When a team desperately needs a victory, how it is achieved doesn’t matter.
Down to their last out Friday, Pittston Area managed to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Patriots then won it in the bottom of the eighth on an error.
Taryn Ashby’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away, allowing pinch runner Shelby Gardner to scored from second base to give Pittston Area a 7-6 victory over Coughlin.
Pittston Area (4-5 WVC Div. 1) snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory. Moreover, it kept the Patriots within striking distance of a home game in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs. As for Coughlin (2-8 Div. 1), it was another heartbreaking loss. The Crusaders have lost five games by two runs or less, including an extra-inning contest with Berwick last week.
Lauren Dragon opened Pittston Area’s eighth with a double to center field. Gardner ran for her and scored when the throw on Ashby’s bunt sailed into right field.
“We were down 4-1 (after three innings) and showed a lot of resilience,” Pittston Area assistant coach Lon Hazlet said. “We just kept chipping away. … Our kids continue to improve and get better. It was nice for us to get a win.”
Pittston Area needed every bit of resiliency in the seventh. Melinda Lieback opened the frame with a walk. Abby Bradigan then hit a grounder to second, but because it was a hit-and-run there was no way to get the lead runner.
Melinda Lieback then stole third and an out later Julie Lieback dropped a single into shallow right to tie the score 6-6.
Pittston Area fell behind 6-5 in the sixth when Coughlin’s Marissa Ross blasted a two-run homer to left field. It was her third round-tripper of the season, tied for the most in Division 1.
The Patriots were also down 4-1 in the fourth when they scored four times to take the lead. Dragon and Melinda Lieback each had an RBI in the inning, while two other runs scored on an error.
Coughlin also had its share of bad luck in the seventh and eighth. Twice the Crusaders had runners on first when they hit sharp line drives to Bradigan at third base, who threw across the diamond to complete double plays.
The second double play allowed reliever Alyssa Talerico to pick up the win. She faced just one batter. Starter Taylor Baloga went 7 1/3 innings. She had some control issues at times, but also pitched out of a few jams.
Wyoming Area 3
Bree Bednarski’s at-bat in the bottom of the seventh had some meaning. A hit and an RBI would give Wyoming Area a win over Crestwood. But it would also put the resilient Warriors on top of Division 2.
Tied 2-2 at the bottom of the seventh, Bednarski smacked a game-winning double as the Warriors (7-2 Div. 2) earned the victory and a tie atop Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 with Tunkhannock.
Nicole Cumbo pitched a three-hitter over seven solid innings in the circle. She gave up just two walks and struck out five. Nicole Turner added a pair of hits for Wyoming Area.
Ashley Olenginski had two RBI in the effort for Crestwood (3-7 Div. 1), which lost for a fourth time by one run.
Due to weather, this week’s Wyoming Valley Conference softball schedule was a little drenched. Here are the games that will be made up in the remainder of the season.
Berwick at Wyoming Area, PPD to 5/13
Hazleton Area at Wyoming Area, PPD to 5/10
Pittston Area at Nanticoke, PPD to 5/13