Last updated: June 23. 2014 11:39PM - 2351 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com

Back Mountain pitcher Sydney Hornlein shrugged off catching a hard line drive in her midsection and continued to pitch against a Bob Horlacher team that won the District 31 Major Softball championship Monday at the Bob Horlacher Little League Field.
Back Mountain pitcher Sydney Hornlein shrugged off catching a hard line drive in her midsection and continued to pitch against a Bob Horlacher team that won the District 31 Major Softball championship Monday at the Bob Horlacher Little League Field.
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BEAUMONT — With a planned trip with her vacation bible school soon approaching, Erin Dunn didn’t want the District 31 championship finals to drag on any longer.

So the sweet-swinging right fielder made sure she didn’t have to miss either.

Dunn drove home three runs Monday and winning pitcher Hope Jones accounted for four as Bob Horlacher went unbeaten through the double-elimination District 31 Little League Major Softball tournament unbeaten to capture the championship with a convincing 7-2 victory over Back Mountain.

“Well, we knew some of them on that team,” Jones said. “It’s sort of like a friendly rivalry. It feels good.

“Plus, who doesn’t want to win?”

A win by Back Mountain victory Monday would have forced the two teams to meet again later this week in a pressure-packed, winner-take-all title game.

“I didn’t want to do that,” Dunn said. “I have a VBS to go to. I didn’t want to miss it. I wanted to get it one-and-done.”

With that goal accomplished, Horlacher will now get a week’s worth of rest until next Tuesday, when it advances to the Section 5 Tournament for a 7:30 p.m. game against the District 32 champion from the Scranton area.

That get-it-over-quick attitude was apparent early throughout Bob Horlacher’s lineup.

Jones delivered the game’s first run with a bases-loaded grounder, and one batter later, Dunn drove a hard grounder past the pitcher and into center field for a two-run single. Kassidy Shirtz followed with an RBI single, then later scored on a wild pitch to give Bob Horlacher a 5-0 lead out of the gates at the Bob Horlacher Little League Field.

“It gives you confidence,” Jones said. “It’s not easy to get five runs.”

It was all Jones really needed.

She limited Back Mountain to just four hits from the circle, and finished with seven strikeouts in a dominating complete-game performance.

“She was in control,” said her father, Bob Horlacher head coach Doug Jones. “She was moving the ball around, pitching them inside, outside. Her fastball was working well, so we stuck with the fastball. No reason to change if it’s working.”

The biggest problem Hope Jones had, it turned out, was toning down her father.

“My dad frustrates me,” the pitcher grumbled. “He’s always yelling for me to concentrate. It’s just annoying.”

“You’re trying to remind them of the steps to go through to perform accurately,” Doug Jones laughed when told of his daughter’s displeasure. “It’s tougher when your daughter’s on the mound. You tend to say those things more often.”

Apparently the advice didn’t hurt, because Hope Jones was often in the middle of Bob Horlacher’s rallies while preventing Back Mountain batters from doing much damage.

Samantha Kern doubled for the game’s only extra-base hit and scored both runs for Back Mountain, but Hope Jones worked out of a few jams to keep Bob Horlacher breathing easy.

And batting cleanup, she knocked in Sarah Kuderka with another grounder in the second inning, and also scored runs in the first and fifth innings. It was Dunn who drove home Hope Jones with a safety squeeze bunt in the fifth inning for the game’s final run.

“It felt really good to drive in the runs,” Dunn said. “I felt I accomplished something.”

She nearly accomplished knocking opposing relief pitcher Sydney Hornlein from the circle.

Dunn drilled a hard liner that Hornlein trapped against her midsection, and then turned into an inning-ending double play in the second by catching a runner off base. After a few painful minutes on the ground, Hornlein came back to finish the game on the rubber, and with four strikeouts without surrendering a hit over the final three innings.

“She’s my friend, I felt really bad,” Dunn said. “I was a little scared. But then she congratulated me.”

“Unfortunately, those are their friends on the other side,” Doug Jones said. “That kind of dragged our team down, because we’re friends with that (Hornlein) girl. It’s always good when she gets back up. And fortunately, we got enough (runs) in the first inning to carry us through.”

That had the whole Bob Horlacher team carrying its new championship banner around its home field in celebration, and carried Bob Horlacher into the next round - which will be held at a District 17 site in the Scranton area.

“It’s really amazing,” Dunn said. “I like it.”

Back Mountain`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR

Megan Borton cf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Samantha Kern p,rf,lf`4`2`1`0`1`0`0

Gianna Spaciano ss`1`0`1`1`0`0`0

Hannah Doran c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Lyndsey Hornlein 1b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Amy Supey rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Julia Kocher lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Sarah Salus c`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Sydney Hornlein rf,p`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Emma Berger 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ally Francis 3b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Bob Horlacher`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR

Faith Jones c`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Sarah Kuderka 1b`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Megan Straley ss`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Hope Jones p`2`2`0`2`0`0`0

Jenna Simmons 3b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Erin Dunn rf`2`1`1`3`0`0`0

Kassidy Shirtz lf`1`1`1`1`0`0`0

Gabby Poscutel 1b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mackayla Quick 2b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kaci Cooke cf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0


Back Mountain`001`010` - 2

Bob Horlacher`510`01x` - 7

Back Mountain`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Kern, L`.2`3`5`0`2`1

S. Hornlein`4.1`1`2`1`4`4

Bob Horlacher`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Jones, W`6`4`2`1`5`7

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