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By Jay MonahanFor The Times Leader

Last updated: July 27. 2014 11:18PM - 1027 Views

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BRIAR CREEK — For the first time all season, Nanticoke found itself a challenger. And, for once, the typically animated bench was taciturn.


Nanticoke finally met its match in West Point in a 10-5 loss Sunday in the Little League 10-11 softball state tournament winner’s bracket finale.


Nanticoke will wait to face the winner of Monday’s Nittany Valley-Lower Perkiomen game on Tuesday at 5 p.m. for a chance to face West Point in the championship.


“This was a challenge; we knew it coming into this game,” Nanticoke coach, Colleen Baird, said. “They were a good team. I just wish we had our bats around eariler instead of that last inning. If we got them around earlier, I think we would have won.”


West Point ace Emily Lebin silenced the Nanticoke bats for five innings. Lebin had Glavine-like velocity to her fastball that fooled Nanticoke five times in the first two innings. She finished with 10 strikeouts in total.


Trailing 10-1 in their final set of at-bats, Nanticoke exploded for six hits and four runs in the sixth. Myla Vnuk doubled to left as part of a multi-hit effort. Abby Cullen drove in Vnuk with an infield single. Nina Zendarski crushed a ball to deep center field and raced to third for a two-RBI triple.


Mackenzie Casey doubled in Zendarski with a hard-hit ball down the left line. She attempted to stretch it into a triple and was caught at third by able-armed West Point outfield.


“It was a little bit of miscommunication where she wasn’t watching,” Baird said. “West Point has great arms.”


Nanticoke showed off its defensive prowess once again. An 8-4-1-2 relay caught a runner out at home in the second. For the second straight game, rightfielder Emily Cullen made a miraculous catch down the line. In the third, she held onto a ball that twice bounced in and out of her glove.


Despite being considerably outhit through four, Nanticoke trailed by just two, in part to a leadoff Kyrstin Montgomery double that scored a run in the third. West Point (out of Greensburg) tacked on five in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead. Lebin started things with a triple down the right line. Emma Coletta put the big hurt on Nanticoke with an inside-the-park home run. After a pair of errors, Emma Glossner added another extra-base hit to score two more.


Nanticoke’s Kasidy Slusser continued her success on the mound with Madduxian control. Through three games and 16 innings pitched, she has yet to allow a walk and had just one three-ball count.


Casey went 2 for 2 with a double and a triple. Vnuk and Jenna Baron each had two-hit efforts.


Coletta was a double shy of a cycle.


West Point 10, Nanticoke 5

West Point`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR


Emily Lebin p`4`1`2`0`0`1`0


Emma Coletta cf`4`3`3`2`1`0`1


Maura Harbaugh c`4`2`1`1`0`0`0


Abby Fox ss`4`1`2`1`0`0`0


Emma Glossner 3b`4`2`3`3`1`0`0


Anna Mitchell 1b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Katelyn Legg lf`2`1`2`1`0`0`0


Katelyn Ross lf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Emily Schmucker rf`4`0`1`1`0`0`0


Hannah Vucina 2b`3`0`2`1`0`0`0


Totals`27`10`16`10`2`1`1


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


Riley Baird 2b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Abecka Jones ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Myla Vnuk 3b`3`1`2`1`1`0`0


Jenna Baron 1b`3`0`2`0`0`0`0


Kasidy Slusser p`3`1`0`0`0`0`0


Allison Keener c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Olivia Nice ss`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Abby Cullen ss`2`1`1`1`0`0`0


Nina Zendarski cf`2`1`1`2`0`1`0


Skyler Esser ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Kyrstin Montgomery lf`1`1`1`0`1`0`0


Mackenzie Casey lf`2`0`2`1`1`1`0


Emily Cullen rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`26`5`9`5`3`2`0


West Side`210`052`—`10


Nanticoke`001`004`—`5


West Side`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Emily Lebin (W)`6`9`5`5`0`10


Nanticoke`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Kasidy Slusser (L)`6`16`10`7`0`5


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