SOFTBALL: VC?rally spoils Youngsville’s season opener

OIL CITY – A five-run sixth inning cost Youngsville a victory in its softball season opener Monday as Venango Catholic rallied for a 7-6 victory in Oil City.

The Lady Eagles (0-1) jumped out to an early lead and stayed on top until the bottom of the sixth inning. Leading 5-2 after five and a half innings, the Vikings bats exploded for five late runs, allowing them to take the lead.

Youngsville battled back, scoring a run in the top of the seventh to get within one, but the hosts would put the game away before the tying run crossed the dish.

“We were hitting the ball well,” said Eagles coach Ron Jameson. “We were in control most of the way. I wasn’t aggressive enough with runners on late in the game. It was a good team effort from the girls. Coaching errors is what cost us (today).”

Kennedy Cratty led the Eagles offensively with a 3-for-4 day at the dish. She also scored a run and drove in one. Elyssa Horn, Jessie Jameson, Julia Sveda and Haley Gray all added two hits apiece for the Lady Eagles.

Youngsville will open its region schedule on Thursday, hosting county rival Eisenhower.

The Lady Eagles claimed a 16-4 victory over the Vikings in the junior varsity contest. Julie Jameson earned the win on the mound for Youngsville.

Titusville 9, Eisenhower 3

TITUSVILLE – R.J. Williams’ Eisenhower softball team showed some great character Monday, hanging with a tough Titusville team for much of the game before suffering a 9-3 loss at Titusville Area High School.

Playing its season opener, the Lady Knights had freshman Emily McJunkin on the mound and the youngster pitched well for much of the game. Through three innings, both teams had failed to score and it would be the visitors who would break through first.

Dakota Williams reached on an error to lead off the fourth inning and Haylie Birt followed with a single. Moments later, Eisenhower’s first run of the season was pushed across by Brooke Stanton’s RBI single.

From there, Ashley Barnett executed a sacrifice bunt and Natasha Morrison followed with Ike’s third single of the inning. Kristen Wagner then drove home two runs with an RBI single to make it 3-0 Knights through three and a half innings. Four of Ike’s five hits against Titusville (and former Warren) pitcher Shana Grosch came in the fourth inning.

The Knights were unable to maintain the momentum as the Rockets began stringing hits together to get back into the game. Titusville scored twice in the fourth, took the lead with two more runs in the fifth and put the game away with a five-run sixth.

“I was excited about how the girls played,” said Williams. “We showed some character in playing with them as long as we did. We just had a couple little things go wrong and they jumped on their opportunities. Still, I thought we played extremely well.”

The Knights dropped the junior varsity game, 15-5. No other details were available at press time.

Eisenhower (0-1) returns to the diamond Thursday when it visits county rival Youngsville.