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Hazleton Area edges Williamsport

First Posted: 11:34 pm - June 24th, 2015 Updated: 11:34 pm - June 24th, 2015. - Views

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First Posted: 5/29/2013

EDWARDSVILLE — The pitching duel that was expected Wednesday — Hazleton Area’s Becky Demko vs. Williamsport’s Alexis Bower — took an odd turn in the seventh inning.

It became batter vs. pitcher, and Demko won.

Demko scored Mikaela Browdy with a sacrifice fly for the game’s only run as Hazleton Area edged Williamsport 1-0 in the District 2-4 Class 4A softball championship game at Wilkes University.

Hazleton Area (16-1) moves to the state tournament, playing on Monday at a District 2 site. The Cougars will play the District 3 runner-up, either Central Dauphin (17-6) or Daniel Boone (18-6). Those teams play today.

Williamsport ended its season at 18-3.

The Cougars were well aware of who they were facing in Bower, a St. Francis recruit who was the state’s Class 4A Player of the Year in 2012. They cranked up the pitching machine to 70 mph in practice to simulate Bower, owner of four no-hitters this season.

The strategy, said Hazleton Area coach Vince Trivelpiece, was to get someone on base and then do everything possible to score, whether that meant pinch runners, sacrifice bunts, whatever.

“We said we’re going to throw the kitchen sink (at them) first opportunity,” Trivelpiece said.

The plan fell short several times until the top of the seventh.

Browdy led off with a single to left. MacKenzie Yori bunted Browdy to second and a wild pitch sent her to third. Demko then lifted a flyball to right field and Browdy scored easily.

“I was just thinking hit whatever, just score the run,” Demko said.

Demko retired Williamsport in order in the bottom of the seventh, but the sixth inning was stressful. A single, double and intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. Demko then uncorked a wild pitch, but catcher Justine Rossi rifled the ball to her at home plate and she tagged out Kiatlyn Caringi trying to score.

“That was really close. I don’t know,” said Demko, whose expression indicated she might have been a tad surprised by the umpire’s call.

“That was a rise (pitch) and it rose. But it worked and got her out.”

Demko was on the mark, though. She struck out nine and retired 14 of 15 at one point. She surrendered just four hits.

“We have Becky and they don’t,” Trivelpiece said. “But what they have is pretty damn good.”

Williamsport also had the bases loaded in the first inning with one out and didn’t score. But like all season, Bower’s pitching kept the Millionaires in the game. The young bats, though, faltered.

“We got a lot out of a senior pitcher and a bunch of underclassmen this year,” Williamsport coach Quint Bower said. “I pulled Alexis aside this week and told her one player can’t win or lose ballgames. We need players to step up. We talked last night a little bit about it. One player isn’t going to win or lose a ballgame.”

Hazleton Area`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

MacKenzie Yori 3b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Becky Demko p`3`0`1`1`0`0`0

Maria Trivelpiece 2b`4`0`3`0`0`0`0

Lexi Wolk cf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Samantha Varela 1b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Abby Sachse rf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Celine Podlesney dp`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Jolene Browdy 1b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Justin Rossi c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mikaela Browdy ss`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Renee Taylor pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Hailey Kendall lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Totals`25`1`7`1`0`0`0

Williamsport`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Taylor Brooks rf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kaitlyn Caringi 3b`3`0`2`0`0`0`0

Alexis Bower p`2`0`2`0`0`0`0

Mikayla Bower ss`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Samantha Fischer 1b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kaliyah Moore dp`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

McKenzie Tebbs c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chloe Jennings cf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tiana McCormick 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Shataya Buxton lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Totals`24`0`4`0`0`0`0

Hazleton Area`000`000`1` — 1

Williamsport`000`000`0` — 0

E — Hazleton Area 1, Williamsport 1. LOB — Hazleton Area 8, Williamsport 7. SF — Demko. SAC — Yori 2. SB — Trivelpiece, Kendall. CS — Podlesney.

Hazleton Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Demko (W)`7`4`0`0`2`9

Williamsport`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

A. Bower (L)`7`7`1`1`1`6

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