BERWICK — The St. Marys Junior League All-Star softball team made it two wins in two days at the state tournament in Berwick, topping Caln Township, 6-3, Thursday to land in today’s winners’ bracket finals.
St. Marys got another big day from Kendall Young — both at the plate and in the circle — as well as some clutch two-run double from pinch-hitter Ava Buzard in the three-run victory.
Young went 2-for-3 at the plate, with her three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth providing the eventual game-winning runs. She also knocked in a run with a double and finished with four RBIs.
In the circle, Young allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out 11 and walking none in a complete-game effort.
Morgan Wold and Olivia Eckels joined Young in having two hits in the win. Eckels had two doubles, while Young belted a triple.
St. Marys battles Fairchance in the winners’ bracket final today at 5 p.m., with a berth in Sunday’s state championship game on the line. Fairchance beat host Berwick in the other winners’ game Thursday. A score was not available from that contest as of press time.
Young retired the first nine batters she faced Thursday, striking out seven straight during that stretch.
St. Marys grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Young was putting up zeroes.
Wolf led off the inning with a triple and scored on a one-out double by Young. The score remained 1-0 into the fourth after Eckels was stranded on base in the third after a one-out double.
Caln Township finally got to Young in the fourth, with the leadoff hitter singling to left. A one-out single followed by a double put Caln up 2-1.
That lead was short-lived though, as St. marys countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Joey Forster doubled with one out and was replaced by special-pinch runner Lauren Mosier. Janelle Krug followed with a single and quickly took second. Buzard then ripped her double to plate both runners to put St. Marys back on top 3-2.
Young’s three-run homer in the fifth added some much-needed insurance runs. Wolf and Eckels, who singled and doubled, respectively, were on board for the blast.
Caln scored one final run in the seventh in a triple and double, but Young recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.