The Mo Valley freshman allowed just two earned runs.
"Hannah pitched a good game," said Gallagher. "She hung in there and she got out of some big jams. She threw her pitches, working inside and out, and the defense came up big behind her."
Matthews, who was gunned down at the plate to end the fifth, was the hard-luck loser after keeping the Mo Valley bats relatively silent.
Tayia Swoope homered in the second for the Damsels, but that counted as Mo Valley's only hit until Keith singled in the fourth.
Matthews allowed five hits, only one of the seven runs was earned, walked four and struck out eight.
"We felt good coming in (after Monday's win), and Kate is pitching much better than she has all year," Arnold said. "Her back is better ... and I think her velocity is up for the most part."
Keith was the lone Damsel with a pair of hits to her credit, while Matthews led the Lady Vikings with a 3-for-4 effort. Courtney McMurray added a pair of hits for Glendale, which dipped to 2-9 on the season.
The Lady Vikings travel to Juniata Valley this afternoon, while Mo Valley (2-6) hosts Bellwood-Antis for a doubleheader on Thursday.
Lewis ss 1000, Dale lf 3000, K. Kitko dp 3000, Baker cf 3100, Swoope c 4312, Domanick lf-1b 4212, C. Kitko 1b-ss 4111, M. Kitko 3b 1000, Keith rf 3021, Stodart 2b 3000, H. Kitko p (flex) 0000. Totals: 29-7-5-6.
Matier 2b 4010, McMurray lf 4220, Matthews p 4132, Whetstone 1b 4101, Heverly c 4000, Hamilton ss 4000, Shaffer cf 3011, Glass 3b 2000, Blake rf 2000. Totals: 31-4-7-4.
Score by Innings
Mo Valley 020 002 3-7 5 5
Glendale 200 110 0-4 7 5
Errors-C. Kitko, M. Kitko, Domanick, Keith, Dale; Glass 2, Hamilton, Blake, Shaffer. LOB-Mo Valley 5, Glendale 9. DP-Mo Valley. 2B-Matthews. HR-Swoope (solo, 2nd inning), Domanick (1 on, 7th inning). SB-K. Kitko, Domanick, M. Kitko. CS-Matier (by Swoope). WP-H. Kitko 1; Matthews 3.
Mo Valley: H. Kitko-7 IP, 7 H, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO.
Glendale: Matthews-7 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO.
WP-H. Kitko (2-5). LP-Matthews (2-9).