Punxsy All-Stars stay alive with win over Avon Grove

MEADVILLE — The Punxsy 10- and 11- year old softball All-Stars just won't quit, as they defeated Avon Grove, 10-8, in the losers bracket Tuesday. Punxsy faces a tough Exton team today at 1 p.m. that it must defeat twice to claim the State title.

Punxsy did all of its scoring in the third and fifth inning to defeat Avon Grove. It scored four runs in the third and six in the fifth.

Kylee Shoemaker, Kassidy Graham and Elyse White opened the third inning with back-to-back-to-back hits to load the bags. After that, Chelsea Snyder and Grace Aikens provided hits that led to Punxsy tallying four runs and tying the game.

"We started out a little slow on offense, but unlike the game against Exton, we had clutch hits today," said Steve White, All-Stars manager.

Punxsy was down 5-4 when it entered the fifth inning. Jazzmine Hadden started things off with a walk to first, then proceeded to steal both second and third. Snyder brought her home with a game-tying single. Cassidy Reed stepped up to the plate facing two outs. She was sparked by some two-out lightning and smacked a single just inside the first base bag to drive in two more runs. Back-to-back hits from Lakyn Smith and Kaitlin Dovespike scored another run. Punxsy's final two runs came off a ball hit by White to center field that was mishandled by the out fielder, allowing two to score.

White pitched the first three innings of the contest, then was replaced by Snyder, who pitched two innings. White stepped back in to close the sixth inning, so Snyder would be able to pitch today and not have to rest a day, according to tournament rules.

"This was another total team effort, with every player contributing," said White.

Punxsy faces an Exton team today that defeated them two days prior. It was beaten 7-0 during Monday's contest. White, Hadden, Snyder, Aikens and Mia Lingenfelter all registered hits, but they were never able to cross home plate in the first meeting.

"The girls are anxious to see what we can do against the very tough Exton team," said White. "One thing is for sure, these girls will never give up."