ST. MARYS — The St. Marys Little League All-Star softball team has played the equivalent of one full game but finds itself 2-0 with a spot in Saturday’s District 10 winners’ bracket finals.
St. Marys captured that berth in the winners’ bracket finals with a lopsided, 19-1, 4-inning victory over Elk-McKean County Tuesday at Benzinger Park.
The win came on the heals of a strange opening win over Bradford. St. Marys led 8-0 with one out in the top of the fourth in that game on Sunday when it was suspended due to bad thunderstorms in the Bradford area.
The game was to resume Monday at 4 p.m., but Bradford ultimately decided to forfeit near the predetermined game time.
St. Marys hosts DuBois, also 2-0 in All-Star play, on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the winners’ bracket finals. DuBois beat Brookville, 17-0, in four innings Tuesday.
As for Tuesday’s victory, St. Marys used some patience at the plate against Elk-McKean starting pitcher Ava Whiteman, who struggled to find the strike zone. Whiteman walked 10 — and hit two others — while St. Marys scattered in 11 hits to go along with all those base runners.
Whiteman’s control issues led to St. Marys scoring 10 of its 19 runs directly on wild pitches. When Whiteman was near the plate, the St. Marys hitters took advantage of those opportunities.
Kara Hanslovan, Kendall Young and Lindsey Reiter all went 2-for-2 for St. Marys, with Hanslovan and Young scoring three times and Reiter twice. Young blasted a two-run home run over the fence in left-center in the third, while Reiter added a RBI double later in that inning.
Hanslovan was the beneficiary of all that offense, as she tossed a four-inning, no-hitter in the victory. She struck out eight and walked two. Those two walks helped lead to Elk-McKean’s lone run in the second inning.
Myka Costanzo drew the first of those walks and later scored when Aubri Haight was gunned down at first base by St. Marys’ Jianna Gerg on a ball hit into right field.
The second was the lone inning Elk-McKean had base runners, as Hanslovan retired the side in order in the first, third and fourth innings.
With Hanslovan silencing the Elk-McKean bats, St. Marys’ wasted little time grabbing the lead as it pushed four runs across the plate on just two hits in the bottom of the first.
Emma Sorg drew a leadoff walk, then went first to third on a wild pitch and scored on the same play on an errant throw back to the pitcher. After Whiteman got an out, Hanslovan reached on an infield single, then stole second before scoring on a pair of wild pitches.
Young followed with a walk and took second and third on wild pitches before Caitlyn Vollmer drew a walk. Vollmer kept running but was throw out at second, which allowed Young to race home.
Reiter kept the inning going with a single to right and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
St. Marys added to its lead with a five-run second.
St. Marys had just two hits in the inning — a double by Olivia Eckels and infield single from Young with one out. Both girls eventually found their way home in the inning.
Other runs in the second were scored by Sidney Alexander, who was hit by a pitch, and Gerg and Hanslovan — both of whom walked. Four of those runs came home on wild pitches, while the fifth scored on a throw following Young’s infield single.
Leading 9-0, St. Marys put the game away with a 10-run third — an inning that saw the hosts pound out seven of its 11 hits.
Izzy Catalone started the third with a one out walk. She stole second before two wild pitches scored her. Anna Mattivi then smacked a double. She promptly stole third before Eckels walked. A pair of wild pitches allowed Mattivi and Eckels to both score.
Hanslovan kept the inning going as she walked ahead of Young’s two-run blast to left-center that put St. Marys up 14-1. Vollmer and Reiter then ripped back-to-back doubles, with Vollmer scoring on Reiter’s extra base hit.
A single by Gabby Weisner and walk from Kat Kirst then loaded the bases. Catalone scored a run with an infield single, while Mattivi forced home another with a walk.
Kirst scored when Eckels struck out on a pitch in the dirt, while Hanslovan singled home St. Marys’ 19th and final run.