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Mount Union punches ticket to PSU

Onward and upward.
The Mount Union girls softball team is heading for Beard Field at Penn State University Wednesday as it defeated Northern Cambria in five innings 10-0.
Leading the way was pitcher Sara Gearhart who struck out 10 and allowed only three hits in the 10-run shortened contest.
“She is very seasoned. She usually doesn’t get behind like she did to day but she was able to battle back and get the strikes she needed. She made them earn everything they got,” Mount Union manager Matt Fiscus said. “Whenever she is hitting her spots she is really tough. A seasoned pitcher like her makes up them earn everything and we play good defense behind her. They really stood up and helped us get out of some jams.”
Mount Union improves to 19-2 on the year as they head in to play the winner of the Conemaugh Valley/West Branch game also played on Thursday.
The Trojans offense played a very opportunistic game on the base paths making the Colts errors cone back to haunt them.
However, the Trojans’ bats were also deadly at times as they finished with eight hits while they walked five times.
After allowing Colts runners on second and third in the first with two out, the Mount Union defense got the out it needed to keep the scoreboard clean.
In the bottom of the inning, the Trojans opened with two quick outs before getting things together.
Taylor Fortney walked to start the rally as did teammates Maddison Harris and McKenzie Boozel.
With bases loaded, McKenna Shields picked up an RBI walk to put Mount Union on the scoreboard.
Payton Low singled in Harris and Boozel before Shields was gunned down at third.
Going into the second, the home team held a close 3-0 advantage.
Gearhart took care of the side in the second all by herself, striking out all three batters and bringing back the Trojans’ offense back to the plate.
Again, the Trojans’ bats did not disappoint.
With one out, Rylee Atherton took one for the team and was hit by an offering.
Lead off hitter Diana Roher walked and was put out on a fielders choice by Alexis Secrest, moving Atherton up to third.
Atherton alertly scored on a wild pitch.
Taylor Fortney swung and missed on a strike out in the dirt and alertly ran to first to keep the inning going.
Harris cleared the bases with a booming triple, putting Mount Union up 5-0.
Harris ended the scoring in the inning by reaching home on a wild pitch.
Much like the first inning, the Colts were able to get runners on second and third but came up empty as the Mount Union defense bent but didn’t break.
From there Gearhart and company cruised along as the hits were all over for Northern Cambria on the night.
Mount Union added two more in the fourth and then Secrest brought home Roher in the fifth as the Trojans punched their ticket to University park and a chance to play for the District 6 Class AA title.

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