Greater Wyoming Area’s season halted in District 31 all-stars by hot pitching

By Nick Wagner

GWA pitcher Kari Melberger tossed a complete game striking out six batters on the way to a 7-1 victory.

Kaitlyn Slusser (00) steals 2nd base standing up for GWA.

GWA catcher Nicole Silinskie looks to the dugout for sign for the next pitch against West Side.

Meghan Askew (left) fields a grounder at third and rifles to first for an out with shortstop Evan Freeman backing up.

Lynzie Skoronskie gets a single and an RBI for GWA scoring Lily Harden to tie up the game against West Side.

Greater Wyoming Area ran into another hot pitcher Friday night.

For two straight games, the locals were handed a pitcher that was hitting her spots. On Friday, GWA’s season came to a close with a 6-3 lost to West Side in the District 31 Major Softball tournament.

West Side pitcher Sara Hoskins pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts while going 4-for-4 at the plate.

Two days earlier, GWA ran into Back Mountain’s Sydney Hornlein. In that game, Hornlein allowed just three hits in the first five innings, before surrounding three in the sixth. Back Mountain came out with the win, 6-3.

The same fate hit GWA on Friday.

Greater Wyoming Area’s Kari Melberger provided three hits in the loss. In the opening game of the tournament, Melberger threw a one-hitter against West Side and had a triple. Nicole Silinskie, Caitlyn Slusser, Megan Askew and Evan Freeman all scored in the fourth inning for GWA.

GWA’s Stephanie Nowak worked back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the second and third after giving up two runs in the first against Back Mountain. Her line finished at five innings, giving up six runs and striking out three. She gave up seven hits.

“Stephanie pitched a great game but they were able to string together a few hits toward the end of the game,” Harden said. “I thought we played as a team and our bats came alive late. We just didn’t have enough.”

Some defensive miscues and some timely hitting by Back Mountain in the fourth proved to be the difference.

Back Mountain scored three runs on four hits and two GWA errors. With one out, Kaci Hockenberry and Julia Kocher hit back-to-back singles. Madyson Pendolphi then drove in Hockenberry. A throwing error allowed Kocher to score. Pendolphi eventually scored on Alison Francis’ single.

Although down 6-0 heading to the sixth, GWA didn’t give in.

Nicole Silinskie led off with a single to right. Kaitlyn Slusser’s triple down the right field line plated Silinskie. After Kari Melberger and Evan Freeman walked to load the bases, Lily Harden and Megan Askew each brought home runners with fielder’s choices.

“I cannot tell you how proud I am of these girls,” Harden said. “Not one of them thought we were done. Going forward, they know what they have to do.”

Back Mountain’s two runs in the first came when Lyndsey Hornlein doubled home Francis. Later, Emily Smith’s infield single brought home Hornlein.

Back Mountain tacked on a run in the fifth when Hockenberry’s double plated pinch runner Emily Smith.

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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