HUNTINGDON, Pa.- With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Allie Baney (State College, Pa./State College) singled to bring home the winning run as the Eagles softball team rallied to defeat Elizabethtown 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at West End Field. The win clinches the fourth and final playoff spot in the Landmark Tournament for Juniata and is the team's first playoff berth since 2013.
It was pitchers' duel for the first four innings with neither team able to put runs on the board. Juniata starting pitcher Anna Baran (Tyrone, Pa./Tyrone) had no-hit the Blue Jays through 4 2/3 innings. With a runner on due to an error, E-town's Jess Kutteroff singled to score Brittany Ritter as the visitors led 1-0.
Juniata was held off the board in the sixth. Elizabethtown went up 2-0 on a Kelsey Farrington sacrifice fly to centerfield. JC was finally able to break through in the six as Jennifer Carthew (New Paris, Pa./Chestnut Ridge) delivered a two-run single down the right field line to tie the game at 2-2.
The game went to extra innings and the Blue Jays went ahead 3-2 on a fielder's choice RBI by Kelsey Brown. In the Juniata eighth, Abby Ebright (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) and Carthew both walked to get on base. Molly Ulrich (Homer, NY/Homer Central) reached on fielder's choice that got Carthew out at second and moved Ebright to third. Alicia Regnault (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater Raritan) walked to load the bases. Brooke Ridenour (Thurmont, Md./Catoctin) was hit on the first pitch to send Ebright home and tie the game. Baney was next and on a 2-2 pitch, delivered a hit up the middle that scored Ulrich and the Eagles erupted in celebration.
Baran pitched all eight innings and gave up two earned runs on three hits. She walked three and struck out one. She also scored the game-tying run in the sixth inning.
Ebright was 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and also stole a base. Jordan Wahrenberger (Shamong, NJ/Seneca) also collected two hits. Carthew was 1-for-3 with two runs batted in.
In the second game, Juniata led 3-0 after the first inning. The Blue Jays took the lead for good with a four-run fourth inning to go up 4-3. E-Town would go on to add a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to complete the scoring.
Rachael Bernier (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte) got the start and went 3.1 innings. She surrendered four runs on six hits while striking out two. Raeleigh Redden (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield) came in for two innings and gave up two runs on four hits. She walked one and struck out one. Kelsey Doell (Burlington, NJ/Doane Academy) pitched 1.2 innings and gave up one unearned run on two hits.
Ulrich was 1-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in. Alyssa Shedlock (State College, Pa./State College) had two hits with one of those a double.
The Eagles wrap up the regular season with a non-conference doubleheader at Albright on Tuesday. Game times are 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.