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DuBois wins District behind Henry's shutout

July 14, 2011

Punxsy pitcher Ivy Phillips throws to first after fielding a bunt in the sixth inning of Punxsy's loss against DuBois Wednesday night in DuBois. (Zak Lantz/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

DUBOIS — DuBois pitcher Rachel Henry threw a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits and striking out eight, to defeat Punxsy 5-0 in the District 10 championship in the Junior League Softball division Wednesday night in DuBois.

Henry allowed two of the three hits in the first two innings and seemed to throw better as the game went on, allowing only one more hit on a come-backer that she just could not handle in the seventh.

"The girls played hard, and they're battlers," Punxsy manager Randy Reitz said. "We just ran into a hot pitcher tonight. She really just dominated us. We had maybe four or five hard hits, and I mean, we put the bat on the ball, but we just couldn't put together any hits back-to-back to score any runs."

Ivy Phillips started the game in the circle for Punxsy, and pitched a solid, complete game, but DuBois was able to get to her on a few occasions and made the most of its opportunities.

Phillips allowed five runs on eight hits, striking out five and walking one.

Both pitchers looked nearly untouchable through the first three innings, with Phillips allowing no hits through three innings, and Henry allowing only one in each of the first two innings.

DuBois was able to manage a run off Phillips in the top of the fourth, though, when Henry helped herself with a leadoff triple over Lexi Cielo's head in right field.

Sierra McKee followed Henry's triple with a shot of her own to right field, but Cielo made a nice play to stop her from reaching base. Henry scored on the sacrifice.

Phillips allowed two more hits after that, both singles to Anne Katchmarchi and Megan Betton, but struck the next two batters out looking to retire the side with no further damage.

DuBois kept rolling in the top of the fifth with their most productive inning, scoring three runs on four hits.

Rachelle Kruzelak led off the inning with a single down the right field line, and Cheyenne McKee followed with one of her own.

Sierra McKee hit a rocket to deep right-center field for a triple, scoring both runners.

"The ball she hit was about a foot outside," Reitz said, "and she drove it to right-center, and that just took a little air out of us."

Katchmarchi followed with an RBI-single to push DuBois' lead to four runs.

DuBois earned its last run in the top of the seventh when Cheyenne McKee led off with a double. Henry laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her to third, and she scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Sierra McKee.

Reitz had nothing but positive things to say to his girls after the game.

"I told them, 'You girls were competitive. Noone likes to lose, but you played hard, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Hold your heads high,'" he said.

Punxsy was eliminated from the All-Star tournament with the loss, and DuBois earned the District 10 championship. Each team was presented with its District 10 pins after the game, and DuBois was granted the championship banner.

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