DISTRICT 2 SOFTBALL: Evans sparks Valley View rally past North Pocono
May 26—ARCHBALD — Valley View freshman Nevaeh Evans has scratched and clawed all season, doing everything she could to crack the Cougars lineup.
That two-month struggle ended a week ago when she was inserted into the starting lineup, and brought her to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with Valley View in desperate straits, facing elimination in the District 2 Class 4A softball tournament.
Like she's done all year, Evans battled, fighting off a pitch for a leadoff infield single that triggered a bizarre, three-run rally as the second-seeded Cougars held off No. 3 seed North Pocono, 6-5, in Thursday's semifinal.
Valley View will meet No. 1 seed Tunkhannock, a 10-4 winner over Berwick, on Wednesday for the championship.
"Some kids have a knack for getting it done," Valley View coach E.J. Weston said. "It may not be pretty. It may not be powerful, but some kids just find a way to win.
"Obviously she's a gamer because the proof is in the actions she made. I saw potential in her from the very beginning and she's the type of kid that works endlessly to be better. She finally fought, the end of the year, to get into the lineup for us, and she makes things happen for us. It's incredible."
Evans, who had just 10 at bats coming into the semifinal, sent a soft line drive over the head of third baseman Amanda Burch for a single, starting the deciding rally.
"I didn't see it," Evans said. "I was just running because I knew I had to get to first base so we could score.
"We found a way to win and we all came together. From the beginning of the season, we focused on being a family and all working together and being there for each other, and that's what we do."
Ally Stafursky dropped a sacrifice bunt that hit the knob of her bat as it lay in fair territory, and the throw was dropped to put two runners aboard.
Kaill Karwowski boomed a ball that one-hopped the fence in center, but Evans advanced only to third as she had to wait to see if it was caught.
Morgan McVicar followed with a sacrifice fly to tie it at 4, her third RBI of the game.
"It was very nerve-racking, but as coach always says, find a way to win, and that's exactly what we did," McVicar said. "We went through a little roller coaster of emotions, so we're just happy we found a way to win."
Natalie Borosky's slow roller turned into a fielder's choice that reloaded the bases, and winning pitcher Taylor Cawley was hit by a changeup to force in the go-ahead run. Abbi Call followed with another sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.
"That was an emotional game," Weston said. "Playing them three times and having to beat them three times, that's a steep hill to climb."
Valley View didn't skate home.
Mastillo reached on an infield single, and Burch's line drive to the outfield was booted, Mastillo coming around to score and Burch moving to second.
Another dropped ball in foul territory gave North Pocono lie, but Ally Stafursky squeezed Alyssa Lynch's towering popup to seal the win.
"It feels like we always find a way," McVicar said. "We just have a great team. We all want the same thing, to go out with a good outcome."
It started well with Karwowski slicing a double to right-center to start the first and Borosky hammering an RBI single to left.
North Pocono answered in the second when Lynch led off with a double, went to third on a ground out and scored on Salak's infield single.
McVicar put Valley View ahead, 3-1, when she bashed a two-out, bases-loaded single to left.
"Morgan came through big time for us, as she's done several times during her career," Weston said. "When she's at the plate, we have great confidence that she'll do something great for the team."
For the most part, North Pocono's rotation of starting pitcher Amelia Bell, with Ella Salak in relief, and then Bell coming back in, kept Valley View off balance at the plate.
McVicar changed that, but North Pocono got a big response from Burch.
"Last night I'm sitting in my chair and thinking of back in the day when Old Forge's Andi Alsalahat hit a home run (against Valley View) that hit the scoreboard," North Pocono head coach and former Valley View assistant Joe Miraglia said. "I thought Amanda was going to hit one and hit the scoreboard.
"She's a powerful kid. I knew if they made a mistake on her, the way she hits the ball, it was going to go. She nailed it."
Burch's rocket didn't hit the scoreboard. It just jarred it, her powerful three-run shot to left giving North Pocono a 4-3 lead in the fifth.
Evans. McVicar and company made sure it didn't last.
"It feels amazing," McVicar said. "It's a great opportunity to have and it's our last home game, so it's a good way to go out."
Valley View 6, North Pocono 4
North Pocono 010 030 1 — 5
Valley View 100 203 x — 6
WP: Taylor Cawley 7IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 1BB, 4SO
LP: Amelia Bell 3IP, 6H, 4R, 2ER, 1BB, 0SO
2B: Tessa Stafursky (VV), Alyssa Lynch (NP), Kalli Karwoski (VV).
HR: Amanda Burch (NP).
Records: NP 16-6, VV 21-1
Meaghan Marianelli went 3 for 3 with two RBIs to lead No. 1 Old Forge to a 3-1 win over No. 2 Forest City in the District 2 Class 1A championship.
Karen Sickle allowed four hits and an unearned run and struck out 14 and also had two hits and two runs as the Blue Devils claimed their fourth straight district title.
Kim Graham had three hits, including a double, for Forest City.
Old Forge will play Halifax in the District 2-3 subregional final on Wednesday.
Old Forge 3, Forest City 1
Forest City 000 100 0 — 1
Old Forge 001 011 x — 3
WP: Karen Sickle 7IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 4BB, 14SO
LP: Riley Bossick 6IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 4SO
2B: Kim Graham (FC), Juliette DeStefano (OF).
Madison Kizer lined a single to left center to bring home Audrey Hasenzahl with the winning run in the eighth inning to give No. 1 Mid Valley a 2-1 victory over No. 4 Riverside in a District 2 Class 3A semifinal.
Hasenzahl, who tied the game in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Mackenzie Adolfson, led off the eighth inning with a single to right and went to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Zoey Zimorowicz singled and scored the run for Riverside.
Mid Valley will play Holy Redeemer for the district championship on Wednesday. Holy Redeemer defeated Lake-Lehman, 6-5, in the semifinals.
Mid Valley 2, Riverside 1
Riverside 100 000 00 — 1
Mid Valley 000 010 01 — 2
WP: Maranda Runco 8IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 12SO
LP: Lexi Kostoff 7 2/3IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 7SO
2B: Krista Cortazar (MV).
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