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Lady Huskies open season with win over Wildcats

MILL HALL – Two of District 6’s toughest teams opened their 2018 Softball campaign battling each other Friday when Mifflin County made its trip to Mill Hall to play Central Mountain.
Mifflin County pitcher Hanna Kanagy wasted little time heating up offensively as she had a career night, blasting two home runs, two singles, scored three times and rallied a whopping seven RBIs on the night to go along with her victory on the mound.
She was also solid on the mound, keeping the Lady Wildcats to only scattering nine hits in seven innings en route to its 13-5 victory.
However, the Wildcats showed that it has the grit to refuse to go away, even when losing late in the game.
On two occasions, the Wildcats would mount a comeback attempt before getting shut down by the play of the Huskies defense, led by Kanagy’s pitching.
“It was an interesting game. We really got out of the gate pretty quick and Central Mountain is a much better team than they showed tonight,” Mifflin County manager Jack McCurdy said. “Their pitching got them in trouble early and we just capitalized on that. Not to take anything away from them. I thought their pitching was good. I just thought the conditions were brutal, especially at the end of the game.”
Leading the way offensively for the Lady Wildcats was Skylar Smith with a 3-for-4 performance. Teammate Riley Houser went 2-for-3 for the team’s only other multiple hitter.
“We battled and we fought until the last out of the very last inning. We had the bases loaded but unfortunately couldn’t get anymore across,” said Central Mountain coach Benjamin Trew. “Give them (Mifflin County) credit. They have a really good pitcher. She’s probably one of the best we will see all year. When you give a team enough opportunities like that to a team that can hit and they take advantage of it, it’s hard to come back from that. I think our girls are tough and we just didn’t have our best day today. That was not very typical of our pitchers either. It just wasn’t their day today.”
Mifflin County struck first in the contest.
After a scoreless first inning, the Huskies played five runs in the top of the second.
Patience seemed to be constant for Mifflin County on the evening, producing runs through walks and timely hitting.
Maxie Johnson, Alyssa Schnell and Ralie Goss led off the second with all reaching on walks.
With the bases loaded, Johnson scored on a Wildcat miscue on a Cassidy Wilson grounder by the shortstop, making it 1-0.
With one out, Schnell reached home on a walk to Hannah Fitzgerald, making it 2-0.
Eleana Eckley bounced into a fielders choice that caught Goss at home.
However, Wilson scored after that on a wild pitch.
Kanagy blasted her first two RBIs of the game when she smashed a shot down the third baseline, scoring Fitzgerald and Eckley, giving Mifflin County the 5-0 advantage.
Mifflin County would add another run in the top of the third after holding Central Mountain scoreless in the bottom of the second.
Offensively, the Wildcats wouldn’t get their bats going until the third when they battled back for three hard earned runs.
Cassidy Brush hustled out an infield one out single.
One swing of the bat by lead off hitter Josie Dershem and Brush rushed home while Dershem landed at second with a double.
Caitlyn Brush reaches on a walk.
Both Dershem and Brush moved up a base on a Kanagy wild pitch, putting runners on second and third.
Skylar Smith’s single brought in Dershem and allowed Brush to move to third, setting the stage for Jennifer Skow. Skow brought in the Lady Wildcats third run of the inning on a single, cutting the Huskies lead to 6-3.
But that score would just last three batters into the top of the fourth.
After a walk to Eckley, Kanagy sent a screamer over the left centerfield fence, upping the Mifflin County lead again, this time it was 8-3.
Mifflin County played another run in fifth to take control of a 9-3 contest.
But the Wildcats clawed and scratched a run in during the bottom of the inning.
Kanagy would squash any kind of a comeback attempt in the top of the seventh as she hit a 3-run home run to extend the visitors lead to 13-4, going into Central Mountain’s last at bats.
Despite a short rally that saw the Wildcats score just one before Mifflin County closed it down at 13-5.

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