FAIRCHANCE — Coming off a memorable 8-3 win over Nittany Valley that spanned over two days, the DuBois 11-year-old All-Star softball team suffered a tough 18-8 loss to Williamsport Sunday at the state tournament in Fairchance.
Williamsport seized control of the winners’ bracket finals matchup with a 12-run top of the second and appeared headed to a four-inning, mercy-rule victory.
However, DuBois didn’t hang its heads and continued to battle, scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend the game before falling 18-8 in a full-length game.
Williamsport only outhit DuBois, 11-10, on the day but capitalized on 12 walks sprinkled in amongst those 11 hits to maximize its scoring in the victory. In contrast, Williamsport starter Kendall McAnelly walked just two batters which limited extra scoring opportunities for its Section 1 opponent.
Melia Mitskavich led the DuBois offensive attack, going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Teammate Aaliyah Estrada went 2-for-4 with a RBI, while Kiki Foster came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
The loss dropped DuBois into today’s losers’ bracket finals, where it plays the winner of last night’s game between Pittston Area and Lower Perkiomen at 4 p.m. No score was available at press time on Sunday evening.
The winner of that contest comes right back to play Williamsport in the state championship game.
Williamsport claims the title with a victory, while a win by the losers’ bracket team forces an if-necessary championship game on Tuesday.
“It was a tough loss, but they did battle back and I was proud of all of them for fighting,” said DuBois manager Tommy Frank. “They didn’t give up. If you take away one bad inning, we may win that game.
“They (Williamsport) are a good team, but we’re right with them. We have to win one more to play them again. We want to play them again, and I know we can beat them.”
Williamsport jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning against DuBois starter Bree Weible.
McAnelly got things started with a one-out walk. Aubri Blair and Ally Chilson followed with back-to-back singles, with Chilson’s hit scoring McAnelly. Blair and Chilson then scored when Maria Montoya reached on a one-out error.
DuBois got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the first.
Mitskavich led off the inning with a double and scored on a double by Weible to make it 3-1. Weible took third on a wild pitch but was stranded there.
However, any momentum DuBois built in the bottom of the first was quickly taken away by Williamsport with its huge 12-run top of the second.
Williamsport pounded out six hits around four walks and two hits batsmen in the inning. Blair and Natayah Abdul Hakim both hit inside-the-park grand slams in the inning, while Chilson had a two-run double.
Lydia Morgan came on in relief for DuBois late in the second and got the first batter she faced — Montoya — to fly out to center to end Williamsport’s rally with the Section 3 representative leading 15-1.
Morgan gave DuBois a strong effort in the circle as she finished out the game. She tossed 3 1/3 no-hit, scoreless innings before Williamsport scored three runs on three hits off Morgan in the sixth. Two of those runs were earned.
Morgan’s performance gave DuBois a chance to battle back, and the Section 1 squad did just that. But, DuBois couldn’t overcome the deficit Williamsport’s big second inning created.
Down 15-1, DuBois scored a run in the bottom of the third when Weible drew a one-out walk and later scored on a two-out wild pitch.
Facing an early end to its day, DuBois extended the day with a four-run fourth.
McAnelly struck out Jessy Frank to open the inning, but Frank hustled to first when the ball got away from the catcher. Foster followed with a single to left before Kamryn Fontaine hit a grounder to third.
Williamsport’s shortstop tried to go to third to get Frank, but the throw was off the mark, with the error loading the bases. Kayley Risser then scored Frank on a fielder’s choice that saw Foster erased at third.
Mitskavich stepped in and smacked a single to left to plate Fontaine. Risser and Mitskavich moved up an extra base when the ball got past the left fielder. Morgan then scored a run on a groundout, while Aaliyah Estrada singled home Mitskavich to cut Williamsport’s lead to 15-6.
DuBois cut that deficit to 15-8 with two more runs in the fifth.
Maddy Orzechowski led off the inning with a walk, and Frank singled to put runners on the corners. Frank promptly took second without a throw before both runners scored on a single to right by Foster.
That’s as close as DuBois got though, as Williamsport tacked on three more runs of its own in the sixth to set the final.