DuBois advances to District 10 final behind big fifth inning

DUBOIS — DuBois scored 11 runs on seven hits in the fifth inning, and Riley Assalone allowed only four hits to defeat Punxsy, 17-5 in five innings Wednesday, and advanced to the District 10 Little League softball All-Stars final against the winner of tonight's Ridgway/Bradford game.

Punxsy had three errors in the fifth inning and could have gotten out of the high-scoring inning much earlier, but DuBois took advantage of the errors with three hits and aggressive base running.

"They really got on us there, and we should have been out of the inning," Punxsy manager Carl Medsger said. "They're going to get hits, but we should have been out of it long before we were."

DuBois' offense was led by Assalone, who had three hits, and Macey Hanes and Jordy Frank, who each had a triple in the 11-run fifth.

DuBois started the scoring in the first inning when leadoff hitter Courtney Chander singled, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI groundout to first by No. 2 hitter, Katie Zameroski.

Punxsy pitcher Ali Ishman closed the door, though, and DuBois led 1-0 after the first half-inning.

DuBois also had a big second inning, scoring five runs on four hits, thanks to three stolen bases and two errors by Punxsy.

Assalone looked unhittable through two innings, retiring the first six batters she faced before McKenzie Atcheson reached on an error to lead off the third inning.

The error opened the door for Punxsy, which capitalized with three runs in the frame, courtesy of an RBI groundout by Ali Lunger and RBI singles by Kim Shoemaker and Sam Satterlee.

Satterlee was caught in a rundown and tagged for the third out after she made an aggressive turn at first, ending Punxsy's threat.

Punxsy closed the lead to 6-4 in the home half of the fourth when Ishman singled past diving third baseman Taylor Uplinger, and Jordyn Powell came in as a courtesy runner.

Powell stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI groundout by Taylor Medsger.

Assalone struck out the next two batters and was on cruise control from that point forward, allowing only one more run on one hit, working with a big lead to close out the game via the 10-run rule in five innings.

Punxsy lost to DuBois, 11-0, Saturday at the hands of another strong pitching performance by Assalone.

Punxsy showed a lot of improvement over its last win, but could not shut down the DuBois bats in the second and fifth innings to pick up the win.

"We did hit better this time," manager Medsger said, "but she pitched really well again."

DuBois' breakout inning was aided by the fielding and mental errors by Punxsy, but DuBois also had seven hits and did well to put the bat on the ball — a feat that Punxsy's other opponents struggled to do during this tournament when Ishman was pitching.

After the tough loss, manager Medsger was still upbeat and positive.

"The girls really gave the fans some excitement," he said. "Everyone was having a good time, including me."

Medsger encouraged his players to keep working on improving their games, despite the fact that the loss eliminated them from the All-Star tournament.

"We encouraged them to keep on playing travel ball, or Little League, or backyard ball, whatever they can do to continue to improve," he said.