Lady Eagles end regular softball season with third straight win

A week after winning on their senior night, the Tyrone Lady Eagles spoiled the Mount Union senior girl\’s night with a 5-2 victory.
The Lady Eagles came out of the gate quickly with back-to-back singles by Katie Whitby and Meghan McCallister to start the top of the first inning. With runners on the corners, Missy Stager hit into a fielder\’s choice that scored Whitby. Hilary McNelis drew a walk to load the bases, but Mount Union pitcher Jamie Endres snagged a Kim Cherry line drive and tossed to third, catching McAllister off the bag for the second out. Endres got out of the inning when second basemen Brittany Aurand made a nice play on an Ashley Ripka grounder to retire the side.
McNelis cruised through the first two hitters of the bottom of the first with a strike out and a pop out until Toya Price ripped a single. Smith tried to steal second, but was thrown out by Cherry.
Tyrone\’s bats stayed hot in the second. Stefanie Bryan led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and she went to third tagging up on a foul out. With one out and a runner on third, Ashley Pennabaker worked Endres to a 3-0 count.
Head Coach Lois Loncher signaled for her to take a pitch, but Pennabaker ripped a single past second base to score Bryan.
“That was being a freshman and just depending on reaction. She\’s only had a few at bats this season, but it was definitely a good reaction,” said Loncher about Pennabaker.
Pennabaker\’s single ended Endres\’ night on the mound. Beth Smith came on in relief and got out of the inning with no further damage.
Both teams went quietly in the third and fourth innings, but Tyrone got back on the scoreboard in the fifth.
Cherry led off with a single, moved to second on a Ripka sacrifice bunt and went to third on a wild pitch. Bryan worked a walk and stole second before Heather Stanton walked to load the bases with one out. Pennabaker hit a blooper into left center which fell in and allowed Cherry to score, but Price fired a rocket into third to retire Bryan. With two down, Whitby drew the third walk of the inning to reload the bases. A wild pitch allowed Stanton to score and the other runners to move up a base, but they would get no farther as Smith got out of the inning with a pop out.
McNelis faced only three batters in the bottom half of the inning, getting two ground outs and picking a runner off second base. After five complete innings, Tyrone led 4-0.
After the Lady Eagles went in order in their half of the sixth, Mount Union put together their first real threat. McNelis got the first two batters on fly outs, but gave up a single to Smith who moved to second on an outfield error. Due up was Price who had already singled twice in the game. After a wild pitch moved Smith to third, McNelis got Price to hit a grounder to third, but the throw pulled Stanton off first base allowing Smith to score an unearned run. Pennabaker got the Lady Eagles out of trouble by snagging a fly ball for the third out.
Tyrone got their four run lead back in the top of the seventh using a Ripka single, stolen base and a couple of ground outs to put across a run. With the game headed to the bottom of the final inning, the Lady Eagles led 5-1.
Mount Union, who had defeated Tyrone 5-1 earlier in the season, refused to go down without a fight. After a leadoff single, Tyrone got the first out of the inning on a fielder\’s choice. With a runner at first, Carrie Knepp singled and moved to third on another Mount Union single that scored a run. With two runners in scoring position and the tying run at the plate, McNelis got pinch hitter Megan Grove to pop out and Aurand to ground out and end the game.
“Right now she\’s pitching tough, and she has all year, but we\’re hitting the ball better and giving her more support now,” said Loncher of McNelis.
Despite managing only six hits and eight total in the two match-ups against Mount Union, Tyrone drew eight walks Wednesday.
“We were patient today, especially with their second pitcher. She didn\’t seem confident out there,” said Loncher.
Tyrone finishes the regular season 10-9 and heads into the playoffs riding a three game win streak. Their seed and first round opponent will be announced later this week.
Junior Varsity
The little Lady Eagles fell to Mount Union 8-5 in JV action Wednesday. Megan Turiano and Casey Glashouser had two hits a piece for Tyrone, and Becky Diehl whacked a double.
Tyrone Area 5 Mount Union 2
TYRONE AREA – Whitby, 3b-cf, 3-1-1; McAllister, dh, 2-0-1; Schreckengost, lf, 0-0-0; Catich, ss, 0-0-0; Stager, 2b, 2-0-0; McNelis, p, 3-0-0; Cherry, c, 4-1-1; Ripka, cf-lf, 2-1-1; Bryan, ss-3b; 3-1-1; Stanton, 1b, 3-1-0; Pennabaker, rf, 3-0-1. TOTALS 25-5-6.
MOUNT UNION – Aurand, 2b, 4-0-0; Smith, ss-p, 3-1-1; Price, lf, 3-0-2; Endres, p-ss, 3-0-0; Brown, 3b, 3-0-1; Morrison, c, 2-1-0; Knepp, dh, 3-0-1; Feathers, rf, 0-0-0; Melnyk, rf, 0-0-0; Lantz, 1b, 3-0-2; M. Melnyk, cf, 2-0-0; Grove, cf, 1-0-0. TOTALS 27-2-7.
Tyrone Area 110 020 1 5-6-5
Mount Union 000 001 1 2-7-1
RBI: Pennabaker 2, Stager 1, Stanton 1, Lantz 1.
SO: McNelis 5.
BB: Smith 7, Endres 1.
WP: McNelis LP: Endres.