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Punxsy reigns supreme at Groundhog Tournament

August 8, 2011

10U Punxsy Purranha Lakyn Smith (left) high-fives her teammates after receiving her individual Groundhog Little League tournament trophy as teammate Jazzmine Hadden (right) awaits her turn Sunday afternoon in Punxsutawney. (Photo by Zak Lantz/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — In the 10-and-under (10U) championship game at the Groundhog Little League softball tournament, the Punxsy Purranhas scored multiple runs in all three trips to the plate and pitcher Grace Aikens pitched a one-hitter propelling the Purranhas to a 10-0 victory over Homer City in four innings in Punxsutawney.

With the win, the Purranhas earned their second consecutive weekend tournament championship after placing first in the Homer City tournament last weekend.

Aikens quickly retired Homer City in the top of the first inning, and Punxsy wasted no time getting on the board.

Jazzmine Hadden led off the inning with a single, and Elyse White followed with one of her own.

Aikens walked to load the bases, and Hadden scored the first run of the game on a throw to first base.

Mia Lingenfelter delivered with an RBI-single later in the inning, giving Punxsy a 3-0 advantage after one inning.

Aikens struggled a bit with her control in the second, allowing a walk and hitting a batter, but regained her composure to retire Homer City and hold it scoreless.

Hadden led off the second inning with a single, stole second and advanced two bases to score on a sacrifice bunt by White.

Aikens singled and scored on an RBI single by Kylee Shoemaker, giving the Purranhas a 5-0 lead after two.

Aikens allowed Homer City's only hit of the game in the third inning, but again managed to keep them off the scoreboard.

The Purranhas had their most productive inning of the game in the third, when Lakyn Smith singled up the middle. Hadden followed with her third hit of the game, and Smith scored on a throwing error by the pitcher who threw the ball into right field.

White walked, and Hadden scored on the throw back to the pitcher while White advanced to third. She scored when Aikens reached on another Homer City error, this time by the catcher.

The Purranhas' scoring was capped by an RBI double by Chelsea Snyer and an RBI single by Shoemaker.

Aikens retired the side in order in the top of the fourth, completing the shutout and ending the game via the ten-run rule.

In other action, with the score tied 5-5 in the championship game of the 16U tournament, the Rockets scored three runs against the PA Wild in the top of the sixth.

The high-scoring inning was highlighted by a two-RBI triple by Monica Cameron, to take the lead and never relinquished it to win the 16U championship, 8-5.

The Rockets' tournament team was comprised mostly of Punxsy players, with a few others from other towns mixed in.

The Rockets' half of the sixth inning started with a single by Ashley Bacha, and Kayla Cameron followed with a single, as well.

Then, Monica Cameron belted a rocket past the second baseman for the two-RBI triple, giving Punxsy a 7-5 lead. Before the inning was over, she scored on an RBI single by Mary Sloniger to push the Rockets' lead to three runs.

Prior to the sixth, the game had been a back-and-forth battle, with both teams exchanging runs and the lead. But Punxsy pitcher Bacha held the Wild scoreless for the final three frames to pick up the complete-game win.

The Rockets' scoring started in the top of the first when Sloniger singled and scored on an RBI double by Sydney Phillips, but the Wild answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first.

The Rockets regained the lead in the second, scoring two runs on four singles by Bacha, Heidi Peterson, Savanna Hallman and Alisha Torretti.

They added two more in the fourth on three singles by Ashley Walls, Bacha and Kayla Cameron.

The Wild scored one in the third and two in the fourth, but that ended their scoring as Bacha grew stronger as the game went on.

With the Rockets' win, Punxsy took home two first-place trophies on the day as the tournament host.

Both teams said after their respective championship games that winning at home added just a bit to the accomplishment.

Punxsy was also represented in the 12U division with two teams. The 12U Purranhas dropped their first game Friday night to Davis Brothers, and were eliminated by Marion Center Saturday morning.

The 12U Punxsy Pride went 1-2 over the weekend. The Pride lost their opening game Friday night, as well, falling to Marion Center but bounced back with a win over Dino's Place Saturday afternoon.

Punxsy was then eliminated by Homer Center in the late game Saturday.

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