PORT ALLEGANY – Powerful hitting in the latter innings propelled Port Allegany softball to a 9-4 win over Johnsonburg in the first round of the District 9 Class A playoffs Monday afternoon at Port Allegany High School.
Johnsonburg coach Melissa Myers said the team had a good effort and played a good game.
"This was a nice playoff game," coach Myers said. "The kids played well."
Johnsonburg had built a 3-2 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning. The Lady Gators had Cora Bova reach on a 1-out infield single. Bova scored on a long double from Kyley Mickle to tie the game. The tie didn't last long as Rachel Taylor smashed a 2-run home run to left center field and put Port Allegany ahead 5-3.
Johnsonburg threatened to take the momentum back in the sixth inning and had Justis Myers and Brittany Watts both reach with walks. After a flyout, Paige DeCecchis moved the runners over while trying to bunt for a base hit. Myers then sprinted home on a wild pitch and just beat the tag to make the margin 5-4.
The Lady Gators opened with two straight flyouts to start the bottom of the sixth before Bova singled. Mickle then launched a pitch over the left field wall for a 2-run home run to put the Lady Gators ahead 7-4. Taylor then doubled after the home run and scored on a single from Kris-Ann Raymo for Port Allegany's eighth run. Raymo scored on a Johnsonburg throwing error to make the lead 9-4.
Port Allegany pitcher Becky Andrus struck out the side in the first inning. Jenny Shelley reached for the Lady Gators on a Johnsonburg error to start the home half of the first inning. Bova doubled her home to put the Lady Gators ahead 1-0.
The Ramettes squared the game in the second inning with a run. Justis Myers singled and Watts walked. After a groundout, Paige DeCecchis was walked to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout, Lydia Hefright walked with the bases loaded to score Justis Myers and tie the game at 1-all.
Andrus was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the second. Sarah Brodhun hit into a fielder's choice to erase Andrus from the basepaths. Gabby Drabert was walked and Bekka Lathrop grounded out to score Andrus.
In the third inning, Johnsonburg was able to tie the game again. Dani Jo Dwyer was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second and third on two passed balls. Kiana Myers then laced a double to deep left field to score Dwyer and tie the game at 2-all.
Taylor Harvey led off the fourth with a walk and would advance to second and third on passed balls. Kassa Kocjancic grounded out to second to score Harvey and put Johnsonburg ahead 3-2.
Johnsonburg had two hits for the game, the Gators finished with 11 hits, seven of them extra-base hits.
"The hitting on Port Allegany's part hurt us," coach Myers said. "We didn't hit as well."
Bova was 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI along with two runs scored. Mickle was 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBI along with a pair of runs scored. Taylor was 2-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
Port Allegany faces Coudersport in the second round of the playoffs at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
This is Johnsonburg's second straight year in the district playoffs. Coach Myers said she is happy with the team's success.
"Overall, we had a good year," coach Myers said.
Johnsonburg AB R H BI
Tommi Wildnauer 4 0 0 0 Dani Jo Dwyer 3 1 0 0
Kiana Myers 3 0 1 1
Justis Myers 1 2 1 0
Brittany Watts 1 0 0 0
Taylor Harvey 2 1 0 0
Paige DeCecchis 2 0 0 0
Kassa Kocjancic 3 0 0 1
Lydia Hefright 1 0 0 1
Cassie Biondi 1 0 0 0
Totals 21 4 2 3
2B: K. Myers. HBP: Dwyer.
Port Allegany AB R H BI
Jenny Shelley 4 1 0 0
Cora Bova 4 2 3 1
Kyley Mickle 3 2 2 3
Rachel Taylor 4 2 2 3
Kris-Ann Raymo 4 1 1 1
Becky Andrus 2 0 1 0
Sarah Brodhun 3 1 2 0
Gabby Drabert 2 0 0 0
Becca Lathrop 3 0 0 1
Totals 29 9 11 9
2B: Bova, Mickle, Taylor, Andrus, Brodhun. HR: Mickle, Taylor. HBP: Andrus.
R H E
Johnsonburg 011 101 0 - 4 2 3
Port Allegany 110 034 x - 9 11 0
Johnsonburg IP H R BB K
K. Myers 6 11 9 2 1
Port Allegany IP H R BB K
Andrus 5+ 2 3 5 6
Shelley 2 0 0 1 0
Andrus pitched to 1 batter in the 6th inning.