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Greenwood wins TVL naibiter over Juniata

MIFFLINTOWN – With a group of up and coming young players, the Juniata girls softball team gave Tri-Valley League leader Greenwood everything it. Hold handle, taking the Wildcats down to the last out before falling 3-2 Wednesday night at Juniata High School.
Defense took center stage for most of the contest as the game went into the bottom of the third before any runs were scored.
The game was highlighted by Greenwood’s two put outs at the plate en route to pulling out the winning run in the top of the seventh.
Picking up the win for the Wildcats was Courtney Fleisher who went the distance, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out six.
The combination of Juniata hurlers Ally Misal and Abby Adair both had strong performances as the combined on a five hit, 3-run outing.
The Juniata offensive combo of Lilli Reed and Hannah Welfley were the only two multiple hitters in the game as both went 2-for-3 and both scored.
“We didn’t have many opportunities. We were very tentative at the plate tonight and I’m not sure why,” Greenwood skipper Troy Gantt said. “It was almost like the last team that gets the opportunity to score would win it. We were fortunate to come out on top tonight. They (Juniata) played a very good game tonight.”
Going into the final inning, the two teams were deadlocked at two.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Eve Lesperance roped a hard rocketing single up the middle. She easily made it to second thanks to a picture perfect sacrifice bunt by Corrisa Wagner.
Her time on second was brief as she was singled home on a Sydney Cauffman RBI single, putting them ahead 3-2.
However, the Indians would not go down without a fight as Brandi Owens led off the bottom of the inning with a double deep into the gap in left centerfield.
But unfortunately for Juniata, she was stranded as the next three Indian batters were kept in check.
“I’m very proud of my team. We played some tough non league games in order to get ready for these guys. We played them and took our lumps from them but we came out of it a better team,” Juniata coach Dave Cisney said. “I think we are going to have a shot at the league here. I really do. We’re going to do our best to win this league.”
Juniata took the first advantage as the scores a run in the bottom of the third.
After holding Greenwood scoreless in the first three innings, Juniata manufactured its first run thanks to the hustle of Reed.
Leading off the inning, Reed hustled out an infield single to start the momentum rolling. She moved to second thanks to a single by Welfley and then stole third.
When stealing third, the ball jetted out into left and allowed her to reach home on the Greenwood error.
Greenwood bounced back to take the lead in the fifth, plating two runs.
Lesperance reached on a Juniata miscue and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Corrisa Wagner.
Cauffman followed with a walk and both scored on a blazing grounder that bounced over the glove of the center fielder, allowing both of the runners to score, taking the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Indians rallied back to tie the game on a single by Welfley and an RBI single by Mya Rush.
Things could have been more for the Indians but the Greenwood outfield gunned down a hustling Owens as she tried to score from second on Welfley’s single.
But it was enough to add to the excitement as the team’s went down to the wire before Greenwood was able to pull it out and remain undefeated in league play.

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