SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Valley View managed just five hits off Abington Heights pitcher Paige Harris, but a single by left fielder Griffin Jones in the top of the third inning gave the Lady Cougars the only run they needed.
Despite three hits from catcher Dominique Emmett and a strong pitching performance from Harris, Abington Heights suffered its first loss of the season, 1-0, to Valley View in a Lackawanna League Division 1 softball game on Saturday, May 14.
Valley View pitcher Holly Young was equally as impressive, scattering six hits over seven innings, to earn the win.
Emmett lined a double to begin the bottom of the second inning and pinch runner Emily Scarfo advanced to third base on a single from left fielder Naudia Solan to give Abington Heights its first scoring threat. Young worked out of trouble by inducing a pop out from first baseman Marissa Lewis and striking out designated player Nina Kozar.
The Lady Cougars (7-4) manufactured their lone run in the top of the third. Second baseman Jenn Nguyen reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a throwing error. The next batter, center fielder Clare Sebastianelli, was hit by a pitch and Griffin Jones followed with the key hit.
“We gave them an unearned run and we never got a run to tie it up,” Abington Heights head coach John Kelly said. “Against good teams, you can’t make mistakes.”
In the top of the sixth inning, Griffin Jones walked, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch, but was left stranded when third baseman Olivia Muchal popped out to end the inning.
“It was a pitcher’s duel,” Valley View head coach E.J. Weston said. “Paige and Holly both threw really well, we just happened to bring one (run) across and that was the difference.”
Abington Heights’ chance at tying the game in the bottom of the sixth inning was derailed by a baserunning error.
Harris lined a one-out single and pinch runner Alison Fiorillo advanced to second on a wild pitch. Emmett followed with a single, but Fiorillo strayed too far off second base and was tagged out. Third baseman Kaylee DeMatteo popped out to end the inning.
“It was a well played game by both teams and their pitcher kept us off-balance,” Kelly said. “I told the girls, ‘It’s better that you lose this game than in the playoffs. Remember how this felt and the things we didn’t do in this game.’”
Abington Heights (12-1) will begin the District 2 Class 3A playoffs on Monday, May 23 against an opponent to be determined.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.