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Jun. 2—DIMOCK TWP. — Of the scenarios Elk Lake coach Tony Blaisure played out in his mind time and again, one stuck with him, and the Lady Warriors coach got just what he wanted in the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday’s District 2 Class 2A title game.

Madi Lord, the team leader with 31 RBIs, came to the plate with the go-ahead run on first, and the left-hander delivered, rifling an opposite-field triple on the first pitch to score Charity Kasson as top-seeded Elk Lake edged No. 2 Holy Cross, 2-1, for the team’s first district championship since 2011.

“She’s been doing that all year for us,” Blaisure said. “Look at her numbers. She’s been hitting the ball hard and coming through for us.

“I was trying to plan in my head for the last couple days, and if it was a close game, I wanted her at the plate for the chance to drive in the winning run because I’ve seen her do it all year. She hits the ball, and three out of four times it’s on the screws.”

This was one of those times. Left fielder Kaitlyn Idhaw could only turn and sprint as Lord’s liner whistled well over her head.

“By the time I got up the third time, I was like, ‘Alright, I know what’s coming’ and I went after it. It’s all really about being aggressive out there,” Lord said. “It hit the sweet spot. I knew I was a bit late so I couldn’t judge where it was going, but it was right in the center of the bat and I could tell it was going somewhere at least.”

For two teams that combined to average almost 24 runs per game, Lord’s triple was just the fifth hit of the game, one that sends Elk Lake into Monday’s first round of the PIAA playoffs against the District 4 champ, either Line Mountain or Wyalusing.

“On top of the world right now, on cloud nine,” Lord said. “I’m so proud of all these girls right now, and I’m so proud of the Holy Cross girls for putting up such a good fight. It was fun to play. I’m sure it was fun to watch.”

Elk Lake took the lead in the third when Pauige Keeney worked Elk Lake’s only walk of the game, was bunted to second and scored when Jenna Newhart got a second life after a dropped pop foul and ripped an RBI single to center.

“I think that line drive and that hit pumped us up even more and we got our game on,” Newhart said.

The sinking liner almost turned into a spectacular third out. Center fielder Kaci Kranson charged hard and made a headlong dive, narrowly missing a spectacular grab.

“She’s just a special player and a special person,” Holy Cross coach Joe Ross said. “The Newhart girl hits a bullet to center field and Kaci almost makes the play in the air, and then comes up and almost has the play at the plate. She’s just a next-level athlete.”

Newhart, a travel ball teammate of Kranson’s wasn’t sure it was going to drop.

“That was a great dive,” Newhart said. “Honestly, I thought she caught it. Kaci’s a really good athlete.”

Both teams scuffled for baserunners, with McGee allowing just three hits and one earned run.

“Erin McGee was a stud in the circle today,” Ross said. “Just so happens, Amanda (Voll) was a little bit better than her.”

Voll hit Kranson and walked Priscilla Grill in the first, then retired 17 in a row.

She moved the ball around the strike zone, changed levels and had Holy Cross off balance with a subtle mixture of changeups, all of which she threw for a strike.

“She starts in her first district championship game after not playing last year at any level, tremendous,” Blaisure said. “Not only by her, but the entire team.”

With their season hanging by a thread, Carly Wywoda unloaded for a home run on one of the few mistakes made by Voll.

Wywoda circled the bases as her drive to center kept rolling. A pair of good throws made the play close, with Wywoda scoring after she and catcher Layla Weaver collided violently near the plate, the throw pulling Weaver away from the plate and into the basepath.

Weaver eventually shook off the effects and stayed in the game, and Elk Lake proved just as resilient in the bottom of the inning.

Elk Lake 2, Holy Cross 1

Holy Cross 000 001 0 — 1

Elk Lake 001 001 x — 2

WP: Amanda Voll 7IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 5SO

LP: Erin McGee 7IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 6SO

3B: Mati Lord (EL).

HR: Carly Wywoda (HC).

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