BLOOMSBURG – The Tunkhannock softball team advanced in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament for the second straight year.
This season’s run, however, ended earlier.
The Lady Tigers, state runner-ups in Class 4A a year ago, ran into a tough pitcher, backed by timely hitting and slick fielding and were knocked out in the quarterfinals June 7 with a 4-1 loss to Bethlehem Catholic.
Tunkhannock made it through graduation losses from 2017 to win the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 and District 2 Class 4A titles.
“We played hard and I’m proud of the girls for what they accomplished this year and, luckily for us, we’re only losing one senior,” Tunkhannock coach Bob Hegedty told the Times Leader. “And we’ll be looking to bounce back next year and hopefully get back to Penn State (for the state final).”
Tunkhannock opened the scoring on an RBI double by Hailey Farr in the top of the first, but Bethlehem Catholic moved in front for good in the bottom of the inning.
Erin Dunn doubled with one out in the fifth inning, but she was the last baserunner for the Lady Tigers.
The Golden Hawks, who went on to eliminate Nanticoke in Tuesday’s state semifinals, made diving stops on groundballs on three consecutive pitches to shut down the Lady Tigers in the sixth.
“When we came out and they’re making diving plays for outs at first, it got to be a little disheartening,” Hegedty said.
Tatum Kelly, who has committed to play NCAA Division I softball at Rider, pitched a five-hitter for Bethlehem Catholic.
Farr finished with two hits.
Kendra Schultz struck out eight in three innings of relief.
For the second straight year, Dallas and Valley View played a one-run game in the District 2 Class 4A championship game with the loser going home and the winner advancing to the state final.
Valley View ended Dallas’ state title defense, 1-0, handing the Mountaineers just their second loss in 29 games dating back to last season. The Cougars made it to state championship game that was scheduled for Thursday at Penn State.
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