SOMERSET – Glendale freshman pitcher Kyla Campbell got off to a rough start on Monday as her squad fell behind by three in a PIAA Class A first-round contest against Shanksville-Stonycreek at Somerset High School.
But with a stellar defense behind her and her own three-run homer in the top of the seventh, the Glendale Vikings put an exclamation point on their 7-3 victory over the Somerset County Vikings. The victory earned Glendale a second-round date against Millersburg, a 5-4 victor in eight innings over Montgomery, on Thursday at a site and time to be determined.
“That’s our recipe, we come from behind pretty much every game,” Glendale coach Beth Campbell said. “They don’t panic and are ready to go. They pretty much expect to win whether we are behind or not. She (Kyla) is just a ballplayer. She’s tough for a freshman.
“She has her nerves, but she gets rid of them.”
With two outs in the bottom of the first, the District 5 champion Vikings jumped on the Glendale pitcher with three straight hits. Pitcher Lexus Wilt and Abby Lohr hit back-to-back singles and were plated by a triple from Hannah Platt. Platt scored on a wild pitch for the 3-0 advantage.
It looked as though Shanksville-Stonycreek would be able to sail through, but the Glendale bats came to life in the fourth as nine batters came to the plate. Aided by singles from Brooke Smeal, Madison Lukehart and Breanna Vereshack and a double from Alexis Mulhollen, Glendale (21-4) took the lead 4-3 and never looked back.
Lexus Wilt and Lohr stared the sixth inning the way they had the first, but on a fielder’s choice, Wilt overan third base and got caught in a rundown, which ended the Shanksville-Stonycreek threat.
“I was nervous; we have a little trouble when we let them on early in the innings,” Coach Campbell said. “Those are our bad innings. That play when they got the girl out coming home, that was huge. We talked about it before the game. They like to round the bases so be ready for it. We covered it well.”
Kyla Campbell’s home run over the right center field fence in the top of the seventh inning gave the District 6 runners up the breathing room they needed for the win.
“That (home run) gave us the looseness that we needed to come out and play that last inning,” Coach Campbell said.
Vereshack was 2-for-3 while Smeal and Mullhollen were both 2-for-4 for Glendale. Wilt and Lohr both finished 2-for-3 for Shanksville-Stonycreek (17-5).
“I felt like player for player, we were just as good as them,” Shanksville-Stonycreek coach Kevin Wilt said. “We had that one bad inning and momentum kind of swung to their favor and we were never able to get the runs in to surpass that.
“I’m proud of the girls. We played hard.”