BROCKWAY — Hits were hard to come by for both the Johnsonburg and Brockway softball teams for most of the game Tuesday, and it was the Ramettes who collected enough timely hits to upend the host Lady Rovers, 9-3.
Johnsonburg (8-6) mustered just six hits through five innings against Brockway starter Morgan Lindemuth, but three of those hits helped produce five runs as the Ramettes eventually took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
It appeared that would be more than enough for Ramette starter Lindsey Kocjancic, who took a one-hitter into the sixth. She struck out nine over the first five frames, with the lone hit being a two-out single by Mackenzie Overbeck in the fourth.
However, Brockway finally got to Kocjancic in the sixth and pushed three runs across to make a game of it at 6-3.
The Lady Rovers loaded the bases with one out on a bunt single by Madison Barefield, a walk by Emma Cavalline and Lindemuth being hit by a pitch. That spelled the end for Kocjancic, as she gave way for Maria Jones.
Overbeck greeted Jones by dumping a single over the second baseman’s head to score Barefield. Jones then got a strikeout for out No. 2 before Callie Barber reached on an infield single. Cavalline scored on Barber’s hit as did Lindemuth when a late throw got past the first baseman.
The error left two runners in scoring position, but Jones halted the rally there by striking out Katie McMeekin looking.
Johnsonburg got those three runs right back in the top of the seventh.
An error and a fielder’s choice where both runners ended up safe jump-started the inning. That brought Jones to the plate, and she blasted a two-run triple to center. She scored a batter later when Alyssa Kasmierski reached on an error to make it a 9-3 game.
Jones allowed a leadoff single to Leah Lindemuth in the bottom of the seventh but then struck out three straight to end the game. She allowed no run on three hits while striking out five in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Jones also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with the triple and four RBIs. Kasmierski and Jenna Pavlock each had two hits, with Pavlock driving in a pair of runs.
“Pitching-wise we did well today, Lindsey just got a little tired there towards the end,” said Johnsonburg coach Gary Gerber. “She did a a great job though, we just couldn’t time the hitting. We got just enough key hits today and played okay defense.
“We just couldn’t wait on her (Lindemuth), and they all were out in front of it. in the end, getting the the win is what’s most important right now.”
Johnsonburg jumped on the board first with a pair of runs in the top of the first.
Jones led off the game with a walk, and Kasmierski followed with a single to left. Morgan Lindemuth then recorded back-to-back striekouts before Mackenzie Freeman delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double to right for the Ramettes.
Johnsonburg proceeded to load the bases, but Lindemuth struck out Pavlock looking to end the inning.
Brockway tried to counter in the bottom of the inning as Leah Lindemuth reached on a leadoff error and Barefield walked. However, Kocjancic got three straight outs to strand the runners at first and second.
Johnsoburg left a pair on in the second before pushing a run across in the third.
Freeman drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout. Pavock then singled home Freeman with two outs to put the Ramettes up 3-0.
Johnsonburg added a run in the fourth when Kasmierski ripped a leadoff double and later scored on a wild pitch.
The Ramettes were back at it in the fifth.
Isabella Galbo opened the inning by reaching on an error before Pavlock lined a ball up the middle off the leg of Lindemuth. The Ramettes ended up with runners at second and third on the play. Lindemuth stayed in the game.
After a flyout, Jones plated both runners with a single to center to put Johnsonburg up 6-0. Kasmierski followed with a walk, and it appeared the Ramettes were still in business before a strange play ended the inning.
Leah Lindemuth made a nice running catch in foul territory in left field for what most of the players on the field thought was the third out when it was in fact the second. However, the Ramettes on the bases ran off the field thinking the inning was over, which resulted in the final out.
The play mattered little as the Ramettes finished off the six-run victory.
“We’re getting better,” said Brockway coach Tom Bussard. “The last time we played them, they 15-runned us in three (16-1). Today, we were in the game up until the seventh inning, and we were still battling to possibly get back into the game.
“Pitching-wise we’re getting a lot better, defensively we’re getting better, but we still had a few mistakes that led to a few runs. Other than that, we kept the game close where we had a chance to compete in the end.”
Johnsonburg hosts Sheffield Thursday, while Brockway (1-12) is back in action today at home against Elk County Catholic at 4:15 p.m.