DUBOIS — The first three innings played out like an offense-heavy slugfest, but the story changed in the final four innings, which became a pitchers' duel with lots of solid defense sprinkled in as well.
The end result for the Punxsy softball team was a 6-4 victory over Cambria Heights in the PIAA AAA quarterfinals, leaving the Lady Chucks (11-10) as one of the final four teams in the state.
Punxsy scored the game's first six runs, three in the first inning and three more in the second, and Cambria Heights answered with four runs in the home half of the third inning. The loss was only the second of the season for Cambria Heights.
The game was another of contributions from a variety of players for the Lady Chucks. Freshman Ciara Toven kept up her hot-hitting ways with a three-run home run in the second inning that proved to plate the game-winning run. Kendal Johnston was also strong again, pitching all seven innings and allowing just two of the four runs as earned. She ceded six hits, walked just one and struck out six.
Others who contributed included senior catcher Madi Shiock, who had a double, put the ball in play to plate Punxsy's first run, laid down a sacrifice bunt, and made a trio of nice catches on foul popups. Shortstop Brooke Skarbek and center fielder Allie Meko also made nice plays to keep runs off the board for Cambria Heights.
With the win, Punxsy advances to the PIAA semifinals, to be played on Monday. The Lady Chucks will face the winner of Monday's quarterfinal game between two WPIAL teams — District 7 champion Mount Pleasant and third-seeded Avonworth.