Home run sparks Abington Heights win over Nanticoke in District 2 Class 3A softball semifinal


By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com



SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — One big inning and one reversed call proved to be the difference in Abington Heights’ 5-2 win over Nanticoke Area in a District 2 Class 3A softball semifinal game on Friday afternoon.

Fourth-seeded Nanticoke, the defending district champions, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a RBI groundout from Jenna Lipowski after Rachel Roccograndi led off the game with a single and Kiera Brown drove a double down the left field line. Abington Heights pitcher Paige Harris struck out the next two batters, Miranda Bohn and Cassie Novakowski, to prevent further damage.

Harris struck out six batters in the first three innings and didn’t allow another batter to reach base until Lipowski drew a walk to start the fourth.

Abington Heights’ offense got rolling in the bottom of the third. Cassidy Bartkowski led off the inning with a line drive single up the middle and, after a sacrifice bunt from Alison Kane, Harris drove her in. The next batter, Dominique Emmett, launched a two-run home run over the fence in left-center field to give the Lady Comets a 3-1 lead.

Nanticoke (13-4) appeared to score in the top of the fourth, but the run was disallowed after an appeal.

Lipowski walked to start the inning and Bohn lined a double to left field. It was determined Lipowski failed to touch third base on her scamper home.

“Our baserunner clearly said she touched third base,” Nanticoke Area head coach Ryan Stetz said. “The base was kicked off of its foundation and there were no spike marks at third base. The umpire had the final ruling and, unfortunately, called her out.”

Despite the call going against his team, Stetz didn’t believe it directly impacted the outcome of the contest.

“I’ve said all season that one play isn’t going to make a difference in the game,” he said.

Vanessa Tocket’s RBI single, scored Bohn, who doubled, to cut the Trojanettes deficit to one run going to the bottom of the sixth.

“(Abington Heights) is a very good team and there were times in the game when it could have got away from us, and it didn’t,” Stetz said. “We were still close at the end.”

That’s when Abington Heights added two big insurance runs.

Nina Kozar, Cassie Toth and Bartkowski contributed three consecutive infield singles to start the inning and Kane drove in two runs with a single that was just out of the reach of Novakowski at second base.

“I couldn’t be happier for this group of seniors,” Abington Heights head coach John Kelly said. “They got knocked out early the last couple years and had a goal at the beginning of the season to make the district title game.”

Top-seed Abington Heights (14-1) will play sixth-seeded Pittston Area (12-6) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1 for the District 2 Class 3A championship.

District 2 Class 3A softball semifinal

Abington Heights 5, Nanticoke 2

Nanticoke`AB`R`H`BI

Roccograndi ss`4`1`2`0

Brown cf`3`0`1`0

Lipowski 3b`3`0`0`1

Bohn dp/p`3`1`2`1

Novakowski 2b`3`0`0`0

Tocket 1b`3`0`1`1

Briggs c`3`0`0`0

Murphy rf`3`0`0`0

Sobeck lf`3`0`0`0

Ramos p`0`0`1`0

Totals`28`2`7`2

Abington`AB`R`H`BI

Bartkowski ss`4`1`2`0

Kane cf`4`1`1`1

Harris p`4`0`3`1

Emmett c`4`1`1`2

DeMatteo 3b`4`0`0`0

Solan lf`4`0`1`0

Lewis 1b`3`0`1`0

Kozar dp`3`1`1`0

Toth 2b`3`1`1`0

McGinley rf`0`0`0`0

Totals`33`5`11`5

Nanticoke`100`001`0`—`2

Abington`003`002`x`—`5

2B — NA, Brown, Bohn (2)

HR — AH, Emmett

Nanticoke`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Ramos (L)`3`6`3`3`1`2

Bohn `3`5`2`2`2`0

Abington`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Harris (W)`7`7`2`2`2`9

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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