And the James Buchanan Lady Rocket magical softball season continues.
The Lady Rockets scored in each of the first 5 innings and cruised to an 8-2 win over Blue Mountain on Monday in a PIAA Class 4A first-round playoff game at Pottsville H.S.
The victory marks the first time the JB softball program has won a state playoff game.
“It was great to achieve the first JB softball state victory,” JB coach Troy Pittman said. “This bunch of girls are a pleasure to coach and they deserve all the credit.”
Next up for JB (16-7) is District 7 runner-up Mt. Pleasant (18-1) which beat Bellefonte 9-4. The game will be Thursday with a site and time TBA.
The Lady Rockets couldn’t have gotten off to a better start in the top of the first inning as winning pitcher Jenna Mongold blasted a one-out solo homer.
JB tacked on single runs in the second and third innings to bump its lead to 3-0. Kyrstin Nichols, who finished 3-for-4, roped a 2-out RBI double in the second and Maria Burkett walked with the bases loaded in the fourth to push across the third run.
“Jenna’s home run was big,” Pittman said. “It calmed the nerves and butterflies and left everyone settle in. Kyrstin had a clutch game. She has struggled this year hitting, but looked good the last few practices and today she put it all together. Her other two hits set the table. She also had a great scoop at first to get an out.”
Those 3 runs were all Mongold needed on the mound as she held Blue Mountain scoreless in her first 4 innings of work and scattered 3 hits. Lizzie Pittman came onto pitch the next 2 innings and Mongold finished the last inning.
“Jenna pitched a solid 5 innings for the victory,” Pittman said.
The Lady Rockets got a big break in the top of the fourth inning to widen their lead to 6-0. Nichols singled, Maddie Spencer and Mongold walked to load the bases with 2 outs. Kirstyn Atherton then hit a ground ball to the pitcher which she threw the ball away at first allowing all 3 runners to score.
Mongold tacked on a 2-run double in the top of the fifth to finish JB’s scoring.
Other offensive standouts for the Lady Rockets were leadoff Maddie Bailey, who finished 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored and Burkett, who was 2-for-2.
James Buchanan 8, Blue Mountain 2
James Buchanan 111 320 0 – 8-10-0
Blue Mountain 000 001 1 – 2-8-3
JAMES BUCHANAN HITTING
Maddie Bailey SS 4-2-3-0, Jenna Mongold 4-2-2-3, Kate Ebersole DP 5-0-0-0, Kirstyn Atherton 3B 3-0-0-0, Maria Burkett C 2-0-2-1, Brenna Hartman RF 2-1-0-0, Alyssa Blair CF 3-0-0-0, Lindsey Meyers 1B 2-0-0-0, Krystin Nichols RF 4-2-3-1, Maddie Spencer 2B 1-1-0-0, Ashley Grove 2-0-0-0. Totals 32-8-10-5.
JAMES BUCHANAN PITCHING
Mongold (W) 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB 6 K
Lizzie Pittman 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
2B-(JB) Nichols, Mongold. HR-(JB) Mongold.