Tunkhannock softball team claims first in World Series pool with impressive win

Staff Reports
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Tunkhannock made it immediately clear that Saturday morning in Portland, Ore. was going to be distinctly different than late Friday afternoon.

Less than 18 hours after losing the Pool A lead by suffering its first loss of the Little League Softball World Series, Tunkhannock grabbed it back for good by handing West champion Kirkland, Wash. its first loss.

And, Tunkhannock left no doubt in the process.

Tunkhannock took the lead in the first inning and never stopped, pounding out 16 hits in a 12-2 rout to complete pool play with a 3-1 record and first place in Pool A.

While eight teams are completing pool play Sunday, Tunkhannock will be one of two teams sitting idle with a bye, waiting to learn the official pairings for Monday’s quarterfinals.

Tunkhannock’s win today has clinched the top seed from Pool A, meaning a 10 p.m. game against the Pool B fourth-place team. Tunkhannock has head-to-head wins and tiebreakers over the only two teams that can match 3-1 record.

Tunkhannock improved its position going into the three days of single-elimination bracket play that will decide the title. It did so by putting together four straight hits in the first inning and five more in the sixth to build a 12-0 lead going into the last half inning.

Cali Wisnosky led the offensive assault, going 4-for-4 with a double, four RBI and a run scored.

Winning pitcher Kaya Hannon drove in the first run and the first of the four straight hits in the first inning. She finished 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBI.

Paige Marabell also was 3-for-4 and scored three times.

Sydney Huff, who drove in two runs, and Elaina Kulsicavage, who doubled, had two hits each.

Ella McNeff had a triple, a walk and three runs scored.

Hannon leads all World Series pitchers with 33 strikeouts in four games. She was working on a two-hit shutout and had allowed just one run for the entire tournament before Kirkland broke loose in the bottom of the sixth with the game decided.

Kirkland, which had scored 24 runs while starting 2-0, got both of its runs and four of its six hits in the bottom of the sixth after falling behind by a dozen runs.

Hannon struck out eight and walked just one.

Marabell, Wisnosky and Huff followed Hannon with singles in the first. Winosky and Huff drove in the second and third runs.

Tunkhannock added two more runs in the second inning when McNeff tripled to drive in one run, then scored the other for a 5-0 lead. Hannah James singled and scored on McNeff’s triple. Pinch hitter Julianna Roote drove in McNeff with her sacrifice bunt.

Kulsicavage and Wisnosky doubled in the three-run fourth to build the lead to 8-0. Hannon singled in one run and Wisnosky’s double through the left-center gap brought in two more.

The streak of hits started one batter sooner in the four-run sixth. Kulsicavage singled through the left side, preceding hits by Hannon, Marabell, Wisnosky and Huff. Wisnosky and Huff drove in runs then Erin Van Ness and Emily Patton drew bases-loaded walks to complete the scoring.

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Staff Reports