DuBOIS — The DuBois softball team entered the week needing a strong late-season push to secure a playoff berth, and three wins in a two-day stretch has pushed the Lady Beavers over the .500 mark at 8-7.
Win No. 8 on the year was anything but easy Tuesday though, as DuBois was forced to rally from an early 4-0 deficit against Hollidaysburg before upending the Lady Golden Tigers, 10-4, at the Highland Street softball complex.
Hollidaysburg rattled off four hits, taking advantage of a Lady Beaver error in the process, to score four runs (two earned) off DuBois starter Molly Nosker in the top of the first.
That proved to be all the offense the Hollidaysburg could muster, as the Lady Tigers mustered just one base runner — a walk in the third — the rest of way. Nosker retired 19 of the final 20 batters she faced, giving her offense an opportunity to battle back into the game.
And, that’s just what the Lady Beavers did, scoring once in the first and second innings before grabbing the lead with a four-run third to go up 6-4. DuBois then put the game away with a four-run fifth.
All nine DuBois starters collected at least one hit, as the Lady Beavers finished with 13 as a team. Rachel Gildersleeve, Laura Fatula and Danessa Allison each had two hits to lead the attack, with Gildersleeve and Allison each knocking in a run.
Autumn Shaffer and Marissa Torretti each had a hit and two RBIs, Maddie Smith had the team’s lone extra base-hit — a leadoff triple that jump-started the four-run bottom of the third. Smith scored on a throwing error on the play.
“They did a good job of composing themselves (after the top of 1st), and it was early at that point,” said DuBois coach Rick McClelland. “They did what they had to do as the game progressed. Molly did the same thing (Monday vs. Bradford), she came out and struggled a little bit in the first, then composed herself and worked on top most of the time. When she’s working on top, she’s pretty successful.
“We also have some kids starting to hit the ball. And, we’ve talked about how it doesn’t matter what’s happened so far this season. It’s the next game that’s important, and that’s the approach we’ve been taking.
“I’ve been happy with their approach at the plate, they are working the count in their favor and hitting good pitches instead of swinging at the pitcher’s pitches. And, I think that’s making the difference.”
As well as things ended for DuBois, they started just as bad as Hollidaysburg’s four-run top of the first seemed to take the wind out of the Lady Beavers’ sails for a while.
A leadoff single, coupled with a one-out throwing error, set the table for a two-run triple to right-center by Lady Tiger Kylie Kane, who in turn scored on a single by Emily Baker. Jordynn Robertson’s two-out single plated Baker to make it 4-0.
Little did the Lady Tigers know that would be their last hit of the game, as Nosker got Jenna Heim to ground out to second baseman Kylee Bundy to start her run of 19 outs in 20 batters to end the game.
With Nosker and her defense silencing the Hollidaysburg bats, DuBois offense chipped away at the Lady Tigers lead with a run in each of the first two innings.
Sarah Snyder, coming off a 7-for-7 day Monday in a doubleheader sweep of Bradford, led off the bottom of the first with a single to left for her eighth straight hit of the week. Snyder promptly stole second and scored on a clutch two-out single to right by Gildersleeve, who was thrown out trying to take second on the throw home.
In the bottom of the second, Kacie Means and Shaffer drew back-to-back walks with one out to start a rally. Allison followed with a single to center to score courtesy runner Katie Zameroski to cut Hollidaysburg’s lead to 4-2.
That’s all DuBois got in the inning though, as Lady Tiger shortstop Kane snagged a line drive off the bat of Snyder to end the inning with runners on second and third.
Hollidaysburg wasn’t so fortunate in the third though, as DuBois put together a five-hit, four-run inning against reliever Kaitlyn Cappella to take a 6-4 lead.
Smith led off the inning with her triple to deep left-center field and sprinted home when the left fielder’s throw to third was well off the mark.
Bundy followed with a single, while Fatula smacked a single of her own with one out. Means then dropped a single into to center to score Bundy. A throwing error on the play allowed Fatula to score all the way from first as well, while Means ended up at third.
A Shaffer groundout plated courtesy runner Zamersoki to give DuBois a 6-4 lead after three innings.
The Lady Beavers then put the game away with their four-run fifth.
Gildersleeve and Fatula opened the inning with back-to-back singles, then with one away, Shaffer hit a single to right to score Gildersleeve. Allison followed with a walk to load the bases before Torretti ripped a two-run single over the first baseman’s head down the right field line to chase home Fatula and Shaffer.
Allison capped the inning when she scored on a two-out wild pitch to put DuBois up 10-4. Nosker did the rest from there to finish off the victory.
DuBois is back in action Friday at Punxsutawney.