Tunkhannock softball holds off Dallas

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com | May 18th, 2017 10:17 pm

DALLAS TWP. — Tunkhannock’s 7-4 victory over Dallas on Thursday had no bearing on the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 softball standings. Tunkhannock was locked into second and Dallas into fourth entering the final day of the regular season.

The game, though, proved something for next week — the District 2 Class 4A playoffs could be the most competitive of the six classifications.

Tunkhannock starting pitcher Hope Jones needed to work out of a couple jams and the Tigers (9-4) needed a three-run seventh inning to finally distance themselves from Dallas (5-8).

“Dallas is a tough team, and I know the record doesn’t show it but I think Berwick has a nice team,” Tunkhannock coach Bob Hegedty said. “On any given day, somebody is going to beat somebody.

“You just never know. Teams start getting hot and putting hits together, anything can happen.”

The PIAA increased softball from four to six classes starting this season. The new D2-4A bracket is essentially the old D2-3A field. And that field was packed with upsets over the past three years. The top-two seeds haven’t met for the championship since 2013. The 2015 title game was between the third and fourth seeds.

So that gives hope to teams like Dallas, which will be the seventh seed after losing a tiebreaker for the spot with Scranton Prep (5-8). The Mountaineers host 10th-seeded Honesdale (1-12) on Tuesday. Tunkhannock gained the third seed and won’t play until May 26 when it hosts the winner of the No. 11 Coughlin (0-13) at No. 6 Prep game.

“One game at a time,” Dallas coach Joyce Tinner said of districts. “It all depends which team shows up. It was tough playing four games this week.”

Dallas played Wyoming Area and then Nanticoke on consecutive days before wrapping up the four-games-in-four-days schedule with Tunkhannock. A common flaw — as it’s been throughout the season — was the lack of run production. The Mountaineers scored a total of 10 runs in those games.

Even Thursday after battling back from a 4-0 deficit, the offense stalled after Christina Schappert’s sacrifice fly made it 4-3 with two outs in the fifth. Only one Mountaineers — Mia Dixon with a one-out double in the seventh — reached base after Schappert’s RBI.

But by the seventh, Tunkhannock had built its lead to 7-4. A bunt by Paige Mokychic, a sac fly by Danielle Krispin and double by Sarah Traver plated runs in the seventh.

Mokychic and Krispin had RBI singles in the first. Traver knocked in another run with a sac fly and added an RBI single in the third.

Dallas scored two runs in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk by Ali Francis and a bloop single by Maddie Kelley.

Wyoming Valley West 6,

Pittston Area 3

Morgan Klosko had three hits and Valley West rallied with a five-run fourth inning to defeat Pittston Area.

Valley West finished the Division 1 season at 7-6, good for second place. Pittston Area finished in third at 6-7. Both teams will be in the District 2/11-5A playoffs, but the pairing won’t be released until Sunday.

Lexi Felinski had three hits for Pittston Area.

Crestwood 10,

Coughlin 4

Sarah Macko tripled, singled and had two RBI as Crestwood finished in fourth in Division 1 with a 4-9 record.

Haley Naperkowski and Emily Traficante added doubles for the Comets, who will be the No. 8 seed in the D2-4A playoffs and host No. 9 Berwick at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Molly Poray had a two-run homer in the first inning for Coughlin, which finished 0-13 in Division 1. The Crusaders will be the 11th seed in the D2-4A playoffs and play at No. 6 Scranton Prep on Tuesday.

Nanticoke 9,

Wyoming Area 4

Jenna Lipowski hit two homers and drove in five runs and Jilann Baron homered and knocked in four runs as Nanticoke completed its unbeaten season in Division 2.

Cassie Novakowski and Megan Murphy each doubled as part of two-hit games.

Kristi Skok and Jess Parents had two hits each for Wyoming Area, which finished 7-6 and in third place in Division 2.

Both teams are off until May 26 when they play in the D2-4A playoffs. Fourth-seeded Wyoming Area will host fifth-seeded West Scranton. Top-seeded Nanticoke gets the winner of Tuesday’s Berwick at Crestwood opening-round game.

Hazleton Area 4,

Berwick 3

The Division 1 champion Cougars scored three runs in the sixth inning to avoid an upset bid from Berwick.

Tiana Treon and Eric Book had an RBI each for Hazleton Area (12-1), which will be the top seed in the D2/4-6A playoffs. The Cougars host fourth-seeded Scranton on Monday.

Shea Petty had two hits and an RBI for Berwick. Sammi Starr doubled and scored a run. The Dawgs (2-11) finished in fifth in Division 2. They will be the ninth seed in the D2-4A playoffs and play at eighth-seeded Crestwood on Tuesday.

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Tunkhannock 7, Dallas 4


HJones p`2`1`1`0

FJones ss`4`1`1`0

Simmons 3b`2`2`0`0

Schultz dp`2`1`1`0

Mokychic cf`4`1`2`2

Krispin c`3`1`1`2

Traver lf`3`0`2`2

Straley pr`0`0`0`0

Dunn rf`4`0`0`0

Bulford 2b`4`0`0`0

Farr 1b`0`0`0`0



Spaciano 2b`3`0`0`0

Saba ss`4`0`0`0

Dixon rf`3`2`1`0

Kern cf`3`0`0`0

Ross c`2`1`1`0

Burger pr`0`0`0`0

Schappert 3b`2`0`1`1

Francis lf`1`0`0`1

Hornlein ph`1`0`0`0

Kelley p`3`0`1`1

Johnson 1b`3`0`1`0

Slacktish fx`0`0`0`0




2B: Mokychic, Traver, Dixon.


HJones (W)`5`5`3`3`4`3

Schultz (S)`2`0`0`0`0`2

Dallas`IP`H`R`ER`BB` SO

Kelley (L)`7`10`7`7`2`4

Hazleton Area 4, Berwick 3

Hazleton Area`000`013`0`—`4


Pitching — HA, Eric Book (W) 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB 4 SO. BER, Kylie Levan (L) 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.

Top Hitters — HA, Tiana Treon 2-3, RBI; Becca Rossi 2-4, run; Hope Kinney 1-3, run; Book 1-3 RBI. BER, Sami Starr 1-4, double, run; Shea Petty 2-2, run, RBI; Brooke Stout 1-3.

Nanticoke 9, Wyoming Area 4

Wyoming Area`000`200`2`—`4


Pitching — WA, Cassidy Graham (L) 3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Gwen Glatz 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. NAN, Miranda Bohn 7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 R, 0 BB, 6 SO.

Top Hitters — WA, Jess Parente 2-4, triple, run, RBI; Kristi Skok 2-3, RBI; Julia Kopetchney double; Graham, double, 2 RBI.

Crestwood 10, Coughlin 4



Pitching — COU, Brittany Nastawa (L) 6 IP, 10 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 6 BB, 4 SO. CRE, Haley Naperkowski (W) 7 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO.

Top Hitters — COU, Taylor Pawlush 2 hits; Molly Poray homer, 2 RBI; Morgan Daniels 2 hits; Sarah Mayhue 2 hits; Ashley Tomeo 2 hits, double. CRE, Kayla Kulp 2-3; Sarah Macko 2-3, triple, 2 RBI; Naperkowski double; Emily Traficante 2 hits, double.

Wyo. Val. West 6, Pittston Area 3

Wyo Val West`001`500`0`—`6

Pittston Area`101`000`1`—`3

Pitching — WVW, Morgan Shedletsky (W) 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO. PA, Nina Cencetti (L) 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Alexa McHugh 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.

Top Hitters — WVW, Jaden Belles 2-3; Morgan Klosko 3-4; Payton Boler 2-4; Andi Blaski 2-3. PA, Lexi Felinski 3-3; Nina Cencetti 2-3; Morgan Mesaris 2-4.

Tunkhannock shortstop Faith Jones picks up a grounder in the seventh inning.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051917HSSOFTTUNKDALLAS1.jpgTunkhannock shortstop Faith Jones picks up a grounder in the seventh inning. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Tunkhannock’s Paige Mokychic slides home safely in the seventh inning as Dallas catcher Peyton Ross awaits the throw.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051917HSSOFTTUNKDALLAS2.jpgTunkhannock’s Paige Mokychic slides home safely in the seventh inning as Dallas catcher Peyton Ross awaits the throw. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Tunkhannock’s Hope Jones winds up to deliver a pitche against Dallas.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051917HSSOFTTUNKDALLAS3.jpgTunkhannock’s Hope Jones winds up to deliver a pitche against Dallas. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Tunkhannock players congratulate teammate Paige Mokychic after she scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051917HSSOFTTUNKDALLAS4.jpgTunkhannock players congratulate teammate Paige Mokychic after she scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By John Erzar


Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar