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Juniata comeback leads to win over EJ

By Kenny Varner

MIFFLINTOWN – They saved the best for last.
How sweet it was for the Juniata girls softball team on Thursday afternoon.
In their final game of the season, not only did they pay homage to their seniors Brandi Owens, Krissy Saner and Hannah Welfley but they got to end the year against arch rival, East Juniata.
Despite being down 5-0 early on the Indians’ rallied back to tie the game before scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 9-6 going into the Tigers’ last at bats.
However, the East Juniata offense had one last powerful punch to throw at Juniata, scoring two runs and loading the bases with two outs.
A grounder later and the Indians pulled out the nail biting 9-8 victory.
Abby Adair got the win for the home team Indians as she went the distance scattering seven hits and striking out seven in the rain-hampered contest.
East Juniata hurler Meghan McNaughton took the hard luck loss as she pitched a strong six innings before being relieved by Allison Beaver.
Offensively, Juniata were led by Alissa Goodling going 3-for-4 with 3 runs and an RBI and Megan Snyder who 3-for-4 with 3RBI.
East Juniata got a strong offensive performance by Shanel Eaton who was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run.
The two teams went into the bottom of the sixth inning knotted at six.
Mya Rush got the inning going with a slap single into left.
Alissa Goodling’s double put runners on second and third with no one out.
Cisney called the play of the game as he signaled Snyder to try the risky suicide squeeze. Snyder latex down a picture perfect bunt and reached base while Rush scored, making it 7-6.
Goodling’s heads up running on a wild pitch added another obstacle for the Tigers.
Snyder scored called third strike in the dirt on teammate Hannah Welfley which gave her team a 3-run lead.
However, the Indians had to keep the Tigers at bay in the seventh which proved to be no easy task.
Erin Houdeshel started off the inning with a single to left.
Teammate Beaver followed with a single of her own and was replaced for a courtesy runner in Molly Diehl.
With two outs, Paris Feltman reached on a 2-base error by the Indians that allowed Houdeshel and Diehl to score.
Brooke Emey singled to put runners on the corners.
Erin Heimbach took one for the team and was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
But the Tiger comeback would stop right there as Juniata was able to get the final out and the win.
” I am glad we pulled it out. These kids having been coming back like this the whole year. A lot Games we got behind early and battled back and ended up winning it. Juniata coach Dave Cisney said. “It was a team effort. We got our bats together and were able to put things together.
Things didn’t start out quite the way the Indians had hoped for as East Juniata opened the game with three runs in the first thanks to two Juniata miscues at first.
Eaton opened the game with a walk and advanced to third minutes later on a Meghan Schilling double to right center.
Beaver reached first on an Indian error that allowed Eaton to score and Schilling to take third.
Breana Dysinger also reached via an error, allowing Schilling and Beaver to score, making it 3-0.
East Juniata battled back to plate to more runs in the second to take a 5-0 advantage going into the bottom of the inning.
“I’m am proud of how they played. It meant a lot to the seven seniors and it meant a lot to the whole team and I told the girls to make it a memory. Make it a nice memory that you can look at your self in the mirror and you are happy with what you did. I’m sure there are some that are going to be disappointed but for the most part they are all going to be pretty happy,” East Juniata skipper Joe Schilling said. “Any ball game you have bases loaded, two outs and everything you could ask for as I coach. I thought they executed extremely well.”
Juniata battled back to score two in the second, two in the third and two in the fourth.
The Indians finished its season with a
5-7 record in the Tri-Valley League and sported a final record of 7-12.

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