PUNXSUTAWNEY — With the game tied at two, St. Marys scored five runs in the top of the fourth inning and never looked back, going on to defeat Punxsy 7-5 in the Minor League softball All-Star tournament Tuesday night in Punxsutawney.
"That was the one bad inning we had," Punxsy manager Steve White said. "We had some walks, and we threw the ball around a bit. It was good to see that we were able to fight through it, regroup and fight and claw back. It obviously just wasn't enough, though."
St. Marys' Saddie VanAlstine led off the fourth inning with a single and advanced to second on a stolen base. Punxsy pitcher Kate Horner struck out the next St. Marys' hitter, but VanAlstine was able to steal second during the at-bat.
St. Marys' leadoff hitter Sydnie Eckert drove VanAlstine home with an RBI single, and Maddie LeGrys walked, putting runners on first and second.
Josie Smith came up with the biggest hit of the game with an inside-the-park home run into the left-center gap.
St. Marys explosive bats got some help from pitcher Rebecca Bauer on the defensive side. Bauer fanned 10 Punxsy hitters, including striking out the side in order in the fifth inning.
"She threw hard and she had really good control," White said.
"We were very efficient and when we put kids on base, we scored most of them. But she threw really well, and kept us off the bases."
Punxsy never gave up after St. Marys took the lead in the fourth, answering back with one of its own in the bottom of the inning.
Toya Jones led off with a single, stole second base and third base on a delayed steal and scored on an overthrow to the third baseman, making the score 7-3. Bauer struck out the next two Punxsy hitters, though, to end the threat.
Punxsy was retired in order in the fifth, but was able to score two in the sixth, making the score 7-5, and bring the winning run to the plate.
"We had the tying run at the plate with a girl on third," White said, "but they were able to close it out."
Bauer struck out the final two Punxsy batters to end the game.