DUBOIS — It took 10 innings, but the Punxsy softball team managed to eke out a 4-3, 10-inning victory over Ellwood City in the first round of the PIAA AAA championships on Monday afternoon in DuBois.
Kendal Johnston pitched all 10 frames without allowing any earned runs to get the win, Allie Meko drove in a pair of runs early to give Punxsy the game's first lead, Ciara Toven drove in another to tie things up with the Lady Chucks down to their last out in the seventh, and Kaylee Guidice drove in the game-winning run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th.
Johnston allowed seven hits, walked two (one intentionally) and struck out 12 hitters to earn the win, and she was also the one who scored on Toven's seventh-inning double with two outs to tie the game at three per side. Meko's two-run single came in the fourth inning and plated Madi Shiock and Guidice, who had each reached on hits.
The 10th-inning rally started with the international tie-breaker rule in place, putting Johnston's courtesy runner, Larua Rittenhouse, on second. Ellwood City intentionally walked Toven, and Shiock reached on a fielder's choice with no outs recorded to load the bases for Guidice. She ripped one up the middle, and although Shiock was tagged out on a nice play by the second baseman, Rittenhouse scored to send the Lady Chucks on to the next round.
In the quarterfinals, Punxsy will meet the winner of a first-round game between District 6 champion Cambria Heights and District 3 runner-up Bermudian Springs. That game will be played on Thursday at a site and time to be determined.