BRADFORD — A strong finish helped the Punxsy softball team defeat Bradford, 10-3, Saturday and attain the top seed in the District IX Class AAA playoffs.
The Lady Chucks (12-4) won their final three games of the season to edge St. Marys for the No. 1 seed. Also helping Punxsy's achievement of the king seeding was its season sweep of the Lady Dutch.
Punxsy will now await the district semifinal matchup between No. 2 St. Marys and No. 3 Bradford, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in St. Marys. The winner of that game faces Punxsy, the three-time reigning champions, in the title game the following week at a time, date and venue to be determined.
Saturday, the Lady Chucks led 4-0 through 4 1/2-innings when Bradford trimmed the deficit to 4-3 with a three-run fifth. Punxsy then finished the Lady Owls by scoring three times during each of the final two innings.
Ashley Barenchik and Johnna Depp each had three hits for the Lady Chucks. Hannah Neal, Tori Martin and Allie Shields added two hits apiece during Punxsy's 14-hit effort.
Shawnna Crago pitched the first five innings for the victory. She allowed three runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Randa Depp pitched the final two innings, allowed one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Johnna Depp started Punxsy's offensive surge in the second inning when she doubled and advanced to third on a groundout by Megan Muth. Martin followed with an RBI single.
Later in the inning, Shields singled Martin to second, and Martin scored on an RBI single by Barenchik.
Punxsy added two more runs in the third inning. Crago was hit by a pitch before she stole second base and scored on Johnna Depp's one-out, RBI single. Depp scored later on a throwing error.
Barenchik and Neal had RBI hits during the seventh.