KINGSLEY – Lakeland was six outs away from advancing in the District 2 Class AA playoffs My 20 when Mountain View broke loose with a six-run inning to instead end the Lady Chiefs’ season.
The Lady Eagles did all of their scoring with none out in the bottom of the sixth inning, including the last three runs on a Cassidy Kastawa home run, to rally for a 6-4, home-field victory.
Lakeland appeared to be in control early with Alissa Steier striking out the first six batters and eight of the first nine. The Lady Chiefs scored twice in the third inning and added runs in each of the next two innings to open a four-run lead.
The Lady Chiefs missed out on potential big innings by having runners thrown out during two of the three innings in which they scored. In turn, they aided Mountain View’s outburst with two infield miscues against the first batters.
“We started off strong,” Lakeland coach Brian Wagner said. “We made a mistake on an error and a popped bunt that we should have caught in the air and some of our base-running mistakes came back to haunt us.
“But they fought and hard and, for the most part, they played well.”
Rachel Chrzan and Katie Walsh each had two hits for Lakeland, which went 7-5 to tie for third and finish one game out of the Lackawanna League Division 3 lead during the regular season.
Chrzan doubled twice and drove in the last Lakeland run.
Walsh twice led off innings with infield singles and came in to score each time.
Georgia Verrastro added a solo homer with two out in the fourth inning.
Courtney Parchinski had a pair of sacrifice bunts and scored a run.
Steier finished with 10 strikeouts.
“In the first three or four innings, we barely could get a bat on the ball,” said Mountain View coach Tom Rudzinski, a former Lakeland coach. “Our girls have been resilient. We’re a good hitting team and our two power hitters came through.”
Megan Stenzhorn was held to a single on a bases-loaded blast to the fence down the left-field line to drive in two runs and cut the lead to 4-3. Kastawa followed by sending a ball over the left-field fence for the game-winning homer.
Lakeland put two runners on in the seventh inning before Mountain View pitcher Catlin Tague got the final out.