Lady Elkers win in fading daylight, 17-14
Johnsonburg and Ridgway softball lit up the scoreboard during Monday's early evening hours. Turns out Ridgway's win was sealed by the night's dark skies. Ridgway won 17-14 in a 6-inning game which was called because of darkness. The game was called at approximately 8:15 p.m. after starting at 6 p.m. It was the second game of a doubleheader between the two teams. Johnsonburg won the first game, 9-7. Unfortunately for Johnsonburg, the game was called after the Ramettes put together six runs in the top of the seventh inning which included a Kiana Myers grand slam. But according to the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS), the guidelines under which PIAA Softball are operated under, Rule 4, Section 2, Article 2 states: "If a game ends because of weather conditions, or darkness interferes with play so that the game is called (ended) by the umpire, it is a regulation game provided play has gone beyond five full innings and is called when the teams have not had an equal number of completed turns at bat. The score shall be the same as it was at the end of the last completed inning; unless the home team, in its half of the incomplete inning, scores a run (or runs) which equals or exceeds the opponent’s score, in which case, the final score shall be as recorded when the game is called."Ridgway was leading 17-14 at the end of the sixth and final completed inning. "It's a rough way to win it but I guess we'll take it," Ridgway coach Gary Gerber II said. "If we hit like that in the first game, we wouldn't have had to worry about it." The two teams were tied at 14-all entering the bottom of the fifth when Morgan Herzing hit a double to lead off. Courtesy runner Emily Spiers would score on a Johnsonburg infield error off a ball hit by Sierra Kos to push the Lady Elkers ahead 15-14. Jenni Thomas would single to score Kos and Jenna Hoffman to give Ridgway a 3-run lead. Hoffman singled to reach base. Early in the game, runs were coming at a fast and furious rate. Johnsonburg opened the game with four runs in the opening inning. Danie Jo Dwyer and Kassa Kocjancic walked to lead off the game. Myers then bunted in front of the plate, the throw to first went into right field which scored Myers and Kocjancic. Myers went to third and another poor throw was ruled to have gone out of play and Myers was awarded home for a 3-0 lead. "Both teams were even throughout," Gerber II said. "With us, we're just giving up too many outs." Brittany Watts singled, worked her way around the bases before scoring on a 2-3 groundout from Cassie Biondi. Ridgway didn't trail with a 9-run first inning. Thomas walked and scored on a double from Sydney Kovalyak. Melissa Wehler walked and Ashley Viglione reached on a Johnsonburg error. Sam Kovalyak walked while courtesy runner Alyssa Mitchell scored on a stolen base play. Herzing singled to score Viglione and Sam Kovalyak after Wehler scored on a wild pitch. Kos reached on a Johnsonburg error and courtesy runner Emily Spiers scored for Ridgway on a wild pitch, Spiers ran for Herzing who pitched this game. Hoffman and Thomas walked and scored on a 2-run single from Sydney Kovalyak. After Wehler walked, Viglione hit a sacrifice fly to plate another run. Johnsonburg cut into the lead quickly with three runs in the second inning, Watts hit a sacrifice fly to plate Dwyer. Later in the inning, Tommi Wildnauer singled home Kocjancic and Myers to push the Ramettes within two at 9-7. Ridgway got the three runs back in the bottom of the second inning. Hoffman walked and scored on a Thomas double. Sydney Kovalyak reached on a Johnsonburg error and Thomas scored. Viglione singled home Sydney Kovalyak for a 12-7 Ridgway lead. Johnsonburg would take the lead in the third inning with a 6-run outburst. Katie Galsick walked and Elena Solorio singled. Lydia Hefright singled to score Galsick for the inning's first run. After a flyout, Kocjancic reached on a Ridgway error which scored Solorio and Hefright and made the score 12-10 in Ridgway's favor. Myers walked and Watts singled to score Kocjancic and Myers, tying the score at 12-all. Galsick would cross the plate on a bloop single for a 13-12 Johnsonburg lead. Ridgway would retake the lead in the fourth inning as Viglione doubled to bring Thomas and Mitchell around for a 14-13 Lady Elker lead. Johnsonburg loaded the bases in the fifth inning and scored a run as Hefright was hit by a pitch, bringing Biondi around for the game's 28th run. Kojcancic and Myers each scored three runs for the Ramettes while Watts had two. Watts was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Hefright and Wildnauer each had two RBI to lead Johnsonburg. Thomas led Ridgway with five runs scored. Hoffman had three runs scored while Spiers and Mitchell each had two runs scored. Sydney Kovalyak was 3-for-4 while Viglione had two hits and four RBI. Thomas, Sydney Kovalyak, Viglione and Herzing each had doubles while Thomas and Sydney Kovalyak finished with three RBI. Ridgway is scheduled to host Kane at 4 p.m. Thursday. Johnsonburg is slated to play at Curwensville at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. Ridgway recognized its five seniors before the game. They are Sam Kovalyak, Sydney Kovalyak, Morgan Herzing, Melissa Wehler and Ashley Viglione. "All of them have been here for four years," Gerber II said. "They gave everything they got. They've shown all kinds of improvement. I'm proud of the way that they play. They leave everything out on the field."