Big fifth powers Lady Chucks to season series sweep of Lady Lions

ALTOONA — It is always nice to sweep a school more than twice your size.

A big five-run fifth inning powered Punxsy over host Altoona, 7-2, to sweep the season series.

The Lady Chucks won the contest on their home field, 10-5, on April 11.

"We started out slow. We hit the ball, just didn't find holes or string any hits together until the fifth," explained Punxsy head coach Alan Pifer. "Ashley Bacha did a good job keeping us in the game until then."

A tough pitcher for the Lady Chucks' foes to face, especially lately, Bacha held the Altoona offense to a first-inning tally and kept the game at 1-0 through four innings.

In the game-deciding top of the fifth inning, Emily Horner started the run outburst with a single. Mary Slongier sacrificed Horner to third. Monica Cameron laid down a bunt and legged out a hit for an RBI, as Horner scored to tie the game at 1.

Sarah London continued the at bat with a single to move Cameron to third. Stephanie Smith pinch ran for London and stole second base. Both Punxsy runners came home when Chelsea Engeholm doubled them in for a 3-1 lead.

Bacha laced a run-scoring single to help her cause and plate Engeholm. Nicole DiPietro ran for Bacha and advanced to second on a wild pitch before scoring on an Ivy Phillips base hit to extend the score to 5-1.

The Lady Lions were able to get one run back in the bottom of the fifth to make it 5-2.

Punxsy went back to work in the sixth. The Lady Chucks added a pair of insurance runs, and Bacha held the home team off the board the final two innings for the 7-2 final tally.

Engeholm, Ivy Phillips, Bacha and Horner each recorded two hits for eight of Punxsy's 12 in the game.

The senior Engeholm had the lone extra-base hit with her double to go with a single, three RBI and one run.

Ivy Phillips lined a pair of singles with an RBI.

Bacha drove in one run as part of her two singles.

"Chelsea had a really nice game. AB helped herself, as did Ivy continue her hot-hitting," said Pifer.

Horner recorded a pair of singles and scored two of Punxsy's tallies.

Sydney Phillips, Cameron, DiPietro and London completed the Lady Chucks' hit producers. DiPietro touched home two times, and Smith and Cameron once each.

On the mound, Bacha scattered eight hits, allowed two runs and walked three, while fanning four Altoona hitters.

The Punxsy junior varsity squad returned to the win column for the 13th time of the season in its contest.

The JV Lady Chucks coasted past the Lady Lions by an 11-1 final tally.

"The girls played a nice defense today," stressed Punxsy JV head coach Ken Covatch. "Shania DeFoor did a good job pitching for us."

DeFoor gave up only two Altoona hits and one run over seven innings. She struck out seven and walked four.

Punxsy scratched out a run in the top of the first and held on to the 1-0 lead through the completion of two frames.

The JV Lady Chucks would add to their score in four of the final five at bats. Starting in the third, Punxsy plated two in the third, three in the fourth and four in the sixth to open a 10-1 advantage before adding a final run in the seventh.

Shaina Painter doubled and singled to pace Punxsy's offense.

Amber Ward doubled and came around to score a run.

Alyssa Reitz, Jensen Constantino, Taylor Medsgar and Beth Barnett also drilled hits for Punxsy.

Kara St. Clair and Constantino both scored two times.

Punxsy will go for another season sweep against the hot DuBois softball club on the road Wednesday starting at 4:15 p.m.