May 25—SCOTT TWP. — Lakeland sophomore pitcher Joan Clauss-Walton had all the numbers working in her favor.
She allowed just one hit, helped turn two in the top of the first, swatted a pair of extra-base hits and drove in three as the third-seeded Lady Chiefs whipped No. 6 Montrose, 12-0, in Monday’s District 2 Class 2A softball quarterfinal.
“I was just having fun out there,” said Clauss-Walton, who tripled in the six-run first and mashed a three-run homer in a six-run second.
If not the hardest ball she’s hit all year, it certainly set the standard for distance.
“I think it’s the farthest I’ve hit a ball all year, probably,” Clauss-Walton said. “I felt like one of those baseball players, you know, how they flip the bat.”
She didn’t, but it was gone off the bat, part of a nine-hit attack for Lakeland (10-8), which advances to Wednesday’s semifinal at second-seeded Holy Cross.
“I like how they saw the pitch count a lot better and they waited for their perfect pitch, and our hitting was spot on,” Lakeland coach Dana Diskin said. “They played well.
“I think today might have been one of our best games we had all season, so it was a great day to break out and do that.”
Clauss-Walton allowed only Nicole Furman’s opposite-field single in the first, but speared a comebacker and started a double play to erase her and give the Lady Chiefs momentum going to the bottom of the inning.
Marissa Boles triggered the offense with a leadoff double on a 1-2 pitch, her shot just inside the bag at third. A delayed steal and a throwing error made it 1-0, and Clauss-Walton followed with a rocket to left, then scored when Colby White’s liner was misplayed.
“That felt good off the bat,” Clauss-Walton said of her triple. “The pitch was inside and I like inside pitches, so I just took it.”
Ang Nowak wasted little time putting an exclamation point on the first, lining a two-run homer to left-center field.
“It’s just good to get the momentum going early because you can’t wait until the last thing to win the game,” Nowak said. “That was just a big spark for our team to get going.
“It was just an outside pitch and you just have to drive it to the outfield. It just felt good off the bat.”
A single, three walks and the third error of the inning by Montrose (2-12) sent two more runs home as Lakeland hit for the cycle in the first inning.
“It’s definitely a comfort level going up that big in inning one,” Diskin said. “It gives you a little bit of time to take a breath and be able to play inning by inning.
“It definitely gives you that confidence and that boost going that far ahead in the first inning.”
Selena Hoover jump-started the offense in the second with the first of her two hits, and RBI singles by Myha Kilmer and Boles set the stage for Clauss-Walton, who unloaded on a 2-1 offering, capping a second straight six-run outburst.
From there, Clauss-Walton cruised on the mound, retiring the final 10 hitters she faced, seven by strikeout, fanning the side on just 10 pitches in the fifth to seal the win via the 10-run rule.
Lakeland 12, Montrose 0
Montrose 000 00 — 0
Lakeland 660 0x — 12
WP: Joan Clauss-Walton 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 9SO
LP: Emily Birchard 4IP, 9H, 12R, 9ER, 7BB, 2SO
2B: Marissa Boles (LAK). 3B: Joan Clauss-Walton (LAK). HR: Angelica Nowak (LAK), Joan Clauss-Walton (LAK).
Northwest 7, Carbondale Area 6
At Northwest, Alaina Carle hit a grand slam in the fourth inning and the fourth-seeded Rangers held on for a quarterfinal victory.
Julia Gorel hit a pair of home runs and scored four times for No. 5 Carbondale Area while Ashley Escott had a single, a double and an RBI.
Northwest will play at top-seeded Elk Lake in Wednesday’s semifinals.
Northwest 7, Carbondale Area 6
Carbondale Area 201 020 1 — 6
Northwest 300 400 x — 7
WP: Aleigha Parnell 7IP, 9H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 2SO
LP: Sophia Calzola 3.1IP, 10H, 7R, 6ER, 1BB, 4SO
2B: Ashley Escott (CAR), Charleigh Miner (NW), Kaya Pickering (NW). HR: Aleigha Parnell (NW), Alaina Carle (NW), Julia Gorel (CAR) 2.
McKenna Huyser had two hits, a run and three RBIs to lead No. 4 Scranton to a 12-2 win over No. 5 Wilkes-Barre Area in a District 2-4 subregional quarterfinal.
Winning pitcher Jianna Booth had two hits, including a triple, two runs and two RBIs for the Lady Knights and Abigail Yevitz had a single and a triple, two runs and an RBI.
Lyssa Rhodes had two hits and scored a run for Wilkes-Barre Area.
Scranton will play at top-seeded Williamsport in Wednesday’s semifinals.
Scranton 12, Wilkes-Barre Area 2
Wilkes-Barre Area 100 001 0 — 2
Scranton 151 212 x — 12
WP: Jianna Booth 6IP, 7H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 7SO
LP: Jenna Kasper 5.2IP, 13H, 12R, 10ER, 6BB, 3SO
2B: Alivia Bloom (SCR), Amaris Shotto (SCR), Isabelle Davies (WB). 3B: Jianna Booth (SCR), Abigail Yevitz (SCR), Katie Keating (WB).
Madison McCracken had two hits, including a double, a run and an RBI to lead No. 3 Forest City to a 7-0 win over No. 6 Mountain View in a District 2 quarterfinal.
Stephanie Graham had a single and a double and drove in a run for the Lady Foresters and Emily Gorton tossed a shutout with four strikeouts.
Alycia Harvey had two hits for Mountain View.
Forest City will play at Blue Ridge in Thursday’s semifinals.
Forest City 7, Mountain View 0
Mountain View 000 000 0 — 0
Forest City 100 132 x — 7
WP: Emily Gorton 7IP, 5H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 4SO
LP: Regan Cameron 6IP, 11H, 7R, 4ER, 2BB, 12SO
2B: Stephanie Graham (FC), Madison McCracken (FC).
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